Internship selection step 3: Numeracy/verbal reasoning tests

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Typically used to eliminate another 50%-60%.

Banks such as Morgan Stanley and Barclays Capital include a test for numeracy skills with their online application form. Other banks test candidates when they come for first round interviews. In most cases, if you successfully complete a numeracy test at home, banks will expect you to take a retest when you come for interview - just to make sure you didn't get someone more numerate to complete it for you.

Self evidently, numeracy tests will test your skill with numbers: typical questions involve a list or grid of related numbers with several missing; you will be expected to fill in the gaps. Verbal reasoning tests typically involve a passage of dense text, which you are expected to read and then assess whether you can use it to logically infer the truth of related statements. Evidence suggests people can improve test scores with practice, so it's a good idea to visit websites such as in advance.

At some banks, a bad score on a test will often sound the death knell for your application. "If you don't pass the numeracy or verbal reasoning test you can't move on to the next stage of the recruitment process" says Derek Walker, head of graduate recruitment at Barclays Capital. Other banks are more forgiving - your test score will be judged in combination with your broader performance: "We never judge test results in isolation," says Ellen Miller, head of graduate recruitment at Lehman Brothers.

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