Eldar Author

Eldar,  Korn Ferry Talent Q Expert at JobTestPrep.

Have a question? Contact me at: ask_the_team@jobtestprep.co.uk


What Is the Talent Q Elements Numerical Assessment?

The Talent Q Elements numerical assessment is a reasoning test that measures your ability to analyze and draw inferences from numerical data.

The test is often taken together with the Talent Q Element’s logical and verbal tests.

You will be presented with tables and graphs containing numerical information followed by multiple-choice questions – three questions for each graph or set of graphs.

You will need to analyze the information and make the required calculation to select the correct answer out of a list that can go up to 30 alternatives.

The test is adaptive, which means that as you go through the assessment, the difficulty of the questions will vary according to your performance and will become harder when answering correctly and easier when answering incorrectly.

The test consists of 12 questions, and although there is no overall time limit for the test, there is a time limit for each question – 90 seconds for the first question of each graph or set of graphs and 75 seconds for subsequent questions.

Calculators are allowed and encouraged, so make sure to get one before your test. In addition, it is recommended to use pen and paper to keep track of your calculations.

Let’s see how it looks!

Talent Q Elements Numerical Practice Questions

• Talent Q Elements Numerical Practice Question #1

  1990 2000
Type of Univerity Unemployed Employed Unemployed Employed
 Private  155 1475  125  1350 
 State  125 1610  150  1250 

Answer the following questions based on the information presented in the table:

  1. How many more or less employed graduates were there in 1990 than in 2000?
  2. What proportion of the unemployed graduates in 2000 studied in private universities? (rounded to 2 decimal places)
Show Solution

Solving questions such as these is often aided by schematic and step-wise thinking. With this in mind, let's solve question no. 1 using the Four-Step Method (see below for more on how to utilize this technique).

  • 1. Read the question carefully - the way the question is phrased in fairly straightforward. We can surmise that we should be looking for employed graduates at two points in tine: 1990 and 2000.
  • 2. Skim the table - A quick review can help us notice several things. Firstly, we know thanks to the title that the table only features graduates. This means the only variables we need to worry about are time and employment status. We can see that there are two columns that describe unemployed graduates, which we can ignore since they were not asked about. This leaves us two relevant columns: Employed graduates in 1990 and 2000.

    The rows make a distinction between state and public universities. Because the question makes no mention of this separation, we need not worry about it. Elements Numerical tables often feature irrelevant information meant to confuse you. 
  • 3. Figure out the necessary calculation - to determine how many more or fewer employed graduates there were in 1990 than in 2000, you should calculate the number of graduates employed in both 2000 and 1990 and subtract the figures. 

    The number of employed in 1990 = Private + State = 1,475 + 1,610 = 3,085. 

    The number of employed in 2000 = Private + State = 1,250 + 1,350 = 2,600.

    As you can see, there were more employed graduates in 1990 than in 2000. 
  • 4. Do the maths - in the number of employed in 1990 and 2000:

    3,085 – 2,600 = 485.

The correct answer is more, by 485.

Now, let's apply the same method to question no. 2. A careful reading indicates that we are only interested in unemployed graduates in the year 2000. Employed graduates in 2000, and all graduates in 1990 are simply irrelevant. Having skimmed the table earlier, we should be able to immediately locate the correct row. 

For the calculations - any time we are required to find a proportion, we must first identify the whole, then divide the part by that whole. In this case, the whole is composed of all unemployed graduates in the year 2000 in both public and state universities:

125 + 150 = 275.

The part is the 125 unemployed graduates that year.

125 / 275 = 0.75.

The correct answer is 0.45

Note: the questions on the real Elements Numerical are multiple-choice, not open ended. However, we recommend treating them as open-ended and trying to reach the answers by yourself, as the number of choices per question on this particular test is too large to allow a reliance on elimination as a technique.


• Talent Q Elements Numerical Practice Question #2

Talent Q Elements Numerical
Talent Q Elements Numerical

Assuming the tax rate applies to the entire salary, in which sector did the number of employees increase the most from year 1 to year 2?

Show Solution

After carefully reading the question it is apparent that, when skimming the table, we should be looking for information about employee numbers across sectors, across the first two years. Any other information would be unimportant.

As we skim, we should realize that the right half of the top table is unimportant as it deals with salaries, not employee numbers. We might notice that the top table discusses percentages, while the second deals with absolute numbers. However, the top table distinguishes between sectors, while the bottom table summarizes all employees across sectors. Between both tables, we are able to collect information about wholes (bottom) and percentages (top). Since the percentage formula is used to find the relationship between wholes, parts, and percentages, we can expect to use it.

Let's formulate the calculations we have to use:

To reach the answer, we must determine the number of employees for each sector in both years 1 and 2. Then, deduct the number of employees in year 1 from year 2 to determine the difference. We can do this by using the percentage formula, part x 100 / whole = %. 

Talent Q Elements Numerical

The answer (highlighted in red) shows that the biggest increase in employees was 8.5 million - in the manufacturing sector.

The correct answer is Manufacturing

Note: the questions on the real Elements Numerical are multiple-choice, not open-ended. However, we recommend treating them as open-ended and trying to reach the answers by yourself, as the number of choices per question on this particular test is too large to allow reliance on elimination as a technique.

JobTestPreps’ Talent-Q Elements PrePack is designed to sharpen your numerical skills with a video study guide and 3 full simulations that will teach you how to quickly understand any question, extract the relevant details and answer correctly under strict time limits.

Talent Q Elements Numerical Challenges

Challenging Time Limit
On the Talent Q Elements numerical test, each question is timed at 75-90 seconds. No matter how fast you answer one question, the time limit for the next one will be just the same. So, the time crunch remains intense throughout the test, with no option to save time by answering easier questions faster.
Practising similar numerical questions is essential to sharpen your ability to quickly figure out the fastest way of calculating the answer on time.


Educated Guesses Are Impossible
Since answers are provided in a never-ending list of dozens of proximate options, eliminating answers is not a prudent strategy. Instead, calculating the solution is the only effective way to reach the correctt answer.


If You’re Doing It Right, It Will Get Harder
The Talent Q numerical test is adaptive, meaning that your answer to a given question changes the level of difficulty of the following question. So, when you answer a question correctly, you’ll face an even harder question. This cycle repeats itself until you arrive at a level of difficulty which reflects the limits of your ability. Alternately, answering a question incorrectly means that the next question will be easier.

With the proper preparation, you can overcome these challenges and ace the Talent Q Elements Numerical test. JobTestPreps’ PrePack will provide you with everything needed to master the assessment and be equipped with all the techniques to handle any hurdle.

The 4-Step Solving Method for the Talent-Q Elements Numerical Test

✻  Step 1 – Read Each Question Carefully
The graphs in the Talent Q Elements numerical test consist of much more information than is needed to find the correct answer.
Instead of going over pointless information designed to distract you, read over the question carefully to determine exactly what you’re looking for.


  Step 2 – Skim the Table in Search of Keywords
Look at the headlines of the rows and columns to locate the relevant information you are asked to find in the question. 
For example, you may be asked to find the number of employees from a certain sector over a designated period. You will need to look for the data below the suitable titles in such a case.


  Step 3 – Figure Out the Necessary Calculation
Now that you know where the relevant information is, try to figure out the arithmetic operation needed to get to the answer.
For example, consider whether you need to compare two rows, add up different cells or find the average of a specific column.


✻ Step 4 – Calculate and Find the Best Answer
Since you’re allowed to use a calculator, this last step will be relatively easier than the previous ones. Simply use the information you’ve already gathered to execute the calculation and choose the correct answer carefully.


Note: Some of the high-difficulty-level questions require numerous calculations to reach the answer, taking a long time. If you run out of time on such questions, keep in mind that even encountering them means you’re doing a great job overall.

Talent Q Elements Numerical Test Tips

As with many maths tests, rehearsal and training can make a big impact on your performance. Maths may not come easily to many people, especially when a time constraint is brought into the picture, but if you know which particular skills need improvement and dedicate time and effort to practise, you will find yourself doing better than you thought you could.

Here are a few pieces of advice that our test experts have put together:



Don’t leave questions for later
The Elements Numerical does not allow test takers to go back, so don’t skip over any of the questions thinking you will get to it later. Instead, try answering each question to the best of your ability within the time limit.


Use your time wisely
The Talent Q Elements Numerical test’s questions come in sets of 3 (per table). The first one will take more time while you’re familiarizing yourself with the given data. Use this to your advantage and make the subsequent questions easier for yourself by first trying to understand how to read the table.


Don’t try to guess
This test offers too many answer options for guessing to be effective, so don’t read over all the answer options to find the answer you think sounds the best (there can be up to 30 options!) Instead, find the most useful data, do your calculation, and then find which answer choice yours matches.


Stay focused on your goal
You may get distracted by all the additional information in the given tables. This is done intentionally to confuse you. Try to read the question thoroughly to find the relevant statistical data and ignore the rest of the unnecessary information.

noteSimulate your test as accurately as possible
Having tried and practised Talent Q Elements Numerical questions in a test-like environment can give you focus and calm during your actual assessment.

JobTestPreps have developed tailored numerical practice tests to simulate the Korn Ferry/ Talent Q Elements numerical test. This will provide you with the tools you need to prepare effectively for this test and the unique challenges presented.

How to Significantly Improve Your Score Within 5-6 Days


Most candidates only have about a week before taking the Talent-Q test. From our experience, six days are just the right amount of time to prepare efficiently and effectively and see a better result. This is an optimal timeline based on our full preparation pack:

Day 1

  • Start off by taking one Elements Numerical Test. use this timed simulation to diagnose your baseline strengths and shortcomings. Try to assess your weaker spots, whether they're identifying elements of the graphs and tables, or making certain calculations which you find confusing or unintuitive.
  • Broaden your search for skills to improve  by trying the first 3-5 questions of each question type in the "Numerical Drills", then jump to the test results page to review your answers.
  • Go over the study guides and video tutorials which offer tips and solving strategies explaining all aspects of the test. Dedicate most of your time to the subjects you find most difficult according to your diagnosis in the previous two steps.

    You should go back to the guides throughout your preparation process to refresh your memory and make sure you are using all the tools they provide. 

Day 2

  • Practice questions you find most challenging (using the "Numerical Drills" section). Complete each drill, then review your answers to learn from your mistakes. (you don't have to time yourself just yet).

Day 3-4

  • Start practising mini-tests in timed mode ("Numerical Extra Practice" section). It's time to learn to deal with the pressure of the time constraint you’ll face when taking the real test. This will give you insight into how to answer questions accurately and quickly.

    Take half the tests, then take a breather. It is best to go through the material at a reasonable pace. Rushing through questions is not an effective way to study.

Day 5-6

  • Diagnose your progression. Take a full test from your  ‘Elements Numerical’ section. Reassess your weak points, then go back to the guides to see if there are tips to help you improve in those areas. Also, review previous questions of these types again to see if your mistakes follow a pattern.
  • Take all remaining mini-tests. Be sure to spend a considerable part of your time reviewing your mistakes and learning how to use our tool kit to avoid needless mistakes. Make sure to abide by the time limit.
  • Simulate your actual test. Finally, take your last full Talent-Q Numerical practice test to simulate both question types and time-limit on the actual exam. 

Turn off your phone, remove any distractions, and try to emulate conditions. For instance, if you are taking the real test online, you can try recreating the same or similar test conditions: place, time of day, computer model, etc.

How is the Talent Q Elements Numerical Test Scored? 

Your raw score in the Talent Q Elements Numerical test is comprised of all the correct answers you have accumulated while taking the difficulty level of each question into account.  

Then, your score is compared to the appropriate reference group of your employers’ choosing. It is how you performed compared to the reference group that determines whether you pass or fail. Typically, you will need to have performed better than 80% of them. Put differently, There is no official threshold that your raw score has to be higher than to pass the assessment, but you do have to be higher than the 80th percentile.

This means that it is not enough to do well on the test; you must surpass your competitor’s scores as well.


Talent Q Elements


What Is the Passing Score for the Talent Q Elements Numerical Test?

Although there are no passing or failing scores for this test, your score is compared to that of other candidates applying for the same position.

Usually, you have to score at or above the 80th percentile in order to continue in the application process.

Are Calculators Allowed?

Yes! Calculators, pens and scrap paper are all allowed. So make sure to bring them with you before starting the test.

Can This Test Be Taken More Than Once?

Usually, no. If you are applying for a specific role, you will only have one chance to take the Talent Q Elements Numerical test during the hiring process.

What is the duration of the Talent Q Elements Numerical test?

You will be given 90 seconds to answer the first question of each set. Afterwards, you will have 75 seconds to answer the next two per set.

Can the skills measured by the Talent Q test be improved? 

Yes. When you prepare with the right practice materials you are sure to boost your numerical reasoning skills and become more familiar with how to locate the relevant data and plug in the correct equation.

Korn Ferry, the company that administers the Talent-Q tests say as much on its website:

"Putting time into practising the kinds of questions you may face in ability tests is the best way of maximising your performance and boosting your confidence."

What if I am not able to answer some questions in the allotted time? 

Since your assessment will be scored based on the number of questions you answer correctly, as well as the difficulty level of each one, you don’t have to worry about answering every single question.

Where will the Talent Q Elements Numerical test be held? 

You will be invited to take the test either at the company’s location or online from the comfort of your own home (or any other quiet place).

 Is the Talent Q Elements Numerical test difficult?  

Because the test questions are adaptive, the difficulty level of the test adjusts depending on your performance.

Does the test provider use negative marking? 

No. This is because your potential employer wants to measure your skills and reasoning abilities by evaluating the extent of what you know.

Are all the questions weighted equally? 

No. This is because the test is adaptive, so every question may have a different level of difficulty.

You will be scored based on the difficulty of the questions you answered correctly.

Which Employers Use Talent Q Elements Numerical Test During Their Hiring Process?

There are a variety of employers who use this test in their recruitment process to identify strong candidates. 

Several well-known companies who use this test include SAB Investments, Frontline and Alinta.

Can the Talent Q Numerical Test Be Taken Before Submitting a Job Application?

Usually not, since most recruitment processes start with the submission of an application.

Is it okay to ask questions during the test? 

You will most likely not get a chance to ask questions during the actual test. 

Yet when you are invited to take the test initially, you can ask basic questions regarding the exam. 

Are there breaks during the test? 

Most tests do not allow for taking breaks during the duration of the exam. Take care of everything you need before you begin.  


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