Application of numeracy skills

What does the application of numeracy skills mean?

People who can apply numeracy skills effectively are able to

  • estimate confidently
  • perform mental arithmetic accurately
  • use, understand and present statistical data

The ability to handle numbers, including the basic skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and percentages, are necessary for many roles in the workplace. In addition to these basic skills, recruiters may look for the ability to gather and compile statistical data in various formats and to analyse, interpret and present data in a clear way. The majority of recruiters will assess numerical ability via aptitude tests and for certain graduate schemes it is common practice to complete a numeracy test; these may happen online or during an assessment centre. Some recruiters test twice to ensure that a candidate's responses are an accurate indication of their abilities.

Application of numeracy skills 'behaviours'

  • Reading and evaluating quantitative and qualitative data output
  • Understanding the difference between correlation and causality
  • Thinking laterally and logically, enabling responses to questions such as 'How many petrol stations are there in the UK?'
  • Considering all possible methods to calculate reasonable estimates
  • Using appropriate software packages to collect, analyse and present data

Application of numeracy skills development: examples and evidence

Numeracy skills examples and evidence
Academic related

Undertaking quantitative surveys and compiling the results in Excel documents, charts and graphs

Analysing data to spot trends and anomalies

Presenting your data in written reports or verbal presentations

Making use of numerical data sets and if necessary manipulating them for your own purposes

Developing methodological skills in LSE100, where you will have the opportunity to evaluable and interpret evidence of different types, including qualitative sources as well as statistical data

Visiting the Learning World Moodle site, whose resources include

  • Preparing for employers' numerical tests
  • Mathematical handouts for LSE topics
  • Presenting data in reports

Taking a position within a student society or club that involves dealing with a budget and allocating resources

Generate at LSE Careers events programme

LSE Careers Case Study Skills Workshops

Running or participating in a Young Enterprise-type scheme

Work experience/volunteering

Taking up opportunities to research or handle numerical data during internships or work placements

Handling money and doing basic arithmetic while working in cafes, restaurants and other retail environments

Managing your own 'business' if you are undertaking freelance work

Starting a business or social enterprise

Offering to help with finances, fundraising and/or budgeting tasks if you're volunteering

Applying for funding for volunteering/enterprise projects via LSE Careers


Living within a student budget and planning a realistic timetable to pay back your student loan

Practising online tests viaLSE CareerHub

Accessing the psychometric resources section on the LSE website

AttendingLSE Careers skills workshops such as Demystifying online tests

Practising your numerical skills such as fractions, ratios and percentages with and without a calculator

Practise extracting information from tables and graphs, for example in financial newspapers

Using external resources such as the BBC's Skillswise to brush up on your maths skills