
Prepare for University Nursing Literacy and Numeracy Tests
Are you applying for a nursing, midwifery or related position in the UK? Courses are available at over 70 universities, some of which will require you to take a nursing numeracy and literacy test. This page looks at some of these universities and their tests in more detail, so read on to find out more.
In order to get a place on a nursing course you must have a decent level of numeracy and literacy (defined as a grade C or above at GCSE level), but some universities will ask you to take a nursing English or maths test to verify your skills, usually at a selection day event. Take a look at some of these courses below, and follow the links to our specially created nursing numeracy and literacy test practice pack.
Coventry University Nursing Maths TestShortlisted applicants to nursing at Coventry University can expect a selection event including a nursing numeracy and literacy test. The Coventry University nursing numeracy test is a mental arithmetic test with questions focussing on the four basic functions. Questions may be straight maths, or they may be a word problem based on a nursing situation.
Some example questions are:
 What is 37 + 75?
 A patient weighs 84kg and has been told to lose 12% of her body weight. How much weight does she need to lose?
The Coventry University nursing English or literacy test asks you to write a short piece on why you want to be a nurse. The key points when completing this test are to make sure that your writing is clear and that you can present your points concisely without too much extra discussion. Spelling and grammar and legible handwriting are also important in this test.
Leeds University Nursing Maths TestApplicants to nursing and midwifery courses at Leeds University will need to pass a numeracy exam at a selection event. The topics covered in the test include addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, fractions and percentages. You are also asked to make basic drugs calculations in this test, and some questions may ask you to convert weights and volumes between metric and imperial systems. You may not use a calculator in this test, meaning that you must be able to work out answers in your head or on a piece of paper.
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King’s College Nursing Numeracy TestIf you are invited to a nursing selection event you can expect a literacy test, numeracy test and interview. You need to successfully pass the tests in order to be invited for the interview.
The literacy test is a 20 minute test looking at your skills when working with written English, particularly how well you can read, understand and apply the information in a piece of text. The test is based on a nursing related text, on which you need to answer questions. Timing is tight for this test, so be careful to work quickly and accurately.
The numeracy test involves 15 questions to answer in 20 minutes and looks at how well you can use maths in a work context. You can use a calculator in the test, they will give you one at the test day. Questions in this test require you to know how to do the four basic functions, understand and use fractions, decimals, percentages and ratios, with some questions based on nursing calculations, and others general maths.
Example numeracy questions:
 Round this number to one decimal place : 18.77
 You earn £370 a week and are given a 6% pay increase. Your colleague Steph earns £400 a week but is given just 3% more a month. Who will get more money added onto their weekly pay?
UWE Nursing Numeracy TestShortlisted applicants to UWE for all nursing courses are invited to a selection event as part of the admissions process. At the selection day you can expect to take a nursing literacy test and a nursing numeracy test as well as a group activity and interview. You need to pass these tests in order to be offered a place on the course. In order to pass the numeracy test you need to know how to calculate the basic functions, decimals, fractions, percentages, ratios as well as BMI and other medical formulae.
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Salford University Nursing Maths TestAll shortlisted nursing applicants for Salford University are invited to a selection day involving numeracy and literacy tests and an interview. The Salford nursing literacy test contains a passage of text and four questions to answer based on what you have read, all in 20 minutes. The text will be relevant to the degree course you are applying to.
The Salford nursing numeracy test contains 30 questions to answer in 20 minutes. Questions are also loosely based on the types of calculations you may need to make in your job on a daily basis. You are asked to do addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, drug calculations, percentages, ratios and more.
Anglia Ruskin Nursing Numeracy TestIf your application for nursing, midwifery and operating department degrees is taken forward you are next invited to an interview day with several exercises, including a numeracy test, literacy test, group discussion and interview. You must pass the numeracy and literacy tests in order to take part in the group discussion and interview.
The Anglia Ruskin nursing maths test examines your ability to use multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, decimals, fractions, percentages, weight, volumes and measures all in a series of nursing scenarios, and without the use of a calculator. The test lasts 30 minutes, and questions may take the following two formats:
 23.18 + 0.41 + 5.8 = ?
 Nurse Turner administers baby Amelia’s medicine, using a dropper, eight times a day. If the tube of the dropper is filled each time with 3.7 millilitres of medicine, how many millimetres in total does baby Amelia take daily?
(Both questions taken from the Anglia Ruskin University sample numeracy test.)
In the literacy test you are given a passage of text related to nursing or the NHS Constitution. You are asked to comment on or answer questions on what you have read. This test serves a number of purposes: it shows that you can understand written texts and use the information to make a point; you can write an answer with clear sentences and paragraphs; your handwriting is readable, and that you have used the correct spelling and grammar.
London South Bank University Nursing Numeracy TestLondon South Bank University have two testing stages in their recruitment process for nursing, midwifery and radiography applicants: a situational judgement test taken online straight after your application and a numeracy and literacy test at a testing centre. You have to pass the numeracy test in order to be given the chance to take the literacy test. Each test will take 30 minutes.
The situational test is a multiple choice test in which you are asked to choose the best response to a nursing situation from a list of options. The aim of this test is to determine whether you have the right abilities, attitudes and personality traits for nursing, as well as to check your knowledge of the correct response to work situations. Get more tips on how to approach a situational judgement test on our pages.
In the London South Bank University nursing numeracy test you have 30 minutes to answer 10 questions. You are not given a calculator to help you work out your answers, instead you can write your workings out on the paper. Questions are asked in the form of word and scenario problems, and you need to be able to add, subtract, multiply, divide, understand percentages, work out decimals and fractions and more in order to answer them.
The London South Bank University nursing literacy test involves two separate sections. In the first section, you are given a text to read and asked five questions related to the information within. You have to score 3 out of 5 in this section to pass the test. In the second section you are asked to write a short essay (150  200 words) on a topic included in the test. This part of the test is given a score against a set of criteria, and you need to score 6/12 including at least 1 point for content in order to pass this test. You have 30 minutes to complete this test, so time is of the essence.
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Greenwich University Nursing Numeracy TestShortlisted applicants to nursing and midwifery courses at Greenwich will be asked to take a numeracy and literacy test at a selection event. The literacy test is an essay on a related topic, with emphasis placed on spelling, grammar and sentence and paragraph structure. The Greenwich University nursing numeracy test assesses your ability to make the types of calculations you need to carry out every day of your career as a nurse. Ahead of the test ensure that you are comfortable with the basic functions, percentages, ratios, fractions and decimals.
Middlesex University Nursing Numeracy TestIf your application is shortlisted, the next stage is a maths and English test at the university. The test is an hour long in total. The maths section involves percentages, drug calculations, basic maths and you need to have an understanding of means and averages. You can use a calculator in this test, which makes working out the answers a little bit easier. The English test is split into two parts. In the first part you are given a text to read and a series of questions to answer based on what you have read. In the second section of the test, you are asked to choose a miniessay topic from three options and write a few lines about it. In this test, pay special attention to spelling, grammar and how you compile sentences and paragraphs.
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