G You tend to procrastinate, or get easily distracted.
G You haven’t kept up with your initial commitment to do as
much preparation as possible.
Common concerns
If you are feeling apprehensive about your test take comfort in
knowing that you are not alone many people find the prospect
of sitting a test quite daunting. Let’s look at a few common con-
How do I know I am improving?
Effective feedback is the key to improving your overall perform-
ance. That means going through the answer explanations in
detail. Try other practice sections or, after a period of time,
attempt the same test questions again. This will allow you to
gauge your improvement in performance over time.
G Have you learnt where your strengths and weaknesses are in
terms of overall numerical reasoning abilities? Is it ratios, or
percentages that you are still having trouble with? Once you
are aware of where any weakness lies then it is important to
focus future practice testing on this area.
G Be honest with yourself about how much time you need to
commit for extra practice.
G Keep a record of how many questions you get right.
Here are some questions to ask yourself in order to raise your
awareness of potential pitfalls.
Did you rush through the questions rather than
working at a steady pace?
Most tests are timed so you need to cultivate a focused and
alert approach. Your first priority is to work accurately. There’s
no benefit in getting questions wrong. But don’t take a leisurely
Getting started 21
M02_WILL4650_01_SE_C02.QXP:M02_WILL4650_01_SE_C02 17/11/09 10:56 Page 21
22 brill iant numeracy test s
approach, either. The guy sitting next to you may pass because
he answered more questions than you even though he also got
more questions wrong.
Did you miss out any questions? If so did you make a
note and go back to these at the end of your session?
This is a key test-taking strategy. It only works if you make
sure to mark the question you omitted.You also need to work at
such a pace that you have time to return to it at the end. Still, I
can’t recommend the strategy highly enough. We all encounter
questions that we can’t do, or just don’t like the look of. If you
find that you are spending longer than you would like on one
question then make the judgement call and move on.
Did you spend too much time going over the question
itself and the numerical information given at the start?
It is tempting to be over cautious. Did the question really say
that? What were the units again? You need to cultivate a focused
concentration that allows you to read the question, memorise
what you’re being asked to do and then know once you have the
required answer.
Remember that all questions are worth the same. No one cares if
you leave a couple out. The important thing is to answer as many
correctly as you can.
Where do I need to improve most?
It’s vital to know where you need to improve most. Knowing this
will help you to use your preparation time wisely enabling you
to tailor your practice sessions around the areas you most need
to improve. Ask yourself the following questions to home in on
any problem areas.
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Getting started 23
Is there a pattern emerging in what type of questions
I get wrong?
If a particular type of question recurs then it makes sense to
spend additional time making sure that you are comfortable with
these questions. Don’t assume that you can pass without
learning how to answer that sort of question.
Is there a pattern emerging in where I get questions
If you make more mistakes near the start of your practice
session then this could be a consequence of nerves and taking
time to settle down.You need to work on focusing 100% as soon
as you start the test. If you make more mistakes near the end of
your practice session then this could be a result of losing concen-
tration or rushing the last few questions. Practise pacing
yourself. You need to learn to work steadily, and in a high state
of mental alertness, throughout an entire test.
Were there particular types of numerical reasoning
questions that I guessed?
This may be a sign that you need to go back to basics. If you
are guessing questions involving percentages then you need to
learn the basics of how percentages work. Do this before
attempting any more practice questions.
I’m not getting any better . . .
Are you sure? Don’t be too hard on
yourself remember that your
improvement will occur gradually,
not after just one practice session.
You’ll only get better if you learn
from your mistakes, though, so
reflect upon the following questions.
your improvement will
occur gradually, not
after just one practice
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