Literacy and numeracy training
Working within the health and social care sector, NHS organisations or
otherwise, you will be expected to have at least a basic level of literacy and
numeracy. Working with service users and within a team of health and social care
professionals you will need strong verbal and written communication skills and
often the ability to calculate measurements and dosages.
Preparing for interviews
When you successfully gain an interview for one of our courses, particularly
those leading to a career within the NHS, you will be expected to take a
literacy and numeracy test as part of the process. To prepare for this you can
find a lot of information online to support your revision and preparation for
the interview day.
Nursing and AHPs
Nurses and AHPs need strong numeracy and literacy skills to register with
their regulatory body and to practise safely as registered healthcare
professionals. We, therefore, need to ensure that you will cope with the
literacy and numeracy demands of our pre-registration degrees and those expected
of a practising health professional.
The literacy test will assess your reading and writing skills. A variety of
questions will cover the following areas:
- Grammar and syntax
- Presenting information in a logical sequence
- Common prefixes
- Free writing
- Fact or opinion
The numeracy test will assess your ability to apply number, to use
measurements and to handle data. Calculators can be used. You will be given a
total of 45 minutes in which to complete both tests. Question topics will
- Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
- Fractions, decimals and percentages – calculations, conversions and
- Time, weight, distance, volume, money, conversion of units
- Extracting information from tables, diagrams, charts or graphs
Literacy and numeracy practice tests
There are a number of apps that can help you to develop your literacy and numeracy skills.
The following are all free to use. In-app purchases are possible, but are neither required nor endorsed by the University of Essex,
and the University cannot answer any queries relating to their use.
Karen Hudson - Literacy and numeracy for BSc Nurses
Karen Hudson -"Students can expect a lot of support with numeracy or
literacy" Karen is a Literacy and Numeracy Tutor at the School of Health and
Human Science and helps to ensure all Nursing students improve and become
confident in these skills. Find out how Karen really helps to make nursing at
the University of Essex a unique experience.
What happens if I don’t pass the tests?
You must achieve a minimum score of 10/15 in both tests and be successful at
interview to be offered a place on the course. Unsuccessful applicants are
encouraged to contact our admissions office who will be able to provide more
Who can I talk to about access arrangements?
If you have a documented educational need, then you may be entitled to
specific access arrangements for the literacy and numeracy tests. If you think
that this applies to you, please contact us as soon as possible.