A wide range of jobs and occupation fields require basic numerical computation skills, among which are operational, commercial, help desk, customer service, and administrative staff. These skills serve as evidence for basic education and intelligence, and can greatly affect the chances of getting a job.

There are many companies that require applicants to pass a numeracy test. To name but a few: the Boots literacy and numeracy test, the NHS literacy and numeracy test and the QTS numeracy test for those who wish to get a teachers qualification. The Royal Navy psychometric test also contains a section of numeracy questions, as does the police test.

These tests vary in style and content, assessing simple numerical abilities as well as more complex logical thinking and planning. In this page we will cover these numeracy tests giving you a full picture of what to expect and how to prepare for them.

Numerical Literacy Tests

Also known as basic numeracy tests and basic maths tests, these numeracy tests assess your ability to understand basic mathematical concepts and carry out simple calculations. Numerical literacy is the ability to understand basic mathematical concepts and carry out simple arithmetic calculations in everyday life situations, in particular arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

The most common principles that are examined in these tests are:

  • The four basic operations
  • Fractions and decimals - get our free review of decimals
  • Rounding numbers
  • Averages
  • Basic geometry concepts

Numeracy Example Question

Select the correct answer:

0.58 + 1.29 =

A. 1.77     B. 1.87      C. 1.97      D. 1.57      E. 2.11

For questions of this nature you are generally given a very short amount of time to answer them, normally less than 20 seconds per question and you are not given a calculator to work with.

Number Series Tests

Although these questions are often defined as numeracy test questions, they are not connected in the truest sense. These questions present you with a series of numbers or fractions that have a certain order to them. You have to work out the relationship between the numbers and use this pattern to get the correct answer. These tests are particularly popular with those applying for positions in IT, Cabin Crew and Technical positions. They are also a major constituent of IBM's IPAT proprietary selection test and Onetest's Cognitive Ability Test.

For example:

Number Series Sample Question

In the above example in order to arrive at the correct solution you have to deduce the relationship going on in the sequence. Namely: as each number on the left hand side of the fraction decreases the number on the right hand side increases. This gives us the correct answer.

There are however, more complicated series questions than this where the relationship is created using mathematical functions as well. See our dedicated page on number series for more detail on these particular tests. 

Word Problems

A further type of test in the basic numeracy tests is a test where you have to answer word problems. You are presented with between one and four sentences of information and you have to calculate the correct answer. You may be asked to select the correct answer from a choice of options or you may have to type your answer in a box.

For example:

David has invested money in some shares that have a projected accumulated increase of 3.5% a year. In five years’ time, how much money will David have if he invested £450?

  1. £530
  2. £534.46
  3. £528.75
  4. £525.5

Are there Different Types of Calculation Tests?

Although all calculation tests are similar in nature, there are different formats administered by the different assessment companies. Our calculation tests include 2 practice tests following the formats of cut-e and SHL. As these two formats are distinctly different in style, our practice pack is able to provide general as well as specialised insight into the world of calculation tests.

CEB SHL Verify Calculation Test

SHL's calculation test is a straightforward algebraic test, consisting of equations with one missing variable. You will have to manipulate and calculate the numbers to find the variable's correct value.

cut-e Numeracy Test

The cut-e test (also known as "scales eql") is more of a logical thinking task than a simple arithmetic one. All of the variables of the equation are missing, so that the result and operators are the only available information. Your task is to figure out which set of numbers can make the equation work.

Improve Your Numeracy Skills

Having rusty or limited numeracy skills reduce your chances of getting a job or making progress within an organisation's hierarchy. Therefore it is highly important to review and practice these concepts until full mastery is reached. JobTestPrep's Numeracy Skills practice pack will help you strengthen your numeracy skills both with simple arithmetic drills as well as more advanced tests. Among the latter are the cut-e and SHL-style calculation tests found in this pack.

CEB, SHL, cut-e, and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with JobTestPrep or this website.

What's Included

  • 1 cut-e numeracy test (scales eql) practice
  • 1 CEB SHL-style calculation test practice
  • 11 additional tests with hundreds of practice questions
  • Explanations and solving tips
  • 4 study guides covering: fractions, decimals, equations, operations
  • Video Tutorials
  • Timed tests with score reports
  • Immediate online access | Practice 24/7
  • Secured payment
Related PrepPacks™ that come with membership: