Numerical Reasoning Tests

Numerical reasoning tests demonstrate a candidate's ability to deal with numerical data quickly and accurately under time pressure.

  • What are numerical reasoning aptitude tests?

    A numerical reasoning aptitude test is usually used as a screening tool in the application process for many roles.

    The test itself presents questions about numerical data presented in tables, graphs, and charts. This might include financial information, or data relating to the workplace. Each question has multiple-choice options for answers, and candidates will need to perform some basic mathematical operations to find the correct answer.

    The test is timed and usually takes place online, via a link sent in an email to the candidate so they can take it at home when it is convenient for them.

    The numerical reasoning assessment is not a math test, but it does evaluate the candidate on their ability to manipulate and understand numerical data using operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, as well as ratios, percentages, and fractions. Candidates will not normally need more than GCSE-level math skills to be able to answer the questions on the numerical reasoning assessment.

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  • What do numerical reasoning tests measure?

    Numerical reasoning tests are popular aptitude tests for roles where some numerical knowledge, understanding, and application will be used regularly.

    The numerical reasoning test assesses not only a candidate's ability to use mathematical operations to answer questions, but also to analyse and understand complicated numerical data in tables and graphs, and apply both math ability and understanding to solve problems.

    For recruiters, the numerical reasoning test demonstrates how easy the candidate will find working with numbers and using numerical data to support making deductions and reaching logical conclusions, with the added expertise in manipulating figures using simple operations.

    With a time limit and under exam pressure, the numerical reasoning test can help recruiters to predict how that candidate would react under work conditions where results are needed quickly.

Sample Numerical Reasoning Tests question

Which of the five currencies shown has changed in value by the highest percentage between Months 1 and 3?

  • Dram

  • Lita

  • Pesta

  • Bahi

  • Reper

What employers use numerical reasoning tests and why?

Numerical reasoning tests are among the most popular aptitude tests to be used in recruitment, and employers in finance, technology, and even legal industries rely on the data from numerical reasoning tests to ensure that potential employees have the inherent ability to use mathematical knowledge to solve problems.

For employers, the numerical reasoning test is a simple way to narrow down a large candidate pool and ensure that all candidates who are taken forward to interview have the right level of numerical understanding. The ability to apply knowledge to answer questions and come to the right conclusions is important for future success in any role, and when it comes to numbers the numerical reasoning test will demonstrate which candidates have what it takes.

numerical reasoning test

What are the benefits of using a numerical reasoning test in your hiring process?

Recruiting for popular roles means receiving potentially hundreds of applications from what appear to be similarly qualified candidates - and that can be overwhelming.

A paper sift can only do so much when looking for basic criteria, and applicants are not always reliable in their descriptions of their own skills, aptitudes, and abilities.

The numerical reasoning test is a simple-to-administer pre-employment screening test that can make narrowing down a large candidate pool easy, with unbiased results that show exactly which candidates have performed the best so you can choose the candidates with the right skills to take forward in the applicant process.

For the candidate, the numerical reasoning assessment is easy to access, can be completed at home in their own time, and requires no previous knowledge or experience of the role.

The basic math operations that need to be used to answer the questions do not need degree-level knowledge, and the test is an opportunity for a candidate to demonstrate that they have a firm grasp of how to make decisions and deductions based on numerical data.

Using a numerical reasoning test as part of the recruitment process for any role that deals with numbers provide objective, quantifiable data to help avoid the costly mistake of a bad hire, while also reducing the time and financial costs that can occur when taking multiple interviews.


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Greg Chambers, HR Business Partner, Littlefish Ltd
Greg Chambers, HR Business Partner, Littlefish Ltd
Numerical Reasoning Tests expert

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Developed by our team of I/O psychologists and psychometricians, our assessments provide reliable, valid and impartial results. They strictly follow industry best practices and stay on the leading edge of innovations to have job seekers' unique profiles, abilities and knowledge accurately evaluated while minimising bias. They draw on years of research and cutting-edge predictive analytics to create assessments that provide valuable insights into performance, retention, culture fit and more.

Numerical Reasoning Tests FAQs

Is the numerical reasoning test a maths test?

The numerical reasoning test does require a basic knowledge and understanding of simple math, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, percentages, fractions, and ratios, but it is not a test of math ability.

The numerical reasoning test is an assessment of how a candidate can apply mathematical knowledge to solve a problem and reach a reasoned and logical conclusion.

Is the numerical reasoning test difficult?

As the numerical reasoning test is based on GCSE-level math knowledge, the test itself is not too hard. However, the unfamiliarity of the test structure coupled with a tight time limit and the presentation of numerical data in tables and charts can make it a bit more complicated and make the test itself more of a challenge.

Are these tests available in my plan?

We have a range of plans available. The difference between the plans is the number of test attempts permitted, not the type of tests. All our plans include our full test suite comprising all tests and all levels.

Can I see what the test is like?

Yes, of course. You can see a free example of the numerical reasoning test here.

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Laurence Fishman, Partner, NLPCA

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