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Numerical reasoning

Numerical reasoning is the ability to comprehend and apply information that is provided in tables, charts and figures. You can practice your numerical reasoning ability with our numerical reasoning tests (free and premium) and several basic numeracy tests listed below.


Choose a Numerical Reasoning Test to Start


The premium tests are administered with a time limit, resulting in the need for the applicant to think quickly and act concisely.


Information about Numerical Reasoning Tests

Numerical reasoning is a higher-order thinking skill and it goes beyond the basic numeracy skills such as adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. It requires interpreting data provided in graphs and tables and being able to utilize that data to solve various problems. Psychometric numerical reasoning aptitude tests are designed to do just that; quantify an individual’s ability to reason with data provided in any format.


venn diagram of mathematics comparing to other types of reasoning

Numerical reasoning skills are closely related to mathematics and inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning is the ability to look for a pattern or a trend and then generalizing it. When you generalize and extrapolate the information, you don’t know for sure if this trend will continue, but you assume it will. This type of reasoning is used in numerical reasoning tests.

Many people who don’t use numerical operations very often feel intimidated by these types of tests. What you need to remember is that you don’t need to have completed a higher mathematical study to get a good result in these tests, because basically they measure your reasoning abilities and not your mathematical knowledge. Remember also that your test performance can surely be improved through practice.


Basic numeracy tests

To properly prepare for a numerical reasoning test, first ensure you get your basic numerical reasoning skills up to speed, preferably without using a calculator. Skills like mental arithmetic and calculating with percentages, ratios and fractions are important basic skills abd you should gain some proficiency in these before practicing the more advanced tests. Practice tests for these basic math calculations are listed on our basic numeracy page.


Numerical Reasoning tests

Numerical reasoning tests, also known as data interpretation or numerical critical reasoning tests, involve evaluating situations and drawing conclusions from the data provided to assess one or several of the following. In numerical reasoning tests, you are required to answer questions using statistical information that is presented in graphs or tables. The questions are usually in a multiple choice format and you need to choose the correct answer. Below follows an example of a numerical reasoning question:


Numerical reasoning example problem

How much game revenue is generated by players of age 25 and older?
Which age group is responsible for 54% of the time spent playing these games?

Typically, the applicant is mostly allowed to use pen, paper and a calculator. Although, using a calculator may not be allowed in all tests.


Why is Numerical Reasoning important?

Numerical reasoning ability is one of the most basic skill areas, one that exists in small children well before they are taught mathematics in school. People who are unable to do math beyond basic arithmetic may not be able to manage their everyday finances, face poor employment prospects and not understand social issues through a lack of comprehension of basic statistics.

Numerical Reasoning in Jobs

Numerical reasoning tests are one of the most common types of aptitude test used by employers in their selection process. A lot of job applications requiring numeracy skills are likely to require you to take at least some form of numerical reasoning aptitude test, especially jobs in finance, accountancy, engineering and consulting.

Numerical reasoning is considered to be one of the most basic skills needed in today’s data-driven marketplace, and without having developed these skills strongly, it would be difficult to succeed in many jobs today. Many fields benefit from this type of testing, including most clerical and administrative jobs, jobs found in the craft and technical field at any level, and even positions in police or fire departments, or in the military field.

Numerical reasoning in jobs flow chart

Assessments that measure job applicants’ ability to use and respond to numerical data in the context of the work environment are the best way to measure these important skills. Along with critical thinking, numerical reasoning ability is considered to be a very important skill for close to a hundred occupations, from accountant to management analyst, as well as a necessary skill for many other positions.