Numerical Concentration Tests are used by many employers to measure a candidate’s attention to detail. In particular, they are used by train companies, to establish the potential of applicants. These tests will examine your ability to concentrate and produce effective results, whilst under timed pressure. They will often go hand in hand with other recruitment tests, such as visual search exercises, inductive and verbal reasoning. Therefore, prior to your examination, it is highly important that you are prepared for the type of questions you will encounter. In this guide, we will provide you with helpful tips, sample questions and vital information on how you can improve your chances of passing the exam.

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A Numerical Concentration Test is normally used by Train Operating Companies, as a pre-screening process. This test helps to trim down wide selection fields and allows train companies to select the candidates who are more likely to be successful later in the process. Depending on the train company who has set the test, you may be required to take this test via a computer, rather than physically noting down the answers.

In each question, you will be given four pairs of digits. These can either consist entirely of numbers or will be a combination of both letters and numbers. Three of the pairs will have matching digits. In order to solve the question, you will have to identify which pair of numbers/letters does not match. You will be given 5 minutes to complete 150 questions. While this may seem unreasonable, it is important to consider that employers are not expecting you to finish the test. Whilst the number of questions completed will obviously affect your result, they are more interested in the accuracy of your answers. Try to work as efficiently as possible, but never sacrifice quality for quantity. The majority of candidates who successfully pass, border the pass mark of 50 correct questions out of the possible 150. This is based on 50 answers that are almost all correct with minimal errors. In order to answer the questions, you would shade in, or highlight the pair that does not visually compare/match.

A typical question might look like this…

  1. Look at the four pairs of alpha-numerical digits. Circle or highlight the combination pair that does not match.

In this question, the third row reads, ‘t8gm7’ and ‘t8g7m’. All of the other pairs match, and therefore you would shade in, or bracket (as we have) the third row to indicate this.


In order to give you a better understanding of what a numerical visual comparison test involves, we have included a free sample question sheet below, along with the answers to each question. We hope you find it useful.

1. Look at the four pairs of alpha-numerical digits. Circle or highlight the combination pair that does not match.

Once you have filled in the questions, check your answers below


  • When taking the actual test, use a computer mouse to select your answers as opposed to a touchpad. You need to be able to move around the screen quickly and effectively. Using a touchpad is harder to control, and, therefore, will slow you down.
  • Preparation is crucial! Before sitting your real assessment, make sure you take the time to fully prepare for your test. The more you practice, the more likely you are to achieve higher marks.
  • Make sure that you practice these questions under timed conditions. Not only do you have to work on getting the answers correct, but the time limit is extremely restrictive. Remember, the test will require you to answer 150 questions in 5 minutes, and although the majority of people do not finish the test, you need to be able to work swiftly through each question.
  • Don’t guess answers! It is better to have answered only 50 questions that are all correct, as opposed to answering 80 questions and getting 30 wrong. Never sacrifice accuracy for results. Train companies are looking for candidates who display accuracy, as well as speed in the comparisons, not just the latter.


Here at How2Become, we have created a fantastic guide that supplies you with all of the information you will need to pass your Numerical Concentration Test. As mentioned, the best way to pass these tests is through constant practice. Our guide contains hundreds of sample questions, which will allow you to do so. This includes:

  • A breakdown of Numerical Concentration, what it is used for and how employers gauge your results.
  • Hundreds of question and answer sheets, which will help you to practice the types of questions you will encounter in any future exams. The more you practice, the more likely you are to gain a position as a train driver, or with any other company that uses this testing format.
  • Varying degrees of difficulty and question type. These range from shorter numerical, all the way up to longer, mixed letter/numerical type questions.
  • More useful tips and guidelines for the best way to improve your Numerical Concentration skills.


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