SHL Tests

Prepare for your next SHL test with tailor-made practice materials.

What Is A SHL Publisher Test?

SHL is a leading psychometric test publisher and talent management consultancy company. It has operated for over 50 years and administers millions of assessments every year. Their range of assessments covers cognitive skills, personality, and behavioural to give employers a full insight into candidates and employees.

Which Tech Employers Use SHL Assessments?

SHL has almost 10,000 clients worldwide across a huge range of industries. Some big names in the tech sector that use SHL for hiring and employee development are:

How SHL Tests Work

There are over 1200 assessments provided by SHL that cover cognitive abilities, personality and behavioural assessments, and job-focused testing. Many of the tests can be administered individually for specific skill tests or as part of a package that gives a broader overview of skills necessary for a particular role or company.

Numerical Reasoning Test

The SHL numerical reasoning test assesses how well you analyse numerical data and get to the correct answer from the information given. The test has workplace-related tasks such as interpreting graphs and charts, and doing simple calculations. It is 18 questions and you are given 25 minutes.

Verbal Reasoning Test

Verbal reasoning tests assess your communication skills and how well you deal with written information.

The test is 19 minutes long with 19 questions. It will be formatted as a long block of text and then corresponding comprehension statements, which require you to determine if the statements are 'true, false, or cannot say' according to the information in the text.

Inductive Reasoning Test

Inductive reasoning is a logic test that judges your ability to identify patterns, infer rules, and predict outcomes. During the test, you have to analyse the sequence provided and identify the missing image in the pattern - this is also known as diagrammatic reasoning. There are 15 questions to complete in 18 minutes.

Deductive Reasoning Test

Another type of logic test is deductive reasoning, this assesses your ability to draw sound conclusions from unfamiliar data. This test is 18 minutes long and has 20 questions, which are usually work-related tasks such as scheduling or organising groups of objects.

Deductive reasoning can show your problem-solving skills, how you approach scenarios, and how well you analyse arguments to come to a logical conclusion.

General Ability Test

SHL General Ability tests are a mixed cognitive assessment, which means that they contain questions regarding verbal, numerical, and logical reasoning, as well as more technical skills. They typically have 30 questions and take 35-45 minutes, however, this depends on what questions the recruiter has picked.

These tests are used as a screening tool as they test multiple competencies in a short amount of time.

Mechanical Reasoning Test

The mechanical reasoning test is commonly used for roles relating to manufacturing, engineering, and technology. It assesses your application of basic mechanical principles such as pulleys, levers, and gears.

The test is only 10 minutes long with 15 questions and is often used to assess the suitability of school leavers or graduates who are looking to gain more practical experience.

Calculation Test

Another short screening test is the calculation test. It is just 10 minutes, but contains 20 questions, and is used to assess lower-level jobs that require calculation skills. This includes roles such as payroll, clerical, and cashiers, so the questions are predominantly tasks relevant to this type of work such as figure checking, cashing up, using calculators, and quoting prices.

Reading Comprehension Test

Reading comprehension is very similar to verbal reasoning, but simplified. You will have to read a passage of text then provide a short written answer to show your level of communication in English. The information is usually work-relevant and no prior knowledge will be needed to answer well.

This test is 10 minutes long and has 18 questions, so the speed is especially important here.

SHL Personality And Behavioural Assessments

SHL also provides a range of personality and behaviour-based assessments, which are used by employers to find out more about who you are as a person and how that translates to the workplace.

There are four main assessments in this category:

  • The Personality Test - which shows your dominant traits, values, and motivations.
  • Occupational Personality Test - this is specific to your working style.
  • Motivational Questionnaire - which shows what motivates you and how certain environments/situations may affect your work.
  • Situational judgement test - These are very popular in the recruitment process as they allow employers to get an understanding of how you respond to work-related scenarios, especially conflict resolution and problem-solving.

How To Pass SHL Tests

Read The Instructions

Even if it is a test that you are confident about, make sure that you read all the instructions carefully. Each test can be unique and therefore, you must pay attention so you don't make careless mistakes.

Know What Tests You're Taking

Part of your preparation should be ensuring that you have as much information about the tests that you will be taking. This way you can practice the right skills and know what to expect on the day.

Practice SHL Tests

The best way to pass an SHL test is to do the SHL practice papers. This way you will understand the specific format and type of questions that SHL uses.

Practice Reasoning

Reasoning can feel more complicated than it is when you are unfamiliar with this type of questioning. Focus on reasoning tests during your practice to learn how to approach them and get the correct answers.

Manage Your Time Effectively

Timings can be the hardest part of any aptitude test, therefore, it is something you should focus on. Practice in timed conditions and learn how to use your time effectively during the test so that you can finish all of the questions.

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SHL Tests FAQs

What Is A Good Score In The SHL Test?

Typically, a 'good' score is considered to be in the top 20%, but this is not dependent on your absolute score, it is based on how you performed compared to everyone else. SHL test scores are compared to a 'norm' group, which is created by averaging scores from thousands of test-takers.

Each industry and job level has its own norm group, which means that there are a variety of different expectations depending on what kind of role you are being assessed for.

How Long Is The SHL Test?

The length of your SHL test is dependent on what kind of test you're taking as they differ for each company and industry. However, most are under 30 minutes.

Is The SHL Test Hard?

The SHL tests are designed to be very challenging to be effective at what they do. Make sure you practice and identify your weaknesses to excel at all of the tests you take.

Can You Fail The SHL Tests?

Yes. If you do not get enough correct answers on the ability tests then you will not score highly enough to progress to the next stage.

For personality and behavioural tests, you cannot fail because there are no correct or incorrect answers, but you may not show the characteristics desired for the role.

How Many Questions Are There In The SHL Test?

This varies depending on which test you are taking and what kind. Many of the ability tests have a maximum of 20 questions, but you can look at the SHL assessment catalogue to find out more about all of their tests.