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# The levels of difficulty of numerical tests

The numerical reasoning test is used to assess individuals at different organisational levels (such as graduate, professional and managers) and in different occupations. To ensure that the test is accurately measuring candidates’ abilities and potential, psychometric testing companies typically use numerical reasoning tests with different difficulty levels and benchmarks. When you are applying for a graduate role, employers expect you to demonstrate stronger numerical reasoning skills than a nongraduate. Similarly, if you apply for a management role, you are expected to show stronger numerical reasoning skills than a graduate. The level of difficulty is also determined by the type of occupation. For example, if you apply as a graduate for an engineering role, you will be expected to show higher numerical reasoning skills than if you applied for a marketing role.

## What is a more difficult numerical reasoning test?

Each numerical reasoning test has a certain level of difficulty that is fairly consistent across all its test questions. However, you can expect the questions at the beginning of the test to be simpler than those towards the end. The level of difficulty of a numerical reasoning test is typically defined using three dimensions – complexity of data, amount of data and time constraints. As the complexity of data increases, the test becomes more difficult. Complexity of data is typically related to the number of transformations or calculations you need to do to find the answer. The amount of data relates to the wealth of data offered in a test question. Some questions only offer the data you need to get to the answer, but others have much more data that is used to distract your attention and consume precious time. Typically, a numerical reasoning test with a higher level of difficulty would have more distracting data. The third component is the time limitation. A simple rule of thumb for time constraints is that a numerical test question should take you around 45 to 60 seconds to complete. Therefore, a test at a higher level of difficulty will allow you less time for each test question.

This means that even if you have a good background in maths and you are good in solving numerical reasoning questions, you are still likely to hit some hurdles when you are taking the numerical test. Therefore, we recommend that you practise as much as you can before taking the real numerical test. You can practise by taking some of our many practice numerical reasoning tests, which are designed to match the level of difficulty of the real numerical test that you are likely to receive. Upon completing a test, you will receive a detailed report including scores, correct and wrong answers, and a detailed explanation for each answer so you can learn how to avoid making a similar mistake in your real numerical test. You can also take our online numerical reasoning course to learn about the strategies and tactics for solving numerical reasoning test questions, and get all the knowledge you need about the test material. If you have more time, you can also use numerical reasoning test books that have additional numerical reasoning questions.