SHL Tests

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

What Is An SHL Assessment Test?

SHL is a global talent acquisition and management company that designs and administers workplace assessments. The tests cover everything from cognitive abilities to personality and behavioural tests to help companies hire the most suitable candidates.

SHL Psychometric Tests

There are four categories of tests from SHL:

  • Cognitive
  • Behavioural
  • Personality
  • Job focused

Individual tests can focus on one skill (e.g. verbal reasoning) or they can be combined. You can look at their assessment catalogue to find out about assessments for specific roles.

SHL Numerical Reasoning Tests

The numerical reasoning test measures your ability to make correct decisions based on numerical information. The tests are meant to simulate workplace scenarios, so the tasks usually involve analysing data from a graph or chart, performing simple calculations, and producing a short written answer.

There are 18 questions on the test and a maximum of 25 minutes is given, but the average completion time is 17-25 minutes.

SHL Verbal Reasoning Tests

A verbal reasoning test is used to assess critical communication skills, such as interpreting and analysing written information, preparing written documents, and delivering presentations. During the test, you will have to read a passage of information then draw conclusions from the texts in order to assess if statements are 'true, false, or cannot say'.

SHL Inductive Reasoning Tests

Inductive reasoning, also known as diagrammatic reasoning, is a type of logic test that assesses your ability to problem solve and work with unfamiliar information. The questions will be presented as images or alphanumeric sequences, and you have to infer and follow rules to predict outcomes and identify the correct answer.

There are a maximum of 12 questions in 18 minutes for this test.

SHL Deductive Reasoning Tests

Deductive reasoning is another kind of abstract logic assessment, which is designed to measure how well you draw logical conclusions from the information given. The tasks are often work-related activities such as planning, organising objects, or identifying the correct conclusions from a group of statements (syllogisms).

This test has a limit of 18 minutes and 12 questions.

SHL General Ability Tests

These are a blended test of general cognitive skills. By doing this, employers can assess multiple competencies, which can be a less intensive way of screening candidates.

The general ability test is most often used as a screening test, so will appear very early on in the recruitment process. They are around 35-45 minutes long and have around 30 questions, but this can vary.

SHL Personality And Behavioural Assessments

Personality and behavioural assessments are growing in popularity as both recruitment screening and career development assessments. SHL's tests are designed to determine how well-suited you are for a specific role, predict potential success, and give a better understanding of how you work.

SHL Personality Tests

There are two kinds of SHL Personality tests, which cover your work style and behaviours, and your motivations and values. Together these can give employers an insight into what might affect your work performance.

The personality tests are untimed, but generally take 25 minutes to complete.

SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire (SHL OPC32)

An occupational personality questionnaire measures 32 characteristics, which are predictors of performance in a specific role. It is designed to identify working styles and behaviours and understand how these might affect performance.

There are 104 questions, which are grouped into blocks of four, rated on a Likert scale of 'least like me' to 'most like me'.

SHL Motivation Questionnaire (SHL MQ)

The motivations questionnaire examines your values and what drives you in your career. It shows employers what kind of environment and work motivates you by measuring 18 different aspects of motivation and they would affect you. This allows employers to match with candidates who will excel in the company culture, or to identify the kind of responses that will boost the working environment for someone such as increasing recognition or flexibility.

SHL Situational Judgement Tests

Also known as Scenarios, a situational judgement test is another assessment of your behaviour and understanding of professional situations. You will be presented with real-life inspired workplace scenarios and asked to rank responses according to which you think is most appropriate.

SHL Personnel Test Battery

A Personnel Test Battery is designed for high-level administrative jobs and assesses three areas: language skills, perceptual ability, and numeracy. This means that PTB will include verbal, numerical reasoning, and clerical checking, which is a basic error identification test.

SHL Graduate And Managerial Tests

SHL have suites of assessments that are designed specifically for different levels of experience and intakes.

SHL Verify+ are ability tests used for recruitment and employee development. The tests are customisable to any career level and used individually or as a combined assessment.

SHL Management and Graduate Item Bank is one of the most popular test battery for assessing graduates and middle-management potential. It is used in selection and promotion as it shows leadership potential and assesses business-related tasks.

Tips To Pass SHL Tests

Understand The SHL Assessment Format

SHL offers a huge range of tests and assessment packages, so knowing which ones you will be taking and getting familiar with their formats will be a huge help. Take a look at the SHL assessment catalogue for descriptions and examples of each test.

Practice The Relevant Tests

Once you know what to expect, then you can start practicing. SHL provide some practice tests, but you can also look through all of the aptitude tests available to find which ones you need to improve on.

Don't Be Afraid To Fail

Failure is not something to be afraid of. You can use tests that you did not perform as well as on to improve and focus your energies. Every test and application is a learning opportunity that can help you reach your goal.

Practice In Exam Conditions

One of the best ways to practice is in exam conditions, meaning that you replicate how it will be on the day. To do this, you should prepare a quiet space away from any distractions and interruptions, and time yourself.

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SHL Tests FAQs

How Do I Prepare For SHL Assessment Tests?

Practice is the best way to prepare for your SHL assessments. Get to know the role you are applying for and which tests you will have, then start working on the skills necessary for success.

Is The SHL Assessment Test Hard?

Like any assessment, the SHL tests have to challenge you. Depending on which tests you take, there may be other factors that make them more difficult e.g. more technical questions. Often, the hardest part is managing your time, which can be helped through practice.

How Do You Pass A SHL Personality Test?

There are no right and wrong answers on a personality test, however, there are expectations from recruiters and employers about who is the right kind of person for the job. You should go through the job specification thoroughly and research the company culture to get a better understanding of the type of behaviours and motivations that they are looking to see.

Ultimately, the best approach to any personality test is honesty as that is how you will find the best job for you.

Can You Fail An SHL Test?

Yes, you can fail an SHL test. If you do not answer enough questions correctly on the skills tests then your score will not be enough to get through to the next recruitment stage.

While you cannot fail a personality test, it is important to remember that they are looking for specific behaviours and demeanours, so if you do not fit this criteria then you may also be screened out.


What our customers say about our SHL Style Tests

  • Colombia

    July 18, 2022

    The importance of sequences

    At first I expected another type of text, but I was not too shocked or surprised about it. I liked these kinds of riddles. They keep the mind sharp and going. It is important to recognize patterns and this often leads us to find solutions

  • Nigeria

    April 11, 2023

    Good amount of time to answer

    I liked that there was enough time to practice the test questions and solve each answer.

  • Nigeria

    April 11, 2023

    Helps you understand the test format

    The test initially looks overwhelming, I was practically lost. With practice you'll improve your reasoning skills under timed conditions.

  • Canada

    November 03, 2023


    Psychometric effectiveness and ethics depend on how it is used and interpreted with other assessments and data. Therefore, it is important to approach testing with care, ensuring that it is conducted fairly and with consideration for individual circumstances.