Numerical Reasoning Test Practice: Sample Questions & Tips

Numerical Reasoning Practice Test Questions for Practice

Employees are, without a doubt, a business’s most important assets. Poor hiring decisions can cost companies tens of thousands of dollars every year not to mention some hidden costs like loss of morale and productivity. That’s why companies across the country have started to invest in numerical reasoning tests.

A manager would much rather spend $100 finding a great employee now than spend 3 months training someone who will leave a few months later. While it’s very difficult to know for sure whether a certain individual is a good fit, psychometric tests do help to narrow down the choices considerably.

As a qualified, talented job-seeker, you want to make sure you convey your skills and accomplishments to prospective employers. However, most hiring managers don’t even look at profiles before they’ve passed the screening exams. So, it’s in your best interest to take the assessments seriously.

Below, we’ll discuss numerical reasoning tests further and talk a little bit about what kind of questions you can expect and how you can best prepare for the test.


What Is a Numerical Reasoning Test?

Numerical reasoning seems like a fairly ambiguous term, but very simply, it refers to mathematical ability in general.  Many companies look to see whether prospective new employees can prove a basic competence since staff members usually need to manipulate figures in some capacity while in the office.

Pre-employment numerical reasoning tests are timed multiple-choice tests, which are, more often than not, taken online. If hiring managers are worried about cheating, they might ask you to take the test in a proctored assessment centre. Usually the tests don’t take longer than about an hour, and in most cases, a high school level of math is more than sufficient.

You won’t have to deal with abstract matrices or derivatives here. On a numerical reasoning test, you’ll come across problems you might encounter when grappling with personal finance, data analysis, and business management. If you’ve forgotten your quadratic equations and trigonometric functions, then take a deep breath. Here, we’re dealing with concrete concepts and real-world problems involving graphs, tables, averages, and, probability. Take a look at some of our sample questions if you want a better of idea what to expect.



How to Prepare for a Numerical Reasoning Aptitude Test?

If you haven’t looked at algebra since you were a fresh graduate, your skills may be rusty, and looking over a few formulas before the exam certainly won’t cut it.

The best way to prepare for a numerical reasoning test is to practice as much as you can. You could crack open your old geometry textbook, if you still have it, but you wouldn’t be using your time efficiently. Practice questions will give you a better idea of what you know and what you need to review.

Try your hand at some of our free job-seekers’ numerical reasoning test questions and answers to practice. The more you do, the more you’ll become familiar with the type of questions you’ll encounter on the test. After all, practice makes perfect!


Final Thoughts on Numerical Reasoning Tests

You shouldn’t stress endlessly over numerical reasoning tests. Most of them are fairly straightforward and few of them are truly difficult. On the other hand, you shouldn’t take them too lightly.

A failing score is still a failing score. Make sure you take some time to prepare with some practice questions to brush up on some concepts you might have forgotten and familiarise yourself a bit with the structure of the test so you’re not surprised on the big day.

Numerical Reasoning Questions:

There are many numerical reasoning tests, and no two are exactly the same. That being said, most assessments test the same basic concepts. Below, you’ll find a list of question types you’ll encounter on most exams.


Basic Numeracy:

You’ll have to demonstrate a knowledge of basic numeracy regardless of which test you take. From simple arithmetic to exponents, square roots, and fractions, these questions will test how well you can manipulate numbers and equations. Sometimes you’ll be presented with an equation and other times you’ll be given a word problem. Either way, you’ll be expected to know what calculations to perform in order to find the solution.



A ratio compares two different values: part to part, part to whole, or whole to whole. For instance, you could compare the number of girls in a class to the number of boys, the number of girls in a class to the total number of students, or the number of students in the second grade to the number of students in the third grade. Read more about ratios.



A percentage is one way of expressing a fraction or decimal. While a fraction can have any number in the denominator though, a percentage must be out of 100. We use percentages to calculate discounts, tips, and taxes. Practice numerical percentages questions.


Currency Conversion:

If you’re travelling or making international purchases, you’re going to have to know how to convert money to different currencies. These questions provide you with the exchange rates for several countries and ask you to convert a sum in one currency into another. Learn more about currency conversion questions.


Critical Reasoning:

Numerical critical reasoning tests ask you to pull in outside information and draw upon your creativity to find the answer. Far from straightforward, these questions are far more like riddles than equations. You’ll have to think outside the box if you want to secure an interview. Expect these kinds of tests from companies like Google and Intel.



Numerical reasoning tests assess your ability to analyse data. If a test is designed for a very specific profession or field, like finance for instance, you might be presented with relevant data and asked to draw conclusions based on your previous knowledge. In most cases though, the graphs will contain information on various unrelated topics, and you’ll need to answer questions solely based on what you’re shown. Read more about graphs in numerical reasoning tests.



Numerical reasoning tests often contain tables with data concerning populations, government budgets, and nutrition, for example. You’ll need to study the data carefully and answer questions based on what you see. Questions on tables will typically ask you to find percentages, percentage increase or decrease, and rate of change.


Advanced Reasoning:

Most numerical reasoning tests won’t require much more than a high school level of mathematics. However, if you’re applying to a position in a high-tech or consulting firm, you’re going to have to demonstrate a much more advanced knowledge of mathematics. Advanced reasoning tests might ask you to perform complex algebraic or trigonometric equations.


Number Series:

On number series questions, you’ll be given a list of numbers and asked to give the next in the series. These number series could be arithmetic or geometric, or they could utilise some other rule entirely. It’s your job to determine how the series was designed.



Most numerical reasoning tests will allow you to use a calculator. However, certain tests must be taken without the use of a calculator.

Typically, these tests assess your ability to perform equations in your head quickly and accurately. While it seems as if everyone uses calculators today, many professionals need to be able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide on the spot. Learn more about non-calculator numerical questions.


Numerical Reasoning Test F.A.Q.

Still have some lingering questions? Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

Are Numerical Reasoning Tests Important?

A good grade on a numerical reasoning test won’t necessarily land you the job, but it might earn you an interview. Companies use numerical reasoning tests to screen candidates.

Because hiring is so competitive these days, large businesses often receive a glut of applications. Rather than asking the HR department to sort through hundreds of applications, companies will ask candidates to take a series of pre-employment tests. A manager will determine a passing mark, and only those who reach that mark will move on to the next stage in the hiring process.

An exceptional grade might help you stand out, but typically, a passing grade is considered a passing grade regardless of how high it is.


Why Do I Need to Take a Numerical Reasoning Test?

For many fields, numerical reasoning tests play a critical role in hiring decisions. Nurses and medical professionals, for instance, need to have a strong  background in math if they’re going to be caring for patients.


How Do I Know What A Good Score Is?

You won’t necessarily know what a good score is. In many cases, the company that sells the test includes recommended score ranges. However, a manager is free to choose whatever number he feels as the lower threshold for interested applicants.

What’s considered a passing score for the same test may change depending on the context. Different businesses set different standards, and even managers themselves set different standards for different positions.

If you want to know whether your practice runs were within range, you should search for average scores by profession. These lists are usually pretty accurate, and most psychometric test companies offer a chart like this on their website. While managers may still decide that they’d prefer a slightly higher or lower score for prospective employees, these values should give you a fairly good idea of where you need to be if you want to be considered for the position.


Can I Use a Calculator?

Unless the directions specify otherwise, you should be able to use a calculator on your numerical reasoning test. Some tests do forbid the use of a calculator. Other tests don’t require the use of a calculator at all.

If you’re not sure whether you’ll need one or not, you should bring one anyway. Most psychometric tests are timed, and you’ll be at a disadvantage if you have to perform all of your calculations in your head or on your paper.

Make sure that when you leave for the assessment centre, if in fact you are taking a proctored exam, you bring both a basic and a scientific calculator. Scientific calculators are not always allowed, and if your proctor forbids you from using one, you’ll want to have a standard four-function calculator as backup.

You shouldn’t need a graphing calculator unless you’re taking an advanced numerical reasoning test. If you are taking an advanced numerical reasoning test, know that proctors have the right to clear your calculator before testing begins.


Can I Prepare for a Numerical Reasoning Test?

Many job-seekers assume that numerical reasoning tests are unpredictable and that studying would be a waste of time. It’s true that if you have gaping holes in your knowledge, you’re probably not going to be able to compensate in a couple days’ time.

That being said, you can and should prepare for your numerical reasoning test. Companies assume that a certain percentage of candidates won’t bother completing the aptitude assessments at all. If you want to impress your future employers, you’re going to have to go through the tests, and if you’re spending the time to take the tests, you’ll want to know that you didn’t waste your time.

Practice questions will give you a fairly good idea of what to expect and how well prepared you are. These sample questions will also help you make efficient use of the limited amount of time you have.


Which Assessment Companies Use Numerical Tests?


Numerical Reasoning Test Formulas:

Below, we’ve listed some of the formulas you might find useful. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it should be plenty to get you started.

Distance formula:


Average formula:

Average=sum of items/# of items

Accrued Interest:


Percent Change:

% Change=(change/original) x100

Rate of Change:



Free Numerical Reasoning PDF Test

Practice will help you to ace the aptitude tests, so download our 15 question free numerical reasoning PDF test and start practising.


Numerical Reasoning Sample Questions:

Below, you’ll find a few online practice problems to get you started. Treat these questions as a diagnostic. Try solving these on your own to see where you stand and how much more preparation you’ll need to do before you head off to the assessment centre.

  1. Jaimie found a bank that offers 3% interest annually for savings accounts. Jaimie’s sister Angie finds a different bank account that offers 3.75% interest annually. If they both invest £500 today, and neither of them touch the bank accounts for ten years, how much more money will Angie have at the end of the ten years?
    1. £34.78
    2. £722.52
    3. £671.96
    4. £50.56
  2. Fleur’s beauty products are now offering 35% more shampoo in every bottle. If now they have 26oz., how much did they have originally?
    1. 65 oz.
    2. 9 oz.
    3. 1oz.
    4. 26oz.
  3. Claire’s 10th grade biology class of 18 students received an average of 85% on their exam collectively. However, Brian, who received 100%, got a much higher score than the rest of his classmates. If Mrs. Claire removes Brian’s score from the group, what is the new average?
    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 6
    4. 3
  4. What is the missing number in this series?
    2, 5, 5, 15, 8, 45, X
    1. 45
    2. 11
    3. 135
    4. 9
  5. If today one U.S. dollar is equal to 0.88 euros, how many euros can you buy for 200 USD?
    1. 188 EUR
    2. 88 EUR
    3. 27 EUR
    4. 176 EUR



  1. £50.56- Using the formula I=pr^t, you can find the compounded interest earned for both accounts. Just make sure that you add a 1 to the rate. Otherwise, you’ll end up with just the interest and not the total amount of cash in the account.
  2. 19.26 oz.- You would have had to multiply the original amount by 1.35 to arrive at the number 26. So, to find the original amount, you divide 26 by 1.35.
  3. 84.1%- Use the average formula to determine the sum of all of the students’ grades. Then subtract 100 from that amount and find the new average excluding Brian. Make sure not to forget to divide by 17 and not 18.
  4. 11-The series uses two different rules. Each odd term increases by three while each even term increases 3 times.
  5. 176 EUR- Multiply 200 USD by 0.88 EUR to find your answer. Alternatively, you could set up a proportion and solve.


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