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Applying for a new job is an increasingly metric-based process. Many employers rely on quantitative factors when making hiring decisions. One popular assessment is the numerical reasoning test. Numerical reasoning tests are the most common aptitude tests available. They evaluate candidate's math and analysis abilities, and the way in which they extract information from numerical data. Read on to learn about the different numerical reasoning tests that employers use and how you can prepare for your pre-employment assessment.

What Is a Numerical Reasoning Test?

Numerical Reasoning tests, also known as mathematical reasoning tests, are one of the main psychometric tests found during the application process and are used by employers looking to hire candidates who possess numeracy skills. These tests are multiple-choice and are often performed online, using mathematical equations, graphs, and charts to assess one’s numerical abilities in the context of average business activities.

These tests are used in the hiring process for jobs in a variety of professions, including finance, accountancy, retail, and public service. Candidates are required to understand the numerical information provided to answer each question correctly. Numerical reasoning tests will usually give you between 45 seconds to 2 minutes of time to answer each question. Some online numerical tests may not be timed at all, but we don’t recommend that you count on that.

What Skills Do Numerical Reasoning Tests Evaluate?

The numerical tests measure how you think numerically and how advanced your calculation aptitude is. Although the calculations require basic mathematical skills, you do need to know how to interpret the given information from charts, tables, number sequences, texts, and graphs. You will also need to understand the numerical data enough to perform a variety of operations to arrive at the right solution.


The basic mathematical concepts that are used to answer questions:

  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Percentages (including percentage changes)
  • Ratios
  • Fractions
  • Reading tables and graphs
  • Inflation and rebasing
  • Converting currency


Why Is This Test so Popular?

Psychometric assessment tests give companies the ability to pinpoint candidates’ cognitive aptitude and skills. There is a strong correlation between performing well on these exams and excelling in the workplace. Because of this, companies all around the world are implementing aptitude tests.

The numerical reasoning tests especially help companies assess whether you can work with numbers and possess concrete mathematical skills. Companies utilize the results to evaluate just how comfortable you are with mathematical functions and data analysis while being timed under pressure since these are necessary tools for most any job position.

Suppliers of Numerical Reasoning Tests

The biggest providers use numerical reasoning tests during their recruitment process. Some test providers may make small changes to the format as well. Keep in mind that companies may change their test provider depending on the role and department being applied for.

The following companies create popular pre-employment numerical reasoning tests. The exams are similar in content, but their length, format, question style, and time limit differ.

Cubiks Wonderlic Kenexa
Korn Ferry Talent Q Kenexa PLI
Human Systems Technology (HST) Criteria Pearson

Companies who administer the numerical reasoning test include:

ExxonMobil Citigroup Ford Motor
JPMorgan Deloitte IBM

Numerical Reasoning Civil Service Exam

The numerical reasoning civil service exam assesses your basic mathematical knowledge, such as multiplication, division, equations, fractions, ratios, and word problems. You will not be allowed a calculator during this test.

How Can I Prepare for a Numerical Reasoning Tests?

Since numerical reasoning tests include multiple-choice questions, the answers are definitive, which may seem like a challenge. To help you feel prepared, we offer several numerical reasoning test tips for you to follow when practicing:

  • Prepare by using practice tests to your advantage and familiarize yourself with the format.
  • Be ready to take down notes and ask questions, because this is your chance to gain an advantage before the test.
  • Read every question TWICE and go over the instructions for each section thoroughly so that you fully understand the task.
  • If you feel stuck, work backwards and look at the multiple-choice answers provided to help you find the correct one.
  • Scan the information to find what is most important and what is unimportant.
  • Use a stop-watch when taking practice tests to make sure you get a good grasp on how much time to spend on each question. This will also help you feel less flustered when taking the real test.

Remember to bring:

  • A calculator (if allowed)
  • A stopwatch
  • Scrap paper and a pencil
  • Water

If you’re taking an online test at home instead, then make sure to find a quiet place with a reliable internet connection. Lastly, take a deep breath, stay calm, and begin!

Prepare for Your Pre-Employment Numerical Reasoning Math Tests Online

JobTestPrep offers a range of practice resources in our PrepPacks™ that can help test takers improve their numerical skills and problem-solving abilities. Taking practice tests before attempting the real tests allows you to get a feel for the timing of the questions, understand the material, and discover your strengths and weaknesses. This preparation pack will help you bridge any gaps in your knowledge. While the specific questions on your test may vary, practicing ahead of time will allow you to prepare for whatever the test contains. 

What's Included

  • Eight numerical tests that cover basic math skills, such as percentages, four operations, fractions, and more.
  • Seven word problems tests, that cover similar math skills, but in the common format of a word problem.
  • Four number series tests, that require a higher level of numerical reasoning and logic.
  • 15 tables and graphs tests, that require you to engage with numerical information organized in diagrams and tables.
  • Four study guides for different subjects.
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