In this SHL Numerical Test guide you’ll find practice tests, coaching videos & 5 Essential Tips for success.
The SHL numerical test is the most common form of numerical testing in modern recruitment. If you have to take a numerical test as part of a job application, it’s probably the SHL numerical test.
In this article you’ll learn what to expect and how to succeed. Let’s get started!
2 useful starting point resources
- You can get hold of practice SHL numerical tests here.
- You should definitely check out our numerical reasoning hub – It will be a treasure trove for you in preparing for your SHL numerical test.
Give yourself an advantage & prepare perfectly
SHL Numerical Test Success Guide
Ok, let’s get stuck in. What’s included here in this guide?
- A brief overview of SHL, the company.
- What’s special about the SHL numerical test?
- 5 Top Tips for your SHL numerical test. (A must read!)
A brief overview of SHL
SHL is an ‘occupational psychology consultancy’ that’s used by thousands of organisations around the world. SHL offer a wide spectrum of services that help large corporations to assess their job candidates.
(Assessment centre material, candidate selection and development tools, training courses, psychometric tests, etc.)
SHL’s psychometric tests have become staple products, widely used in the recruitment industry. In particular, the SHL numerical test and SHL verbal test.
Useful background info: Back in 2012, SHL was purchased by a company called ‘CEB’. You may hear this name used while researching for your SHL numerical test and you may find SHL tests sometimes referred to as ‘CEB Talent Measurement Solutions’.
Want to learn more about SHL?
If so, check out this video to get an overview of the company and what they offer:
How is the SHL numerical test different to other suppliers’?
Why? Because the tests vary depending on who made them. There’s no point practising tests made by supplier X if your actual test was made by supplier Y.
The format and criteria of the tests will be different. The main difference is in the formatting: what they look like, how they appear, the style, wording and timings.
Here’s a screengrab of an SHL numerical test (courtesy of our friends at JobTestPrep):
This second image is a Kenexa test:
See the difference? The first uses a bar chart and is ratio-based, while the second splits the data in a different way and poses a fundamentally different numerical problem.
There’s also more subtle differences, in language and nuance. You can get hold of practice SHL numerical tests here.
How to prepare for a SHL Numerical Test
An SHL numerical test isn’t something to take lightly. The tests are timed and they scale in difficulty. Remember you’re being measured against other candidates, so literally every second counts.
You need to be on top of your game. Here’s some top tips.
5 Top Tips For Passing An SHL Numerical Test
Ok, let’s look at how to pass an SHL numerical test.
1. Check out our Numerical Reasoning Hub
We’ve worked hard to make sure you have everything you need, at your fingertips. Please take advantage of this resource, we made it for you! 🙂
2. Make sure you’re confident with your calculator’s advanced functions
Make sure you get to grips with all the functions of your calculator.
Invest in a decent scientific calculator with programmable macros (a huge timesaver) and use a guide like this to learn how to get the most from it.
Use every possible advantage you can. (All of the other candidates will!) This is your career, your future. Do everything possible to give yourself the best chance of success.
3. Watch our coaching videos
John Bridges and I take a step by step approach to show you exactly how to pass your SHL numerical test. You can find all of the videos here.
4. Practice tests are essential
This is crucial. If you only do one thing to prepare for your SHL numerical test, please let it be this.
- You can’t expect to get used to the style of questioning without practising.
- You have no chance of learning where your strengths and weaknesses lie, without practising.
Practising improves your confidence AND your competence.
It will make you more relaxed in your SHL numerical test (a huge performance multiplier) and it will allow you to pinpoint where your knowledge gaps are. Which then allows you to plug those gaps. It’s a win-win-win scenario. We recommend you practice with these SHL numerical tests as they include in-depth explanations for each question and this allows you to improve with maximum efficiency. (They also include a useful study guide.)
When practising, keep the following in mind:
- Practice for your SHL numerical test as much as your free time allows. Plenty of practice will increase your knowledge, up your confidence and of course, is the only real way of genuinely boost your chances.
- Work out where your weaknesses lie and focus on learning more in that specific area. Focus on the questions that you get incorrect, not the ones you get right.
- Make sure you practice the correct test, for your job level. The difficulty and skills assessed will vary, according to the job you are applying for. (Graduate level tests are much easier than senior management ones.)
- Never lose sight of the fact that the SHL numerical test is a time-focussed test. Keep this in mind when practising. Every second counts. Try to answer the questions as quickly as you can, without error. The more you practice, the quicker you will become.
Stop worrying! Download a 12-step assessment day cheatsheet & be perfectly prepared.
5. Seriously focus on your maths
This is a no-brainer, especially if this isn’t a subject that you naturally excel in, but it’s incredible how many people fail to seriously invest in their maths ability.
Use your practice tests to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, then go and find out how to improve. Make it happen! Hire a tutor. Buy a book. Go crazy on YouTube etc.
Here’s a few videos to get you started:
‘Mental Math Tricks: How To Multiply In Your Head!’
‘Long Division Trick – Fast Calculation!’
‘Fast Conversion Tips’
Some final questions for you…
- Do you have to take a numerical reasoning test or a verbal reasoning test? If so you may want to check out the aptitude tests section of the site.
- You can find practice tests and tons of free advice on every other type of ‘reasoning test’ too: numerical, verbal, abstract, logical, inductive, diagrammatic, spatial, mechanical comprehension, UKCAT and Watson-Glaser tests.
- Worried about your assessment day? Maybe you’re worried about performing a presentation or preparing for an interview or group exercise or in-tray exercise?
- Perhaps you’d like some guidance on how to deal with nerves & anxiety at your interview?
- Lastly the Tools and Resources page is packed with useful equipment and ‘A’ List recommendations that will make your life easier.
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Ok folks, that’s it. We hope you enjoyed this free SHL numerical test guide and we wish you the best of luck in your future career.
We hope you feel more confident and better equipped to shine in your SHL numerical test.