How to Improve Numerical Test Taking Strategy

Aptitude tests with data presented in charts, graphs, tables and diagrams where you have to formulate and solve arithmetic or algebraic problems are often referred to as numerical reasoning tests. Such assessments not only evaluate your ability to set up calculations but also evaluate your competencies to manipulate with extensive set of data. To succeed in these tests you need to develop proficient skills that will enable you to get to accurate answer quickly. The following advice will provide you with some hints to get you started on improving your test taking strategy.



Read test questions carefully

It is important that you read questions carefully so that you understand what you have to do. Make sure that you read through the entire question and try to find out how the information provided in the question relates to the data provided in the table, chart or graph. Focus on the structure, the instruction words and the content and try to spot words that may give the question particular meaning.


Pay attention to data in figures

In advanced numerical reasoning tests you may come across variety of data forms. For example, you may be required to interpret data from figures such as tables, charts or graphs. If you interpret data from charts make sure that you carefully examine axes labels, units or scales. Ensure that you know in which units of measurement the data are displayed. Many candidates when completing numerical reasoning tests do not pay attention to units of measurement and hence they select the wrong answer. Thus, when taking an assessment read the legend and note carefully any additional information that would relate to the question itself. Additionally, pay attention to information presented in headings or subheadings. In some tables data values may be presented to an appropriate number of significant figures.


Focus on relevant information

At times numerical test publishers incorporate large quantity of data into tables, charts or graphs to assess you ability to eyeball, estimate and eradicate unnecessary information. Note that it can be tempting to focus on each and every column of the graph or diagram however under tough time constraints you may not be able to focus on everything. Hence, our tip here is to glance over diagram to determine key features such as general categories, labels or units and weed out columns or rows of data that you will not need for solving the question.


Eyeball rather than perform lengthy calculations

As it was previously mentioned numerical reasoning tests evaluate your skill to manipulate with large quantities of data to solve mathematical problems. Often good eyeballing technique will go a long way to help you eliminate incorrect answers and in some instances it may be quicker than using a computation device. To see some examples of such cases see how to improve mental calculations which presents you with rows of data and shows you how to identify least likely answers in order to use calculator to calculate only the most probable outcomes. Hence, one of our tips to minimise calculations in aptitude assessments is not to use your device to calculate questions which can be easily eyeballed and worked out mentally in your head.