Numerical Reasoning Test

Numerical reasoning tests are designed to examine how adept candidates are at dealing with a range of different mathematical problems under tight time conditions. 

  • What is a numerical reasoning test and what does it measure?

    A numerical reasoning test provides an employer with an opportunity to assess the skills of a candidate in dealing with mathematical problems during the early stages of recruitment. The challenge is often more related to time pressure than the inherent difficulty of the questions.

    Basic maths calculations are needed to do well in the test. Numerical reasoning questions including ratios, fractions and percentages – as well as the interpretation of numerical data and analysis of tables and graphs.

    As a result of assessments being timed, numerical ability tests are also a good measure of how well an individual works under pressure. Questions are framed within a typical business-like scenario to create a realistic context for candidates.

About the Numerical Reasoning Test

Tests like numerical reasoning help businesses ensure candidates have the required maths skills to meet role requirements during the application process. Numerical reasoning tests are particularly popular in the finance industry for roles such as accountants, business analysts and data scientists.

Approximately 75% of Fortune 500 companies use psychometric tests like numerical reasoning tests to improve their recruitment process and quality of hire. This is because they are data-driven and use comparative data to find the best talent within a talent pool.

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  • Why should you use a numerical test for recruiting?

    It can be difficult to know if a candidate has the required numerical skills simply by reviewing a resume or application. Candidates might lie or have a biased view of their abilities, which is why the traditional resume is not an ideal data source to solely base hiring on.

    Online tests such as aptitude assessments give you quantitative data with the addition of comparative test scores with other applicants, so you can identify your top performers. This helps improve the quality of your hire and reduce hiring bias.

    The multiple-choice questions are based on the particulars of a given job function, such as calculating ROI or estimating quantities. This gives an employer a realistic insight into how an applicant might perform in the role they are applying for.

Sample Numerical Reasoning Test question

Since Month 1, what has been the change in its value of £2,200 of Lita by Month 4?

  • Increase by £290

  • Increase by £19

  • Decrease by £12

  • Decrease by £29

  • Decrease by £159

Picked Sample Report

View a sample report

Results for the Numerical Reasoning Test along with other assessments the candidate takes will be compiled to produce a candidate report. The report is automatically generated and available both online and as a downloadable pdf so they can be shared with other team members and employees alike.

The format of Picked's numerical reasoning test

Picked's platform lets you send candidate tests once they've applied for a role. They will then have 2–3 days to complete the online tests.

Each test contains a series of questions which candidates must answer correctly. Once complete, you will be notified and receive their raw score: that is, the number of correct answers, which will then be measured against a benchmark score. This benchmark score will either be based on the performance of other candidates for the role, or the historical scores of employees in a similar position of the comparative level.

Picked will then automatically rank your top performers ready for shortlisting.

Candidates will be required to answer 20 questions in 20 minutes. A timer is displayed through the user interface so candidates are aware of how much remaining time they have.

They are presented in a multiple-choice format and you can expect a range of questions that test various aspects of their numerical understanding. Each test has a strict time limit and a calculator is not allowed to be used for the test.

There is typically one correct answer and three distractors – a distractor being answer options purposefully similar to the correct answer but incorrect. There is no negative scoring in a numerical reasoning test. Candidates get one point for every correct response and will not be marked down for any incorrect answers.

Common questions include currency conversion, estimations (usually through graphs) percentages and data interpretation, where you might be required to make an inference based on the information available.


Predictor of job success

Picked provides evidence-based recommendations for tests to use for over 750 jobs. Our recommendation engine leverages data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).


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    Fully accredited

    All our Numerical Reasoning tests are written by accredited psychologists and fully validated.

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    For all levels

    We offer Numerical Reasoning tests for all levels so you can assess all roles within your organisation.


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    Candidate comparison

    Simple, easy-to-use candidate comparison reports mean you don’t need to be a psychologist to interpret them.

Find the best candidate

Try out a Numerical Reasoning Test.

“We used Picked as part of our Finance Graduate Scheme recruitment and it was just what we needed – really simple to send candidates the link to complete and clear to see how they all compared. And great value for money!”
Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK
Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK
Numerical Reasoning Test expert

Written by a Numerical Reasoning Test expert

This test was created by our team of assessment experts, made up of I/O psychologists and psychometricians who are dedicated to making all of our tests as reliable, valid and fair as possible. They strictly adhere to best practices in the industry and stay on top of the latest innovations to ensure job candidates’ unique profiles of characteristics, abilities and knowledge are being measured accurately while minimising bias. They leverage decades of research and advanced predictive analytics to build assessments that link to outcomes that matter, such as job performance, turnover, engagement, culture fit and more.

“Personality profiling allowed us to perform lookalike modelling of our most successful employees and use this as a blueprint for new hires.”
Nick, HR Operations, Airbus, Spain
Nick, HR Operations, Airbus, Spain


Can I try the test for free?

Yes. All you need to do is click the 'view example' button to get a preview of a test. You'll be able to see a mix of questions, so you can get a flavour of what candidates can expect.

Can I mix the numerical reasoning test with other tests?

Yes. You can combine multiple tests to create a pre-employment package that meets all of your organisation and hiring requirements.

What is the cost for Picked's numerical reasoning test?

Picked offers monthly or annual subscriptions for businesses of all sizes, so choose the one that best fits your needs. You can also contact us to discuss the possibility of a custom plan suited to your specific requirements. You can check out our subscription plans here.

Which jobs is the numerical reasoning test relevant for?

Numerical reasoning tests are relevant for a number of jobs, but are particularly popular in the financial industry to test candidates for accountancy, tax and other financial positions.

Many roles require numerical reasoning skills, so it is not uncommon to find them in assessments for business and data analysts, cashiers, sales managers and more.

“Focusing on data reduced the subjective decision making from our hiring process and allowed us to reduce bias and make better hiring decisions.”
Izzie, Head of HR, iZettle, Sweden
Izzie, Head of HR, iZettle, Sweden

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