University Nursing Selection Day Tests

To register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, nurses have to be both numerate and literate. Therefore, universities offering nursing courses will test interviewees with basic numeracy and literacy tests. 

Literacy Tests

The literacy test is variable between different universities. Some will provide a passage that you must read and answer questions on, whereas some will provide this and ask for a mini-essay as well. For example, Salford’s literacy test lasts for 20 minutes and constitutes four questions on a small passage of text. London South Bank’s test involves two separate sections. The first gives you a passage of text to read, and poses five questions on it. The second section asks you to write a short essay of around 200 words, on a topic in the test. Other universities’ tests will be similar to these, and you should look to their website to understand the exact format that they are likely to use.
Skills tested are grammar, spelling, punctuation and comprehension. Question types include completing sentences, correcting spelling or grammar, comprehension questions and synonym / antonym questions.

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Literacy Example Questions

Read the following passage.

Dear Mr and Mrs Peterson,
My name is Polly and I am writing to apply for the job of live-in Nanny. I saw you’re newspaper advertisement last week, which stated that you need someone who is keen to help with early learning activities. And that also has previous childcare experience. I would like to aply for the advertised post.

Thank you,

1. Which word or phrase is incorrect on line 1?
            a) I am writing
            b) live-in
            c) you’re

2. Which line has a grammatical error?
            a) line 2
            b) line 3
            c) both

3) Which word is spelled incorrectly?
            a) experience
            b) aply
            c) advertised

​Read the following passage.

To whom it may concern,

Despite having previously made my feelings clear to you on the phone, I find myself again being called, multiple times a day, by your representatives. I am at a loss as to how you think this constitutes good sales practice; harassing someone will not make them more likely to buy from you. I formally request that you remove my contact details from your system. If these intrusive sales calls do not stop, I will be forced to take further action, through my solicitor. Your behaviour can be seen as harassment.

Richard Stanley

4. What is the tone of the letter?
            a) Angry
            b) Sad
            c) Humorous

5. What is the letter about?
            a) Unsolicited calls
            b) Too many products in the post
            c) A product not being good enough

6. What might Richard be forced to do?
            a) Speak to his lawyer
            b) Remove his phone
            c) Write another letter

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Numeracy Tests

Numeracy tests will be slightly different from university to university. Expect a different amount of questions, or a different time limit. However, the content will be much the same. It will test your ability to understand numerical information, and calculate answers to the type of questions that you will encounter in your work as a nurse. Question types are a mixture of mental arithmetic, calculations, short word problems, and drug calculations. You will need to answer the questions quickly. You will normally be provided a calculator to answer questions – if this is not the case, then you will be informed of this beforehand. Check with the university for exact details.

There will normally be around one minute per question. This is enough time to answer the question, but also brief enough that you feel some pressure. The questions are largely simple, and can be well prepared for. Focus on addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, multiplication fraction and decimals, conversion of fractions & decimals, and conversion of units. Think about medical calculations that are likely to come up; BMI, ratios, or simple graphs.

​Numeracy Example Questions

1. If two cars leave the same carpark, and travel in opposite directions at 60km/h for 60 minutes, how far are they from each other at the end of the hour of travelling?
     a) 60km
     b) 120km
     c) 30km

2. One of your patients has been placed on antidepressants. They are available only in tables of 50mg. She requires 200mg a day. How many tables does this equate to per day?
     a) 3
     b) 6
     c) 4



1 c
2 b
3 b
4 a
5 a
6 a


1 b
2 c

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University Nursing Selection Day Tests

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