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Feeling really down: Can't get past numerical selection tests watch

    • Thread Starter

    I'm a soon to be Politics graduate and have been considering a masters but i've also been applying to jobs I feel passionately towards. So far I have failed the numerical selection for every that has one and it's starting to make me feel rather stupid and quite down.

    I'm being stopped from getting further in the application for jobs I would give my right arm for (and some that I wouldn't) all because my maths isn't up to scratch - I've tried my absolute hardest to improve it but me and numeracy just aren't the best of friends.

    Just wondering if anyone else is in the same boat or has any advice really? Starting to feel a little hopeless.

    Firstly, you're not stupid. I have a first in maths and I found them difficult. Numerical tests do not test your overall intelligence, but rather your ability to take in information in short periods of time. Ergo, you are not tested for your mathematical ability, rather your ability to assess what you need to do and how you need to do it before other people can.

    This skill can be trained. I did it, and so can you. I actually used Assessment Day, which is quite useful because it provides you with your speed and your accuracy as a percentile of everyone else who took the same test. So you can see how you're doing compared to how other people did. It also tells you where you went wrong, and the correct answer. Be warned - the questions are nothing like SHL tests, but they do help you get to grips with the logic required to tackle them.

    If you just keep practising, you'll get quicker with simple stuff like ratios. Then I'd recommend doing the SHL practise test. Bearing in mind that the following is unethical and perhaps even forbidden by SHL's T&C's at the beginning of the test, I would strongly recommend that you do not screenshot every single practise question, and you don't spend as much time as you need figuring out each question, or else you might be crossing dangerous territory.

    As wanderlust says, you can definitely find ways to train for those tests. Makes them slightly pointless IMO, but there you go. The other thing to do is to look for smaller companies that don't run grad schemes with similar kinds of tests. I couldn't do the civil service maths bit either, so I looked for things that didn't require taking that style of testing! Smaller companies are better than larger ones, although of course it depends what you want to do.

    If you (or anyone) need help with these tests, I've helped a lot of folk in the past and have a great track record in the type of speed-thinking that is involved... e.g. especially in logical reasoning, there are some things that are important and some things that you should ignore. Do get in touch even if you've got an imminent deadline.


    I'm a politics graduate too, didn't do Maths A Level, and it was so daunting going back to numerical stuff for selection tests!

    My advice would be to get your key formulas DOWN. Make sure you know exactly what to do to change currencies/work out percentages like the back of your hand. Then try application to practical questions WITHOUT timing yourself: for each Q, make sure you understand exactly what they're asking for, identify how you'd go about making the calculation and what info you need and what you don't need, then calculate.

    Once you've done a few without timing yourself and start to feel more comfortable, do loads of timed tests.

    I also recommend Assessment Day, it's what I used. But there are also loads of free tests out there.

    It takes some dedication, but you can definitely do it! Good luck!

    I think more practice is key and as the previous post suggested, Assessment Day provides many tests that you could practice with. If you are interested, I can give you a few sample test from them via PM.

    Alternatively, you may want to use Microsoft Excel because it allows you to do multiple calculations at once and also save you time of memorizing/writing down previous calculations/answers.

    Practice more. I could not do them at first. Now I get 100% in every numerical tests.

    I am not asking you to buy anything, but there are some useful templates online that you can practice on. I bought a package of 60 tests, numerical, verbal and logical. It helps a lot. If you go through all 60 tests you'll be a master in those tests. I can have 10min spare when I do them

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