Pre-selection tests - test information

Numerical reasoning test

The numerical reasoning test is designed to assess your general numerical reasoning ability.

On average, you have 2 minutes for one task. The questions are accompanied by either tables or graphs. There are five possible answers, of which only one is correct. The required mathematical operations need to be derived from the questions. Graphs are often used to illustrate the question and tables provide the data. Other questions ask you to complete mathematical formulae with data from a table.

To answer the questions, you will need to be competent in the four basic maths skills (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) and be able to do the following:

  • Convert a question into an equation
  • Change various weights, lengths and time periods into a particular unit
  • Distinguish between absolute and relative values
  • Use the rule of three
  • Do percentages
  • Calculate averages and weighted averages
  • To get the right answer, you have to use a calculator, that is available online and on the desk.

Survival tips

  • In the numerical reasoning test, only a few more advanced skills – e.g. the rule of three, percentages and the average – are required. Practise these.
  • Remember that English and continental number formats differ. In English, commas are used as separators and full stops as decimal points whereas in other languages it is done the other way around – 125,000.00 on an English test paper would be 125.000,00 on a German test paper.
  • Practise the use of the calculator!
  • Work on your timing: What is the maximum time you might spend on one task? At which point do you just mark the task, take a guess and proceed to the next question?