10 brill iant numeracy test s
Still not convinced? Let’s look at a few jobs that involve more
numeracy than you might expect.
Selling is not just about slick presentation skills and a flair for
customer relations. At the entry level, retail sales jobs require the
ability to handle money correctly and to deal with customers’
transactions competently. Mistakes here could be very costly. At
a more senior level, numeracy is used to analyse sales figures,
produce account sheets and balance budgets.
To teach numeracy, it makes sense that you would need first to
be proficient yourself. But even if you do not wish to be a maths
teacher, many other academic disciplines require dexterity with
numbers. For example, all the sciences use mathematical calcu-
lations. Music, design, ITC: all of these fields involve an element
of maths. Even home economics involves working with measure-
ments. Teachers also need numerical abilities to calculate
students’ grades, to understand performance targets, and to
comply with school and departmental budgets.
Managers need to be able to quickly
and effectively digest figures and sta-
tistics for their team, department or
region. They need to analyse profit
and loss figures and to track their
own budgets as part of this financial
How hard will it be?
The numeracy test practice questions featured in this book span
a wide range of difficulty levels.This is deliberate and reflects the
range of tests in current usage. Starting with the easiest and
the placing of people in
jobs should not be solely
dependent on their
numeracy test results
M01_WILL4650_01_SE_C01.QXP:M01_WILL4650_01_SE_C01 17/11/09 10:55 Page 10
getting increasingly difficult, the practice questions cover the full
range of numerical reasoning ability.
The initial questions involve only the most basic mathematical
operations – for example, how to use subtraction, addition, mul-
tiplication and division. These are followed by increasingly
complex questions using ratios, decimal points, fractions and
percentages. At the next level, the practice questions involve
more complex features, such as the conversion of measurements
between different systems (e.g. changing pounds sterling into
another currency).The graduate-level practice questions require
the interpretation of statistical data shown in charts and on
graphs.The final numeracy practice questions, targeted at senior
managers, involve the analysis of complex financial data.
Remember, you are not about to sit
an A-level Maths test. Areas such as
complex algebra and the use of
mathematical formulae are not
included in any of the practice ques-
tions. The more esoteric mathematical operations, such as
powers, square roots, prime numbers and probabilities, will also
be avoided as they rarely appear in numeracy tests.
Most of the test questions will be multiple choice. Don’t be
fooled into thinking this makes them easier. Having written
many numeracy tests myself I can assure you that is not the case.
The answer options are designed to be deliberately tricky and to
catch out any sloppy errors.
Remember: multiple choice does not
mean multiple guess. If you want to
pass, you need to be able to work out
What are numeracy tests? 11
remember, you are not
about to sit an A-level
multiple choice does not
mean multiple guess
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12 brill iant numeracy test s
G There’s no getting away from it. Numeracy testing is now widely used
in the application process for many jobs and courses.
G Well-designed numeracy tests are used because they predict future
performance at work.
G Your numeracy test should mirror the maths calculations and problems
that will occur in the role that you are applying for.
G There are many different types of numeracy test on the market, at
varying levels of difficulty.
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