SHL Tests: 20 Important Facts with Practice Questions and Answers

By | July 17, 2023
SHL Tests
The SHL tests include numerical, behavioral, cognitive, and verbal assessment questions.

SHL is one of the world’s greatest suppliers of psychometric tests. Their tests are generally used by employers around the world to measure their candidates during the recruitment process.

SHL has a wide variety of tests that differ according to their functions.

Some of its tests include but not limited to numerical, behavioral, cognitive, and verbal.

According to job specifications, companies will provide job applicants with the most relevant test to the job specifications.

20 Important Facts about SHL Tests

Here are important facts and tips about SHL tests, what you need to know about the SHL Company, and how it offers its tests according to different job positions:

  1. What is the full meaning of SHL?

SHL stands for Saville & Holdsworth Ltd, and it’s one of the top providers of talent assessments with over 40 years of experience.

The company was the first organization to develop aptitude tests for other companies.

It has its operation in over 150 countries of the world, with its tests published in more than 30 languages.

SHL is well-known in the employment industry and vastly looked upon by most main employers.

Most employers gain the advantage of its assessments in identifying candidates with high potential across diverse industries and experience levels.

  1. What is an SHL test?

SHL has psychometric tests that involve series of tests including verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, personality tests, and mechanical comprehension, and lots more.

SHL tests are designed with the presence of job-related psychologists using scientific techniques, based on the aggregation of assessment and workplace data provided by employers that helps them target characteristics associated with high-work performance.

  1. Which employers use the SHL tests?

Almost half of Fortune Global 500 organizations and more than seventy-five percent of FTSE 100 companies make use of SHL, which means that if you are applying for different positions you will likely encounter an SHL.

Companies that have the ability to offer valuable insight into a candidate’s personality and skills will put individuals to the test to get an idea of their character.

But you can hope for SHL tests when applying for jobs that require specialized skills.

So many companies that look to find the right fit for a role often use the SHL aptitude tests.

Therefore, places that the SHL aptitude tests are usually used include graduate jobs, financial firms, and managerial roles.

  1. SHL personality and behavioral tests

Personality and behavioral tests are used when an employer wants to get an idea of a candidate’s character and temperament.

These tests are most commonly used in roles that are more team-oriented and in customer-facing jobs.

If you are to take any of these two tests, you should understand what personal skills the company values and how to best demonstrate your ability to work with others.

The two main examples of this test include the personality test and the situational judgment test.

  1. SHL personnel test battery

Companies hiring clerical or administrative staff make use of the SHL Personnel Test Battery or PTB.

Because these tests are adaptable to the employer’s specific needs, they are ideal for measuring what a candidate’s talents are best suited for and their ability to take on the role.

Personnel Test Battery or PTB include clerical checking tests, verbal reasoning tests, and numerical tests.

Clerical tests are used to evaluate a candidate’s ability to understand and process numbers and correspondence, data checking, proofreading, and tackling multiple sources of information, as well as filing them accurately; while numerical reasoning tests and verbal reasoning tests are good examples of psychometric tests.

  1. SHL graduate and managerial tests

These tests are used to measure candidates applying for jobs at the graduate and managerial levels using business-related numerical and verbal tasks.

It consists of the same types of SHL tests, such as inductive, deductive, and spatial reasoning tests, as well as verbal and numerical reasoning tests.

  1. SHL verbal reasoning test

The SHL verbal reasoning test is used to measure a candidate’s logical deduction and text comprehension skills.

The test presents a candidate with written information to digest and draw conclusions from it.

The options usually to be chosen based on the text given include “true”, “false”, or “cannot say”.

  1. SHL numerical reasoning test

In this test, a candidate is asked to solve realistic numerical problems in relation to the company’s role specifications.

You will need to understand and work with graphical, statistical, and financial data in order to pass a numerical reasoning test.

  1. SHL inductive reasoning test

The SHL inductive reasoning test assesses a candidate’s ability to perceive comparisons and basic patterns between shapes and figures.

In this test, a candidate will be presented with a sequence of shapes and asked to choose which image that comes next based on reasonable probability.

  1. SHL deductive reasoning test

In the SHL deductive reasoning test, you will be asked to complete situations based on incomplete information.

This test measures both your ability to select the correct answer and how fast you do it.

Kenexa is one of the most popular providers of the deductive reasoning test.

  1. SHL general ability test

This test consists of a wide range of skills and cognitive concepts, like problem-solving and learning capacity, which can come in the form of verbal or numerical questions, depending on the job position you are applying for.

The test is used to measure a candidate’s ability without any partiality.

  1. SHL mechanical reasoning test

The SHL mechanical reasoning test is used to assess candidates who apply for specialized skilled positions.

In the test, a candidate’s mechanical and electronic knowledge will be measured through a series of multiple-choice questions based on topics that include electric circuits, tools, levers, and more.

  1. SHL reading comprehension test

This test is similar to the verbal reasoning test, and it is used to assess a candidate’s ability to read and understand a text.

The candidate will be presented with a written paragraph related to the job role they are applying for and will be required to answer multiple-choice questions to decide their level of comprehension skills.

  1. SHL calculation test

The SHL calculation test involves mathematical questions used to evaluate a candidate’s ability to subtract, sum, divide, and multiply numbers quickly and correctly.

To ace this assessment test, you will need to build yourself to be able to learn few tricks with which you can solve mathematical problems faster.

  1. SHL management and graduate item bank test

This SHL test is supervised and administered at an assessment center and comprises two test categories including verbal critical reasoning test and numerical critical reasoning test.

In the verbal critical reasoning section of this test, you will need to thoroughly read and understand a written paragraph, after which you will be required to assess the logic of an argument present in the text, completing “true”, “false”, or “cannot say” questions.

The numerical critical reasoning section of this test involves tables and graphs and you will be required to work with related data by choosing the accurate answer from a multiple-choice question.

You must be able to understand numerical data and make decisions based on it in order to pass the numerical critical reasoning test.

  1. How to prepare for the SHL test

For you to prepare for the SHL test, you must engage in research and practice.

You need to know what type of question you will meet and how to tackle it.

Do you understand what a psychometric test really is? That is when you can come up with how to deal with the questions.

You must learn not to overvalue your ability because the questions that will appear in an SHL test are not the same as what you did back there in your school days.

This is a wrong move, so you definitely need serious practice.

Try to practice all the SHL categories of tests before jumping into the exam.

  1. How do you pass the SHL test?

We have come up with a few key tips on how you can pass the SHL test if you are preparing to sit for one soon.

Apart from practice, which is a very important idea, there are other things you can do to enable you to pass the SHL test:

  • Be consistent in your practice
  • Time yourself
  • Get fully prepared by researching the skills necessary for your practice
  • Take a break and rest in order to recharge your brain.
  1. How long is the SHL test?

The SHL test can last between 15 and 25 minutes depending on the job level and the number of questions.

The time doesn’t exceed 60 to 90 seconds per question. That’s why it’s important that you time yourself while practicing.

  1. Is the SHL test difficult?

The SHL test varies in complexity depending on the skill level required in the recruitment process.

The company hiring for an entry-level position will not place you in the same level to answer questions for a graduate or managerial role, which are thought of as most difficult.

  1. What is a good SHL test score?

The SHL test is scored in percentage. An average score can range from 40% to 50%, which will make you pass the test but might not be sufficient to meet an employer’s expectation.

Nevertheless, for you to get to the top 10 percent of candidates that are likely to be hired, you need a score of 90%, or at least 80%.

SHL Tests Practice Questions and Answers

Here are sample questions and answers to help you get a clue of what the SHL test is all about:

Question One – SHL Inductive Reasoning Test Question

Complete the sequence
Answer and Explanation

The outer circle is going round in an anti-clockwise direction and the inner circle is turning around 90 degrees in a clockwise direction.

Therefore, B. is the correct answer.

Question Two – SHL Calculation Test Question

Which Agent had the highest First Call Resolution?

A. Agent A
B. Agent B
C. Agent C
D. Agent D

Answer and explanation

In this question, you should simply look across the four Agents’ First Call Resolution figures and choose the highest, which is D. Therefore, D is the correct answer.

Question Three – SHL Numerical Reasoning Test Question

What was the average total percentage change in the value of the USD vs the CHF from 2020 to 2022 and 2024 to 2025?

A. 13%
B. 15%
C. 21%
D. 16%
E. 27%

Answer and explanation

Calculate the percentage (%) change in the value of the USD between the two periods:

(1.60 – 1.32) ÷ 1.32 x 100 = 21.21%
(1.61 – 1.54) ÷ 1.61 x 100 = + 4.35%

Average percentage (%) change = (21.21 + 4.35) ÷ 2 = 12.78%.

Therefore, the answer is A.


SHL is a psychometric test publishing company that is well-known for this purpose.

SHL uses accuracy, speed, and test scores to compare candidates’ suitability for the role.

The recruiter compares your abilities and scores with other candidates in the group, so he/she can choose the right candidate for the available position.

If you can achieve a score that is higher than average, you will increase your chances of employment and getting a good salary, as well as pushing your career to a greater height.

>> Learn how to make a great score in CBST, Watson Glaser, SHL, Wonderlic, Cubiks Logiks, Kenexa, CCAT, and other Assessment Companies' tests; prepare effectively for the test with Practice Tests consisting of detailed explanations of answers.


Author: Team

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