PwC Numerical Reasoning Test

PwC looks for employees with a high numerical ability. Applicants have to pass a numerical test before being offered a position.

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PwC use the following tests in their selection process:

  • Verbal reasoning test
  • Numerical reasoning test
  • Logical reasoning test
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About PwC Numerical Reasoning Tests

PwC use numerical reasoning tests as part of their recruitment process to help them select the best candidates for a particular role.

Largely recognised for its status as one of the Big Four auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is a renowned multinational professional services firm that originated in the UK. Securing employment or a place on one of their graduate programmes is extremely competitive and candidates must be prepared to undergo a lengthy selection procedure. Once an online application form has been completed, candidates are required to undertake online psychometric tests, which will be either numerical, verbal or logical reasoning depending on the job role. This is typical of graduate level positions, although further tests may be required for higher level roles. Candidates are informed in advance as to which tests they will be required to take.

PwC use a combination of SHL tests and Saville Consulting assessment exercises throughout the recruitment process, as a means of screening out candidates who lack the abilities necessary for a career in this area. PwC assess candidates in terms of their 10 Global Competencies, which are listed at relevant points throughout “The PwC Process”.

Numerical reasoning tests are a fair and objective way for PwC to assess a wide range of applicants, each having different experiences and different qualifications. By analysing the results of a standardised numerical reasoning test, PwC are able to quickly see which candidates are suitable for the role and which are not. This sort of information about candidates’ skills is difficult to glean from interviews and qualifications alone, so they use professional psychometric tests.

Often, PwC will ask applicants to take a numerical test online, which you can take from home. When the numerical test is used early on in the application process like this you will have to achieve a minimum score before you progress to the next round (typically a score in the top 50% of applicants is required however this does vary role to role). Further along in the selection process you might be asked to attend an assessment centre or interview where you will be asked to sit a numerical test again. This is so PwC can verify the person scoring highly in the test is indeed the person applying for the job.

So as a PwC or senior candidate applying for a job at PwC you might feel like the numerical reasoning test is an unnecessary hoop to jump through. But you should bear in mind that PwC are asking you to complete the numerical test as much for your own benefit; if you are not suitable for the role, a psychometric test will usually identify this. Research has shown that psychometric tests such as those used by PwC are a better predictor of job performance than traditional selection metrics such as level of degree achieved.

PwC Application Process Stages

Here is the typical process for your application to PwC.

Stage 1

Application and Online Tests

Applications are made online and require candidates to provide their contact details, education and work experience. This is to ensure that the candidate meets the entry requirements for their selected role. After submitting their application, candidates are invited to undertake online psychometric tests, which will be numerical, verbal or logical reasoning, depending on the position applied for.

Stage 2

First Interview

Successful candidates are then invited to attend an initial interview either in person or via telephone, this is competency based and will last approximately 45 minutes. The Global Competencies assessed at this stage are; communicate with impact and empathy, acquire and apply commercial and technical expertise, lead and contribute to team success, be open minded agile with change and practical, manage projects and economics, and demonstrate courage and integrity. It is recommended that applicants use this interview as an opportunity to provide evidence of their skills, as well as presenting a considered approach to their chosen career.

Stage 3

Assessment Centre

Candidates are then invited to attend an assessment centre, during which they will undergo further reasoning tests, a written communication exercise and a group or individual exercise. At this stage, candidates are required to produce an original government issued photo identification such as a driving licence or passport.

Stage 4

Final Interview

The final interview is more in-depth than the previous interview and will be conducted by partner or director from the applicants chosen area. During the final interview, candidates are assessed in terms of the following Global Competencies; communicate with impact and empathy, be curious: learn share and innovate, be passionate about client services, build and sustain relationships, and develop self and others through coaching. Successful applicants at stage 4 will be made an offer of employment or a place on a graduate programme with PwC.

Buy Practice Numerical Tests

Our numerical practice test pack is suitable for preparing for the PwC numerical reasoning exercise.

Numerical Test Pack (suitable for preparing for PwC)

Prepare for all numerical tests including the PwC numerical test. Includes 23 practice tests covering all major test publishers.

Excellent variety of practice tests ranging in difficulty levels. Really helped me feel prepared for, and pass, my actual online tests.

PwC Numerical Reasoning Test Questions

Like most numerical tests, the one used by PwC looks at your ability to interpret numerical and graphical data and answer questions which require numerical analysis of the data provided. The numerical test will be assessing your speed and accuracy. The answers are multiple choice and you should try to work quickly within the time limit, but also accurately. Negative marking is unlikely to be used but do not guess answers, as this will show up in your accuracy score. Sometimes you will find that you can make a best guess estimate by deducing that some of the answer options are incorrect. This approach to verbal tests will come with practice, and you will become familiar with the type of verbal tests used by companies such as PwC.

Companies are using numerical reasoning test more and more in their application process that candidates must go through. Numerical reasoning tests are favoured when the role being recruited for requires interpretation and manipulation of numerical data on a regular basis. A person's score in a numerical reasoning test is a good indicator of their ability to work well with numbers. This is very important in finance, accounting and actuarial positions.

PwC use numerical reasoning tests as part of their recruitment process to help them select the best candidates for a particular role.

So as a graduate or senior candidate applying for a job at PwC you might feel like the numerical reasoning test is an unnecessary hoop to jump through. But you should bear in mind that PwC are asking you to complete the numericall test as much for your own benefit as theirs; if you are not suitable for the role, a psychometric test will usually identify this. Research has shown that psychometric tests, such as those used by PwC, are a better predictor of job performance than traditional selection metrics such as level of degree achieved.

The numerical operations required in standardised numerical tests are of a level which most applicants can achieve. The difficult aspect comes with carrying out the calculations quickly and accurately within the time limit. You will be allowed a calculator for your numerical test at PwC, so make sure you know how to perform these basic operations. Percentage increases and decreases are the most common questions which catch out candidates. Here is a list of the most common operations you can expect in your numerical test:

  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Percentages (including percentage changes)
  • Ratios
  • Most questions in most numerical reasoning tests follow a standard format displaying numerical data, the question and answer options on screen. These can be arranged differently, but each test will stick to the same layout throughout. The numerical data may be a graph, table, chart or other visual form. The question text may contain extra information which adds to what's given in the table, this might also be necessary to answer the question correctly. Lastly, the answer options are almost always multiple choice. Multiple choice answers can vary, however. You may have 4 options to pick from, 5, maybe 10, or more. The more answer options to pick from, the slimmer the chances are that you can obtain the correct answer by guessing.

    Some publishers will have less subtle variations in their test from what's described here. Capp for example, will ask you to rank the answer options by a particular criteria. Sometimes, in TalentQ tests, the question may have more than one answer, and you will be told to select two, or possibly more answer options from those availble. Test types by different publishers are explained here in more detail.

    Answered questions

    Yes. PwC use SHL numerical reasoning tests to assess applicants in the recruitment process. The practice tests we provide have been designed to mimic the numerical reasoning test's style to create an environment similar to the real assessment. This provides you with confidence that the questions you practice with us now are an accurate reflection of the real assessment.

    The same difficulty as real tests. Generally real employer selection tests don't differ that much in terms of difficulty which is why they compare your score against norm groups. Our practice tests are pitched roughly at graduate level, but this means they are actually suitable for preparing for all levels of job: entry; apprentice; graduate; senior; director.

    Yes, and PC, and Linux and smartphone and Android and...everything. Our practice tests will run on all systems and they are responsive so they will work well on tablets and smartphones too!

    How many times can I take the tests?

    Unlimited. You can take our practice tests as many times as you like; there is no limit. But to be honest, after taking the same test a few times you start to remember the answers, so that’s why we have lots of tests.

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