What is an SHL Test?

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1577 Reviews|5840 Students|Last Updated: May 02, 2023
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SHL is a leading brand of psychometric tests which is employed by a wide range of companies as a part of the recruitment process, particularly in graduate recruitment campaigns where a certain level of competence is required to progress through the selection process. They are widely used for their efficiency and cost-effectiveness in testing for a minimum level of technical ability within a specific role. The various types of SHL assessment are intended to measure and assess an individual’s level of ability in a given competency relevant to the position for which the test is being administered.

How Do SHL Tests Work?

The SHL assessment process usually consists of one or two stages.

In the latter instance, known as a Verify test, a candidate first electronically completes an unsupervised SHL test, and then a short supervised exam is carried out for the purpose of verifying results.
In the former instance, known as a Management and Graduate Item Bank (MGIB) test, the entire examination is supervised in an assessment/testing center, either online or on paper.

The test itself comprises of a number of questions to be answered within a challenging time limit. This is intended to maximize pressure as the purpose of the test is to gauge a candidate’s true potential. While the questions tend to be displayed one at a time, one can move back and forth through questions as desired and answer in any order they see fit.

SHL tests are a means of estimating one’s maximum ability level. The application of difficult questions within a challenging time limit effectively gauges the potential of a candidate and then compares it to the average level of a ‘norm’ group, which is usually made up of individuals from a similar demographic in factors such as age, nationality and education level.
The candidate’s ability is calculated against the norm group as a benchmark, and then a predefined cut-off point is applied to check that results meet the minimum ability requirements for the job role/department function

What Kind of SHL Tests Are There?

There is a wide range of SHL tests available to employers for the assessment of candidates at a variety of levels. The test administered is chosen to match the job level and field in which the candidate is applying. Some jobs may require the undertaking of an SHL verbal reasoning test, while others might involve an SHL numerical reasoning test; it is entirely contingent upon the nature of the job. It is also quite common for employers to administer a combination of tests in order to assess multiple attributes.

The available range of SHL tests are formulated for the assessment of four main categories:Aptitude, Behavior, Personality and Situational Judgment:

  1. Aptitude: Also known as reasoning or cognitive ability tests. These include but are not limited to SHL numerical tests, verbal reasoning tests and inductive reasoning tests. These tests are intended to measure a candidate’s understanding and comprehension of a variety of challenging stimuli. These tests are, essentially, an assessment of one’s logical capacity in a variety of applications.
  2. Behavioral: Frequently utilized in the hiring process, these tests are used to gain an insight into a candidate’s professional attributes and how well they fit the core values of the company, as well as how well one would handle the responsibilities of the position being applied for and unexpected situations which might arise in said position.
  3. Personality: SHL personality tests assess 32 personality characteristics. In this form of test, a number of statements are provided, and the candidate is required to choose which statements align best and which align worst with their own personality. In this instance, there is no binary right or wrong response; multiple statements may appear to describe the ‘correct’ behavior. This is intended to pinpoint the characteristic traits displayed by the candidate and ensure that they are capable of handling the job.

  4. Situational Judgment: These tests are used as a metric of a candidate’s cognitive and behavioral abilities in applied scenarios; realistic situations relevant to the job role are presented hypothetically so that the candidate responds spontaneously based on intuition. While one would, of course, take the time to consider decisions more carefully before execution, situational judgment tests are a powerful tool for assessing the manner in which a candidate would handle challenges which might arise in the workplace. It is highly recommended that one familiarizes oneself with the types of situations that might be presented in this assessment in order to be able to consistently select the most appropriate answer.

How Can I Prepare For an SHL Test?

SHL Tests are intended as a metric of your maximum level of performance. As the questions are difficult and the time limit is challenging, you need to be able to work quickly and accurately.

The key to this is that you put yourself in a position where you understand the format of the test, the manner of questions to expect and the conditions under which the test will be administered. By familiarising yourself with these core elements of the test you will be in an optimal position for success in these tests. The key to success is practice. If you need to take an SHL test, it is recommended that you take a number of SHL practice tests so that you may be more confident and comfortable in approaching the assessment.

Rapid SHL Masterclass

Last Thoughts:

While SHL tests cover a wide range of assessments, the best means of preparation is invariably practice. If you are required to take an SHL test for a prospective job, make sure that you take the time to familiarize yourself with the format of the test so that you may be appropriately prepared for the conditions under which the test is administered and maximize your performance.

*Note: SHL and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with PrepTerminal or this website.
Michael Lerner

Created by: Michael Lerner

BSc, Psychometric Tutor, Prepterminal Test Expert

5840 students,
, 1577 Reviews

Hey, welcome to our Rapid SHL Masterclass. I’m Michael, PrepTerminal’s SHL Rapid SHL Masterclass in-house expert. I am here to assist you with any queries about the Rapid SHL Masterclass. Don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected].

Success Stories

Discover what 1577 students said about us:

I'd wish to have had more time to learn

I regret not buying the SHL Assessment prep pack earlier. I only purchased it a night before the exam and failed on my first attempt because I couldn't absorb all the information in such a short amount of time. However, after having more time to review the material, I passed on my second attempt with a very high score of 94%. Therefore, I suggest to future clients to purchase this prep course at least 2-3 days prior to the exam.

Johny A.


A bit pricey for my budget

The SHL prep pack is a great study resource, but it may be a bit pricey for someone who is unemployed and looking for a job. However, using Prepterminal resources helped me pass the SHL examination and now I'm working at KPMG.

Greg S


OK, perhaps I am too demanding, but

Overall, this is a good resource for preparing for the SHL Assessment test, particularly in the Verbal Reasoning section, as it highlights areas that native English speakers often overlook. However, I would have liked to have both timed and untimed versions of the questions so that users can track their progress without feeling either rushed or too relaxed.

Itsuki N.


Thank you guys!!!

This SHL Vrify G+ simulation was a great help for me. While some of the questions were a bit of a challenge, overall the test was a good assessment of my skills. I was able to score 85% , and I am now proud to be working for the Nestle now. Thanks to Prepterminal, I was able to prepare and succeed in the test.

Jorge Garcia B.


Better than buying a book!

I was looking to buy a book to help me practice numerical and verbal reasoning tests, but then I changed my mind and choose to purchase the online SHL Assessment prep pack of Prepterminal. In my opinion, the only drawback is that the solutions only provide explanations for the correct answers, not the incorrect ones. I'd wish to have an option where my mistakes were highlighted and corrected automatically. This would be great for those who are not experts. Despite this, I'm overall satisfied with the pack as it has definitely helped me be prepared and pass the SHL Assessment test.

Stacy H.


Great prep, I'd wish to have been a little cheaper

If you're nervous about taking tests for a new job, I suggest using this preparation source. I spent a few hours studying with it when I was job searching and it really made a difference. I felt much more confident taking the SHL Assessment test, and I was even happy to see that some of the questions from the Prepterminal prep pack were on the actual test! Just I'd wish it had a lower price!

Lucca B.



This SHL prep pack was very helpful. I found some of the math questions a bit challenging, but that may be because math isn't my strong suit. Overall, the material was still very useful.

Alexander S.


Really great SHL Verify G+ prep

The SHL prep course from Prepterminal was a great resource for me. The graphical explanations helped me better understand the course material, and the systematic approach to applying theories to different question formats was insightful. Overall, I'm very appreciative of the course.

Chriss S.


Five stars...

I am giving Prepterminal a well-deserved 5-star rating! The practice assessments for the SHL test were incredibly helpful in preparing me for the real exam. Although I found the Numerical Reasoning tests to be fast-paced, with about 1 question per minute, the practice allowed me to hone my skills and work on pacing myself. I appreciate the level of difficulty in the questions as it truly reflected the complexity of the real exam. Thanks to Prepterminal, I was able to pass the SHL assessment with flying colors. Highly recommend this resource to anyone looking to excel in their SHL test.

Martin D.


I loved this SHL test prep

I loved the SHL test prep from Prepterminal! The Abstract Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning was so good, helped me a lot even though English not my first language. Thanks Prepterminal, I got hired by Coca Cola!

Mohammad S.

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| 1577 Reviews |5840 Students