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Numerical critical reasoning tests

Jun 3, 2022 12:37:00 PM

Numerical critical reasoning tests

What is a numerical critical reasoning test?

Numerical critical reasoning tests are one of the most advanced forms of numerical reasoning test (a type of ability test). These types of ability tests contain complex and high-level numerical information that is designed to simulate the demands of senior level jobs. 

Numerical critical reasoning tests are used in recruitment and training processes for jobs that require the highest levels of numerical ability. These tests are used to determine whether you have the mental firepower to deal with the complex nature of the job. For example they may be used in the recruitment process for trainee accountants, a job that requires numerical abilities of sufficient power to understand complex data, solve difficult problems and perform demanding analyses.   

The questions are designed to assess your ability to draw conclusions and make complex decisions about the numerical information in the test. These decisions sometimes require you to use inference or deal with ambiguity in the data and base answers on a degree of estimation. Sometimes it is the sheer complexity of the numerical data that requires high levels of numerical ability to answer the questions correctly. 


Numerical critical reasoning tests can simulate the demands of working with complex accounts, balance sheets and profit and loss accounts. 

The difficulty level of numerical critical reasoning tests is increased by requiring you to interpret more complex data as well as perform multiple-stage calculations in a systematic way in order to identify the correct answer. 


Answering questions in a numerical critical reasoning test will often require much more working out than other types of numerical test. If your test is being administered online then it’s good advice to use some scrap paper to keep note of any calculations or important values.   

In order to answer the questions well you will need to make note of any sub-totals and other results during the process of answering each question. It’s good practice to write these values down on paper as you go since they often become useful later in the test - it will save you time as you wont need to calculate them again. 

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Dr. Alan Redman

Written by Dr. Alan Redman

Head of Science and Technology