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How to Pass the Numerical Reasoning Test

Are you hoping to ace your upcoming numerical reasoning test? Then you have come to the right place. On this page, you will find a series of helpful numerical reasoning test tips and tricks geared at improving your chances of winning over your future employer.


Numerical Video Tutorials

Our numerical reasoning tips video tutorial series is included in all relevant PrepPacks™. The tutorials will guide you through each concept from the basics to more complex maths skills but, most importantly, it will show you how to apply each concept in a psychometric test. Lastly, we demonstrate where and how to use time (and stress) saving tips.

You will find a sample video below:

Get a feel of a real numerical reasoning test with this free test

General Advice Before You Sit the Test


Get rid of distractions and set designated times to practise the tricks and shortcuts listed below:


1. Master the Basics

Numerical aptitude tests rely on basic mathematical concepts that can easily be reviewed and memorised. This includes the four operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, upon which further concepts may be applied, including percentages and ratios.


2. Sharpen Your Data Interpretation Skills 

  • Since most numerical tests use a wide array of graphs and charts to present information, you should get used to reading this type of data. Reading and discerning adequate information from complex graphs and tables greatly contributes to the delayed response time most numerical test takers suffer from. Financial sections of daily newspapers and, of course, practice questions and sample tests are the best way to familiarise yourself with all of the possible types of data presentation. You can skip to our numerical reasoning graphs and numerical reasoning tables articles to further grow your knowledge on the subject. In the meantime, here are some basic guidelines for effective data interpretation: Pay attention to units and scales along with small details. Graphs and tables present numerical information in different scales. It is very common to find questions in which the information is presented in millions, while the question refers to thousands. 
  • Look for additional information which is not directly included in the table/chart. This information is given in asterisks or at the bottom of the image and often supplies information about discounts, total amounts etc., which are crucial for solving certain questions.
  • Use the orientation test: After a few seconds of scanning the data, place your finger somewhere inside the data area and make sure you can explain the meaning of that piece of data.
  • Lastly, if possible, read the answers before solving the question. The answers could give you a clue as to how to quickly answer the test question.

3. Learn How to Use a Calculator

If the usage of a calculator is possible, it is a good idea to skilfully know your device. This is especially true when dealing with percentages or lengthy calculations. Using your calculator wisely can become a substantial time saver. For instance, people who are not accustomed to using a calculator tend to write each result they receive instead of leaving it on the calculator's screen and applying it for the next calculation. Learn more about calculators on numerical tests.


4.  Estimations Are Key

When reaching the point in which questions become increasingly more difficult, you must use your estimation skills. Under serious time constraints, it is not always necessary to reach the exact answer in order to answer correctly. You are likely to encounter questions which without the aid of estimation would take too long to calculate. Our practice numerical tests include many questions that measure your ability to estimate, and explanations provided for these questions help a lot.


5. Practice 24/7

Practising basic mathematical skills and numerical tests beforehand can bring about dramatic changes in your performance. This is true for any field of aptitude.

Start honing your skills right now with the full PrepPack™


Numerical Reasoning Help for Number Series

At some point during your exam, you likely will come across a few questions on number series. Number series is a sequence of numbers that follow a logical rule that is based on elementary arithmetic. While solving your problem, you will identify the rule and predict what the next number should be.

Note: these questions can vary in difficulty. Thus, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the different types of questions to eliminate any element of surprise.

Sample Question 1

49 | 50 | 59 | ? | 68 | 77 | 49 | 86

A) 60

B) 67

C) 57

D) 49

The correct answer is 49.

In this series 9 is added to the previous term. The number 49 is inserted as every third term.

Sample Question 2

Z2 | Y4 | X8 | W16 | ?

A) V32

B) S32

C) V24

D) S24

The correct answer is V32.

The series in this question follows two sets of rules:

1. The letters decrease by -1

2. The numbers double each time


Note: For more sample question visit Number Series Example Questions Tips & Tricks.


Numerical Reasoning Help for Ratios

Another overly used series of questions are ratios. Ratios compare the quantitative relation between two numbers. If you have trouble remembering this concept it might be wise to refresh your memory by looking into practice questions which you can find here.

Sample Question 1

A dance group consists of 22 dancers. 
The ratio of men to women in the group is 5:6. 

How many of the dancers are women?

A) 6

B) 8

C) 10

D) 12

The correct answer is 12.

If there are 5 men for every 6 women, it means that there are 5+6=11 dancers in total in each "set" of dancers. It follows that 5/11 of the dancers are men, and 6/11 of the dancers are women. To find out how many dancers are women, we need to multiply the number of dancers by 6/11: 22*(6/11) = (22/11)*6 = 2*6 = 12.

Sample Question 2

Milly and Bill's parents left an inheritance of £5000. According to the parents’ will, Milly will inherit twice as much as Bill. The parents also stipulated that 40% of the original sum is to be transferred to their favourite animal charity.

How much money will Bill inherit?

A) 2000

B) 3000

C) 1000

D) 2200

The correct answer is 1000.

40% of the original sum of £5000 goes to a charity. This means that only 60% of the money will be divided between Bill and Milly: 5000*0.6= £3000 . The money will then be divided in a ratio of 1:2 in favour of Milly. If we divide £3000 by three, we see that Bill will receive £1000.


Note: For more sample question visit Numerical Ratios Tips and Extras.


Simulate the real thing with more in-depth practise

What Skills Do These Tests Measure?

Numerical reasoning tests are composed to assess the range of skills and knowledge needed to perform in almost all jobs. Essential maths or computations skills such as the four basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), percentages and ratios to list a few, are all needed in specific professional settings.

The essence of these tests is to be able to understand and analyse graphs and other numerical data. If you are seeking a job in the finance or banking sector, then financial reasoning skills are a must.

As part of the hiring process, technical jobs often want applicants to have speed and concentration when calculating numerical data. Critical reasoning is also necessary for many high-level positions, while estimation skills are favourable in many positions.


Numerical Reasoning Cheat Sheet: Get Test Solutions

Begin creating your own numerical cheat sheet after you have learned more about the numerical tests below:

Cheat Sheet Sample Ideas
Currency Conversion Questions Calculator for Numerical Tests Numerical Reasoning Graphs Numerical Reasoning Ratios
Percentages in Numerical Reasoning Tests Numerical Reasoning Tables Tips for Kenexa Numerical Reasoning Tests Numerical Reasoning Test Formulas Guide 


Additionally, you may be interested to check out our free tutorials on numerical reasoning percentages and currency conversion to further expand your knowledge of basic numerical concepts and its various solving techniques. Reviewing these concepts will help bring you one step closer to improving your numerical skills. 

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