Numerical Reasoning Test: 19 Important Facts

By | July 18, 2023
Numerical Reasoning Test
Your chances of scoring highly in a numerical reasoning tester are higher with effective preparation.

Numerical reasoning tests are designed to highlight the candidate’s ability to quickly grasp numerical concepts, solve mathematical problems, and make sound and logical decisions, using numbers and any other given information.

The purpose of numerical reasoning tests is to decide the candidate’s ability to interpret the information provided only in the test statement, often presented in table or graph form, and not to assess their previous knowledge and mathematical capabilities.

All the same, practicing tests of this kind beforehand is highly recommended in order to increase your chances of scoring higher than other candidates, gaining the required speed, and familiarizing yourself with the necessary thinking mode.

19 Important Facts about Numerical Reasoning Test

Here are important facts you need to know about numerical reasoning tests:

  1. Types of Numerical Reasoning Tests

Numerical reasoning tests can take several shapes and often consist of an important segment of recruitment tests.

These include numeracy tests (basic and advanced numeracy), numerical reasoning tests (tables and graphs), Advanced or Critical Numerical Reasoning Appraisal (RANRA), and practice tests.

  1. For What Purposes is the Numerical Reasoning Test Used?

Employers looking to fill positions involving different levels of responsibility often include the numerical reasoning test in their job recruitment processes.

The test targets candidates for managerial positions as well as individuals willing to pursue a professional career in national and international organizations.

Possible positions include officers, directors and managers, senior executives, accountants, bankers and analysts, students and recent graduates, product managers, and area managers.

  1. Numeracy Test

The numeracy test is one of the basic and generally used numerical reasoning tests utilized in recruitment centers.

The candidate is hereby measured on his/her mental computational ability, based on their ability to solve mathematical problems and other simple quantitative exercises in a given time.

Basic and advanced numeracy are the two common categories of numeracy tests.

  1. Graphs and Tables

Hiring companies use graphs to present the relationship between numerical data and non-numerical parameters.

These graphs are expressed as two variables including the abscissa (horizontal X-axis), which usually represents time, in units such as years, hours, minutes, etc. and the ordinate (vertical Y-axis) represents the variables of the graph as a function of the abscissa (time).

Test publishers most commonly use some types of graphs including curve graphs (evolution of a curve as a function of time), air graphs (similar to the curve graph in that it highlights the magnitude or amplitude of the variations rather than the elapsed time), and histogram (vertical bars separated by categories).

Histograms are specifically designed to show amounts or quantities in equal time intervals.

  1. Practicing Right for Your Numerical Reasoning Test is Essential

Numerical reasoning is a test designed to measure your knowledge on a range of subjects, including number sequences, percentages, ratios, financial analysis, data interpretation, currency conversion, etc.

All of the above topics are directly proportional to how you will cope with the job.

There is a broad array of numerical reasoning tests from different providers, including Talent Q, Revelian, SHL, and more.

It is necessary to get yourself ready for a multitude of numerical reasoning test scenarios considering that you will be sending out CVs to multiple companies, including tables and graphs, percentages, currency and unit conversion, and more.

The tests will vary in their difficulty levels, time frames, and even question-answer structure.

  1. SHL Numerical Reasoning

The SHL numerical test is distinctive since most questions appear in the form of data-based tables or graphs along with multiple-choice questions and will include 5 distractors.

The SHL tests come in different forms to fit job descriptions and needs and will be offered only within 25 to 35 minutes to complete the test.

  1. Are Calculators Allowed on the Numerical Reasoning Test?

Sometimes calculators will be allowed to use on the test, and sometimes not.

Calculators can be used in the event, so make sure to practice using advanced functions like memory, exponents, factorial, etc.

In case calculators are not allowed, ensure to increase your mental math tips, which can be achieved by concentrating on averages, square roots and ratios, and more.

  1. Revelian Numerical Reasoning

The Revelian numerical reasoning test consists of even severer time than the SHL test variations with only 12 minutes.

Furthermore, SHL is administered in a broad array of professions, while Revelian is mainly used for numerical-based occupations.

Finally, most questions that come in the form of a 3X3 table or matrix are broken into horizontal and vertical variations.

Revelian numerical reasoning test questions are tricky and difficult.

Completing incomplete number sets is one of the most frequent questions on the test.

Therefore, this area is where you should most importantly focus on.

  1. Talent Q Element Numerical Reasoning

Talent Q Elements offers 12 questions in a 16-minute timeframe on the numerical section of the test.

The difficulty level of this test increases and that’s what makes the test unique as you answer each question.

Receiving only one minute and twenty seconds to answer each question certainly adds to the challenge.

We suggest staying clear of those built into your smartphone if calculators are allowed on the test.

Get a useful handheld calculator with advanced functions instead, and ensure you practice using the memory function, as this will give you a big advantage.

  1. Cubiks Numerical Reasoning

The Cubiks numerical test is part of a bigger Logiks Test that also consists of sections on Verbal and Diagrammatic/Abstract.

The numerical section includes 20 questions within a 25-minute timeframe. The formats of the question will be in the form of tables and graphs preceding several multiple-choice questions.

In this test, you are allowed to answer questions in no specific order.

You are advised to, first of all, locate the questions you are very sure of and answer them, and then move on to other items that you are not sure of.

In order not to get confused, you should remember that several questions of this test will relate to a single table or graph.

  1. Cut-e Numerical Reasoning

Cut-e provides three types of numerical tests such as Scales Numerical Ability, Scales tmt – Applied Numeracy, and Scales eql – Applied Numeracy version.

  • Scales Numerical Ability is divided into three versions, including consumer, finance, and industrial. Each section has the same level of complexity and does not need any specialized knowledge going into the text.
  • Scales tmt – Applied Numeracy demands that you calculate spaces and areas, calculate percentages, unit translations, and rule of three.
  • Scales eql – Applied Numeracy version involves number series that are made up of several empty spaces, in which you will have to fill in the blanks.

In the eql variation, you will be asked to apply BODMAS (Bracket, Of, Division, Multiplication, Addition, and Subtraction).

You should begin the process with division, after which you can determine the numbers that will lead to the answer.

  1. IBM IPAT Numerical Test

This test consists of 20 questions mixed between fractions, ratios, speed-distance-time, basic algebra, and conversions of measurements and weights.

You will be given 2.15 minutes to answer each question with questions selected in difficulty from advanced down to easy.

  1. Currency and Units Conversion

Currency and unit conversion tests are the most commonly used conversion tests.

Currency and unit conversion questions have to do with calculating one or more currency or unit values in terms of another.

A lot of these kinds of questions involve finance and business world and appear mostly in tables and graphs format.

  1. Percentages

Percentage questions are a primary part of the numerical assessment test, so it’s vital to take hold of them.

As percentages are an effective way of evaluating an individual’s ability to solve problems from the daily business and financial world, the test is designed to measure a candidate’s ability to make accurate judgments.

You’ll often need to find a quantity and quantify percentage problems, express numerical increase or decrease between two numbers using percentage change, and more.

You will not likely seem to come across a test that focuses on percentages only, but will rather encounter various concepts that are combined to answer a single question.

Therefore, practicing percentages is very necessary for succeeding on numerical reasoning tests.

  1. Number Series

The questions on number series offer sequences of numbers called “terms”. Each of these numbers follows logical arithmetic operation rules.

You are required to locate the missing number in the sequence.

The complexity level of these questions is likely to increase as the logic behind the sequences becomes unimportant, thereby requiring attention and creativity.

  1. Ratios

Ratios are really a different way of expressing a fraction.

With fractions and decimals, you can successfully evaluate ratios in numerical tests.

Ratio and proportion problems are included in the numerical reasoning aptitude tests to assess the quantitative aptitudes of the candidates.

  1. What Makes Numerical Ability Tests Challenging?

Numerical ability tests are often the most difficult aptitude test type for a lot of candidates. The reasons for this have been laid out here.

  • Math

Mathematical skills sometimes can be difficult especially if math is your hardest part.

Understanding how to answer the questions and the pressure of the situation can be so challenging.

  • Time Limit

Normally, you have between 45 seconds and 2 minutes to complete each question.

That’s really hard-hitting.

There are several tests in which making it to the end is an achievement in itself.

Practice is very important so as to have the ability and confidence to interpret the data, determine what should be done, and perform those operations quickly despite that they are challenging.

  • Multiple Operations

Many questions won’t have a clear answer. For instance, you won’t only have to multiply two numbers to achieve the solution.

This is an often disregarded skill that only comes through practice.

You might be good at addition, multiplication, percentages, and so on, but you’ll still be left behind if you can’t quickly and correctly identify exactly which operations you need to do and in what order.

  1. Numerical Computation Questions

Numerical computation questions consist of mathematical terms and methods, and basic principles of arithmetic, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, percentages, ratios, fractions, and decimals.

This test is categorized as a speed test that is used to determine your basic numeracy, and it disallows the use of a calculator.

  1. Numerical Estimation

Numerical estimation is important in several technical jobs where you need to quickly and accurately make estimates of material quantities, etc.

In this test, you are required to make quick estimates of the answers to maintain straightforward numerical questions.

You should not attempt to calculate the answers, although it will take up too much time and stop you from answering enough questions to get a first-class score.

Numerical Reasoning Practice Questions and Answers

Some of the numerical reasoning practice questions and answers include:

  • Percentage Increase

If you want to calculate a percentage increase, you should subtract the original number from the new number, divide this difference by the original number, and multiply by 100.

Example: Work out the percentage increase of 200 to 300

300 – 200 = 100
100 ÷ 200 = 0.5
0.5 x 100 = 50

Answer: 50%

  • Percentage Decrease

If you want to find a percentage decrease, try to subtract the new number from the original number, divide this difference by the original number, and multiply by 100.

Example: Work out the percentage decrease of 500 to 240

500 – 240 = 260
260 ÷ 500 = 0.52
0.52 x 100 = 52

Answer: 52%

  • Adding Percentages

A method you should use to add two percentage increases together requires that you first add 100 to each given percentage and convert them into decimals.

Use the first decimal to multiply the base figure, and then multiply the resulting value by the second decimal.

Example: Your phone bill is £42. It adds up by 10% after 12 months, and a further 20% increase is applied six months later. After 18 months, what’s the price of your phone bill?
Express 10 + 100 = 110 as 1.10 as a decimal
And then express 20 + 100 = 120 as 1.20 as a decimal
42 x 1.10 = 46.2
46.2 x 1.20 = 55.44

Answer: £55.44

  • Converting Percentages into Fractions

If you would want to convert a percentage into a fraction, do that by simply writing down the percentage as a proportion of 100, and simplifying it if necessary.

Example: Convert 75% into a fraction

75/100 simplified to 3/4

Answer: 3/4

  • Mean Averages

The formula to use to find the mean average of a series of numbers involves adding them all together and dividing the answer by the total amount of numbers present.

Example: Look for the mean average of 3, 15, 8 and 22

Adding up 3, 15, 8, and 22 will give you 48

48 ÷ 4 = 12

Answer: 12

  • Adding Fractions

If you want to add two fractions together, you can do this by first ensuring that the denominators are similar, then add the two numerators together and place them over the denominator. Simplify the fraction if needed.

Example: 1/5 + 3/5

The denominators are similar. Therefore, 1 + 3 = 4

Answer: 4/5

If your denominators are not similar, to get two equal denominators multiply one fraction by the required amount.

In order to keep the value of the fraction, you must multiply both the denominator and numerator.

Example: work out 2/3 + 1/6

Start by multiplying 2/3 by 2 to get a common denominator
2 x 2 = 4
3 x 2 = 6
Now work out 4/6 + 1/6
4 + 1 = 5

Answer: 5/6

  • Subtracting Fractions

If you want to subtract fractions, simply achieve this by deducting one numerator from the other and placing it over the denominator.

Example: work out 3/7 – 2/7

3 – 2 = 1

Answer: 1/7

If the denominators are not similar, follow the steps as above to first get a common denominator.

  • Multiplying Fractions

To find multiplication, kindly multiply the numerators then multiply the denominators and write as your new fraction.

Example: 1/3 x 2/5

1 x 2 = 2
3 x 5 = 15

Answer: 2/15

  • Dividing Fractions

For fractions, look for the reciprocal of the dividing fraction by twisting it upside down, then use this reciprocal to multiply the first fraction.

Example: 2/3 ÷ 1/4

1/4 becomes 4/1
2 x 4 = 8
3 x 1 = 3

Answer: 8/3

  • Expressing Mixed Fractions as Improper Fractions

Take first the entire number of the mixed fraction and multiply it by the denominator of the fractional part.

This result should be added to the numerator before you write above the existing denominator.

Example: try to convert 3 2/4 into an improper fraction

3 x 4 = 12
12 + 2 = 14

Answer: 14/4, simplified to 7/2


Numerical reasoning tests are used by employers to gauge your ability to carry out tasks involving numbers.

The questions consist of simple arithmetic operations such as addition and subtraction as well as more complex questions where you need to interpret numerical information presented as tables, diagrams, and graphs.

Numerical ability tests are well-liked by employers because in many jobs you are required to work with numbers at least some of the time.

If you are applying for a job that involves working with figures on a daily basis, the employer will regard your numerical ability as a valuable predictor of your performance on the job.

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