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Cheat Sheet

Numeracy Tests For Dummies (UK Edition)

From Numeracy Tests For Dummies by Colin Beveridge

Whether you’re applying to university, have a job interview lined up, or you’re planning to sign up to the military, this Cheat Sheet gives you some quick tips on doing your best at a numeracy test.

Figuring Out Fractions during Your Numeracy Test

Don’t let fractions fox you! When you’re revising for your numeracy test, follow these quick and simple steps to add or take away two fractions:

  1. Multiply the top and bottom of the first fraction by the bottom of the second. Write down your new fraction.

  2. Multiply the top and bottom of the second fraction by the bottom of the first. Write this down.

  3. Do the original sum (add or take away) on the tops of your answers from steps 1 and 2.

  4. Write the number on the bottom of both fractions underneath your answer to step 3. This is your answer.

To find a fraction of a number, just multiply the number by the top of the fraction and divide it by the bottom.

Using the Table of Joy to Help with Numeracy Tests

Here’s how to use my nifty Table of Joy to work out percentages, pie charts, proportions, conversions, ratios and all the rest so you can ace your numeracy test with ease!

  1. Draw a big noughts and crosses grid, leaving yourself plenty of room for labels in the first column and top row.

  2. Label the top-middle and top-right squares with the things you're measuring. For example, if you're working on a currency conversion, you might have pounds and dollars; if you're working on a pie chart, it might be people and degrees.

  3. Label the middle-left and bottom-left squares with the things you know about – for the currency example, it might be 'exchange rate' and 'money'; for the pie chart, it's 'slice' and 'whole circle'.

  4. Fill in the squares with the numbers you know.

  5. Shade the numbered squares like a chessboard. Find the two numbers that are both on the same colour of square.

  6. Write down the Table of Joy sum: multiply the two numbers from step 5 and divide by the other number.

  7. Work out the sum – this is your answer!

Understanding the Three Kinds of Average in Maths

There are three kinds of average in maths that you may need to know about in your numeracy test. Here’s a quick reminder for you:

  • The mode is the most popular category – the one that shows up most often.

  • The median is the value of the middle data point – half the data are bigger than this, and half the data smaller.

  • The mean is what you normally mean by average (add everything up and divide by how many things there are). It’s the meanest thing they can ask!

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