Numerical Online test or finance test?


It seems most of the jobs now require an online test,from my point of view, those so called ‘numerical tests’ are just bunch of memory tests.
I find people studying a computing science degree with good grades couldn’t pass those tests while students in finance could. These tests somehow give advantages to those people with a better business background with even zero computing knowledge simply because all questions in the test are either stock data or sales firgure.

I have no idea why on earth these companies use these tests for IT, science or even engineering role, numerical skills? are you kidding, I bet students with a C in A level mathematics could pass the test if they are in a finance degree.

I myself failed some tests when I started my first few applications, I couldn’t understand why since I have a good mathematical and logical background, numerical test should be a piece of cake. Soon I realize I need to practice percentage calculations especially on sales figures, currency data and stock data. Now I could say, yes, I could finish these so called ‘numerical tests’ easily, thank god. (wasted some good applications though).


Companies use this type of test because they are under the impression that they are the best and fairest tool for assessing candidates. It’s a very strong point you make - these tests aren’t always useful… particularly as research shows that candidates perform worse on this type of test when they have never done them before… and better when they have done many. A very bright candidate might fail a test at firm A because he/she has never taken a test of this sort before, whereas an average candidate may perform very well on the same test, simply because they have had 40 other interviews and sat a similar test 40 other times.

Furthermore, many companies actually use exactly the same test, or similar questions, which means that candidates can learn/memorise how to perform.


I have just had an opportunity to sit for Numerical Test for my application for a Summer Analyst role with Deutsche Bank; the test was fairly easy then I had initially thought (I found SHL lot harder than this PSL one). It is only the time factor involved and I am afraid I couldn’t do more than 12 questions out of 20 in 20 minutes. I thought I should leave the unfinished qquestions rather than giving ‘‘guess work’’ which will have a negative impact if the answer goes wrong; which chances are that it will be wrong since the probablity is only 16% that my ‘‘guess work’’ will be correct because each question had 6 options.

But yeah those 12 questions I did them all correctly for sure. I am just waiting for the outcome. So far, I did one with Norwich Union and failed. One I had with Xerox but need to do a verbal one so don’t know my results yet. I still got one more to do with Grant Thornton… hopefully will do that tomorrow… good luck everyone with all your tests/interviews/ACs.