What are they?
Numerical Reasoning tests are designed to assess the ability to think and reason using non-verbal patterns or numbers. Candidates are presented with information, facts, figures, number series or matrices that require a solution. The service provider will specify if a calculator is permitted to be used prior to commencing the test.
Why is it used?
Numerical Reasoning does not really test mathematical ability. In fact, it really only requires basic calculations. What it does test, is a persons ability to invent different types of solutions to problems without depending on language. A Numerical Reasoning test is usually less structured in approach in comparison to a Critical Thinking Test – that is, you need to come up with the problem solving strategy yourself.
A Numerical Reasoning score cannot be used to eliminate candidates going for finance or number based roles. The ability to work in a role where you apply processes to numbers is determined by overall intellectual ability (the test you score highest on out of Critical Thinking/Verbal Reasoning or Numerical Reasoning), not numerical ability on its own. As long as a person is intelligent enough to learn a process then they should be able to apply them to numbers.