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Okay, here's an extract from the Arithmetic Test:

Time allowed 3 hours

Candidates must write their names in full on every sheet of paper that they use. The complete working of each question must be shewn (sic) on the fair copy of their work, on the white paper, otherwise full marks will not be given.

1. Write down in words 28013026; and express in figures two hundred and three million ninety thousand six hundred and four.

2. Write down in column, and add up the following amounts:- £8,460 18s 2d., £282 13s 7d., £37 19s 11d., £757 10s 2d., £567,892 15s 1d., £476 17s 2d., £83,395 6s 1d., £31 19s 9d., £1,001 4s 6d., £9 8s 11d., £292 11s 3d., £5351 10s 2d.

3. Divide £739 11s 11d by 556.

4. Find the G.C.M. of 3192 and 7809.

....

Time allowed 3 hours

Candidates must write their names in full on every sheet of paper that they use. The complete working of each question must be shewn (sic) on the fair copy of their work, on the white paper, otherwise full marks will not be given.

1. Write down in words 28013026; and express in figures two hundred and three million ninety thousand six hundred and four.

2. Write down in column, and add up the following amounts:- £8,460 18s 2d., £282 13s 7d., £37 19s 11d., £757 10s 2d., £567,892 15s 1d., £476 17s 2d., £83,395 6s 1d., £31 19s 9d., £1,001 4s 6d., £9 8s 11d., £292 11s 3d., £5351 10s 2d.

3. Divide £739 11s 11d by 556.

4. Find the G.C.M. of 3192 and 7809.

....

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## Comments

Sounds like they got their priorities wrong.

I remember going around Chatham Dockyard and seeing the maths that the young apprentices used to have to do in Victorian times, just to get an apprenticeship at the yard - now

thatwas some mind boggling stuff.wonder how many who passed the test were back at their desks by dec 1918?

GCM is greatest common factor, you use Euclid's Alogirthm, it would take a while without a calculator, with one you could do it in 5 minutes.

Sponsored links:Broadly it would involve finding the lowest common prime number that factors into the original number then calculating the product of those lowest common primes, as I say not hard if you know your times table but extraordinarily tedious.

And I reckon Dippenhall's right about what attributes they were looking for. That and using a quill pen. It's probably time for me to own up to working at the BoE in 1971 and even then mistakes in the handwritten ledgers were a big, big no-no. I did once leave a cheque for £45mn in my desk drawer overnight rather than paying it in. I wasn't very popular. Interest rates were quite high then and I worked out I'd have to work for free for 4 years to pay off the overnight interest. (I think, in today's terms, £45mn is about 1.25 Roland Duchatelets.)

"Good point, but try and explain the reason for the difficult geography questions!"In those days anyone who had been to school would have been forced to memorise virtually every capital city, mountain range and major river system that appeared on a globe. Might have proved they had been to school and could keep awake while being utterly bored.

No trial and error in the algorithm cafcfan!

57 is right 19 is the greatest prime factor, and 3 the lowest common factor.

57 divides evenly into both numbers, and it's the largest number that does so.

If GCM is the same as HCF then it has to be 57. If it's actually 'what is the biggest prime number that divides evenly into both numbers', then a) what is the value of this information? and b) it would be 19.

Sponsored links:You don't need such big numbers to see if the examinee knows the idea, so I'm guessing they chose them to test for diligence and accuracy.