South African universities such as University of Stellenbosch Business School, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Business School, Potchefstroom Business School, and more all require either the SHL test or the GMAT as part of the application process. Most applicants take the SHL test, so a good score on the test is vital to get a place in an MBA course. The test will take three hours to complete. Although many universities suggest that you only need minimal preparation for the test, our experience with these types of tests backed up by academic study has been that preparation for aptitude tests such as these increases your scores. In this article we will discuss each of the sub-tests in detail.

SHL Verbal Critical Reasoning Test

The verbal critical reasoning test measures how you evaluate the logic in a piece of text. In this test you are given a passage of text and asked to evaluate whether a statement made in connection to the information in the text is true, false, or whether you cannot say based on the information you have read. This test is a timed test, usually with 25 minutes allocated to answer 48 questions.

The timing of the test combined with the specific nature of the questions and sometimes lengthy texts creates pressure on you to work quickly and accurately through the test. Taking practice verbal critical reasoning tests enables you to sharpen your speed reading skills, hone your reasoning skills, and increase your familiarity with this type of test making you more confident and helping you improve your score.

SHL Numerical Critical Reasoning Test

This test examines your ability to extract the correct information and to make decisions or inferences from numerical data. On this test you are given information in the format of a table, chart or graph and asked questions requiring you to identify the right information and make calculations to come to the answer. This test is timed, usually giving 35 minutes to answer 35 questions.

Finding the answers to questions involves one or more calculation, with an element of critical reasoning needed to identify the information to put in your calculations. The challenging aspects of the test includes making all the calculations you need within the time available. As your test is taken at a test centre you may not be allowed to use a calculator, so make sure you don’t use one in practice. You are given pen and paper to help make calculations as you go along.

SHL Inductive Reasoning Test

Inductive reasoning tests are non-verbal tests, i.e. they do not use words or numbers. On this test you are being examined on your ability to understand relationships and draw conclusions between concepts (or shapes). You are being tested on pure logic without the need of acquired knowledge. The inductive test usually contains 40 questions to answer in 20 minutes.

On this test you need to work quickly to identify the pattern and pick out the correct answer. The more you prepare for this test the better you will get at recognising the main elements of each pattern.

Prepare for the inductive reasoning test with our SHL-style inductive reasoning practice pack.

SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ)

This test is designed to gain a picture of your personality. The test will help the university get a picture of your motivations and character, and how consistent your personality is. It also gains an idea of your work style, for example, are you a team player or introverted? Are you creative or meticulous?

The test contains over 100 questions. For each question you are given four personality statements and you must choose which one represents you the most, and which represents you the least. In all, the test will examine you against 32 different personality traits. Preparation for the test, answering personality questions again and again, will help you understand yourself better and keep you more real on the test. You will be able to better understand what each personality trait means, which will help you create a fuller picture of yourself. Our personality test is specially designed to mimic the SHL OPQ32 test. 

In Summary

The SHL test in its entirety is designed to measure language and reasoning skills and learning potential. The four sub-tests are all very different, drawing out different skills to create a complete picture of who you are. You need to perform well on each of these sub-tests to get a good score on the test to use on your MBA application.

We offer a complete package containing practice tests and preparation tips and guidance for all four sub-tests. Preparing for the tests is vital for getting a good score in the test. Find out more about our SHL-style pack, and good luck.

JobTestPrep is not a part of CEB or SHL and is not related to these trademarks in any way. JobTestPrep offers preparation services for psychometric tests.

What's Included

Practice the entire range of SHL tests required for SAU MBA programs.

Gain immediate access to our online SHL-style practice resources, as they appear on selection tests for MBA programs.

  • 15 SHL-style numerical tests
  • 9 SHL-style verbal tests
  • 11 inductive/logical reasoning tests
  • Online personality test preparation
  • 14 video tutorials & 9 study guides
  • Additional numerical, verbal & logical practice tests
  • Financial Terms guide and practice drill: profit, tax, inflation, stocks and more!
  • Detailed explanations | solving tips | smart score reports
  • Immediate online access, practice 24/7
  • Exclusive to JobTestPrep
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