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Ten Practice Questions for Mental Arithmetic Tests

The name mental arithmetic test isn’t completely accurate – you’re allowed to write things down rather than do everything in your head. In the real tests, you’re typically allowed to write down your working out, but you’re not permitted to use a calculator. You need to be able to deal with questions on basic arithmetic, fractions and percentages, as well as time and conversion problems.

1

Quinn cuts a delicious grey pizza into six slices and eats four of them. Which of the pizzas is his?

Answer: A. If Quinn eats four of the six slices, he has two left.

2

Which of the shapes is a hexagon?

Answer: D. A hexagon has six sides.

3

Keith is taking a train from Oxford and needs to be in London before noon. He looks at the timetable shown. Which is the latest train he can catch?

Answer: 10.30. The 11:00 train doesn’t arrive until after 12:00.

4

Here is a picture of Ernie. How tall is he, to the nearest 10cm?

Answer: 1 metre 70. Ernie is closer to 1 metre 70 than 1 metre 60.

5

Look at the chart provided. Which city is bigger than Glasgow but smaller than Birmingham?

Answer: Leeds.

6

Which of the clocks shows the time 19:45?

Answer: C. The minute (big) hand is pointing at 9 and the little hand is between 7 and 8.

7

This figure shows Will’s timesheet. How many hours did he work in total?

Answer: 37.5. 8 + 8.5 + 8 + 8 + 5 = 37.5.

8

The temperature in Reykjavik is –7ºC. The temperature in Moscow is –2ºC. How much warmer is Moscow than Reykjavik?

A: 9ºC

B: –9ºC

C: 3ºC

D: 5ºC

E: –5ºC

Answer: D: 5ºC. See the number line shown. The gap between –7 and –2 is five spaces.

9

The figure shows a train timetable. Frank needs to be in Manchester before 10 a.m. for a meeting. What is the latest train he can catch from Stockport?

Answer: 9:40. This is the last train from Stockport that gets in before 10 a.m. Make sure you look at the Stockport times and not the Sheffield times!

10

In a card game, Louise starts with –25 points. In the first round, she scores 45 points. What is her score after the first round?

Answer: 20. –25 + 45 is the same as 45 – 25 = 20. Alternatively, you can look at the number line shown.

   
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