SHL (part of CEB) is a global psychometric test publisher, talent measurement consultancy and occupational psychology specialist. SHL operates in over 30 languages, deploys solutions in over 150 countries and maintains a presence in over 50 countries. Clients include FTSE 100 corporations, Fortune 500 companies as well as numerous SMEs and local businesses around the world. SHL has a huge market presence in the psychometric testing industry, and produce some of the most commonly-encountered psychometric tests in the UK and around the world. Due to the size and popularity of SHL and its products, candidates are most likely to encounter SHL tests during recruitment processes.
SHL aptitude tests
SHL provides psychometric ability tests, including numerical, verbal, general ability, diagrammatic and inductive reasoning tests, commonly used for candidate screening and at assessment centres. As well as the overall score, speed, accuracy and caution are assessed during the course of the exam, and provided with the final test score. SHL psychometric tests are available at every level of position, ranging from entry level administration to senior executive, and SHL ability tests can be used for assessment, development and selection. The most commonly used SHL aptitude tests used by recruiters are the SHL Verify range of tests, with the most common types listed here:
- SHL numerical reasoning tests: Numerical reasoning tests will assess your understanding of numerical, statistical, financial and graphical data, and your ability to make deductions based on that data. These questions will likely be relevant to the workplace, requiring the candidate to solve realistic numerical problems. The SHL verify numerical reasoning test consist of 18 questions and typically lasts 17-25 minutes depending on job level. They are designed to measure a candidate's ability to make correct decisions or inferences from numerical or statistical data.
- SHL verbal reasoning tests: Verbal reasoning tests will test your ability to understand and make logical deductions based on verbal/written data. Candidates will often be provided with a passage of written information, often relevant to the work place, and ask the candidate to answer questions based on the written information provided. The SHL verbal reasoning tests consist of 30 questions and typically last 17-19 minutes, depending on job level. They are designed to measure a candidate's ability to evaluate the logic in various kinds of argument as presented in written form..
- SHL inductive reasoning tests: Inductive reasoning tests assess your ability to problem solve, and deal with unfamiliar information. Candidates will be required to think conceptually and analytically, often using shapes and patterns. This ability may also be referred to as logical or diagrammatic reasoning. The SHL verify inductive reasoning test consists of 24 questions and typically lasts 25 minutes. It is designed to test a candidate's ability to draw inferences and understand the relationships between various concepts independent of acquired knowledge.
- SHL situational judgement tests: Situational judgement tests (SJT) assess your ability to make appropriate decisions. You must choose the most appropriate action (/rank them in order) to a workplace scenario you are hypothetically encountering. SHL SJTs typically include 30-50 questions with no time limit.
- SHL mechanical reasoning tests: This test measures a candidate's understanding of basic mechanical principles and their application to devices, such as pulleys, gears and leavers. Verify provides a unique ability test online using randomised item content from the item bank that ensures candidates will not have previous exposure to the test. The SHL verify mechanical reasoning test typically lasts 25 minutes.
- SHL general ability tests: This test is normally 36 or 46 minutes long and you will have to answer around 30 questions. These questions will be covering many test areas such as logical, verbal, numerical etc. This test isn't specific to one cognitive ability and will therefore be a more 'general' test of your abilities, hence the name. This test is normally administered to applicants applying for graduate level roles or higher. We do not currently offer SHL general ability tests, but if you practise all our SHL test types then you will be prepared as they are just a combination of multiple tests.
- SHL reading comprehension tests: Designed to measure a candidate's ability to extract relevant information from written sources and make objective judgements on the basis of that information. The SHL verify reading comprehension test consists of 18 questions and typically lasts 25 minutes.
- SHL deductive reasoning tests: Designed to measure a candidate's ability to draw logical conclusions based on information provided. The SHL verify deductive reasoning test consists of 18 questions and typically lasts 10 minutes.
- The SHL Management and Graduate Item Bank (MGIB): This battery of tests comprised of verbal, numerical and productive thinking ability tests, aimed at graduate and management level positions. Productive thinking assesses a candidates creativity and ability to find abstract solutions and explanations to problems .These tests are considered to be more challenging than the standard Verify tests. The time limit for the verbal reasoning test is 25 minutes, the numerical reasoning is 35 minutes and productive thinking time limit is 32 minutes. These tests may be used for selection, assessment and for development.
- Bespoke ability tests: In specific industries (e.g. finance) and/or specific roles (e.g. sales), SHL produce custom made tests, tailored to the specifications requested by the company using the test. These tests will be highly-relevant to the industry/job role and will often assess multiple reasoning abilities within the same test.
- *NEW* Verify Interactive: SHL Verify Interactive is a new series of tests that are have attempted to improve the candidate experience. This has been achieved by increasing the interactivity of the tests to make them more fun.
SHL personality questionnaires
SHL also provide personality and motivational questionnaires, available both on paper and online for candidate assessment or development. These personality tests are designed to assess your preferences in the workplace, and explore your personal style of working, there are no right or wrong answers with these tests and candidates will not be timed. An example of an SHL personality questionnaire is shown below:
- The OPQ32: This questionnaire is a personality test designed by SHL. It comprises over a hundred question items that explore 32 specific personality qualities. Questions on the test will explore your preferences towards each of these qualities, and compile the results into a report, providing insight into your personality and your potential competencies.
What is the pass mark for SHL tests?
Despite this being a popular question, and one that I know you want answered, there sadly isn’t a definitive answer to this.
The pass mark for SHL tests will vary depending on the test type, the scores of the group of candidates that take the test, and other factors.
Some people will think there’s a specific pass mark that SHL will have for all their tests, e.g. 70%. However, it’s very unlikely that raw score percentages will be used to determine who progresses, it is more likely that it will be based on percentiles.
SHL will pass, let's say for example, the top 25% of candidates and so it’s important that you can consistently answer most questions correctly and be consistently achieving +70% as otherwise it’s likely that your score may not be that great compared to the other test takers.
In order to ensure you pass SHL online assessment you must practise beforehand.
How to pass SHL tests
You may not wish to hear this but sadly the best way to pass is through practise, there’s no cheats or short-cuts.
SHL have a website called SHL Direct for test-takers. They have a limited number of practice tests and sometimes run trials of new tests which are open for candidates to trial.
We, similarly, offer numerical, verbal and inductive reasoning practice tests, but much more, presenting you with a method of practice and preparation before undertaking an SHL online assessment. Ensuring you are fully prepared beforehand will maximize your chances of performing highly on these tests because you will be less anxious and able to show your true ability.
All that’s left to say is good luck, I hope you’ve managed to learn more about your upcoming tests and now know what is required to pass them.
Prepare for SHL tests
Our practice test packs are suitable for preparing for SHL tests. Our practice tests come with solutions included.
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Note: AssessmentDay and its products are not affiliated with SHL. Our practice tests are only for candidates who are practising for SHL tests; we do not sell tests for employee selection.