 # Numerical Reasoning tests for graduate jobs: tips and tricks

## Find out what to expect if you are asked to take a numerical reasoning test as part of your application for a graduate job or scheme, and how to prepare.

Many big graduate employers ask job applicants to take a numerical reasoning test as part of the recruitment process. This is to assess whether you have the skills needed for roles that involve working with numbers and numerical information and making decisions based on accurate interpretation of figures.

KEY TIP: The standard is around Leaving Cert level. You are not expected to remember equations, and you will be able to answer all the questions on the basis of the information provided in the test.

### What will the numerical reasoning test be like?

Numerical reasoning tests can vary depending on the nature of the role you’re applying for, as some employers set tests that assess whether you have the specific numerical skills they’re looking for. For example, if you’re applying to a financial services firm, you might be asked questions that will involve the kind of calculations you’d need to perform to calculate common measures of financial performance, such as profit margins.

The employer’s HR department might be willing to tell you which test provider they use, so that you can focus your practice on their tests. When it comes to taking the tests, you’ll need to make sure you follow all the instructions carefully.

Numerical reasoning tests for graduate schemes typically use a multiple choice format and have a time limit. You are usually allowed to use a calculator, though this is not the case in all tests. It’s best to use a calculator you’re familiar with, if possible.

Questions could take these forms:

• Numerical or statistical data presented visually, such as graphs, tables or charts.
• Word problems, where you need to translate words into a numerical problem and work out the calculation you need to perform to reach the answer.
• Sequences. You could be given a series of numbers and asked to work out the relationship between them and complete the sequence.

You’re likely to need to show your grasp of the following:

• ratios
• percentages and percentage changes
• probability
• fractions and decimals
• estimates and approximations
• time, money and measurements
• basic arithmetic – addition, subtraction, multiplication, division.

### How to succeed in numerical reasoning tests

For tips on what to do on the day and links to free tests, see our guidance on psychometric and aptitude tests.

We’ve also put together advice on inductive reasoning tests and verbal reasoning tests.

### Everyday practice for numerical reasoning tests

Do number puzzles such as Sudoku, which are good for helping you recognise number patterns.