Number Series in Numerical Reasoning Test: Examples, Solving Tips & Practice Tests

Learn about number series and number sequence tests, with sample questions and explanations.

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Number Series Tests

Number series tests present numerical sequences that follow a logical rule which is based on elementary arithmetic. An initial sequence is given from which the rule is to be deduced. You are then asked to predict the next number that obeys the rule. The difficulty level of these questions can increase in two ways; first, the logic behind the sequence becomes less trivial and demands attention and creativity; second, the missing number can be positioned at an early stage, thus preventing you from deciphering the hidden rule by looking only at the previous numbers in the sequence.

How to Solve Number Series?

See some general solving tips for number series test. In JobTestPrep's preparation package you will find all tips for solving number series tests.

Numerical Series Examples

1. Examine the difference between adjacent numbers.

In a simple series, the difference between two consecutive numbers is constant.

Example: 27, 24, 21, 18, __

Rule: There is a difference of (-3) between each item. The missing number in this case is 15.

In a more complex series the differences between numbers may be dynamic rather than fixed, but there still is a clear logical rule.

Example: 3, 4, 6, 9, 13, 18, __

Rule: Add 1 to the difference between two adjacent items. After the first
number add 1, after the second number add 2 and after the third number
add 3, etc. In this case, the missing number is 24.

2. See whether there is a multiplication or division pattern between two adjacent numbers.

Example: 64, 32, 16, 8, __

Rule: Divide each number by 2 to get the next number in the series.
The missing number is 4.

3. Check whether adjacent numbers in the series change based on a logical pattern.

Example: 2, 4, 12, 48, __

Rule: Multiply the first number by 2, the second number by 3 and the third number by 4, etc. The missing item is 240.

4. See if you can find a rule that involves using two or more basic arithmetic functions (+, -, ÷, x). In the below series, the functions alternate in an orderly fashion.

Example: 5, 7, 14, 16, 32, 34, __

Rule: Add 2, multiply by 2, add 2, multiply by 2, etc. The missing item is 68.

Tip: Series’ in this category are easy to identify. Just look at the numbers that do not appear to have a set pattern.

In a series that involves two or more basic arithmetic functions, the differences between adjacent items effectively create their own series. We recommend that you try to identify each pattern separately.

Example: 4, 6, 2, 8, 3, __

Rule: In this series, the differences themselves create a series: +2, ÷3, x4, -5
The numbers advance by intervals of 1 and the arithmetic functions change in an orderly sequence. The next arithmetic function in the series should be +6, and so the next item in the series is 9 (3+6 = 9).

Number Series Aptitude Tests

While you are unlikely to find yourself faced with a test featuring only aptitude questions on number series, they are included in many types of numerical reasoning and numeracy tests. Preparing for numerical sequence test questions should be part of any preparation you do before your assessment. Our practice pack can teach you learn to quickly spot the patterns and understand the reasoning behind them with the help of video tutorials, study guides and practice questions. 

Further reading on numerical reasoning tests:

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Number Series Test - Numerical Reasoning“ I found doing your numerical tests to really help me in terms of making me faster in answering the questions. It also aided me in providing me with the basic and more complex numerical applications, that I needed for all the online tests I have taken. „

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