Number Sense is a mental math contest in the form of an 80-question test with a 10 minute time limit. Competitors are allowed to write their answer only. No other marks, including erasures, can be made on the test document.

Contestants receive 5 points for each question answered correctly. They lose 4 points for each question answered incorrectly or skipped. No deduction is taken for problems after the last problem attempted. An illegible figure constitutes an incorrect answer. As a result, it is possible to receive a negative score.

Other specific guidelines include:

Fractions - All fractions must be reduced to lowest terms. Improper fractions are permitted. Decimal answers are permitted for unstarred problems whose answers can be expressed exactly (terminating) as decimals.

Symbols - Symbols such as the degree symbol and percent symbol are usually printed on the sheet and are not the responsibility of the contestant. The only exception to this relates to money. Monetary answers should include the appropriate symbols. For example, twenty dollars would be written as $20.00 and sixteen cents must be written as $.16 or as 16 with the cent symbol, depending on the answer format.

Efficient forms - Answers should be written in the most efficient forms possible. Extraneous zeroes should not be used. For example, if .24 is the answer, 0.24 is not acceptable.

Exponentials - An answer such as 4 x 10^{3} should be expressed as 4000 and not left in exponential form.