2 PrepPacks™
160 Prepared
280+ Questions

About SHL Excel Test

As the spreadsheet software of the Microsoft Office suite, Excel serves as the standard data analysis and management tool across many industries. Candidates for positions of this sort are usually asked to successfully complete an Excel assessment test to evaluate their proficiency level in Excel use. Tests often cover basic features and operations, but some positions may require more advanced skills. Tests for accounting positions, for example, will require a higher proficiency level than clerical positions. Whichever position you are applying for, our Prep Pack will get you ready for your test.


Types of Tests

The three types of Excel tests provided by CEB SHL are: Interactive, Interactive–Essentials and Adaptive. Each test is made up of a number of questions which must be completed under a time limit.

Interactive Test

This test is taken on interactive software simulating the usage of Excel’s actual interface. A task and accompanying data will be presented for each question and the user must complete the task in the amount of time given. Unlike actually working with Excel, the interactive software does not allow much room for trial and error, so formulas and functions must be spelled correctly. Also, some Excel shortcuts you may be accustomed to using will be inactive.

The test consists of a maximum of 30 questions with a time limit of about 35 minutes (1 minute and 10 seconds per question).

Interactive – Essentials Test

Similar to the Interactive Test, it covers only the most crucial and generally used operations.

The test consists of a maximum of 20 tasks with a time limit of about 25 minutes (1 minute and 15 seconds per question).

Adaptive Test

Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) is a computer-based method of testing in which the test constantly adapts to the examinee's level. This test is comprised of Multiple Choice Questions of varying difficulty, which are determined based on your previous performance on the test. For instance, if you answered an intermediate question correctly, the next question will be of equal or of higher level of difficulty, and vice versa. From the examinee’s point of view, it is as if the test were tailor-made specifically for him or her.

The test consists of a maximum of 30 multiple-choice questions with a time limit of 90 minutes. However, it usually takes much less time to complete (around 20 minutes). Adaptive Tests are more efficient at measuring skill, so they take less time to arrive at equally accurate conclusions than other types of tests.

Because the type of test you will be asked to take is not always clear, here at JobTestPrep, we have built a special Excel Preparation Pack featuring both multiple choice CEB SHL style questions and an interactive Excel simulating software for you to practice on. You will also receive three great tutorials to help get your skills up to the level necessary to pass the test.


CEB SHL Excel Test Topics

The CEB SHL Excel assessment tests cover the following topics:

Formulas and Functions Excel's Interface Working with Multiple Worksheets Tables and Charts
Formatting Entering and Manipulating Data General Features Print and Page Views

Questions range in difficulty from basic level commands, such as printing and saving, through to intermediate level ones, such as using Sort, Filter and writing basic formulas, up to more advanced ones like PivotTables and Macro commands.


Free Sample Questions

Test your skills now. Below are a few examples of questions that are likely to appear on your test (in some version or another).

Interactive Test Sample Questions

Copy the table below to a new SpreadSheet in Excel and carry out the following operations. If you don’t understand what to do or how to proceed, don’t worry, our preparation package will teach you about these topics and many more.

Customer (A1) Occupation Married Year of Birth Mothly Income (USD)
Dan Teacher No 1988 5,500
Abby Teacher Yes 1988 6,000
John Doctor Yes 1980 7,600
Mitch Lawyer Yes 1979 7,500
Jess Lawyer No 1985 6,000

Basic Excel Questions

  1. Sort the table by "Year of Birth"
  2. Change the Font Size in column "Customer" to 15

Multiple-Choice Test Sample Questions

How would you select non-contiguous cells?

  1. Hold Ctrl → left-click on each cell
  2. Hold Shift → left-click on each cell
  3. Right-click on each cell
  4. Hold Alt → left-click on each cell

For more sample questions with answers and full explanations click here.


CEB SHL Scoring Information

After you complete the test, a proficiency grade on a scale of 1 to 5 is calculated based on your success. That score is compared against a comparison or a norm group to generate a percentile score (from 0 to 100). This score signifies the percentage of people from the norm group you outperformed.

Your absolute score does not matter as much as how you compared to other examinees.

The relevant norm group is chosen by the employer out of several options offered by CEB SHL. These groups are defined by two factors: industry and job level.

For instance, when compared against the Finance and Banking industry, a much higher absolute score is required to achieve a high percentile than when compared against the Public Sector. Accurate evaluation of your possible norm group will help you get a sense of how skilled you must be.

The report delivered to the employer also breaks down your correct answer rate by each level of question difficulty and according to specific Excel operations.

For instance, an overall rate of 80% could break down into a rate of 90% on basic questions, 85% on intermediate questions and 65% on advanced questions. The Adaptive test also generates a verbal report stating the candidate's level of knowledge for each difficulty level.

In addition, the employer will find in the report a detailed list of all the questions asked, their difficulty level, whether the candidate answered them correctly and how long it took him or her.


Tips & Advice

  • Multiple-choice question tests are often harder than Interactive ones, because they require an examinee to be much more familiar with Excel’s interface, even knowing at least some of it by heart. Our tests and tutorials were created with that in mind, so whether you're taking a Multiple-Choice or Interactive test, you will be ready.
  • It is not uncommon for you to be asked to pass a test written by the company you are applying to. If this is the case, you will most likely be asked to complete several tasks in Excel. Because the topics covered in the preparation pack are fairly common, they will most likely fit any test you may be asked to take.
  • Assessments usually also include Word proficiency tests. If you wish to be certain you are well prepared for your assessment day, we recommend you practice the required Microsoft Word skills using our Microsoft Word practice pack.
  • The tests are comprised of multiple questions that are randomly pulled from CEB SHL’s database. No two tests are the same, and in order to succeed you must be quite familiar with the different topics. You can become so by practicing extensively. 

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JobTestPrep is not a part of CEB and/or SHL and is not related to them in any way. JobTestPrep offers preparation services for assessment tests.