## What Is the Barclays Online Assessment?

The Barclays Online Assessment, or Barclays Cognitive Ability Assessment, is a very short cognitive test used for screening candidates for the multinational bank, especially graduates, apprenticeship openings, and entry-level positions.

The test is tailored especially for Barclays and consists of a unique combination of 4 topics from SHL tests – numerical reasoning, inductive reasoning, deductive reasoning, and reading comprehension. You will need to solve **12 questions in 10 minutes**.

Pro Tip

While SHL names the test “General Ability”, the Barclays Cognitive Ability Assessment is NOT SHL’s standard General Ability test (aka Verify G+). The Barclays test is shorter and covers broader topics.

## Test Structure and Question Format

The 12 questions on the assessment cover 4 topics:

- Numerical Reasoning
- Inductive (Abstract) Reasoning
- Deductive Reasoning (Logic)
- Reading Comprehension

Ler’s go over each of these topics and the questions it may contain.

We recommend not trying to solve the questions below just now – try them as a free practice experience, including detailed explanations (and more) in the **Free Practice**__ __section.

### Numerical Reasoning

Numerical questions on the Barclays Assessment test your ability to understand, calculate, and apply numerical data.

There are **3 main types** of numerical questions you may encounter on the Barclays Cognitive Ability Assessment:

Data Tables and Graphs

The following table shows opening and closing prices of several tech stocks.

Which company’s stock had the largest change in price (in percentages)?

- Banana
- Frontnovel
- Nanohard
- Graham’s
- Nile

Formulas

In a certain department, employee efficiency scores are calculated as follows:

*[efficiency score] = [productivity rate] / [fault ratio]*
*[productivity rate] = [items produced] / [production time]*
*[fault ratio] = [defected items] / [items produced]*

If an employee doubles the number of items produced while maintaining the number of faulty items constant, their efficiency score will be:

- doubled
- tripled
- quadrupled
- remain the same.
- reduced in half.

Word Problems

Andy has 12 marbles more than Bob. Bob has 6 marbles more than Chris. Andy has twice as many marbles as Chris has. How many marbles does Chris have?

- 18
- 6
- 36
- 24
- 12

### Inductive (Abstract) Reasoning

Inductive reasoning questions test your ability to identify patterns depicted in abstract shapes, and to correctly apply them to solve problems.

These questions mostly follow one of **2 types**:

### Deductive Reasoning (Logic)

Deductive reasoning questions are designed to assess your ability to evaluate statements and facts and to draw correct conclusions from them.

Questions of this category usually follow one of **3 types**:

Drawing Conclusions

- James works in the same team as Lauren.
- Lauren and all her team members work part-time.
- All those who work part-time are students.
- Dan works full-time.

Which conclusion is necessarily true?

- Dan is a student.
- Dan does not work in Lauren’s team.
- Some of the employees in James’s team do not work part-time.
- Dan and James work in the same team.
- Lauren is not a student.

Drawing Conclusions + Calculations

- Matthew signed 16 new contracts this month.
- Josh signed three times the number of contracts Alexandra signed.
- Rosie signed more contracts than Matthew.
- Alexandra signed four more contracts than Rosie and Mathew combined.

Which conclusion is necessarily true?

- Alexandra signed more than 40 contracts.
- Josh signed at least seven times the number of contract Matthew signed.
- Alexandra signed at least twice the number of contracts Rosie did.
- Josh signed more than 100 contracts.
- Rosie signed more than 20 contracts.

Seating Arrangements

- Six companies operate in a local market – Companies U, V, W, X, Y, and Z.
- Company W is larger than Company Z, but is smaller than Company Y.
- Company X is larger than Company U, but is smaller than Company V.
- Only two companies are smaller than Company Y.

Rank the companies according to their size (from largest to smallest):

Which of the following statements is incorrect?

- Company V is the largest.
- Company Y is the fourth largest.
- Two companies are larger than Company U.
- Three companies are larger than Company X.
- Company U is larger than Company Y.
- V, X, U, Y, W, Z

Pro Tip

Some questions on the Barclays assessment are a combination of Conclusions + Calculations AND Seating Arrangements (arrange a set of data elements according to numerical size, etc.).

### Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension questions assess your understanding of short texts. They are considered the simplest type of question on the Barclays Cognitive Ability Assessment.

Reading Comprehension

*Limnic eruption is a very rare type of natural disaster. A very unique combination of circumstances is required to produce such an event, which occurs only in deep volcanic crater lakes near the equator. Therefore, only two cases are documented – the first in Lake Monoun, and the second in Lake Nyos. Both lakes are located in Cameroon, Africa. Nearly 1,800 people have lost their lives in these two events.*

*While technological solutions have been implemented to prevent further eruptions in these relatively small lakes, no such solution was provided for the enormous Lake Kivu on the Rwanda-DRC border. Experts predict that if a limnic eruption ever takes place in Lake Kivu, it may be the worst natural disaster in modern history.*

What can be deduced from the passage?

- Around 900 people lost their lives in the eruption in Lake Monoun.
- It is technologically impossible to prevent a limnic eruption in lake Kivu.
- Lake Kivu is a deep volcanic crater lake.
- Limnic eruptions can happen only in Cameroon.
- Lake Kivu is not located near the equator.

Head over to the **Free Practice** section to try these sample questions yourself and find out the answers.

## Test Interface

The interface of the Barclays Cognitive Ability Assessment is similar to that of other multiple-choice SHL tests.

For more information on the test interface and the invitation, visit The Complete Guide for SHL Tests.

Here are several key points:

- Every answer has 4-5 answer options, only one of which is correct.
- You are allowed to use a calculator, pen, and paper.
- As in all SHL tests, wrong answers do not reduce points.
- You may not skip questions.
- You cannot go back and change your responses once submitted.
- Before the actual test, you will be presented with several sample questions. Note that these questions are substantially easier than the questions on the actual test.

## Free Practice

This free practice **contains all 9 question types** you may encounter on the Barclays Cognitive Assessment. The recommended time for this assessment is **7.5 minutes**.

Good luck!

### Question 1

In a certain department, employee efficiency scores are calculated as follows:

*[efficiency score] = [productivity rate] / [error ratio]*
*[productivity rate] = [items produced] / [production time]*
*[error ratio] = [defected items] / [items produced]*

If an employee doubles the number of items produced while maintaining the number of faulty items constant, their efficiency score will be:

- doubled
- tripled
- quadrupled
- remain the same.
- reduced in half.

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is **C – quadrupled.**

Let’s simplify the entire formula of the efficiency score by plugging in all components:

E = [P/F] = [I/T] / [D/I] = [I2/F x T]

Since “I” is squared in this formula, doubling it, and maintaining a constant number of defected items will quadruple the total efficiency score.

**Legend**:

- E = Efficiency Score
- P = Production Rate
- F = Fault Ratio
- I = Items Produced
- D = Defected Items
- T = Time

### Question 2

The following table shows opening and closing prices of several tech stocks.

Which company’s stock had the largest change in price (in percentages)?

- Banana
- Frontnovel
- Nanohard
- Graham’s
- Nile

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is **E – Nile.**

Calculating the change is percentages is done by this simple formula:

{100 x [Closing – Opening]} / [Opening]

Calculating the percentages:

**Banana** – 13%
**Frontnovel** – 22%
**Nanohard** – -4%
**Graham’s** – -19%
**Nile** – __29%__

### Question 3

Andy has 12 marbles more than Bob. Bob has 6 marbles more than Chris. Andy has twice as many marbles as Chris has. How many marbles does Chris have?

- 18
- 6
- 36
- 24
- 12

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is **A – 18**.

The main challenge in word problem questions is to convert sentences to equations. Let’s do just that, sentence by sentence:

**A**ndy has 12 marbles **more** than **B**ob → A = B + 12
**B**ob has 6 marbles **more** than **C**hris → B = C + 6
**A**ndy has **twice** as many marbles as **C**hris has → A = 2C

Since we need Chris’s number of marbles, we’ll want to leave only the Cs, and express A and B with them. So, plugging equations 2+3 into 1:

2C = C + 6 +12 → C = 18.

Chris has 18 marbles.

### Question 4

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is **3**.

With every step, two things happen:

- The arrow rotates 90 degrees counterclockwise (When the arrow is horizontal, it is hidden behind the rectangle).
- The black rectangle moves one step to the right.

### Question 5

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is **3**.

The rule of the overall shape is that every shape (black star, white star, rectangle, circle, square) appears a total of 7 times. For instance, there is one triangle with 4 circles, one with 2 circles, and one with 1 circle – overall, 7 circles.

There are, however, only 6 rectangles, and therefore the missing shape shpuld contain one rectangle.

### Question 6

- James works in the same team as Lauren.
- Lauren and all her team members work part-time.
- All those who work part-time are students.
- Dan works full-time.

Which conclusion is necessarily true?

- Dan is a student.
- Dan does not work in Lauren’s team.
- Some of the employees in James’s team do not work part-time.
- Dan and James work in the same team.
- Lauren is not a student.

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is **B**.

- (Statement 2) Lauren and all her team members work part-time = No-one on Lauren’s team doesn’t work part-time.
- (Statement 4) Dan works full-time = Dan does not work part-time.

Therefore, **Dan is not in Lauren’s team.**

Let’s also briefly explain why all other conclusions are wrong:

**Conclusion A – Dan is a student.**

All those who work part-time are students (Statement 3), but we know nothing about the reverse relationship. Therefore, we cannot necessarily conclude whether Dan is a student or not.

**Conclusion C – Some of the employees in James’s team do not work part-time.**

James works in Lauren’s team (Statement 1), and all of Lauren’s team members work part-time. Therefore, no one on James’s (and Lauren’s) team works full time, and this conclusion is false.

**Conclusion D – Dan and James work on the same team.**

Since we already know that Lauren and Dan do not work on the same team, then, necessarily, Dan and James also do not work on the same team, and this conclusion is false.

**Conclusion E – Lauren is not a student.**

The answer here is similar to that in Conclusion A – we do not necessarily know whether Lauren, who works part-time, is a student or not.

### Question 7

- Matthew signed 16 new contracts this month.
- Josh signed three times the number of contracts Alexandra signed.
- Rosie signed more contracts than Matthew.
- Alexandra signed four more contracts than Rosie and Mathew combined.

Which conclusion is necessarily true?

- Alexandra signed more than 40 contracts.
- Josh signed at least seven times the number of contract Matthew signed.
- Alexandra signed at least twice the number of contracts Rosie did.
- Josh signed more than 100 contracts.
- Rosie signed more than 20 contracts.

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is **D**.

Let’s calculate the LEAST number of contracts Josh could have signed:

**Matthew** – 16 contracts.
**Rosie** – AT LEAST 17 contracts (more than Matthew).
**Alexandra** – AT LEAST 16 + 17 + 4 = 37 contracts.
**Josh** – AT LEAST 3 x 37 = 111.

Let’s also briefly explain why all other conclusions are wrong:

**Conclusion A – Alexandra signed more than 40 contracts.**

As we’ve seen, the least number of contracts that could have been signed by Alexandra is 37, so it is possible that she has signed less than 40 contracts.

**Conclusion B – Josh signed at least seven times the number of contract Matthew signed.**

The least number of contracts that could have been signed by Josh is 111, which is just a little less than 7 x 16 = 112.

It is very probable that Josh signed more than the least number of contracts (111), but it cannot be necessarily deduced, as it is possible that he has signed the minimum number of 111.

**Conclusion C – Alexandra signed at least twice the number of contracts Rosie did.**

The formula that dictates the number of contracts signed by Alexandra is:

A = M + R + 4

For Conclusion C to be correct:

A = M + R + 4 >= 2R (No. of contracts signed by Alexandra is equal to, or larger, than twice the number of contracts signed by Rosie).

That means:

R <= M + 4 (If Rosie signed 4 or more contracts more than Matthew, Conclusion C is correct.

Since it is possible that Rosie signed less than 4 contracts more than Matthew, that conclusion is not necessarily correct.

**Conclusion E – Rosie signed more than 20 contracts.**

As we have explained above, for Conclusion C, Rosie could sign any number of contracts that is greater than 16, so this conclusion is not necessarily correct.

### Question 8

- Six companies operate in a local market – Companies U, V, W, X, Y, and Z.
- Company W is larger than Company Z, but is smaller than Company Y.
- Company X is larger than Company U, but is smaller than Company V.
- Only two companies are smaller than Company Y.

Which of the following statements is incorrect?

- Company V is the largest.
- Company Y is the fourth largest.
- Two companies are larger than Company U.
- Three companies are larger than Company X.
- Company U is larger than Company Y.

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is **D**. The ranking is V, X, U, Y, W, Z.

At first, all we know is that Y is the fourth largest:

__ __ __ Y __ __

Since W is larger than Z and smaller than Y, that means that Z is necessarily the smallest, and W is the fifth largest:

__ __ __ Y W Z

This leaves ranks 1,2, and 3 for U, V, and X.

Since X is larger than U and smaller than V, that necessarily means that V is the largest, X comes second, and U third.

V, X, U, Y, W, Z

The only statement that aligns with this ranking is statement D.

### Question 9

*Limnic eruption is a very rare type of natural disaster. A very unique combination of circumstances is required to produce such an event, which occurs only in deep volcanic crater lakes near the equator. Therefore, only two cases are documented – the first in Lake Monoun, and the second in Lake Nyos. Both lakes are located in Cameroon, Africa. Nearly 1,800 people have lost their lives in these two events.*

*While technological solutions have been implemented to prevent further eruptions in these relatively small lakes, no such solution was provided for the enormous Lake Kivu on the Rwanda-DRC border. Experts predict that if a limnic eruption ever takes place in Lake Kivu, it may be the worst natural disaster in modern history.*

What can be deduced from the passage?

- Around 900 people lost their lives in the eruption in Lake Monoun.
- It is technologically impossible to prevent a limnic eruption in lake Kivu.
- Lake Kivu is a deep volcanic crater lake.
- Limnic eruptions can happen only in Cameroon.
- Lake Kivu is not located near the equator.

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is C.

According to the passage, limnic eruptions can happen “only in deep volcanic crater lakes near the equator.” The passage also states that “a very unique **combination** of circumstances is required” to produce such an eruption, which means that **all conditions must exist simultaneously**.

As we know that a limnic eruption is possible in Lake Kivu, it necessarily means that it is a deep volcanic crater lake near the equator.

Let’s briefly explain why other answers are incorrect:

**Answer A – Around 900 people lost their lives in the eruption in Lake Monoun.**

We know that around 1,800 people have lost their lives in both eruptions, but nothing is said about how many people have lost their lives in each eruption.

**Answer B – It is technologically impossible to prevent a limnic eruption in lake Kivu.**

While no solution was implemented, we cannot deduce that it was because such a solution is technologically impossible – it may have been too expensive to sustain, or that other factors prevent it.

**Answer D – Limnic eruptions can happen only in Cameroon.**

The text explicitly mentions that a limnic eruption is possible in Lake Kivu, which is not in Cameroon. In addition, while the only two documented limnic eruptions happened in Cameroon, it does not mean that such eruptions can happen only there.

**Answer E – Lake Kivu is not located near the equator.**

Going back to the explanation regarding the correct answer (C), lake Kivu must be located near the equator for a limnic eruption to be possible there. As such, this answer is wrong.