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How to Prepare for SHL Calculation Test? – Study Guide & Practice Questions

Last Updated on August 18, 2022

What is an SHL Test? SHL tests stand for Saville and Holdsworth Limited. This is an international company which is responsible for designing personality, behavioural and ability tests.

Globally SHL tests are the biggest suppliers. The tests are available in 30 languages and are available in 150 countries.

These psychometric tests were created to test the diagrammatic, numerical, and verbal reasoning abilities of new employees. SHL is there to test the speed, accuracy, and test scores are compared in the hiring process. Many companies want an SHL test as a prerequisite for a position advertised. SHL tests are popular in the recruitment process.

This is a simple and handy tool that makes sure employees are put into the best position for their abilities. This is advantageous for the company and its employees.

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SHL General Ability Test

The SHL General ability tests combine numerical, inductive, and deductive sections. There is online preparation with the accurate practice for the interactive version of the test.

General Ability tests are standardized tests that are an intelligent learning system that tests general reasoning ability. These questions try to draw logical conclusions based on the person’s problem-solving ability.

This reasoning test attempts to measure the person’s capacity for learning as well as observational skills. The SHL style is to provide freedom from objective judgments with regard to language and cultural bias.

All information is provided for us to answer each question with ease. The SHL style tests give clear and concise instructions to make sure everyone understands how to correctly answer the questions.

The General abilities test gives insight into the candidate’s ability as to whether they have a strong mental capability. These are different to the achievement tests that are subject-based. These asses the person’s learned skills and knowledge.

Where abilities tests and achievement tests go hand in hand is that they shed light on the person’s complete personality. When these SHL tests are used together they are able to give an objective overall assessment of the applicant.

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SHL Verbal Reasoning Test

The SHL Verbal Reasoning test is comprised of “true, false or cannot say”. Practising this through the practice tests will help you to answer these types of questions the best.

The SHL Verbal reasoning tests include testing the candidates’ ability to read a passage of text. They will then need to answer a few questions. In these questions, they need to decide if statements are true, false, or if they are unable to give an answer. If they cannot answer it might be that they need more information. If that is the case they will need to state that.

It is essential for candidates to give answers only based on what was in the text. They must not base answers on any outside knowledge they might have. Candidates need to extract relevant information for their answers.

A verbal reasoning test can be challenging as you cannot draw on external knowledge. It can be difficult to only answer based on limited information. Especially when you might have so much more expertise.

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SHL Numerical Reasoning Tests

Do your best in the SHL Numerical Reasoning test by using practice tests as well as study guides. They will focus on the challenges you will face in the SHL Numerical reasoning tests.

To assess candidates’ ability the SHL Numerical reasoning tests provide the opportunity to identify numerical critical reasoning. A few things that you will be required to interpret numerical data will be presented in tables and graphs. You will then need to answer questions related to the data provided.

You will be required to solve realistic numerical problems. The numerical operations asked in the SHL tests will be within the ability of most candidates. That being said, a lot of people will find it tough to answer all of the questions within the time allocated.

Some of the numerical operations asked in the numerical reasoning tests are multiplication, division, fractions, percentage increases and decreases, and ratios. There will be mathematical equations to complete.

Candidates will need at least basic numerical ability to complete this reasoning test. The actual test will have questions about statistical and numerical data. SHL Calculation tests are used as part of the reasoning test system.

SHL tests are available online or using paper or pencil. The online SHL tests will be unsupervised. For this option, the candidate is able to take the numerical reasoning test when are where they like. Often the numerical reasoning test is written at the employer’s office or at a test centre.

The SHL Verify is an online system SHL use to save testing time and increase test security. This SHL test will randomly select questions from a database of numerical questions of equal difficulty. This means that candidates will probably never see the same test. This randomized system of the SHL Verify test results in a protection against piracy and reduces the risks of cheating.

In the case of a candidate writing an unsupervised test online a supervised follow-up test is provided to make sure that the candidate did not cheat. SHL Verify tests keep a record of all tests taken.

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SHL Aptitude Tests

SHL Aptitude tests are psychometric tests that are created to figure out how well a person will be able to perform a skill that they do not have training or have any experience in.

If there is a skill that is needed to do a job well, the aptitude tests help to figure out whether the test taker is able to learn the needed skill once given the necessary training.

These SHL aptitude tests can be quite specific in what the outcome must be. Or it can be extremely broad in what the aptitude tests are looking for in the outcome. Most companies have done a lot of research in finding the correct evaluation outcome for a job in accordance with the aptitude tests. The aptitude tests are designed to look for the required skills needed for that job.

A lot of job aptitude tests are done in conjunction with other psychometric assessments. This is done to paint a whole picture of the compatibility between the employee and the job.

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Inductive Vs. Deductive Reasoning Tests

Sometimes companies will ask employees to take both the inductive and deductive reasoning tests. They might seem like they are similar tests but in reality, they measure different abilities that we all have.

Inductive reasoning tests are usually evaluated by using abstract tests. These need us to test figural data, search for patterns, and reach a conclusion.

Inductive reasoning question types include looking for the next figure in a series. To find which part of the puzzle might be missing.

Or which figure will replace the empty or missing piece.

A deductive reasoning test is often a verbal test. The person taking the test is given a guide of rules or premises. These guides will be used to come to conclusions during the test.

SHL Inductive Reasoning Tests

Inductive Reasoning Tests are also considered to be abstract or logical reasoning tests. They measure problem-solving skills by using non-verbal and non-numerical questions.

These tests need you to recognise patterns and consistencies among stets of objects to predict a future trend.

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SHL Deductive Reasoning Tests

Deductive reasoning tests are used to test your ability to use general ideas which are considered true and reach a specific and logical conclusion.

This is a pre-employment assessment test that will measure logical thinking skills. There are questions which will identify the strengths and weaknesses of arguments.

There will be analyzing scenarios and drawing conclusions from the data provided.

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SHL Mechanical Reasoning Test

Mechanical reasoning tests are a form of assessment which are used for technical positions. This tests how candidates apply mechanical principles to solve problems.

The logical reasoning behind a deductive reasoning test goes hand in hand with that of a mechanical reasoning test. When you are able to gain the correct answer in either test it shows that you have a deductive and logical ability.

A few key concepts asked in Mechanical reasoning tests are:

  • Pulleys
  • Gears
  • Springs
  • Levers
  • Balancing Scales
  • Gravity
  • Acceleration
  • Hydraulics
  • Weights
  • Magnetism
  • Energy Types
  • Friction
  • Pressure

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SHL Situational Judgement TestPink Sticky Notes

A Situation Judgement test is used by many employers across a variety of industries. These SHL tests primarily test behavioural decision-making and thought processes when candidates are placed within a hypothetical work-related scenario.

This SHL test can be used as part of the personality tests. The candidate will need to use good verbal reasoning. As well as solve problems and complete scenarios.

There are a number of questions that can be used in a situational judgement test. There are only really correct answers. But there are better answers for the people who are better suited to the position.

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SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire

This personality test is based on the candidates’ traits. This SHL test will dive into the candidates’ personality preferences within a workplace environment. This is a situational judgement test as the result is finding out whether the candidate is suited to the position or not based on their workplace behaviour.

Personality tests need to form a whole person. Any number of questions provided in the SHL test need to be specific in what they want their outcome to be. It is essential for candidates to take their time and to answer honestly. It helps if you know the SHL style of answering a personality test.

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SHL Motivation Questionnaire

The SHL motivation questionnaire uses SHL tests to identify patterns that will more than likely increase or reduce a person’s motivation to work.

This SHL assessment is handy for managerial tests as they determine how motivated a person is to do their work. The more motivated your managers are the more motivated they will be to make sure the workforce is happy.

This would be helpful to evaluate arguments with verbal reasoning. The more the workforce is understood the better the whole company will run. This SHL assessment can be used in conjunction with personality tests.

Practice Tests

Practice SHL tests are great preparation for the real test. By taking a practice test you are able to make sure that you have a real grasp of what is expected of you.

A candidate’s ability to complete a practice test can make all the difference in the recruitment process. Seeing as the SHL tests form such a large part of the recruitment process it is essential to understand the needs of the position. As well as the type of person the employer is looking for.

If you complete more than one practice test under the various types you will be able to work on your wrong answers so that you can improve your test score. Completing practice tests helps you gain knowledge on the number of questions for each type of test.

By doing practice assessments you will be able to make sure you obtain high SHL test results. Make sure to know when you have correct answers and when you have wrong answers. You can pass SHL tests comfortably by learning the SHL style of questioning and answering.

There are many free tests available for you to fill out. Make sure there is no incomplete information when filling out the practice SHL tests.

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Understanding Your SHL Test Score

The SHL will only calculate a correct answer. The system does not count incorrect answers. If otherwise it will be stipulated on the SHL test. Most SHL tests are made up of multiple-choice questions. This can help your odds amongst the number of questions.

Your correct answers are compared to the group average which is called the norm group. The most relevant norm group for the company is chosen by the employer. The groups will be provided by SHL to the employer.

In the end, your score is turned into a percentile. This will allow the employer to see where you fit in within the norm group.



There are many resources out there to help you prepare for any SHL tests that an employer or recruitment agent might present you with.

Make sure to practice and prepare in all avenues. You will need to have your practical, verbal and written skills and knowledge all up to date. Make sure to do sufficient research on the company. And of the position and its requirements.

At the end of the day, no one can take away your verbal reasoning in a face to face interview. Make sure that you are as prepared as possible before applying for any job. Make sure that you are the best and most sought after candidate.

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