What you should know about Numerical Tests

When you’re applying for a job, you might have to pass psychometric tests to reach the interview phase.

One of the most common psychometric tests used by employers is a numerical test. If you’re applying for a position in a math-heavy industry such as finance, then you’ll most likely need to take this. Jobs that involve data analysis may also require numerical tests.

All About Numerical Tests

Numerical tests are written exams that test your aptitude for tasks involving numbers. Unlike math tests taken at school, they usually involve basic mathematical concepts such as arithmetic and averages. Many numerical tests also feature data analysis questions, where you interpret charts, tables, and diagrams. In addition, you might be asked to solve word problems or find patterns in numerical sequences.

Although you might not have to check any calculus textbooks, numerical tests can still be very challenging without practice. They’re more focused on real-world situations, and the questions that you’ll see are closely based on the job that you’re applying for. There are even computerised tests that adjust their difficulty as you answer them.

Most numerical tests are taken online, but employers might also ask you to go to an assessment center so you can take the test in person. 

The default format for numerical tests is multiple choice. However, what makes them tricky to answer is the time limit. Numerical tests have around 30-40 questions, with a time limit of around 40 minutes. That means you might only have around a minute to answer each question!

Numerical tests focus on these concepts:

  • Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
  • Order of operations
  • Percentages, fractions, decimals
  • Averages
  • Reading charts and tables

How to Prepare for Numerical Tests

A scenario that happens often with numerical tests is applicants not finishing them because of the time pressure.

To increase your chances of passing, make sure to try out practice tests before. This way, you’ll be able to get an estimate of your speed. If you find that you’re running short on time, then at least you can keep on trying out different practice tests until you become more comfortable with the questions.

For free practice tests online, two of the most popular resources are WikiJob and PracticeReasoningTests.com. You can also try asking your employer about the specific kind of numerical test that you’ll be taking so you’ll be able to focus on it during your review.

Help with numerical tests for Surrey Students

  1. Surrey students can access free psychometric test on from Team Focus.
  2. The University Library also supports with maths and statistics advice with drop-in sessions or one-to-one appointments. Find out more here.
  3. Read the Psychometric Tests leaflet for an overview

By taking practice tests, you’ll be much more confident and prepared, and you’ll be more likely to advance to the next round of your application!

Guest blog by Stephie Goodman at Wikijob