Mathematics Reasoning Selective School/Scholarship Practice Question with Detailed Solution - Santa Style!

Here’s a mathematics practice question with a detailed solution you can do:

If Santa had 1 billion presents to deliver within a 24 hour period on Christmas Eve of last year and this year, he had 2% more presents to deliver, how many Christmas presents would he need to deliver this year?

a. 20,000,000      b.  200,000,000      c. 1,200,000,000      d. 1,020,000,000


This question is testing how quickly you can do you fraction calculations and in this case the fraction form is through percentages.  In selective school entrance exams and scholarship tests, it’s important to know how to calculate percentages and fractions - and especially within a time limit.  Fractions are actually my favourite area in maths because everything always has to add up to a whole.

Just a quick tip - remember to READ the question carefully and understand exactly what it’s asking you.  When you don’t read the question carefully, you could get the wrong answer.  It happens to everyone - When I’ve been tired, distracted and stressed and I don’t read the question carefully, I get the wrong answer.  My calculations have been correct, but the question was asking for a certain part of the calculation - a simple mistake but it can cost marks in your important exam….  So definitely, read the question carefully.

Have a go this question and when you’re ready, you can check out the detailed solution below to this sample mathematics question.


The base amount is 1,000,000,000 and we want to calculate a 2% increase.  We know that 1% in it’s decimal form is:

1% = 0.01, that’s 2 decimal points.

Therefore, take away, 2 decimal points from 1,000,000,000 and you get:

10,000,000.00 = 1%.  But you need 2%, therefore, 2% is:

10,000,000 x 2 = 20,000,000 (that’s the 2% increase)

But the question is asking how many presents would be delivered this year.

So we need to add the 2% to the 1 billion:

1,000,000,000 +20,000,000 = 1,020,000,000…. And the answer is D.

Next: Numerical Reasoning Selective School/Scholarship Practice Question with Detailed Solution - Christmas Theme

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