What is a Numerical Reasoning Test?

Leo Rolf

Posted 30/04/2019
by Leo Rolf

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What is a Numerical Reasoning Test?

Logic has its place in every business, industry, and job role. Being able to reach a logical conclusion is a good skill to have, no matter what demands a job might place on someone. This is why so many companies use Numerical Reasoning Tests. It can be difficult to assess whether someone has good reasoning skills in this area from viewing their exam results or work history. A good grade in maths does not always equate to excellent numerical reasoning skills. Hence why a numerical reasoning test is a good way to sort out which applicants can apply logic and reasoning to mathematical challenges.  

What kinds of questions are included in a numerical reasoning test?

The test is typically designed to provide questions relating to numbers. Here are some examples of mathematical topics that could be touched upon in the test: 

  • Algebra
  • Number sequences
  • Graphs
  • Tables

Some of the questions will require the candidate to choose the correct answer by viewing a graph or table, for instance. Others will require the candidate to view a sequence of numbers before selecting the correct answer giving the next number in the sequence. You can view question types in the Numerical Reasoning fact-file. 

How do these tests work?

Most of these tests are timed and include multiple choice questions. While this means they can guess the answer if they do not know it, it also means they have a limited amount of time to work out the answer. All the questions are answerable simply by viewing and assessing the mathematical information given with those questions. As such, the test is designed to see how efficiently the applicant can use the information given. Can they arrive at the correct answer in the given time? While guesswork can be applied, a candidate would need to be very lucky indeed to choose the correct answer at random from those given. The test is designed to ensure they could not do this for the entirety of the process. Their logic and reasoning when faced with numerical challenges is thoroughly tested.  

How do numerical reasoning tests help you find the right applicants?

Some jobs involve a greater use of numbers than others. If it is vital for you to hire a candidate who can exhibit logic and reasoning when dealing with sums and numbers, this test will help make sure you can find the person you need. You may wonder why you cannot simply rely on the exam results achieved by a candidate, whether at school or at university. The challenges posed by these exams are not the same as the challenges a candidate will face when sitting a test like this. Being able to assess, process, and work with the information given is crucial to finding the correct answers in the test. Moreover, numerical reasoning tests are typically designed to represent the workplace. They can be designed to reflect typical challenges a candidate may face if they go on to be offered the job. Therefore, they will be required to show whether they have the necessary skills to handle all the numerical challenges they will be faced with. 

Why should I use these tests to help employ staff?

Numerical reasoning tests can help you determine which applicants will be able to cope with the mathematical demands of the position you are advertising. As we’ve seen, it’s not just a matter of making sure they can do their sums, it’s about making sure they can think logically regarding numerical issues.   To find out how Numerical Reasoning Tests can help you find the right people, call Skillsarena on +44 (0)203 693 2201. Alternatively, send an email to enquire about our range of tests and how they could help you recruit the best people for your business.

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