December 9, 2016, by Jackie Thompson
Q and A on Numerical and Verbal Reasoning Tests
By Sarah Durke
Two thirds of graduate recruiters* use psychometric tests as part of their selection process, so it is highly likely you will come across them when applying for jobs or internships. Read our quick guide to numerical and verbal tests and then you can try some with the FREE Graduates First tests on our website.
Where do these tests come in the recruitment cycle?
Numerical and verbal reasoning tests are often done early on, so be ready. You may be sent a link to take the tests, which will need to be completed within a short timeframe, soon after your application form has been received. It is not uncommon to ask you to repeat the tests at the assessment centre.
What are numerical reasoning tests?
Numerical reasoning tests are a type of psychometric test and consist of multiple choice questions about data presented in graphs and charts. Most employers use an external company to administer the tests, which are usually strictly timed, but often designed so you are unlikely to finish answering all the questions. The pass mark is set by the employer and may vary depending on the job role.
Why do employers use numerical reasoning tests?
Numerical reasoning tests are an objective way of comparing candidates. They are commonly used by employers to see if you can interpret information provided in tables, charts and graphs. This ability is required in many jobs, for example, to assess sales results or plan budgets.
Do I need to be good at maths?
Numerical reasoning tests are designed to test your ability to reason with data rather than your maths. However, you will need some knowledge of ratios, percentages, graphs and charts; the level of maths required is not beyond GCSE.
How can I prepare for numerical reasoning tests?
It is helpful to practise the tests so you know what to expect. Most people do not have difficulty passing them, but if it has been a while since you last did any maths refresh your skills before trying any tests. You could try the online course Numeracy Skills for Employability and the Workplace, or brush up on topics such as graphs or percentages using MathCentre and BBC Bitesize.
What are verbal reasoning tests?
Verbal reasoning tests are another type of psychometric test and consist of a number of short passages of text each followed by a series of statements. You will be asked to decide if each statement is true, false or you cannot say, based only on the information you are given.
Most employers use an external company to administer the tests, but the pass mark is set by the employer and may vary depending on the job role.
How can I prepare for verbal reasoning tests?
It is helpful to try a few practice tests so you know what to expect. Verbal reasoning tests require confidence reading and comprehending English, so it can be helpful to read newspapers, books, articles or reports and try to summarise what you have read.
FREE practice tests for Nottingham students and graduates
We subscribe to Graduates First, which offers a range of psychometric tests. After completing the tests you will get detailed feedback on how you did and where you may need some help. Simply register with your University email account or request a login if you are an alumni.
For more examples of psychometric tests, visit our website and keep an eye on our events programme as we offer psychometric tests workshops. Don’t forget our website covers all the stages of the recruitment process from writing a CV and covering letter to success at an assessment centre.
*AGR Graduate Recruitment Survey 2014 (Summer Review)