8 brill iant numeracy test s
say you cannot buy these tests in advance of sitting them so it
is essential that you prepare thoroughly.
Why do I have to take a numeracy test?
The modern world’s recruitment and selection processes are
increasingly sophisticated. Many medium-sized and large
employers now make extensive use of
ability tests as part of their standard
recruitment processes. Numeracy
tests are also increasingly part of the
entry requirements for certain pro-
fessions and postgraduate degree
courses.
Ability tests allow employers and university admissions offices to
assess a large number of applicants for competitive positions in
a standardised way. In other words the same ability test can be
given to a large number of applicants and the standardised
results used as an efficient means of comparision.
There is another key attraction to using a standardised process
rather than, for example, relying upon old-fashioned, unstruc-
tured interviews where every applicant would be asked different
questions. Any selection process should be fair to all applicants
and provide a clear picture of individual strengths and weak-
nesses in particular areas. Even if you do not like the idea of
being tested on your numeracy skills at least you know that it is
fair, since everyone has to do the same test!
brilliant
tip
Calculators are allowed so ensure that you know how to use one
effectively. It is important for you to be able to input complex
calculations quickly.
many medium-sized
and large employers
now make extensive
use of ability tests
M01_WILL4650_01_SE_C01.QXP:M01_WILL4650_01_SE_C01 17/11/09 10:55 Page 8
The overall aim is for the best people to be selected and the
use of ability tests differentiates the high performers from the
low performers. A numeracy test will sort out the better per-
formers on mathematical ability. A well-designed numeracy test
is a reliable and consistent means of assessing the numeracy
skills required for effective work performance.The more difficult
numeracy tests are suitable to use where a higher level of numer-
ical ability is required to operate effectively in that working
environment.
What are numeracy tests? 9
You might be thinking, ‘Why do I
have to take a numeracy test? I don’t
want to be a mathematician!’ But it
is not just mathematicians or even
bankers who need proficient
numeracy skills. Many different jobs
require an ability to work confidently with numbers in order to
carry out a range of responsibilities effectively.This could involve
anything from interpreting production quotas to carrying out
technical work that relies upon detailed calculations.Whereas an
accountant will have demonstrated his or her numerical abilities
in the process of acquiring a professional qualification, other
career paths depend on numeracy tests to measure applicants’
skill in this area. Even managers who are not going to be respon-
sible for producing financial reports are still likely to be
presented with a numeracy test at interview.This is because they
would still be expected to understand any data that is presented
as tables, graphs or charts.
brilliant
tip
There is a way to tip the scales in your favour. You can probably see
this coming... practising and familiarising yourself with the right
type of numeracy questions will give you an advantage.
many different jobs
require an ability to
work confidently with
numbers
M01_WILL4650_01_SE_C01.QXP:M01_WILL4650_01_SE_C01 17/11/09 10:55 Page 9

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