Numbers are important. You need them to count your money, count your blessings, count your calories and count how many hours you have to wait at a party before it’s no longer rude to excuse yourself and go home (to watch old re-runs of Will&Grace). Companies and businesses offering traineeships for students and graduates also recognise the importance of numbers which could explain the reasoning behind the growing popularity of numerical psychometric testing. For those who are applying for upcoming graduate schemes or jobs that involve psychometric testing, it can be nerve-racking going into an Online Numerical Test, particularly if you have trouble cutting cakes into the right number of slices…but not to worry. This post is part of a series of tips in the run-up to application season for next summer’s schemes and internships that will be posted on Intern Avenue (take a look at the new Mondelez 2015 vacancies open for applicants now, and the Lloyd’s Banking Group graduate programme will be open soon) and will hopefully help you prepare and feel ready for a Numerical Test.
Numerical reasoning tests, like other psychometric testing, serve the purpose of identifying which applicants have the ability to calculate, understand and reason with data and numbers, an essential skill for most professions. It is not your mathematical skill that is being assessed, in fact, the focus is more on your reasoning and your aptitude in applying and managing information to find an answer. Even if the role you are applying for does not use much mathematics, the skills that a numerical test measures are applicable to many professions and responsibilities given the analytical thinking required.
To get you in the numerical mood, here are a few tips to prepare you for the test:
- Get back into the mental swing of numbers and mathematics – think logical thoughts. Go through basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division even a few days prior to taking your test just to get into the mindset. We can all get a little rusty on the numerical reasoning basics when we haven’t had to use them for a while, so get to grips with fractions, arithmetic, ratios and percentages, too.
- When taking the test, it’s incredibly important that you are in a calm and distraction-free setting, so don’t take this test with friends. Find an isolated spot where you feel comfortable and won’t be bothered.
- You must make sure you have a stable internet connection – disconnecting during the test will cause you heaps of stress and unhappiness. Internet disconnects happen, unfortunately, so if they do, contact the organisation you are applying for (they should have provided you with a ‘help’ contact).
- You may need a calculator to hand and possibly some paper and a pencil (or a pen if you’re feeling dangerous) to jot down rough notes and sums, so get your equipment in order before you start anything – scrambling will only add further pressure and could jeopardise your results in the test.
- There may be a time limit for the questions, and you may not be able to return to the ones you could not answer – so try to answer every question, and if you aren’t sure of the answer just take your best guess.
- Relax, breathe, maybe take a bath, just don’t take a bath whilst you’re doing the numerical test, and never take a bath whilst operating electrical equipment.
- Don’t get somebody else to do the test for you. Just don’t.
- Don’t panic over needing to learn any long equations or having to show your methodology – an online numerical test is typically a multiple-choice questionnaire in which you give an answer without methodology, and complex equations or algebra are not involved.
- Try out these free online numerical tests as practice – Online Tests, Numerical Reasoning Test, Assessment Day aptitude test
Read our tips on Getting the Knack of Online Application Forms, Big Bank Company Culture and 6 Steps to Ace The Verbal Reasoning Test. Be sure to let us know what else you want advice on by posting your thoughts in the comments section below!