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What are SHL Verbal Reasoning Tests?

There are a wide variety of Verbal tests used by employers these days. Verbal tests provided by SHL (formerly CEB) contains 30 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 19 minutes. It comes in a very specific answering format known as TFC, or True/False/Cannot Say.

With TFC type questions, you are presented with a piece of text and a short statement pertaining to the text. You will have to determine, based on this text, whether the statement is true, false, or 'cannot say'.

 

Free SHL Verbal Test

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Test Time 10 min
Questions 14

When Taking Your Sample Test

Before you start taking your sample test, you should take the following tips into consideration:

  • Set aside enough time for yourself to complete the test (approx. 15-20 min)
  • If you’re not sure of the correct answer, don’t guess (unlike our recommendation in the actual SHL test).
  • Look at your result report to view full explanations and understand the areas where you need improvement.

SHL Verbal Questions: Get to know True/False/Cannot Say

  • A TRUE statement follows logically from the information or opinions contained in the passage.
  • A FALSE statement is logically false from the information or opinions contained in the passage.
  • Select CANNOT SAY if you cannot determine whether the statement is true or false based on the information given in the text.

 

Try one out for yourself:

Manufacturing capability in Asian economies has developed immensely in its refinement but it remains an extremely multifaceted process subject to everlasting room for improvement. The most important initiative has been the implementation of ISO 9000 standards that have been utilized as quality regulators and error minimization mechanisms. Nevertheless the profound emphasis given to refinement results in increased costs approaching those of Western manufacturers which raises questions as to their feasibility.

Implementing ISO 9000 standards has led to reduced number of errors.

 

The statement following the passage is:

  1. True
  2. False
  3. Cannot Say

 

The correct answer is Cannot Say.

We know that ISO 9000 standards have been utilized as an error minimization mechanism but we do not know if it actually succeeded in reducing the number of errors.


Try some more Sample Questions

The statements in the following 4 questions and answer:

  1. True
  2. False
  3. Cannot Say

All questions refer to the following passage:

The European Commission [EC], the executive body of the EU, has re-adopted a decision to fine Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, together with Toshiba Corporation, for their participation in a cartel on the markets for gas-insulated switchgears. This was after part of the original decision was annulled by the European General Court [EGC] for a breach of equal treatment in the setting of the two companies' fines. The EGC had annulled the fines even though the Commission’s findings were upheld because in setting the fines the Commission had used sales figures for a different reference year than for other cartelists. Today's decision ensures that Mitsubishi and Toshiba receive an appropriate fine for their participation in the cartel; the newly imposed fines are calculated on the basis of the same parameters as in the original decision, with the exception of the reference year.

Question 1

The European Commission revised its original decision, once the EGC gave its ruling.

The correct answer is TRUE.

The text states that the EGC annulled the part of the original EC decision regarding fines. As a result, while the EC re-adopted the original decision, it changed the fines imposed on the companies.


Question 2

The European Commission has been strict towards Mitsubishi and Toshiba, compared with other cartelists.

The correct answer is Cannot Say.

According to the text, the new EU legislation has only been adopted in 6 member states, so while the legislation foresees the establishment of a national rapporteur or equivalent mechanism, it has not yet been implemented in each member state.


Question 3

The EC and the EGC concur on Mitsubishi’s and Toshiba’s culpability regarding participation in a cartel.

The correct answer is TRUE.

According to the passage, there is disagreement between the EC and the ECG regarding the "best" or most appropriate punishment for the two companies.

However, the issue of the companies’ culpability is not in contention, with the text stating “the EGC had annulled the fines even though the Commission’s finding was upheld”, meaning, that there is agreement regarding the Commission’s finding.


Question 4

All EC rulings involving fines must be approved by the EGC.

The correct answer is Cannot Say.

ShapeThe passage describes an instance in which the EC modified its decision based on a EGC ruling. While this serves as an example of EGC's judicial power, one cannot conclude that EVERY EC decision is dependent upon EGC rulings. It is possible that in other cases, EC acts on its own.

 

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The Top 7 Tips to Score High on Your SHL Assessment

Below you will find the 7 top tips for taking and passing your SHL verbal reasoning test:

1. Remember that your general knowledge and opinions do not matter

The questions must be answered based solely on the information presented in the text. A good way to bypass your bias would be to imagine the phrase ‘according to the passage’ before each statement.

 

2. Look out for generalizations

Generalizing is taking an idea stated in the text and making a 'general rule' from it.

For example, if the passage discusses how some lawyers quit their jobs because they are unhappy, and the statement reads ‘lawyers quit their jobs because they are unhappy’, the answer would be ‘Cannot Say’; this is because of the way the statement generalizes all lawyers, but the passage only discussed ‘some’ of them.

 

3. Don’t add details

This is the opposite of making generalizations. You should avoid taking general statements and basing specific ideas on them.

For example, if the passage discussed lawyers who quit their jobs because they were unhappy, and the statement reads ‘the lawyers who quit their jobs were unhappy because of the long hours’, the correct answer would be ‘Cannot Say’. While it makes sense to assume the statement is true, the passage did not provide you with those details.

It is possible that those lawyers had no problem with the long hours but with some other issue. Workload, for instance.

 

4. Do not assume causation

Two statements that appear in the text are not necessarily related to each other in a cause-and-effect relationship.

That is a common way to trick you into choosing ‘True’ over ‘Cannot Say’. For example, a passage may discuss how some lawyers are unhappy, and some quit their jobs, but never explicitly make the cause-and-effect connection. If the statement then reads ‘some lawyers quit their jobs because they are unhappy’, the answer would be ‘Cannot Say’.

 

5. Create a ‘mental map’ for each passage

The mental map is a flowchart of the passage’s logic. Since each passage contains more than one statement, the process of creating a mental map will allow you to view all of the items brought up within the text.

See the example below:

Two studies published recently show that 13 of 16 children treated with gene therapy – treating diseases by correcting a patient's faulty genes - for severe combined immune deficiency, or SCID, have had their immune systems restored. The best treatment for the disease is a bone marrow transplant from an immunologically matched sibling. But, when no matched donor is available, unmatched donors, such as parents, are recruited; these transplants are only around 70 percent successful. The success of gene therapy now rivals or betters that seen in these unmatched donor situations. In 2001, a child in the trial developed leukemia, thought to have been induced by a component in the modified virus, or vector, the researchers used to insert the correct gene into the boy's cells. Of the 30 children worldwide who have been treated with gene therapy for another form of SCID, marked by a deficiency in the enzyme adenosine deaminase (ADA), none has developed leukemia. Yet medical researchers maintain that gene therapy is still a better alternative than the conventional treatment for X-linked SCID in some children because 19 of the 20 children who have received gene therapy for Xlinked SCID are still alive. When told these odds, all parents of children with X-linked SCID have opted for gene therapy.

 

A mental map for this particular example could look something like this:

6. Pay attention to relationship keywords

In TFC questions, the relationships between text parts are often more important than the content itself. These words may refer to exclusion, inclusion, negation, etc.

 

7. Qualifiers are important

In the same way as relationship keywords, qualifiers tell you a lot about the context of the statement in the text. For instance, they can reveal whether generalizations can be made (all/none, always/never) or not (few/some, many/most).


How to Further Prepare for Your Test

Remember that as a general principle, the SHL verbal test is intended to measure your ability to interpret and analyse text. Therefore, it will NOT contain elements that directly measure basic aspects of language usage (e.g. vocabulary, grammar, spelling, etc.).

To prepare for the exam, you should practice any type of question that will strengthen your verbal ability, like:

  • Actual TFC questions – first and foremost.
  • Reading comprehension drills – these will help you learn how to summarize the main points of a text quickly and efficiently.
  • Conclusion deduction drills – these are good ways to strengthen your deduction ability.

 

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