Career Advice

Ace Numerical Reasoning Tests in 5 Easy Steps!

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Numerical reasoning tests are crafted to assess your ability to work with numbers. These tests encompass a variety of questions, ranging from diagrams and traditional math problems to real-world scenarios that gauge how you handle numerical data under pressure. Such tests are common if you’re seeking a role in financial services or administration. If you’re preparing to take one, here are five steps to set you on the path to success!

  • Understand the Basics: Review fundamental math concepts to build a strong foundation.
  • Practice Regularly: Utilize online practice tests and tools to hone your skills.
  • Manage Time Efficiently: Develop a strategy to answer questions within the time limit.
  • Analyze the Question: Read each question carefully to understand what’s being asked.
  • Use Shortcuts: Learn quick methods and shortcuts to solve problems efficiently.
  • Stay Calm: Focus on maintaining composure to think clearly under pressure.
  • Review Mistakes: Analyze errors from practice tests to avoid repeating them.
  • Seek Professional Help: Consider training or tutoring if you need specialized assistance.
  • Prepare Mentally: Cultivate a positive mindset to approach the test with confidence.
  • Adopt a Strategic Approach: Plan your approach to different question types systematically.

1. Practice, practice, practice

Reading up on the test you’re about to take is a really smart way to get ahead. You might be able to learn exactly what type of numerical test the organization you’re applying to will set, allowing you to hone your preparation. Taking as many practice numerical tests as you can will help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses, anticipate what to expect on the big day, and ultimately, improve!

Understanding the types of questions you’ll see and the different formats may take time. By practicing, you increase your confidence and learn from your mistakes. This will help you answer each question faster.

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2. Preparation is everything

Whether it’s a mock test or the real deal, ensuring you have everything you need both mentally and practically will really help you get into the right headspace to maximize your chances of success. On the day, make sure you’re as well rested as possible, that you’ve had something to eat, and that you have a glass of water with you. When practicing at home, try and find a private space and gather the equipment you’ll need, such as paper, pen, and calculator, before getting started.

3. Read everything through carefully

Of course, the testing conditions and time pressure make this a little more complicated than it sounds, but it’s important to take the time to slowly and carefully consider each question. Focus on the question before you begin looking at the data. Ignore the information that is irrelevant to the answer. Read everything through twice before trying to work the answers out.

4. Focus is key

An important competency that’s being tested is your ability to read through complex information and focus on what’s significant. Drawing out the crucial information and using it to work the problem out shows you have the type of mindset that’ll be sought after in financial industries.

5. Check your measurements

One of the most common mistakes in numerical tests is people getting measurements and currencies wrong. Diagrams and tables can also often be misread when people don’t look at them carefully.

As with most tests, the key to success is a combination of pre-preparation and applying your focus on the day. Keep this in mind and we’re sure you’ll find the numerical reasoning test much more enjoyable, and hopefully simpler, than you first thought.


Using numerical reasoning tests doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the guidance of these five easy steps, you can build the confidence and skill set needed to excel in this crucial aspect of many job application processes. Whether it’s understanding the basics, practicing regularly, or adopting a strategic approach, these principles can set you on the path to success. So dive into these methods, sharpen your numerical skills, and open the doors to exciting career opportunities.

Numerical Reasoning Test: Information and Preparation

SHL is one of the largest providers of job applicant screening tests in the UK and worldwide. The tests conducted by SHL are perhaps the most important screening stages standing between you and your desired job.

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