Numerical Ability Psychometric Tests


Also known as : numerical aptitude, numerical ability, numerical problem solving, mathematical problem solving, mathematical ability, mathematical aptitude, numerical reasoning, mathematical reasoning, numeracy test.

Typical length: Typical time to complete: 20 - 40 minutes

Numerical ability psychometric tests fall into one of two camps – outright mathematical ability which requires you to carry out mathematical calculations, and  numerical problem solving ability – which requires you to work out what mathematical calculations you should apply, rather than just telling you. 

In the case of numerical problem solving, the actual mathematics involved may be very simple, but you are being assessed on your knowledge of how to apply them.

In the case of numerical sequences, which ask you to identify a pattern, you should try to look for simple sequences first. For instance, do the numbers increase or decrease, do they seem to have common denominators, is there a sequence of positive or negative figures. Then begin looking for combinations e.g. add one, subtract two, add three, and so on.

In the case of items requiring multiplication or division you may be presented with very complex numbers. These may be an attempt to see how well you can look for the 'big picture'. Sometimes, seemingly impossible problems can be solved easily by applying some lateral thinking. Remember your basic mathematical principles; for example, anything divided or multiplied by zero is zero. Two even numbers multiplied by each other will produce another even number. Any number ending in zero that is multiplied by any other number will always produce another number ending in zero. A negative and positive number multiplied by each other will produce a negative number. Two negative numbers multiplied always produce a positive number, and so on.


Example Questions (The answers are at the bottom of the page)


We'll start with some easy ones!

In this test your task is simply to calculate the correct answer.

1.      7+45 =

2.      15+21 =

3.      12-107 =

4.      54-58 =

5.      21÷7 =


Now let's stretch you a little:

6.    Which number comes next in this series ? 

1            4            7            10            13            16 

a) 17            b) 19            c) 21            d) 25            e) none of these


7.      What is p in this equation ? 

2 + (3xp) = 14  

a) 2            b) 3            c) 4            d) 6            e) none of these 


8.      Which number comes next in this series ? 

0            1            3            6            10            15 

        a) 19            b) 21            c) 26            d) 32            e) none of these


Numerical Reasoning

These types of test are very commonly used in graduate and managerial selection, not least because they ask the test taker to apply their skills to deal with realistic problems in contexts which are expressly designed to closely approximate what actually happens in the workplace. 

More complex versions of these tests are similar to work samples or business simulations.

Pay particular attention to the fact that this test requires no specialist financial or similar knowledge. It is samples the activities typically carried out by someone working with numerical information at a higher level, but does not need any more than a basic understanding of mathematical principles to complete. This is not at all like what one would expect a marketing or accountancy qualifying exam although it may look like one at first . 

So please! – if you see a test like this do not be phased by it ! At first glance the items look very complex, you will need to spend time understanding what is being asked of you – do not worry if you do not come up with the answer in a few seconds, that is not what the test is designed to allow you to do.

9 .  The Telecom Company Limited provides international  telephone calls for its customers. Its call charges in Euro per minute are shown below. 


Customer Location


Call Cost




Call Destination








United States











i)              A ten minute call to the United States would be cheapest from which country ? 

a) Germany                      b) UK              c) France 

ii)             A businessman travels regularly between Germany, France and the UK. He wishes to make a 5 minute call to each of India, the United States and Australia. assuming he is free to choose which country he makes each of the calls from what would be the least amount of money he could do it for ? 

a) 12.50   b) 14                c) 16                d) 16.70   e) none of these 

iii)            Which customer location has the cheapest average international call rates ? 

a) Germany                      b) UK              c) France




1.52 2.36 3.-95 4.-4 5.3 6.b  7.c  8.b  9i.c 9ii.c 9iii.c


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