Numerical Reasoning Tests

Numerical Reasoning Tests

Many medium-sized and large companies now use Numerical Reasoning Tests as part of their standard recruitment processes. For example, well-designed numerical reasoning tests are typically used by many graduate employers and also post-graduate university admissions offices to assess a large number of applicants in a standardised way. A standardised Numerical Reasoning Test gives everyone the same numerical reasoning questions.

Why test numerical reasoning tests?

Numerical Reasoning Tests need to accommodate the very wide difference in mathematical ability from school leavers to senior managers.  Correspondingly there is a range of increasingly difficult Numerical Reasoning Tests from the basic Numeracy Tests (which only require mathematical knowledge of the 4 basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) to the most complex and numerical reasoning involved in the interpretation of complex statitistical data.

Numerical reasoning test use in managerial roles

Many managerial roles require an overall confidence in working with numbers. Line managers need to quickly and effectively digest statistics for their functional area or team. Many will need to understand profit and loss figures, as well as needing to manage their own budgets effectively.

Let’s look at a few other jobs that involve more numerical reasoning than you might expect

Retail sales

Selling isn’t just about slick presentation skills and a flair for customer relations. At the entry level, retail sales jobs require the ability to handle money correctly and to deal with customers’ transactions competently. Mistakes here could be very costly. At a more senior level, numerical reasoning is used to analyse sales figures, produce account sheets and balance budgets.


To teach maths it makes sense that you would need to be proficient yourself. But many other academic subjects also require dexterity with numbers. For example, all the sciences use mathematical calculations. Music, design, ITC: all of these fields involve an element of numerical reasoning. Even home economics involves working with measurements. Teachers also need numerical reasoning abilities to calculate students’ grades, to understand performance targets, and to comply with school and departmental budgets.