Am I just really stupid or am I doing these numerical tests wrong???

Watch
andragonous
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#1
I'm a graduate applying for schemes in business and strategic consulting. After passing my test in verbal reasoning... KPMG rejected my application on the grounds that I was in the lowest 1st percentile (no joke!) of candidates that took the numerical reasoning trest?

I have a degree in philosophy from LSE. I'm not good at Maths by the high standards set by the companies and don't have much experience of pure mathematics beyond GCSE. But I don't consider myself maths illiterate either... I got an A at GCSE and I got upper second class marks in my logic modules at university.

And yet... I cannot do these numerical tests! When I see all that info on graphs my mind just goes! When I try to be calm I just never find the time to answer the questions sufficiently. I can't find the right data, I can't calculate it....

So my question is... what's going on? Considering the fact that I'm not mathematically completely stupid... could it just be that the tests are asking of a standard too high for me? I mean I admit I might not be great at maths but I don't think I'm so bad that I'm in the lowest 1% of candidates either! Should someone that could do okay at maths at a lower level really find these tests that hard?

Or could it be that I just need to practice a bit more time to learn how to calm down etc... if so... how much practice and preparation should I be taking for these tests? To be honest I just started walking into them.... didn't think I'd find them that hard.
0
reply
IsraelforLife
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#2
Report 5 years ago
#2
Print some off the internet and practise, even with IQ tests people are able to boost their own scores by practising (which does, it must be said, slightly invalidate the results).
0
reply
andragonous
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#3
(Original post by IsraelforLife)
Print some off the internet and practise, even with IQ tests people are able to boost their own scores by practising (which does, it must be said, slightly invalidate the results).
Well yeah but... practice enough to become a strong candidate from being in the lowest 1st percentile? If my natural ability is really that low then it would feel like a waste of time.
0
reply
daindian
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#4
Report 5 years ago
#4
(Original post by andragonous)
Well yeah but... practice enough to become a strong candidate from being in the lowest 1st percentile? If my natural ability is really that low then it would feel like a waste of time.
Practice mate. The more you do then you better you get eventually the questions repeat themselves too.
0
reply
Klatie
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#5
Report 5 years ago
#5
(Original post by andragonous)
I'm a graduate applying for schemes in business and strategic consulting. After passing my test in verbal reasoning... KPMG rejected my application on the grounds that I was in the lowest 1st percentile (no joke!) of candidates that took the numerical reasoning trest?

I have a degree in philosophy from LSE. I'm not good at Maths by the high standards set by the companies and don't have much experience of pure mathematics beyond GCSE. But I don't consider myself maths illiterate either... I got an A at GCSE and I got upper second class marks in my logic modules at university.

And yet... I cannot do these numerical tests! When I see all that info on graphs my mind just goes! When I try to be calm I just never find the time to answer the questions sufficiently. I can't find the right data, I can't calculate it....

So my question is... what's going on? Considering the fact that I'm not mathematically completely stupid... could it just be that the tests are asking of a standard too high for me? I mean I admit I might not be great at maths but I don't think I'm so bad that I'm in the lowest 1% of candidates either! Should someone that could do okay at maths at a lower level really find these tests that hard?

Or could it be that I just need to practice a bit more time to learn how to calm down etc... if so... how much practice and preparation should I be taking for these tests? To be honest I just started walking into them.... didn't think I'd find them that hard.
I've done some of these tests before tbh and all it takes it practice
0
reply
dbdb
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#6
Report 5 years ago
#6
(Original post by andragonous)
I'm a graduate applying for schemes in business and strategic consulting. After passing my test in verbal reasoning... KPMG rejected my application on the grounds that I was in the lowest 1st percentile (no joke!) of candidates that took the numerical reasoning trest?

I have a degree in philosophy from LSE. I'm not good at Maths by the high standards set by the companies and don't have much experience of pure mathematics beyond GCSE. But I don't consider myself maths illiterate either... I got an A at GCSE and I got upper second class marks in my logic modules at university.

And yet... I cannot do these numerical tests! When I see all that info on graphs my mind just goes! When I try to be calm I just never find the time to answer the questions sufficiently. I can't find the right data, I can't calculate it....

So my question is... what's going on? Considering the fact that I'm not mathematically completely stupid... could it just be that the tests are asking of a standard too high for me? I mean I admit I might not be great at maths but I don't think I'm so bad that I'm in the lowest 1% of candidates either! Should someone that could do okay at maths at a lower level really find these tests that hard?

Or could it be that I just need to practice a bit more time to learn how to calm down etc... if so... how much practice and preparation should I be taking for these tests? To be honest I just started walking into them.... didn't think I'd find them that hard.
Omg that could gave been written about me.last year I applied to a lot of graduate schemes but didn't pass numerical for a single one despite practise.

At Deloitte after passing the screening I got rejected based on numerical reasoning.
So far I have purchased the graduate monkey pack, assessment day and job test prep. In total about £80 yet I cannot pass sadly. I did get a B at GCSE Maths and I can do percentage increase / decrease, ratio , fractions. Yet in a timed tests I can't get the answers down.

this year I'm not going to apply for the big companies. I think maybe I'm incapable of passing the maths tests.
0
reply
Duncan2012
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#7
Report 5 years ago
#7
It's extremely unlikely that you can't actually do the maths, it's more likely that you're approaching the question in a way that makes it difficult for your brain to do the working. I've not seen the tests so I can't comment in detail. Do you understand what's actually being asked, do you understand and use the right formulae, can you filter and sort the data so it's meaningful, can you read and interpret graphs? If you're missing out a fundamental step then chances are the error will carry through and you won't score highly. Can you find a tutor or someone who has passed the tests to go though them with you so you understand where you're going wrong? That way you'll be able to work on your weaknesses and have a better chance next time. Good luck!
0
reply
andragonous
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#8
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#8
(Original post by dbdb)
Omg that could gave been written about me.last year I applied to a lot of graduate schemes but didn't pass numerical for a single one despite practise.

At Deloitte after passing the screening I got rejected based on numerical reasoning.
So far I have purchased the graduate monkey pack, assessment day and job test prep. In total about £80 yet I cannot pass sadly. I did get a B at GCSE Maths and I can do percentage increase / decrease, ratio , fractions. Yet in a timed tests I can't get the answers down.

this year I'm not going to apply for the big companies. I think maybe I'm incapable of passing the maths tests.
Interesting... I don't know if I'd be able to get into consulting without doing them though. Also... reality is... if I get the job, I'll have to be looking at data, analyzing it accurately and efficiently etc... so I'm thinking if I can't do the tests, maybe I'm looking into the wrong thing?

But I've only done one test so far and probably didn't deserve a shot given that I didn't prep at all... we'll have to see I guess.

Good luck to you!
0
reply
gr8wizard10
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#9
Report 5 years ago
#9
as with everything in life, practice
0
reply
andragonous
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#10
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#10
(Original post by Duncan2012)
It's extremely unlikely that you can't actually do the maths, it's more likely that you're approaching the question in a way that makes it difficult for your brain to do the working. I've not seen the tests so I can't comment in detail. Do you understand what's actually being asked, do you understand and use the right formulae, can you filter and sort the data so it's meaningful, can you read and interpret graphs? If you're missing out a fundamental step then chances are the error will carry through and you won't score highly. Can you find a tutor or someone who has passed the tests to go though them with you so you understand where you're going wrong? That way you'll be able to work on your weaknesses and have a better chance next time. Good luck!
Thanks for your kind words.

I think the problem I have is that I have 90 seconds to analyze data, read the question, work out what data is relevant and then do the calculations... and if you've done maths at a certain level for a while I think it would be easy. If you haven't it's like... I can't work out what I have to calculate when I've only got 90 seconds to do it all.

But then I'm not sure if it's the sort of thing that... you're meant to just be able to work out (if you're smart enough) or if the average person needs time and practice before they know what's being asked of them.
0
reply
andragonous
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#11
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#11
(Original post by daindian)
Practice mate. The more you do then you better you get eventually the questions repeat themselves too.
Thanks! I think I remember you posting on a thread about consultancy before? Do you have experience?

If so, do you think I can pick up the maths skills required for the job? Like I got A's in it up to GCSE... I don't consider myself to be terrible at it... just in those tests I'm being asked to pick up information from graph types that I haven't looked at before... makes it tough for me to work out what's being asked of me.
0
reply
ian.slater
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#12
Report 5 years ago
#12
(Original post by andragonous)
Thanks! I think I remember you posting on a thread about consultancy before? Do you have experience?

If so, do you think I can pick up the maths skills required for the job? Like I got A's in it up to GCSE... I don't consider myself to be terrible at it... just in those tests I'm being asked to pick up information from graph types that I haven't looked at before... makes it tough for me to work out what's being asked of me.
It's reasonable to expect a consultant to be fluent at presenting and interpreting straightforward numerical data. Just as you would expect the ability to explain a complex idea or write a report. If you do not currently have that level of skill, it is not unreasonable to ask you to acquire it as a pre-requisite to applying. As everybody has said, you need practice. I expect you also need a small amount of knowledge, which is the 'presentation of data' bit from e.g. an A level stats module. A premium graduate should be able to self-teach that.
0
reply
daindian
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#13
Report 5 years ago
#13
(Original post by andragonous)
Thanks! I think I remember you posting on a thread about consultancy before? Do you have experience?

If so, do you think I can pick up the maths skills required for the job? Like I got A's in it up to GCSE... I don't consider myself to be terrible at it... just in those tests I'm being asked to pick up information from graph types that I haven't looked at before... makes it tough for me to work out what's being asked of me.
you could always create fake applications using different emails and then screenshot the questions and do them in your own time as well. I have done this tests numerous times. The SHL tests are good, for my job, i did saville consulting which was a lot easier. I know for shl numerical theres only like 5 versions of the tests. my advice is quality over quantity do as many as you can properly using the time they don't expect you to finish it all. In terms of consulting I did a consulting project for 5 months at uni which was good. The maths i faced wasn't too hard, its just percentage change and few other bits specific gcse maths topics. Stupid thing is for some small companies, the ididots bench your test results against there own staff members, so theres no hope for anyone.
1
reply
Duncan2012
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#14
Report 5 years ago
#14
(Original post by andragonous)
I think the problem I have is that I have 90 seconds to analyze data, read the question, work out what data is relevant and then do the calculations... and if you've done maths at a certain level for a while I think it would be easy. If you haven't it's like... I can't work out what I have to calculate when I've only got 90 seconds to do it all.
It sounds like you need to practice answering those types of question under time pressure. As others have said, it's all about practice - do as many questions under timed conditions as you can. Work on mental arithmetic - simple things like adding up prices while you're shopping (or at the checkout if you want some pressure!)
0
reply
emmacoakley
Badges: 0
#15
Report 4 years ago
#15
(Original post by dbdb)
Omg that could gave been written about me.last year I applied to a lot of graduate schemes but didn't pass numerical for a single one despite practise.

At Deloitte after passing the screening I got rejected based on numerical reasoning.
So far I have purchased the graduate monkey pack, assessment day and job test prep. In total about £80 yet I cannot pass sadly. I did get a B at GCSE Maths and I can do percentage increase / decrease, ratio , fractions. Yet in a timed tests I can't get the answers down.

this year I'm not going to apply for the big companies. I think maybe I'm incapable of passing the maths tests.
*
Hi there, which did you find most useful though, assessment day or graduate monkey materials? How similar are they to the actual tests? Thanks
0
reply
melina98
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#16
Report 8 months ago
#16
(Original post by daindian)
you could always create fake applications using different emails and then screenshot the questions and do them in your own time as well. I have done this tests numerous times. The SHL tests are good, for my job, i did saville consulting which was a lot easier. I know for shl numerical theres only like 5 versions of the tests. my advice is quality over quantity do as many as you can properly using the time they don't expect you to finish it all. In terms of consulting I did a consulting project for 5 months at uni which was good. The maths i faced wasn't too hard, its just percentage change and few other bits specific gcse maths topics. Stupid thing is for some small companies, the ididots bench your test results against there own staff members, so theres no hope for anyone.
How would you make alias accounts . What about when submitting the same CV, Address, and attachments?
0
reply
gr8wizard10
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#17
Report 8 months ago
#17
but jobtestprep or graduate monkey and simply practice the tests. compared to the prospect of potential earnings, £30 for a test prep package isn't that big an ask.
0
reply
IrrationalRoot
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#18
Report 8 months ago
#18
Just to make you feel better, I’m coasting my way to a first in a master’s in maths at Warwick and yet I still failed both numerical tests I sat. Kinda stupid that they even use them for people in numerical degrees when they’re just sub-GCSE maths questions but with an absurdly low time limit. I have a lot less respect for the companies that use these.
0
reply
gr8wizard10
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#19
Report 8 months ago
#19
(Original post by IrrationalRoot)
Just to make you feel better, I’m coasting my way to a first in a master’s in maths at Warwick and yet I still failed both numerical tests I sat. Kinda stupid that they even use them for people in numerical degrees when they’re just sub-GCSE maths questions but with an absurdly low time limit. I have a lot less respect for the companies that use these.
this is the kinda numerical comfortability you'd need in these environments. there's no overly complex calculations.. just common sense questions, that you might need to be able to figure out and comprehend quickly in a meeting for instance: ratios, percentages, basic multiplications. maths beyond basic arithmetic hasn't much relevance in banking/professional careers.
0
reply
IrrationalRoot
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#20
Report 8 months ago
#20
(Original post by gr8wizard10)
this is the kinda numerical comfortability you'd need in these environments. there's no overly complex calculations.. just common sense questions, that you might need to be able to figure out and comprehend quickly in a meeting for instance: ratios, percentages, basic multiplications. maths beyond basic arithmetic hasn't much relevance in banking/professional careers.
It’s the unrealistic level of speed that is required that bothers me. There is absolutely no real life situation in which someone would need to extract data/perform routine calculations that quickly.

Also, high-level mathematics such as statistical analysis (or even things like PDEs) is used in a fair number of financial careers. Especially the more technical ones in which there is a lot of mathematical modelling.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How are you feeling ahead of starting University?

I am excited and looking forward to starting (58)
13.91%
I am excited but have some apprehension around Covid-19 measures (55)
13.19%
I am concerned I will miss out on aspects of the uni experience due to new measures (158)
37.89%
I am concerned the Covid-19 measures at uni are not strong enough (44)
10.55%
I am nervous and feel I don't have enough information (80)
19.18%
Something else (let us know in the thread!) (22)
5.28%

Watched Threads

View All