Depending on the job and profession you are seeking, you may encounter a pre-hire math test, also known as a numerical reasoning test, a quantitative reasoning test, or a numerical test. This is the most common type of aptitude test applicants can face. Test takers are assessed on their ability to understand and make decisions based on numerical data. The exam may be administered as part of an online job application, at the job site, or during an interview. However, it's important to note that there are no standard pre-employment math tests.

What Is a Numerical Reasoning Test?

Numerical reasoning tests, or pre-hire math tests, are the generic terms for number-based assessments that range from basic mathematics or arithmetic tests to high-level numerical critical reasoning assessments.

The test types corresponds to the job level, including high-ranking senior management positions, graduate or managerial jobs, and administrative and sales roles.

Pre-Employment Quantitative Reasoning Test Information

The job level you are applying to often determines the type or level of quantitative test you will encounter. Difficulty levels may vary, in addition to variations in question topics and contexts, making a test potentially easier or more difficult.

The testing time frame can also vary greatly depending on your prospective employer and his or her wants and needs. Some math tests take 20–90 minutes, while others are untimed. As speed and accuracy are important factors, it's recommended that before starting a timed exam, quickly calculate the seconds or minutes that can be allocated for each question.

Professions & Positions That Require Pre-Hire Math Assessment Tests

Each job position requires a specific set of skills. Therefore, the level of math and frequency of math will vary. Some professions and companies that require pre-hire math tests are:


Bank Tellers Clerical Positions Nurses
Firefighters Pharmacists Police Officers


JPMorgan Chase Bank of America Morgan Stanley 

Types of Numerical Tests

Below is a list of the various numeracy tests you are likely to encounter. By understanding the purpose of each question, you will be able to prepare yourself for the test and the job.

Basic Numeracy

Basic numeracy tests, also known as numerical literacy tests or basic math tests, are all about the foundations of math—the four basic operations, fractions, decimals, rounding numbers, averages, and basic geometry.

Numerical Reasoning

Although the term "numerical reasoning" is rather broad, it generally refers to tests in which more than just basic arithmetic is involved. There are four major topics covered on these tests: word problems, number series, numerical reasoning charts (i.e. graph and table questions), and sufficiency questions.

Advanced Numerical Reasoning and Numerical Critical Reasoning Tests

Advanced numerical reasoning tests are used when advanced math, analysis, and data interpretation skills are required. These tests are similar to "regular" numerical reasoning tests, but they are simply considered more difficult as they include numerous charts and calculations. You may also need to use information beyond the question, such as formulas that may or may not be provided on the test.

Numerical critical reasoning tests are a type of advanced numerical test, but these tests are difficult to characterize as each assessment company sets its own standards. However, one thing each of these tests has in common is that very accurate and precise calculations are needed to solve the math problems.

Currency and Unit Conversion Tests

Conversion tests of all kinds work along the same basic concept: using a formula to convert one amount into another in terms of specific units. The most common types of conversion tests are currency conversion and unit conversion tests.

Non-Calculator Tests

Some numerical tests do not allow the use of a calculator as they are an assessment of your mental mathematical ability. While it is, in general, common for there to be a time limit on aptitude tests, non-calculator tests move particularly quickly. The questions on these tests can be made up of the concepts in the regular numerical reasoning tests seen above. However, the numbers you are asked to work with are easier to calculate.

What Skills Do These Tests Measure?

Numerical tests are designed to look at the range of skills and abilities needed to perform most jobs. Some of the skills and abilities include basic math or computations skills, such as the four basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), percentages, ratios, analyzing graphs, and other numerical data.

Major Assessment Companies

There are several major assessment companies that provide employers with pre-hire math assessment tests. While many of the concepts used on the tests are similar, the companies' tests vary in terms of question style, test format, and time frame.

Kenexa Wonderlic PLI
Human Systems Technology (HST) Criteria Pearson

Prepare & Practice for Pre-Employment Math Tests Online

JobTestPrep's pre-employment Math PrepPack™ contains over 45 practice tests, study guides, and detailed explanations for each question.

Performance on numerical reasoning tests can definitely be improved with practice. Therefore, exposure to the type of questions used on real tests, as well as an understanding of the underlying principles of each topic, are the key to success. Moreover, ongoing hands-on practice is guaranteed to increase your confidence and improve your response times. Our pre-employment math practice tests provide you with both exam familiarity and an essential math review.

To ensure the most efficient and helpful practice, JobTestPrep offers timed tests simulating the actual exam, as well as a step-by-step mode allowing you to learn and gain a better understanding of the material.

This PrepPack™ is available anytime, anywhere. Try our complete preparation package and attain the position you are seeking. 

What's Included

  • Eight Number Facility practice tests
  • Seven Mathematical Reasoning practice tests
  • Thirteen Understanding and Interpreting Tabular Material practice tests
  • Five Office Record Keeping practice tests
  • Five Conversions practice tests
  • Three Algebra practice tests
  • Two Areas & Perimeters practice tests
  • Six Number Series practice tests
  • Detailed explanations for each question
  • Score reports
  • Secured payment
  • Immediate online access
  • Practice 24/7