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5 Key Pharmacy Numeracy Test Tips & Techniques

Advice & Insight From Pre-Registration Recruitment Exam Specialists

1. Consider reading the question twice

By reading the question twice, it ensures that the information you are gathering from it is relevant to the answering of it in a logical way. When reading the question again, it would be an idea to highlight or select the information on the second reading whilst reading it slowly trying to break down the question into parts that will allow you to answer the question logically. By reading the question for the second time, you also able to understand it in another way or recognise some other aspect to what it is asking you. You will remember that sitting numeracy tests can sometimes create nerves and this can impact how you read, understand and approach the question so by reading it twice, hopefully on the second attempt you may seem a lot calmer at approaching and understanding it. With 90 seconds/question, there is generally sufficient time to implement this approach.

2. Highlight what is relevant to the test question

By highlighting or selecting the relevant information to what you require this allows to you start to break down the question into parts on how and what sections you will require to answer first as there may be several steps to achieving the answer. The other issue is that there may be irrelevant information in the question that could be there as part of the question scenario or even to add confusion to further test your calculation skills. Therefore, it’s about deciding what is needed to be used to answer the question and what can be ignored. There also might be questions whereby two or more answers are required and you may need to use several parts of the question to arrive at one answer and others to arrive at the other answer, by noting which is relevant this may speed up the process in answering the question. 

3. Keep your working out clear

From the start of trying to answer the question; keep your working out clear and concise in a stepwise approach. If your methods are clear, this will help in case you have to go back to your working out at any time or if you have arrived at the wrong answer or lost track somewhere and so you can easily go back to the relevant parts. This ensures that if you also want to double check what you have done at a later stage, you are able to do that too. There may be occasions where you get stuck during a question and you are running out of time, by having clear working out you are able to come back to where you left over rather than having to start the question again and getting confused. 

4. Check that your numeracy is logical

Before you start to work through the question, briefly think about how the answer could work logically and does what you are trying to work out make sense if you were to physically do it? This gives you another angle to look at when answering the question and piece it together to make sense. Sometimes you could have an answer which is incorrect with regards to the units and this can cause you to arrive at the wrong answer. By checking as you go along that what you are calculating makes sense, it might help you to spot something you have missed with regards to conversion units or the use of a formula or even the detail of rounding up to a whole tablet or the nearest 5ml spoonful so that you can provide an answer that makes sense. 


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5. Recheck the questions and answers (time permitting)

Always go back to the question at the end, check if you have missed anything, are there two parts or two answers required? Are there decimal points to note? Are there units needed to be converted to present the answer? Checking exactly what the question is asking you one final time can make the difference between a correct and incorrect answer even by one simple detail such as the units or what type of answer you need to provide. A few examples could be that the question may be asking for hours but your answer is in minutes so this will need converting or that you are required to provide an answer to the nearest pack size instead of how many tablets. 

Further Reading....

5 Key Pharmacy Numeracy Test Tips & Techniques

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