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What is SHL Deductive Reasoning?

The SHL deductive test measures your logical thinking skills. It consists of about 20 questions and typically lasts for 15-20 minutes.

As a candidate who is about to take the SHL deductive test as part of the recruitment process, your test performance, speed, accuracy and alertness during the exam are all taken into account when providing your overall assessment score.

 SHL deductive reasoning test

You will have 7.5 minutes to answer 8 questions.

Complete Your Sample to Get your predicted Score!

 

What Skills Does the Test Measure?

  1. Your conclusion drawing ability, based on information you have been provided with.
  2. Your ability to identify the strengths and weaknesses of arguments.
  3. Your ability to independently complete incomplete scenarios.

 

3 Main Types of Questions Asked on the SHL Deductive Reasoning Tests

  1. Syllogisms - The most common type of deductive reasoning questions. A form of reasoning in which a conclusion is drawn from two or more given premises.
  2. Arrangements - of certain items or people according to a set of given rules regarding their placements.
  3. Underlying Assumptions - Identifying the assumption being made in a given statement, passage or chain of events.

SHL Deductive Reasoning Test Example Questions and Answers

Below you will find several examples of each type of question you will encounter during your SHL Deductive Reasoning Test.

 

Syllogism

Choose one correct answer for each question.

Question 1

  1. There are no dancers that aren't slim.
  2. There are no singers that aren't dancers.

 

Which statement must be true?

A. There is not one slim person that isn't a dancer.

B. All singers are slim.

C. Any slim person is also a singer.

D. All dancers are slim singers.

E. None of the above.

 

The correct answer is (B) - All singers are slim.

The tricky part of this question is that it is phrased negatively. This means that identifying the nature of each group initially and establishing the relationship between the groups, is required.

"There are no dancers that aren’t slim" means that all dancers are slim (dancer → slim).

Similarly, "no singers that aren’t dancers" means that all singers are dancers (singer → dancer).

Once the illustration is made, the relationship between the groups becomes clearer. combining both statements together leads to:

Singer → dancer → slim

Therefore:

Singer → slim.

The only true statement is that all singers are slim. All other statements are either false or undetermined.


Question 2

In a restaurant's pantry there are seven kinds of fruits - Figs, Guavas, Honeydews, Kiwis, Mangos, Nectarines and Papayas. The restaurant's chef has to pick exactly four different kinds of fruits out of the seven to make a fruit salad. The selected fruits must meet the following conditions:

  • Papaya can be selected only if Kiwi is selected.
  • Fig can be selected only if Nectarine is selected.
  • Either Mango or Nectarine must be selected but not both.
  • Either Papaya or Honeydew must be selected but not both.

Which one of the following could be a complete and accurate list of the fruits from which the salad is made up?

A. Kiwi, Papaya, Fig, Mango

B. Kiwi, Nectarine, Honeydew, Guava

C. Mango, Nectarine, Fig, Papaya

D. Papaya, Mango, Guava, Honeydew

E. Guava, Papaya, Kiwi, Fig

 

The Correct answer is (B) - Kiwi, Nectarine, Honeydew, Guava.

In questions asking for a possible complete arrangement according to the rules, go over the answer options and eliminate every response that violates any of the rules presented.

The correct answer is the one that does not violate any of the rules.

Answer (A) - According to the derivatives, Fig can only be selected if Nectarine is selected (~N → ~F). In addition, Mango and Nectarine cannot both be used (M or N). So, a salad containing Mango and Fig is impossible (M → ~F).

Answer (B) - This setting does not violate any of the rules, and therefore this is the correct answer.

Answer (C) - According to the rules, Mango and Nectarine cannot both be selected (M or N).

Answer (D) - According to the rules, Papaya and Honeydew cannot both be selected (P or H).

Answer (E) - According to the rules, Fig can only be selected if Nectarine is selected, so a salad containing Fig but not Nectarine is impossible (~N → ~F).


Arrangements

Question 3

In a famous zoo, exactly five panda bears - Jinan, Knot, Lee, Mushu and Nee-Hau - are kept in three adjacent courts numbered 1 to 3, 1 being the court furthest to the left and 3 furthest to the right. Each court holds at least one panda bear, and every panda bear can be kept in one court only. The pandas' locations must be consistent with the following:

  • Knot is kept in a court somewhere to the left of the court Lee is kept in.
  • Mushu and Nee-Hau are not kept in the same court.
  • Either Mushu or Jinan, but not both, are kept in court 2.
  • Nee-Hau is kept in court 3.

Which statement cannot be true?

A. One bear is kept in court 2.

B. Two bears are kept in court 1.

C. Two bears are kept in court 2.

D. Three bears are kept in court 3.

E. Three bears are kept in court 2.

The correct answer is (E) - Three bears are kept in court 2.

The correct answer to this question is the only answer that is not possible. This means that the four wrong answer choices are at least possible, if not necessarily true.

In order to eliminate a response, there should be at least one possible complete arrangement that aligns with that response.

Answer (A) - This is a possible setup in which there is only one bear in court 2:

1           2           3

K,M        J        L,N

Therefore, this is not the correct answer.

Answer (B) - This is a possible setup in which there are exactly two bears in court 1:

1           2           3

J,K        M,L         N

Therefore, this is not the correct answer.

Answer (C) - This is a possible setup in which there are exactly two bears in court 2:

1           2             3

K,M        L,J           N

Therefore, this is not the correct answer.

Answer (D) - This is a possible setup in which there are exactly three bears in court 3:

1           2           3

K        M        L,N,J

Therefore, this is not the correct answer.

Note: after eliminating responses (A) through (D), checking response (E) is redundant – it must be the correct answer.

Answer (E) - Allocating three bears to court 2 means that there is a single bear in court 1 and a single bear in court 3, since every court must contain at least one bear.

Nee-Hau is kept in court 3. Either Mushu or Jinan, but not both, is kept in court 2 (court 2: M J).

If Mushu is in court 2, then Jinan has to be in court 1 or 3. This constrains Knot and Lee to be kept in court 2, in violation of the rule K < L:

1           2           3

J        K,M,L        N

If Jinan is kept in court 2, then Mushu must be kept in court 1, and the same problem still exists – Knot and Lee are kept in the same court:

1           2           3

M        K,J,L        N

This answer represents an impossible scenario.


Underlying Assumptions

Question 4

The factory manufactured a thousand soft toys in the last month and eleven hundred in the month before that. Therefore, raising employees' salaries helped improve the factory's productivity.

Which assumption underlies the above argument?

A. Toy factories manufacture about a thousand toys each month.

B. Two months ago, the factory made twelve hundred toys.

C. Raising employees' salary always increases productivity.

D. The factory used to manufacture less than a thousand soft toys a month.

E. The factory produced a thousand computers last month.

 

The correct answer is (D) – The factory used to manufacture less than a thousand soft toys a month.

The statement regarding the improvement in the factory's productivity suggests that the factory was less productive in the past than it is now; Nowadays, the factory produces 1000-1100 toys a month. If this is an improvement, one has to assume that productivity used to be lower than 1000 toys a month in the past, as suggested in answer choice D.

Go over the rest of the answer choices:

Answer (A) – One cannot deduce a general rule about all toy factories from just this one example.

Answer (B) – The fact that there was a difference of one hundred toys between the previous and the one preceding it does not imply anything regarding the months before. Moreover, this suggestion contradicts the information given in the question. One has to assume productivity used to be lower, not higher, which makes this answer choice illogical.

Answer (C) is eliminated using the same reasoning – one cannot deduce a general rule about raising employees' salary from just this one example.

Answer (E) – As far as we know, this company produces soft toys only. It is possible that it manufactures other products as well, but we have no way of knowing that for sure. Therefore, we cannot say whether this statement is true or false.

 

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Jobtestprep Expert Tips

Top 6 Tips to Quickly and Accurately Solve your SHL Deductive Questions

Below you will find several useful tips for taking on your SHL Deductive Reasoning assessment head-on. Use these tips when practising to get the most out of your practice sessions:

 

Formal logic tests are comprised of questions in which an informative paragraph is given. Consider the information provided in the paragraphs as true.

I. In the case of Syllogism Questions – in which you are asked to infer information from generalisation premises, there are some key operations to ease the solving process;

♦Rewrite the statements using symbolic patterns according to its structure.

For example:

'All' statement: 'All police officers on duty wear uniforms' - let 'police officers on duty' be A and 'wear uniforms' be B. Let the relation between 'police officers on duty' and 'wear uniforms', be represented by an arrow: . Therefore, turn 'All police officers on duty wear uniforms' into: All A ⇒ are B.

'If' statement: 'If a police officer is on duty, then he is wearing uniform' - let 'a police officer is on duty' be A and 'he is wearing uniform' be B. Let the relation between 'a police officer is on duty' and 'he is wearing uniform' be represented by an arrow: . Therefore, turn 'If a police officer is on duty, then he is wearing uniform' into: If A ⇒ then B.

We offer a complete coverage of this technique and others in comprehensive prepacks that include the following guides:

1. Logical Reasoning Guide - Generalization Statements.

2. Logical Reasoning Guide Exercise 1 - Generalisations.

3. Logical Reasoning Guide - Existence Statements.

4. Logical Reasoning Guide Exercise 2 - Existence.

 

II. In the case of Arrangement Questions - in which you are asked to find the correct arrangement of items or people according to a set of given rules regarding their placements;

♦Placing items according to rules- read each rule carefully and allocate the items accordingly, using a table or by drawing. As each rule adds more information about item's location, rearrange them accordingly, until reaching the correct arrangement.

Start with the simplest and easiest to place items according to the rule.

See above for sample question 3.

III. In case of Underlying Assumption Questions – in which you are required to identify the assumption being made in a given statement or chain of events, or to find the assumption that links between a premise and a conclusion.

  • Read actively, identify the premises and conclusion/s and mark them.
  • Identify the missing assumption that connects between the two, enabling the conclusion inference from the premises.
  • Recognize - Once recognizing the underlying assumption, go over the answer options and identify the answer that correlates it.
  • Be careful of general deductions - Refer only to the information presented in the test. (See sample question 4, as an example of dismissing a general deduction answer-options)

SHL's numerical tests have a time limit upon completion of the entire test. Learn how to manage your time per question, within that time limit.

I. In case moving backwards and forwards through questions is permitted - answer easy questions first. This will allow you extra time to work on the more difficult sections. However, don't forget to back to questions you skipped.

II. In case the questions' points-value is stated on the test - focus your time on questions that are worth the most points.

III. Wear a watch/stop-watch to your test – since you won't be able to bring cell-phone in your test and having a clock hanged on the wall is not guaranteed, wearing a watch will allow you sticking to your time budget.

IV. Don't rush yourself through the questions - although sticking to your time budget is very important. Afterall, your goal is not only answering as many questions as you possibly can but answering them correctly. Part of a successful time-management is setting your own pace, to avoid the risk of making critical mistakes.

V. Expect the unexpected - take into consideration that although well prepared for the test, you may still seldomly stumble upon un-familiar question-format. Knowing that in advance will help you to avoid anxiety and approach this question more calmly, increasing your chances to answer it correctly.

Better than not answering at all: On SHL's deductive tests don't leave questions unanswered.

SHL's deductive questions are multiple-choice with up to five answer-options per question, on average, and only one correct answer. Choose your answers wisely.

Post inferring information/ arranging items/ recognizing the underlying assumption, use elimination to dismiss incorrect answer-options.

♦There are cases in which you can dismiss the answer option during (and not after) the solving process.


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

SHL tests are scored comparatively, in relation to other candidates’ scores, meaning how well you did compare with other candidates. Therefore, even if you found the test particularly tough, rest assured many candidates are probably feeling the same, so you might still be ranked highly, performance-wise.

This competition-like scoring system is a good motivational factor and should inspire you to perform highly on your test.

 

SHL Deductive Test is always part of a PrepPack™, and as such, it comprises part of the preparation process for your SHL assessment.

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