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What is SHL Numerical Reasoning?

As a candidate who is about to go through the SHL numerical assessment process, your performance, speed, accuracy, and awareness are all important factors when aiming to ace the exam.

Each of these factors play a part in determining your overall test score, so be sure to practice ahead of time to sharpen your skills and boost your confidence.

 

 Read on to:

✓ Get the first peek at our numerical reasoning SHL tests for a full variety of job levels, including graduate, management, and operational careers
✓ Improve your abilities with our expert breakdown of example questions & answers.
✓ Start your preparation with our insider tips, insights, and techniques.

 

Free SHL Numerical Test

Complete your test to get predicted score, then review your answers

Test Time 12 min
Questions 9
Pass Score 8

 


SHL Numerical Reasoning Sample Questions (Tables & Graphs)

Most of SHL's numerical reasoning questions are displayed in both charts and tables, so familiarizing yourself with this test format can help interpret the given data in a fast and efficient way. Take our advice - practice with our simulated SHL numerical test questions to enhance your test scores.

Read on to practice with sample questions, followed by thorough answer explanations. You will also find useful tips for solving these types of questions, so that you can become a pro!

But first, let’s go over some basics...

 

The 7 Elements That Make up Tables and Graphs

  1. Title and headings - These will tell you what subject the chart/table is on, as well as what information is presented and how.
  2. Types of charts used to present the data - Pie, bar, histogram, line etc.
  3. Numerical data presentation format - Integers, fractions, decimals, percentages etc.
  4. Math terms to be familiarised with - Terms such as mean, median, mode etc. You should also understand what they mean and how to use them correctly.
  5. Macro and Micro - Understand what each section of the chart/table means, as well as the general theme that the chart/table is associated with.
  6. Scales - What are the measurement scales in which the chart/table elements are presented? (hundreds/ thousands/ percentages/ liters/ milliliters, etc.).
  7. Locate and mark the specific element/s you are asked about. -Know where the information you need is found.

 

For example: the revenues in July. Cross July, on the months' axis with its revenue, on the revenues' axis.

Note: When dealing with two-axis charts, you should be aware of: Time elements (days, months, years, etc.) which are most likely to appear on the horizontal ("X") axis, and quantity elements which mostly appear on the vertical ("Y") axis.

 

Ready to try some questions?

  • First, answer each question prior to looking at the correct answer and its explanation.
  • SHL numerical reasoning questions are complex. Read them carefully

Question 1

Sample 1

 

If in 2009 13.7% of earned dividends were paid to shareholders before the financial statement was made, approximately what was the original income from dividends if the proceeds from sales were 4.7 million that year?

A. £5.3m

B. £5.79m

C. £6.03m

D. £6.14m

E. £11.71m

 

The correct answer is (D) - £6.14m.

The following equation appears under the graph: Cash Flow from investments = Proceeds from sales + Dividends earned.

Company earnings are either reinvested or paid to stockholders.

Dividends are payments made by a corporation to its shareholder members.

First, find the correct value of investments in the graph. The value in 2009 was 10 million.

You can then subtract the portion belonging to proceeds from sales according to the formula given below the graph: 10 – 4.7 = 5.3. 

To find the original income from dividends, all you need to do is divide 5.3 by the remaining percentage:
100% - 13.7% = 86.3% = 0.863
5.3/0.863 = 6.14


Question 2

Sample 2

What was the total number of European large family cars sold in 2004?

A. 400,000

B. 1,000,000

C. 1,200,000

D. 2,000,000

E. 2,200,000

 

The correct answer is (E) - 2.2 million.

The graph presents the number of vessels carrying sold vehicles (minivans and SUVs) and not the number of sold vehicles.

As can be seen from the 2004 column in the graph, there were 20 × 100 vessels of sold minivans = 2,000 and the same number of vessels of sold SUVs (20 x 100 = 2,000 vessels). 

500 minivans fit into one vessel. Therefore,

The number of minivans soled = 500 × 2,000 = 1,000,000. 

600 SUVs fit into one vessel. Therefore,

The number of SUVs soled = 600 × 2,000 = 1,200,000. 

Adding the number of large family cars sold in 2004 results in a total of 1,000,000 + 1,200,000 = 2,200,000 = 2.2 million.


Question 3

Sample 3

What is the ratio of the number of students who visit the Louvre museum to the number of Adults who visit Madame Tussaud's (approximately)?

A. 103:171

B. 104:143

C. 105:169

D. 101:159

E. 106:163

The correct answer is (C) – 105 : 169.

According to the table:

Students who visit the Louvre: 45% out of 4200 = 1,890.

Adults who visit the Madam Tussauds: 78% out of 3,900 = 3,042.

The ratio is: 1890 : 3,042.

Since you don't have this possibility in the answer-options, you will have to divide this ratio by a common denominator. When adding up the digits of each ratio number, you will see that 1,890 adds up to 18 and that 3,042 adds up to 9. This means that both numbers can surely be divided by a common denominator of 9:

210 : 338.

As can be seen, this ratio can further be divided by 2 to arrive at the correct answer:

105 : 169

(In other words, both numbers' (1,890 and 3,042) greatest common denominator equals 18).


Question 4

Sample 4

If the total costs of Bared-type products were reduced by 0.7% and the sale prices of Calir-type products were increased by 0.3%, what would be the approximate profits from selling 350 units of each Calir-type product and 270 of each Bared-type product?

A. 1.277 million pounds

B. 1.173 million pounds

C. 1.336 million pounds

D. 0.867 million pounds

E. 1.272 million pounds

 

The correct answer is (A) - 1.277 million pounds.

Step 1:

Calculate the new costs of Bared-type products, as well as the new prices of Calir-type products (be aware not to confuse 0.7% with 7% and 0.3% with 3%):

  • 7% = 0.7/100 = 0.007. Therefore, a decrease in 0.7% is expressed as: 1 – 0.007
  • 3% = 0.3/100 = 0.003. Therefore, an increase in 0.3% is expressed as: 1 + 0.003

Cost of Bared 120: (236+37+95)*(1-0.007) = £365.424
Cost of Bared 260: (268+37+96)* (1-0.007) = £398.193
Cost of Bared 450: (320+38+130)* (1-0.007) = £484.584
Price of Calir XC: 1,734*(1+0.003) = £1,739.202
Price of Calir XR: 2,326*(1+0.003) = £2,332.978

Step 2:

Find the profit gained from selling one unit of each product.

  • profit = sell price – total cost:


Profit from one unit of Bared 120: 792-365.424 = £426.576
Profit from one unit of Bared 260: 797-398.193 = £398.807
Profit from one unit of Bared 450: 987-484.584 = £502.416
Profit from one unit of Calir XC: 1,739.202-(408+56+240) = £1,035.202
Profit from one unit of Calir XR: 2,332.978-(432+57+256) = £1,587.978

Finally,

Calculate the total approximate profit:
(270*426.576)+(270*398.807)+(270*502.416)+(350*1,035.202)+(350*1,587.978)

Tip: in order to simplify the calculation, pull out the common factors:
[270*(426.576+398.807+502.416)]+[350*(1,035.202+1,587.978)] = 1,276,618.73 ≈ 1.277 million

 

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4 Solving Strategies & Techniques for SHL Numerical Test

Take Your Numerical Reasoning Skills to the Next Level.

Use CEEC Answering techniqueCalculation/ Estimation/ Elimination/ Combination:

  1. Calculation - There are cases in which you will need to fully calculate what you are being asked in order to get to the correct answer.
  2. Estimation - Sharpen your estimation skills, especially (but not solely) when you will not be allowed to use a calculator. Using estimation as a shortcut can be of great value, allowing you to eliminate answer-options and saving a considerable amount of time. However, you must be able to differentiate questions in which estimation is not a useful tool (such as answer-options of very close values and questions which require an accurate answer-value).
  1. Elimination -Go over the answer options and eliminate those that stand out as incorrect.
  2. Combination - Keep in mind that there is more than one technique to be used when answering a numerical reasoning question (Calculating & Eliminating / Estimating and Eliminating etc.)

You can see the CEEC answering technique in action, implemented on the example questions below:

 

CEEC Technique Example 1

CEEC Sample

In which age range is the total number of entrances to social networking websites the second highest?

A. 13-19

B. 20-29

C. 30-39

D. 40-49

E. 50-59

 

The correct answer is (B): 20-29

In this case, in order to solve the question quickly and correctly, use the combination of calculation and estimation:

Using calculation – adding the total numbers of entrance to social networks, you get (in millions):

Ages 13-19: 5.1 + 5.5 = 10.6

Ages 20-29: 6.3 + 6.7 = 13

Ages 30-39: 8.5 + 4.9 = 13.4

Using estimation - you can see that there is no need to calculate the sum of the other two age ranges because we can see that their numbers are far smaller.

Therefore, the second highest total number of entrances belongs to ages 20-29.


CEEC Technique Example 2

CEEC Sample 2

Which brewery produced the least in 2004?

A. Uxbridge, UK

B. Malmo, Sweden

C. Torino, Italy

D. Ottawa, Canada

E. Canberra, Australia

The correct answer is (D): Ottawa, Canada.

Here are some of the CEEC techniques used to solve the question:

Using calculation only:

In order to determine which brewery produced the least in 2004, you need to use the 2005 Monthly Output ad the Total Output as a Percentage of 2004.

Since you are not told otherwise, you can assume the monthly output for any brewery is the same throughout the year, which means the brewery with the smallest monthly output will also be the one with the smallest yearly output.

From this you can create the following equation:

Monthly Output 2005 = Monthly Output in 2004 X Total Output as a Percentage of 2004

This equation can be converted to:

Monthly Output in 2004 = Monthly Output in 2005 / Total Output as a Percentage of 2004

Using the equation, you can find the monthly output for each brewery (since the data for each is in thousands of liters, you can omit the thousands from the calculation):

Uxbridge, UK: 12,000 / 120% = 12,000 / 1.2 = 10,000

Malmo, Sweden: 1,200 / 90% = 1,200 / 0.9 = 1,333.33

Torino, Italy: 8,000 / 70% = 8,000 / 0.07 = 11,428.57

Ottawa, Canada: 1,000 / 80% = 1,000 / 0.8 = 1,250

Canberra, Australia: 4,500 / 110% = 4,500 / 1.1 – 4,090.91

Therefore, the answer is Ottawa, Canada.

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Using a Combination of Estimation & Elimination:

Shortcut: You can time by using estimation to eliminate some of the answer options.

For the 2004 output to be low, the 2005 output should be as low as possible and the Total Output as a Percentage of 2004 should be as high as possible.

Malmo and Ottawa’s low outputs stand out (with a fair Total Output as a Percentage of 2004).

Therefore, you can eliminate all other options.

 

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Specific Characteristics to Look out for in SHL Numerical Tests

  1. Complexity - SHL tests tend to be complex and require your attention to details.
  2. Job-Specific tests - SHL offers several numerical reasoning tests compatible with a variety of job levels (including graduate, management, and operational positions).
  3. Heterogeneity - SHL numerical reasoning tests may differ greatly in terms of the number of questions and time-limit given. Note that our SHL-tailored PrepPacks™ include the components and characteristics of the specific test you need, to provide you with a realistic experience of how your actual test will appear.
  4. Holism - Time-limit applies to the whole test (and not per question). In most cases, you will be given between 25-35 minutes to complete the test.
  5. Appearance - SHL numerical reasoning questions mostly appear in the form of graphs and/or tables, which will: A) Be followed by multiple-choice questions relating to the data presented. B) Present you with numerical data.
  6. Statistically one - Most questions consist of one graph/table (Some may exceptionally consist of more).
  7. Sharing - Usually two to four questions relates to the same graph/table.
  8. The magic five - Most questions consist of five distractors.

Tips

Top Tips: Solve Your SHL Numerical Assessment Faster & Better

Answering SHL numerical reasoning questions often requires you to demonstrate basic numerical abilities and to perform calculations involving fractions, percentages, ratios, exponents, conversions, etc. You can gain a significant advantage by utilizing the following tips during your preparation process:

 

1. Calculator - Yes or No? 

The use of a calculator on SHL's numerical tests is not always allowed. It is highly recommended to find out whether its use is permitted or not and prepare for the test accordingly;

  • In case the use of a calculator is not allowed: Practice the required mathematical techniques, such as basic arithmetic operations, averages, percentages, ratios, exponents, square roots, etc. Check out the 2 guides in the links above to refresh your numerical skills and breach your knowledge gap.
  • In case the use of a calculator is allowed: Master your skills at operating it. Aside from the basic arithmetic operations, learn how to use the various and more advanced formulas and operations that your calculator has to offer. Start practicing with our guide on how to use a calculator.  

 

2. Order of solving questions:

At the start of your test, you should check whether moving backwards and forwards through the questions is possible/permitted.

  • In case it is permitted, answer the questions on your own preferable order.
  • However, mark the questions that you haven’t answered yet at the same time, so you won't forget to go back to them.

 

3. Time management:

SHL's numerical tests have a time-limit for completing the entire test. Learn how to manage your time per question, within the test’s overall time-limit.

  • If you can move backwards and forwards through the questions, then we suggest that you answer easy questions first. This will allow you extra time to work on the more difficult sections. However, don't forget to go back to the questions you skipped..
  • In case each question’s point-value is stated on the test, focus your time on questions that are worth the most points.
  • Wear a watch/stop-watch to your test – since you won't be able to have your cellphone on you during the test and having a clock on the wall is not always guaranteed, wearing a watch will let you keep track of time.
  • Although keeping track of your time-limit is important, make sure to take your time answering each the questions. After all, your goal is not only answering as many questions as you possible, it is also answering them correctly.
  • Expect the unexpected- Although being well-prepared can familiarize you with the test format, there may still be unexpected questions that leave you stumbling in their wake. Being aware of the possibility of facing these unfamiliar questions can help you stay calm and increase your chance of correctly answering questions.

 

4. Guessing is better than not answering at all

 When taking SHL's numerical test, don't leave questions unanswered. You can find tips for making educated guesses (such as estimation and elimination of answers) on the solving strategies and techniques section below.

 

5. Only one correct answer

 The SHL numerical test is multiple-choice, consisting of five answer-options per question on average, with only one correct answer.


SHL Scoring System- Success Is Not Absolute but Relative to All Other Candidates

The SHL scoring system is comparative- meaning that your test score is based upon comparing your performance to those of the other candidates who took the test. This competition-like scoring system should inspire you to perform well above average on your test. You can read about SHL Scoring in more detail here.


Preparation Work Plan (Using Our Prep Materials)

1) Introduction - Introducing you with SHL numerical reasoning test:

  • Test material - what math-topics does the test include.
  • Questions style, format, structure, etc.
  • Answering style.

2) Reflection - of how you currently cope with numerical reasoning questions:

  • What your strengths and weak areas are.
  • What needs to be done in order to improve your performances and overcoming obstacles.

3) Feedback - Providing you with feedback in the form of a score-report informing you:

  • How well you did on the free test.
  • On which questions you failed to answer correctly.

4) Explanation - Providing you with detailed answer explanations to each question:

  • Stimulating your learning process.
  • Clarifying how beneficial can pre-test preparation be for you.

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