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The EPSO Numerical Reasoning Test

The EPSO numerical reasoning test is a multiple-choice test requiring data interpretation and mathematical calculations. Through information presented in often complex tables you must draw conclusions and calculate changes within these data sets.


The Pass Mark for EPSO Tests

In order to pass this numerical reasoning test you need to get 50%. However, if you want to ensure that you will get an invitation to the EPSO assessment centre you will need to score significantly higher than this. The main skills needed to do well in this test are the ability to work with percentages as well as the four basic numerical functions.

Test characteristics

General format: Tables and charts, followed by multiple choice questions.

Allotted time: 20 minutes.

Number of questions: 10 Pass mark: 50%

Skills needed: Ability to work with ratios, percentages and the four basic numerical functions. 


Prepare for the EPSO Administrator Numerical Test

Each question focuses on a statistical table that covers a particular subject, for example GDP levels for a particular country. The tables are varied with some being highly detailed and others less so. In general, you need to use a number of different data items in the table to calculate the correct answer. Keep reading as we go through an example question and give you important tips and guidance to you’ll perform well in your EPSO tests.


EPSO AD Sample Question

Try to answer this EPSO Numerical Sample Question
What is the absolute difference between the number of people who don’t use the internet in the UK and Belgium?
  1. 5 339.351
  2. 53 393 510
  3. 534 000 000
  4. 51 517 300 000

In this question we have to go through a number of different steps to get to the answer. First of all we need find the correct data in the table, and then we have to manipulate this information to answer the question. For a more detailed explanation on how exactly to answer this question see our blog.

Bear in mind that this EPSO example question is one of the easier EPSO style questions that can be found on the administrator level tests. Other questions involve higher levels of mathematical skill such as calculating percentage change and using it to create ratio between different products and countries.


Skills needed to answer the EPSO Numerical Reasoning Test

For each question there are normally a number of different computations that you need to process in order to answer correctly. It isn’t uncommon to have to use the correct information and work out the percentage change and then compare this to another number finally giving them as a ratio to one another. In order to be able to answer all the questions correctly and within the time given you need to be fully confident on the solving method and be able to work quickly through the different numerical steps. Once you know the methods needed to answer the questions and can put them into action again and again you will be able to finish the test in time. However, without knowing what to do you will find the EPSO numerical reasoning test hard to complete. This is why taking EPSO sample tests is so important.

When answering the EPSO numerical reasoning tests you have to know how to use a calculator as there are numerous calculations that you need to make in order to arrive at the right answer which cannot be done through estimation or deduction. In fact, a hallmark of this test is that there are numerous calculations that you have to go through to get the correct answer. It is therefore critically necessary for you to be fully aware of the different functions on your calculator as this knowledge enables you to increase your speed when answering these questions. Learn how we can help you get the most out of your calculator.


What is EPSO AST Numerical Reasoning Test?

This test is used in the assessment of candidates who are applying to assistant positions in the European Union (AST 3-16). It is a 10 question test that focuses on your ability to manipulate numbers that you have to find in tables of information. These tables typically focus on different European economic subjects.

The EPSO assistant (AST) numerical reasoning test gives you 20 minutes to answer 10 questions. These questions centre on tables of statistical information for European countries. They can however, also include information on countries around the world. Generally the tables are statistically based on topics that range from anything as large as population to even small things such as the number of letterboxes; essentially, everything that goes on in Europe. Whilst some of the tables of information are not very complex there are others that are much more so. Not only will you have to do the calculations in this EPSO numerical test but you often have to search for the correct information. As well as this, there is often information in the text of the questions that you have to use along with the data that you find in the table.

Example Question:

EPSO Assistant Level Numerical Test Sample


The number of beds in hospitals is divided into curative care and non-curative care beds. The number of non-curative beds in Germany increased by 4% from 2011. How many non-curative care beds were there in 2012?

In the above question there are a number of different steps that need to be completed in order to arrive at the solution. First of all you need to work out the number of non-curative beds there were in 2011. Then you need to work out the percentage increase to the next year to complete the answer. In short, the EPSO numerical reasoning tests require you to go through a number of different mathematical steps including some percentage work in order to get to the answer.

When answering the EPSO numerical reasoning tests you have to know how to use a calculator as there are numerous calculations that you need to make in order to arrive at the right answer which cannot be done through estimation or deduction. This is actually a hallmark of this test, you are given a lot of information that you have to sift through and use it to get the correct answer.

These questions require more than one calculation in order to get to the correct answer. It is therefore critically necessary for you to be fully aware of the different functions on your calculator as this knowledge enables you to increase your speed when answering these questions. Learn how we can help you get the most out of your calculator here.


EPSO AST Numerical Reasoning Tests – A True Test of Mathematical Ability

As we can see in the example, there are a number of different calculations that need to be made in a short space of time. As mentioned above, you only have approximately two minutes per question so you must be able to work quickly and accurately. The different numerical skills that you need to answer these questions are varied somewhat but in order to succeed in the EPSO AST numerical reasoning test you need to be able to recognise the different types of questions and what you are being asked to do. The only way to ensure that you can do this is by practising against the clock and understanding the ideal way to arrive at the answer.

You need to be able to quickly see exactly what the question is asking you to do and then make the calculations quickly. There are often distractors included in the actual text of the question that are merely there to throw you off. You have to be able to see through these and focus in on the actual question being asked. This is why the EPSO AST numerical reasoning tests are so difficult.


How can we help you succeed?

As one of the leaders in the psychometric testing world we are aware of the nuances that make the EPSO tests unique. We have crafted our practice packs to reflect this. Each of our tests comes with full explanations to the questions and answers as well as tips and help in order to give you access to the thought processes needed to answer the questions. Moreover, you can take the EPSO style tests in both a timed and untimed mode to give you the best chance of success. We look forward to welcoming you on board!