Network Rail Assessment Centre & Online Tests 2024 Guide

If you’ve chosen to try for a job at Network Rail, Britain’s leading railroad infrastructure company, you’re not alone! Job seekers throughout the country are drawn by the benefits, high employee satisfaction, and a reported atmosphere of companionship and kinship among workers.

What’s more, Network Rail is known to provide on-the-job training for entry-level employees with little to no formal background.

In spite of all this, the recruitment process has been described as demanding, even gruelling at times. From the moment you submit your online application until you receive an offer, it can take anywhere between several weeks to several months, depending on the role, with an average of about five weeks. You will be tested on your abilities and competencies, interviewed, and asked to perform tasks.

If you’re ready to take on the challenge, this page will provide you with a comprehensive summary of what you can expect, including tips, sample aptitude test questions from our Network Rail PrepPack™, and more. Make sure to read through our guide to reduce anxiety and better understand the challenges that lie ahead.

Network Rail Tests

Network Rail All-Inclusive Pack

What You'll Get: 

  • 6 SHL-style numerical reasoning tests
  • 7 SHL-style verbal reasoning tests
  • 2 SHL-style inductive reasoning tests
  • 11 situational judgment tests
  • A personality test, plus single-trait drills
  • Interview preparation
  • 25 study guides and video tutorials
  • Network Rail assessment centrw preparation

Bonus Aon Smartpredict PrepPack at discounted price 


Shlomik, SHL Tests Expert at JobTestPrep
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What is the Network Rail online assessment?

After submitting your CV and application form on the Network Rail Careers webpage, you will receive an email invitation asking you to take a number of virtual aptitude tests. Typically, these will be provided by SHL Solutions.

Among the Network Rail Psychometric Tests, you can expect to take the Verbal Reasoning Test, Numerical Reasoning Test, Situational Judgement Test, and if you applied for an engineering graduate scheme, the Inductive Reasoning Test.

If you pass the tests, your results will be saved in Network Rail’s system for a full year, in case you chose to apply for more positions. Beyond that time, you will have to retake the tests.

The Network Rail assessments are the first phase in your recruitment process. If you pass them, you will move on to the pre-recorded video interview.


NOTE: Though SHL assessments are still prominent, Network Rail is slowly moving away from them and toward more interactive, gamified tests such as the AON gridChallenge. Make sure you read your email instructions carefully, so you don’t end up practising for the wrong test. If you see an unfamiliar assessment on the list and wish to know how to prepare for it, ✉ contact us! ✉

Let's review the SHL Assessments, as they are the most commonly used by Network Rail.

Network Rail SHL Tests Overview and Sample Questions

SHL is a major player in the field of pre-employment exams, and its clients include major transport companies. Four of SHL’s tests are prominently featured in the hiring processes for Network Rail jobs:

  • Numerical Reasoning Test

The Network Rail Numerical Reasoning Test aims to evaluate your knowledge, understanding, and application of mathematical concepts such as ratios, BODMAS, graphic representation of data, and more. The test involves a tight time constraint, and your goal is to complete as many questions as you can within the allotted time. You don’t have to answer all of them. The questions are multiple-choice.

  • Verbal Reasoning Test

Considered to be more challenging than the Numerical Reasoning test, and with a shorter time limit, the Network Rail Verbal Reasoning Test assesses your understanding of written information, and your ability to extrapolate information logically. The questions are in a True/False format. Following each text passage, you will read statements related to the text, and indicate whether they are true, false, or indeterminate.

  • Situational Judgment Test

The Network Rail SJT (Situational Judgment Test) presents you with realistic scenarios that could occur in an actual workplace. Typically, there will be some sort of conflict of values concerning teamwork, meeting deadlines, and answering to higher-ups. You will have to choose which, from a number of options, is the most suitable course of action to take in response to the events described, and which is the least suitable. The NR SJT is not timed, but should take about 20 minutes.

  • Inductive Reasoning Test

The Network Rail Inductive Reasoning Test is taken only by candidates applying for Engineering Graduate Scheme programmes. You will be presented with a sequence of abstract drawings that follow an unknown pattern. You will have to recognize the pattern and choose which of a number of possible answers would complete the sequence. You can view examples here.

Note: The exact time limit and number of questions will depend on the role you’re applying for. It may be different for a signaler than for a timetable planner, for example.

Here is a simple video that explains everything you need to know about SHL Tests:

The SHL tests put many people off, as they can be challenging and tedious, and the time constraints are experienced by many candidates as nerve-wracking and overwhelming. However, accurate preparation can make all the difference. Our prepPack features samples, guides, and explanations for all four of the Network Rail Assessments tests, as well as for the video interview and assessment centre challenges.


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Network Rail Online Assessments - Sample questions:

Network rail Numerical Reasoning Sample Question

Gaming Industry Total Income in 2012, US: $31.2 billion

Network Rail Numerical Sample Question

What was the total income of the Social Networks’ platform in 2011?






View Explanation

The total income of the social networks platform in 2012 was $31.2 billion. I we multiply that by 0.14 we get $4.368 billion, which is the absolute amount of profit made by the Social Networks platform in 2012.

The change of Social Networks income from 2011 was +44%.

We can use all this information to write the following equasion:

1.44X = 4.368, with X representing the SNs profits in 2011.

To arrive at the solution we will use therefore divide both sides by 1.44.

4.368 b / 1.44 b = $3.03 billion.

The correct answer is C

Network Rail Verbal Reasoning Sample Question

People who drink coffee appear to live longer, as drinking coffee is associated with a lower risk of death due to heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease. People who consume a coffee a day are 12 percent less likely to die than those who do not drink coffee. This association is even more vital for those who drink two to three cups a day—18 percent reduced chance of death. Lower mortality is present regardless of whether people drink regular or decaffeinated coffee, suggesting the association is not tied to caffeine.

People who drink two or three cups of coffee a day have a 6 per cent higher chance of living longer compared to people who drink one cup of coffee a day.




View Explanation

This question is slightly misleading, and intentionally so.

If people who drink a cup a day are 12% less likely to die, and people who drink 2-3 cups are 18% less likely to die, it is tempting to deduce that the difference between them is equal to 18 - 12, which is, in fact, six.

Howver, these figures are only a comprison between either groups and people who don't drink any coffee at all.  The difference between people who drink one cup of coffee a day, and people who drink two to three cups a day, is 6 percent only when comparing them to people who do not drink coffee. When comparing these two groups to one another, you will get a different result.

The correct answer is B - FALSE

Network Rail Situation Judgment Sample Question

You have been working as a financial advisor in a well-established consultancy firm for over 3 years now. One of your clients has requested you contact her urgently. She has employed a new financial director who seems to have implemented some changes which the client fears are not necessarily beneficial to the company. She asks you to sit with the new director for a debriefing regarding the new changes. The director seems impatient and unwilling to give you all the information you need in order to write your report. He explains that he has some urgent matters to attend and suggests he will write you an e-mail later today detailing all the relevant information. At the end of the day you receive a one-page document with some basic information regarding the new changes. You feel this information will not allow you to complete your report to the highest standard.

What would you do in this situation?
Rank TWO of the following options, one as the BEST and one as the WORST.

Response #1:  Since the director seems unwilling to help you complete your report, you do your best with the information you do have.

Response #2:  You write an e-mail to the client explaining to her that without the cooperation of her new financial director you will not be able to complete your report.

Response #3:  You call your direct manager and ask for her advice on what you should do. This is a delicate situation and you do not want to harm the relationship with this client.

Response #4:  You start working on your report with the information you do have. At the same time, you e-mail the financial director asking him to reschedule your meeting as soon as possible as you need access to more information.

View Explanation

Number 4 is the best response as it reflects both a determination to complete the job, and an ability to work with a problematic colleague in a constructive way. By continuing to work on the report you show commitment to your job, and by contacting the director and assertively asking him to reschedule your meeting you portray an ability to motivate others.

Number 1 is a passive response and is probably the worst option as you do nothing so solve your problem. In addition to avoiding the conflict altogether, you risk producing a mediocre report to your client.

While 3 is reasonable and indeed represents what many people would do in real life, it does not reflect your ability and independence. 2 has potential to work, but may also escalate the situation. It is therefore a last resort solution.

The correct answer is: 1 - worst, 4 - best

Want to see more practice questions, complete with detailed explanations, solving guides, and expert tips? Our Network Rail PrepPack contains all that, as well as preparation for the NR video interview and assessment centre tasks.

Network Rail Interview

Did you make it past the assessment tests? Congratulations! You are one step closer to landing your Network Rail Job. The next step is the Network Rail Video Interview.

You will receive an email requiring you to record your answers to a series of questions within seven days. This should give you plenty of time to prepare your answers.
The questions will be competency-based, and your goal is to relay your experience and qualifications, show that you understand the job requirements, and show that you are committed to Network Rail’s values.

Network Rail Video Interview Tips

This will be the first time your recruiters see who you are, beyond your test results. If you play your cards right, you can take advantage of the video interview to boost your application! Here are some helpful tips on how to ace the interview:


Do Your Homework
On the Network Rail careers page, there is a thorough description of the job requirements and necessary skills. Make sure to read them through and through. If something still isn’t clear, don’t be afraid to contact your recruiters via email and ask them for anything you need to know.


Show That You Care About Company Values
As a company that serves the public rather than stakeholders, Network Rail makes a big deal out of its core principles and values. In recent years, the most significant of these values have been safety first and customer first. Showing that you understand how your job relates to these will go a long way!


Shine Bright Like a STAR
The STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) is a format for answering interview questions that has come to be regarded as the gold standard by firms worldwide. It involves telling your interviewers about a tough situation that you faced in the past, identifying what your task was in dealing with it, explaining how you did it, and describing the results.

JobTestPrep’s Network Rail PrepPack contains a video guide and two written guides on how to make the most of your video interview, along with many more features that make the Network Rail recruitment process easier and less stressful.

Network Rail Assessment Centre

If you’ve reached this stage, you are in the home stretch! All that remains is the Assessment Centre, which is a day you and other candidates will physically travel to the company’s headquarters to be faced with a number of final challenges. Don’t worry about travel expenses, as they will be reimbursed!

We recommend dressing casual-smart, getting a good night’s sleep before the day, and preparing ahead of time.

What does the Assessment Centre Include?

Network Rail are fairly communicative when it comes to relaying what preparations, if any, you are to make ahead of your interview. You should receive an email with precise instructions.


Candidates for certain roles are asked to prepare a presentation, highlighting and explaining what the role is to them. In such an event, keep in mind that your recruiters want to hear that you are committed to the company’s values, first-and-foremost safety, and putting customers first. They also want you to describe how you believe your qualifications and past experience make you suitable for the job.

Group Exercises

You may be divided into groups of 8-10 and asked to collectively complete a task. The most common mistake candidates make is assuming they are expected to show leadership. In fact, your recruiters will not be too impressed if you impose your thoughts on others in an attempt to appear dominant. Instead, try to be assertive and make your voice heard without being pushy or bossy.

Retaking the Aptitude Tests

This is a stage many find frustrating, as candidates are asked to take the same aptitude tests they already took at the start of the hiring process. Try to take it lightly, as you have already prepared for these. The company simply wants to verify that you did not cheat on the remote tests by asking you to retake them on-location.

Face-to-Face Interview

At some point during your Assessment Centre Day, you will enter a room with one or two interviewers for a lengthy and thorough interview that can be as long as an hour. You will be asked to talk about your experience, why you want to work at Network Rail, and what you hope to gain from the job. Don’t be too daunted by this interview. Think about it as the final step. Be friendly, courteous and professional.


After you Assessment Centre, you will receive an email informing you if you have passed the recruitment process. If you did, you will be able to discuss salary and terms with your recruiters at Network Rail.

JobTestPrep’s all-in-one Network Assessment PrepPack  features detailed guides to help you show up to your Assessment Centre as ready as can be.

Network Rail Graduate Schemes

Network Rail offers a variety of training programmes in engineering, finance, business management, and operations management. These programmes typically last two years, during which time you will be enjoying significant benefits and a high salary as compared to graduate schemes in the market. Graduates go on to take meaningful and high-status positions in the company.

Read more about Network Rail’s Graduate Programmes.