Numeracy skills refer to the ability to use, interpret and communicate mathematical information to solve real-world problems.


Numeracy isn't a sign of geekiness, but a basic requirement for intelligent discussions of public policy.

Nicholas Kristof


Numeracy skills include the ability to perform or understand basic math operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. More advanced numeracy skills involve the use of statistical, graphical, spatial and algebraic concepts and the ability to interpret that data and its application to real-world situations.

Basic numeracy skills are vital to performing everyday job functions, while advanced numeracy skills reflect a person’s critical thinking and problem-solving abilities and may get them better-paying jobs. Since companies in today’s world heavily rely on big data to guide their decisions, those having strong numeracy skills gain an instant advantage in the job market.

Common Numeracy Skills

Numeracy skills can incorporate a broad range of abilities to understand and analyze information. Here are some numeracy skills that you would often find at work in any business or other organization.

  • Calculation skills

  • Budget making

  • Understanding trends

  • Interpreting mathematical information

  • Measurement and data analysis

With time, effort and patience, you can improve your numeracy skills. Here are some basic steps you can use to achieve this goal.

  1. Know What Skills You Need

Do some digging and identify what numeracy skills are most important for your career.

If you are a salesperson, you must be quick at calculating your commission so you don’t suffer a loss by lowering a product price too much. If your role at your company involves the use of big data in decision making, you have to be good at understanding figures.

Instead of trying to improve several numeracy skills simultaneously, identify the one’s you need most in your current role and start learning a couple of those at the top of the priority list.

  1. Find a Training Course

Look for online or offline math courses that are most relevant to your specific needs. Select the courses that appear to be consistent and more logically arranged. Besides improving the specific numeracy skills around which the course is built, it will help you improve your competency and confidence.

  1. Practice Your Skills

You must have heard practice makes a man perfect. No training program can be of much use unless you regularly practice the skills you have acquired. If your workplace doesn’t offer enough chance to use your newly learnt skills, you can use math games and online puzzles to keep your skills sharp.

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