We think that the best order of priorities for practising any sort of numerical reasoning test is to ensure you have the basic mental maths skills…
Then to move on to some 11+ numerical reasoning practice.
Then, practice with psychometric test publisher Websites.
Numerical Reasoning Test Practice
Numerical reasoning tests are used to measure different forms of numerical reasoning ability, particularly the identification of trends in large sets of numerical data and the interpretation of tables/graphs. Thus numerical reasoning tests – especially those that are set at a higher level – ask candidates to analyse numerical information presented as line graphs, histograms, pie-charts, tables, etc.
In summary, numerical reasoning tests also ask candidates to: interpret statistics and other financial information; problem solve and apply your findings to a new numerical reasoning problem; use mathematical operations (e.g. fractions, ratios, percentages); and more specific operations, such as number distance, to solve numerical reasoning problems.
What is a numerical reasoning test?
A numerical reasoning test is a type of ability test, sometimes referred to as a psychometric or aptitude test. It is designed to measure specific numerical reasoning abilities relevant for success in a particular course, profession or job. Numerical reasoning tests are an objective and accurate means of assessing a candidate’s potential effectiveness whenever there is a numerical reasoning component to a particular job role or course.
What do numerical reasoning tests measure?
In simple terms a numerical reasoning test is a means of assessing a person’s ability to work with numerical reasoning information. These tests provide an objective measure of many numerical reasoning abilities, including the following:
- interpreting statistical data;
- analysing complex mathematical information presented in graphs, pie-charts, tables, etc.;
- solving problems that require an understanding of basic mathematical operations (e.g. fractions, ratios, percentages);
- using and interpreting financial information correctly.
Why do I need to take a numerical reasoning test?
Numerical reasoning ability links to job performance, which is why numerical reasoning tests are now used as part of the selection criteria for certain professions and postgraduate degree courses in which it is essential to work effectively with numerical reasoning information. Many medium-sized and large employers also make extensive use of ability tests – such as numerical reasoning tests – as part of their standard recruitment and promotion processes. A well-designed numerical reasoning test is a reliable and consistent means of assessing the skills required for effective performance in that working environment.
Ability tests allow employers and university admissions offices to assess a large number of applicants for competitive positions in a standardised way. This standardisation makes the process much fairer than relying upon old-fashioned, unstructured interviews where every applicant would be asked different questions. Even if you don’t like the idea of being tested on your numerical reasoning skills, at least you know that it is fair since everyone has to do the same test!
Everyone uses numerical reasoning skills in daily life – from checking their change in a shop to calculating how long a journey will take. Many different jobs require an ability to work confidently with numbers in order to carry out a range of responsibilities effectively. This could involve anything from interpreting production quotas to carrying out technical work that relies upon detailed calculations. Whereas an accountant will have demonstrated his or her numerical reasoning abilities in the process of acquiring a professional qualification, other career paths depend on numerical reasoning tests to measure applicants’ skill in this area.
How difficult are numerical reasoning tests?
The difficulty level of the test you take will reflect the level of numerical reasoning knowledge needed in the position or place you are applying for. The numerical reasoning practice tests in Part II of this book span a wide range of difficulty levels. This is deliberate and reflects the range of tests in current usage. Starting with the easiest and getting increasingly difficult, the practice questions cover the full range of numerical reasoning ability.
Our verbal reasoning test practice book
Thus, see Author’s Amazon page.
Our numerical reasoning test practice book
Secondly, our Passing Numerical reasoning Tests book.
Why test 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.
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.
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.
Psychometric test publisher Websites
Firstly, try test publisher websites
Visit the test publisher Website once you know the type of psychometric tests you will be taking. Since most test publisher Websites offer practice questions.
For example, practise sample questions from Kenexa-IBM TalentQ and SHL sites. Reputable test publishers will send you some sample questions for you to practice in advance.
Secondly, familiarise yourself
Read the instruction and introduction sections carefully for each psychometric test you will take. This should ensure you are familiar with the test format.
Third, try to work efficiently without rushing
Each question is worth the same so don’t spend too long on a single question. You may find subsequent questions easier to answer. With the end of the test you can return to any unfinished questions. Although you may not finish the test, the best strategy is to answer as many questions as you can in the time available.
Fourth, stay positive
If you find yourself struggling with a question, remember that every question is worth exactly the same point. You won’t be expected to get every question right, or even to complete every question. To pass the test – just do your best and try to answer as many correctly as possible.
Fifth, learn from your mistakes
You will probably get some of the practice questions wrong. Review the correct answers so that you fully understand where you went wrong. You should learn how to approach such questions next time around.
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Additional 11 Plus numerical reasoning test practice
11+ numerical reasoning test practice