Have you re-entered the job market only to find that things have changed since you were last on the hunt for a job? The competition seems tougher and the employers appear more discerning. Moreover, you have seen that today many organizations want potential employees to complete psychometric tests, such as the SHL test, as part of the recruitment process!

The idea of sitting an SHL psychometric test makes you feel a little dizzy. You haven’t taken a test in years and are not sure where to begin.

Don’t worry we’ve got your back! In this article, we will provide you with 5 top tips for passing your SHL test, which will ease you into the SHL test-taking process. So sit back, take a deep breath, and read on.  

Tip #1 Find out which SHL test you need to complete

SHL (part of CEB) is a popular psychometric test publisher that provides psychometric ability tests. Organizations often use SHL tests as part of their hiring process to screen potential candidates to make sure the person they hire is the right fit for the job role.

Let’s take a look at the SHL Verify range of tests below to get an idea of 4 common types of SHL tests:

  1. SHL Numerical Reasoning Tests

Assess an individual’s ability to handle numerical, financial, statistical and graphical data, and measures their ability to draw conclusions based on this data.

  1. SHL Verbal Reasoning Tests

Measure an individual’s ability to make logical deductions in relation to verbal or written information.

  1. SHL Inductive Reasoning Tests

Measure an individual’s ability to solve problems quickly and handle unfamiliar information. Candidates are often presented with abstract questions and need to think conceptually and analytically.

  1. Mechanical Reasoning Tests

Assess an individual’s grasp of the basic mechanical and physical principles, and their understanding of how these principles apply to devices such as gears, pulleys, and levers.

Before you begin your SHL test journey find out exactly which of their tests you will be taking (or see if you are taking a different SHL test). This way you can tailor your preparation for the specific SHL test you need to complete.

Tip #2 Get to know your strengths and weaknesses

We all have skill areas we feel more confident in and abilities we are not so sure about. It is a good idea to make a list of your skills on a piece of paper. Divide the paper into two columns and in one column write the skills you feel you need to improve and in the other column write the skills you think are great as they are. This way you can focus on practicing the skills in your ‘skills that need improvement column’. This will help you be more targeted in your preparation.

more practice

Tip #3 Practice, practice, and more practice

It is advisable to sit several practice SHL tests before you sit the ‘real thing.’ This way you can become familiar with the questions, style, and approach of an SHL test. It will also help you become comfortable with the idea of sitting an exam. The more you practice the sharper your skills will become and, in all likelihood, the less nervous you will be on exam day. 

Tip #4 Learn the skill of estimation

If you are sitting a numerical reasoning test you will want to brush up on your basic maths skills and skills of estimation. Often when you are presented with a question and list of multiple-choice answers you can use estimation to eliminate wrong answers. This will help you answer quickly so you can complete the test within the given time period.

Read More: Getting Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests Right

Tip #5 Develop your vocabulary

If it’s a verbal reasoning test you will be sitting, now is a good time to work on expanding your vocabulary. When you are presented with a passage in your SHL test you want to know what it is saying! You can easily improve your vocabulary by reading academic articles online or articles in high-brow publications such as ‘The New Yorker’.


Equipped with these 5 top tips you now know how to approach your SHL test-taking journey, and are on your way to passing your SHL test. So, sharpen your pencils and get started. Good luck! 

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