How to prepare for a numerical reasoning test

Author : Olivia Cold | Published On : 28 Mar 2021

Numerical reasoning tests are pre-employment assessments used in selection processes that are intended to gauge your level of competence when working with numerical information, from numerical and mathematical logic to verbal comprehension.

These tests can investigate some potential of the subject by experimenting with his ability to observe, understand, reason and act functionally concerning what has been learned and memorized. The test, in general, is based on the reading of numerical sequences and codes, the practical interpretation of graphs, and the identification of critical data from substantial texts. The sectors in which these tests are used are not strictly related to mathematics sectors; they require more than anything else to work with numerical data and are used for IT, tech, and managerial roles.

The numerical reasoning test and the logical reasoning test are a type of test designed to measure your powers of reasoning and problem-solving ability. These assessments verify whether you can analyze the codes, graphs, and data being displayed and logically deduce the correct answer based on the answer options.

For this type of test, notional preparation is not essential; basic mathematical and geometric knowledge is sufficient: the data of the problems to be solved can be found in the text of the exercises. The candidate is evaluated based on his ability to treat and process this data to solve the problem, putting his skills into action.

Here are some tips you should follow when preparing for a numerical reasoning test:


Planning is the secret of all success. Before you even start preparing, you need to have a plan to best cope with the pre-exam period. Organizing your study hours will not only help you study effectively and quickly but will allow you to experience the pre-exam period with more significant serenity, as you will know exactly what you need to study, how much you need to study, and when you need to study.

Scheduling is the most effective tool when preparing for any type of exam or verification. It maximizes time by focusing on the relevant and indispensable material to take the test. In the specific case of the numerical reasoning test, it is preferable to familiarize yourself almost every day because you will discover ways to comprehend how statistics are offered in graphs, histograms, and tables. Not only will this help you to be more precise in your preparation, but it will make it easier and more immediate, and quicker for you to interpret the question and work out the solution.

Planning will allay many of your unjustified fears: knowing precisely what you need to study and how to do it will give you a sense of control over your exam. You lead the games, not your exam.

Practice as much as possible

There are no shortcuts or standardized resolution techniques. Only by practicing will you become faster and acquire the reasoning mode necessary to cope with these tests properly. By practicing constantly, you will become familiar with numerical reasoning.

You cannot be sure about what will be in the actual text; however, there are plenty of online assessments that provide you with a good indication of what to expect. The more you practice, the more prepared you will be, and the less likely you are to catch yourself unprepared or off guard. Furthermore, the practice allows you to clearly understand your weaknesses or areas in which you have major gaps and to focus on them. You will sharpen your competencies in those areas, to offer you a better prospect of success.

Logical-mathematical problems are focused on problem-solving, in which mathematical calculation has a secondary role compared to the understanding of the solution strategy. The ability to calculate is the result of a practice that has settled over time.

Inform yourself about the position you are applying for

Study the test you will take to discover precisely what type of exercises and how long the check will be. You can try asking the business enterprise what test(s) you are taking. This approach helps you inform yourself about what practice could be appropriate and what topics you must focus on.

It will allow you to discover, directly with the company's words, what it does, its history, its strengths, and what differentiates it from other companies in the sector. The website or social channels will undoubtedly contain a brief history of the company, the primary and collateral activities, the services, the main contacts, the organizational structure.

Do not rely too much on memory but learn to reason.

Learning formulas and concepts is not always possible and practical. Similarly, even the tension for the exam can prevent the classroom from remembering what has been studied. Concepts are information that needs to be understood before being memorized. Attempting to keep them in mind without fully understanding them is just a way to work harder than necessary. Therefore, in this specific case, the memorization phase must necessarily be preceded by the understanding phase.

To avoid these unpleasant situations, it is imperative, when studying for the numerical reasoning exam, not to rely too much on memory but to know how to reason on topics. In this way, a formula or a solution procedure not mentioned can still be obtained following considerations and reasoning.

The approach is the key

Clarity, coolness, and much concentration are how the test of this type must be faced. For their part, companies will be able, if not to understand, at least to understand how you relate to each other in these areas: control, determination, self-confidence, openness to change, vigilance, goal orientation, communication.

Being agitated before and during an exam is absolutely normal. However, it is necessary to learn to manage these feelings to avoid them negatively affecting our exam—determination during preparation and strong nerves during the examination. No second thoughts or hesitation, therefore, but discipline and courage. This is the right attitude to be able to pass the exam in the best possible way.

Although willpower and commitment were not lacking during the exam preparation, emotionality can often play a lousy trick while we take it. Consequently, making mistakes becomes more accessible, and the concepts studied become confused in mind. Hence, it is essential to learn to control your nerves. To find serenity, it may be helpful to remind yourself that you have studied well and with perseverance and that, therefore, we cannot blame ourselves for anything.

Time management of the test

Preparing for any kind of general test is always an effective strategy for dealing with and managing situations. For a numerical reasoning test, however, programming the test's time is crucial: starting to answer without a minimum of temporal regulation means risking dwelling too much on some questions, perhaps on the more complex ones, and not having the time to complete the test.

The suggestion to avoid the anxiety of passing minutes and the waste of time on more complex questions is to organize the time available. The advisable idea is to divide the time by the number of questions and use a strategy of approaching the questions to maximize the time.


Preparing to take a numerical reasoning test means constantly practicing, using books specific to this kind of test, and putting into practice the best strategy. 

Author Bio:

Shenuka Rahul Manamperige is a communications intern at Adaface, which provides conversational assessments for companies to find great talent.