Pre-Registration Pharmacist Recruitment Numeracy Exam The Complete Guide

Advice & Insight From Pre-Registration Recruitment Exam Specialists


The Oriel Numeracy Test is used in combination with the Situational Judgement Test in order to select candidates for pre-registration positions in hospitals, GP surgeries and select community pharmacies throughout the country.

This computer based examination takes place through the Pearson Vue Online testing portal.

Oriel Pre-reg Numeracy Exam Format

​The Numeracy Test consists of 10 questions, to be completed in 20 minutes, allowing 120 seconds/question.

Rather than assessing clinical pharmacy knowledge or competence, the emphasis is primarily on basic pharmaceutical calculations. There are 6 key areas tested in the Oriel Numeracy Test. These are:

  • Doses & Dose Regimens
  • Dosage & Unit Conversions
  • Concentrations (e.g. expressed as w/v, % or 1 in x) 
  • Dilutions
  • Using Provided Formulae
  • Quantities To Supply

Finally, it is important to note that calculators are permitted in the examination, although must be one of the following four models:

  • Casio MX-8S-WE
  • Casio MX 8B-WE / MX-8B
  • Aurora HC133
  • Aurora DT210

How Is The Numeracy Exam Scored & How Is My Score Used?

Numeracy scores are calculated between 0 and 10 with one mark per question. The score achieved is generally not provided with your Situational Judgement Score, and instead candidates are required to obtain a minimum cut off score in the Numeracy Assessment in order to pass this domain and be deemed suitable for a pre-registration pharmacy post.

Historically, a minimum score of 3 (30%) has been required in order to pass the Oriel Numeracy Assessment. The score may also be used in tie-breaker situations where candidates have identical Situational Judgement Scores and the same ranking preferences.

Oriel Pre-reg Numeracy Exam Tips

​Know What You Are Being Tested On: The Oriel Numeracy Test focuses on six key areas, and hence it is important to practice questions that focus on these specific question types and not generic pharmacy calculation questions. Note that you are not tested on infusion rates, pharmacokinetics, displacement volumes or molecular weights.

Time Awareness: Whilst 120 seconds/question is relatively fair, we would recommend a ‘2 minute rule’; if any question is taking or is likely to take more than 2 minutes, it is better to guess, skip and review time permitting. The most common pitfall in this exam is not a lack of knowledge or practice, but merely poor time awareness and spending too long on a single question, causing you to miss out on comparatively easy questions later on in the examination.

Proportionate Preparation (Numeracy v SJT): For most of you, whilst calculations may not be your favourite examined area, over the last few years, you are likely to have become more familiar with being tested on this area. It’s important to note that the Oriel pre-reg recruitment team understand and as such have given additional weighting to the less familiar Situational Judgement questions. Make sure that you divide your preparation accordingly with greater emphasis on perfecting Situational Judgement questions.

Optimise Your Pre-Reg Oriel Performance

Learn the best Pre-Reg Oriel strategies and practice with reflective questions & worked solutions.

Oriel Pre-reg Numeracy Practice Questions

​Practice Question 1


To what volume must 9L of a 2.75% w/v solution be diluted to produce a 1.5% solution? 

​Please provide your answer in millilitres.

​Practice Question 1 Answer & Explanation

This question requires application of the formula: C1V1 = C2V2

We know C1 (2.75%) and we know V1 (9L); we also know C2 (1.5%) but we don’t know V2 so simply plug in the known values:
2.75% x 9L = 1.5% x V2

V2 = 2.75% x 9L/1.5%

= 16.5 x 1000

= 16,500 millilitres
Practice Question 2

Haloperidol is available as a 6 in 250 solution for injection. The dose prescribed is 5ml. 

What is the percentage strength of this dose?

Practice Question 2 Answer & Explanation

6 in 250 = 6g in 250mls 
X (g) in  5mls​
= 6g x 5/250 = 0.12g

0.12g in 5mls
2.4g = X (g) in 100mls = 2.4%
Practice Question 3

A patient requires an intravenous infusion of phenytoin at a rate of 275mcg/kg/minute using a 1% injection solution. The patients weighs 62kg, how much of the drug would be administered after one hour? Please provide your answer in grams. 

Practice Question 3 Answer & Explanation

275mcg per 1kg (per minute)

275 x 62 = 17050

17050mcg = x per 62kg 

17050mcg x 60 mins = 1023000mcg

1023000mcg = 1023mg = 1.023g 

Pre-Registration Pharmacist Recruitment Numeracy Exam The Complete Guide

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