CEB SHL Excel Test Preparation

Invited to take an online Microsoft Excel test as part of your interview process? JobTestPrep can help you prepare for your test with tutorials, free sample questions, practice tests, tips, and advice.
Practice CEB’s SHL Style Excel Tests

Three Multiple Choice tests, Two Interactive Tests + over 180 additional practice questions and 3 full length Excel tutorials!

Only £29
Completing an Excel assessment test as part of the recruitment process, is standard in many positions across a wide variety of industries including banking, finance, accounting, consultancy, and many more. Our Excel test preparation package will help you get your Excel skills up to speed.

General Information

Excel is the spreadsheet tool of Microsoft Office. Potential employees are often required to pass an Excel assessment test to measure their proficiency level. Though tests usually cover common features and operations, more advanced skills may sometimes be required. Such is the case when applying for engineering jobs; for instance, the level of proficiency required will most likely be higher than required for information technology jobs. Whatever job you are applying for, our preparation package will get you ready for test day!

Excel Tests For Interviews

CEB’S SHL provides three types of test: Interactive, Interactive-Essentials and Adaptive. Each of the tests is composed of a number of consecutive questions to be completed with the time limit.

Interactive Test

The test is conducted on an interactive software that simulates real usage of Excel’s interface and prompts tasks for the user to complete. Unlike actually working in Excel, this type of software leaves almost no room for trial and error, so there can be no misspelling of formulas or functions. Also, some of the shortcuts you might be used to working with will not be functional.

It consists of a maximum of 30 tasks with a total time limit of about 35 minutes (1 minute and 10 seconds per question).

interactive test example

Interactive-Essentials Test

This test is constructed the same way as the interactive test, but covers only the most critical and widely used operations.

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

Adaptive Test

Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) is a form of a computer-based test that adapts to the examinee's ability level. In this form of test, you will be given multiple choice questions of varying difficulties depending on your performance in previous questions. For example, if you performed well on an intermediate question, you will be presented with a more difficult question and vice versa. From your perspective, it is as if the test is tailored for you.

The test consists of a maximum of 30 multiple choice questions with a time limit of 90 minutes, but it usually takes less time (approximately 20 minutes). Because the test is adaptive, it is more accurate at measuring ability and thus takes less time to arrive at accurate conclusions.

shl adaptive test example

Since it is not always clear as to what type of test you may be asked to do, our special Excel Prep Pack features both multiple choice SHL style questions and interactive simulation software. You will also receive 3 excellent tutorials to help you get started or brush-up on your skills!

Test Topics

The subjects of CEB’s SHL Excel Assessment tests include:

Formulas and Functions Excel's Interface Working with Multiple WorksheetsTables and Charts
Formatting Entering and Manipulating DataGeneral FeaturesPrint and Page Views

Questions range in difficulty from the most basic of operations, such as copying and pasting data, through intermediate level operations such as using sort, filter, and basic formulas, to more advanced features like PivotTables and Macro commands.

Sample Questions

Do you want to see how you measure up? Below are examples of questions that might appear on your test.

Interactive Test Sample Questions

Copy the below table to a new Excel Spreadsheet and perform the following tasks. If you don’t know how to do so, don’t worry! Our Prep Pack cover 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

  1. 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

Scoring Information

A proficiency grade, on a scale of 1 to 5, is calculated based on the amount of correctly answered questions. The grade is then compared to the "group norm" to generate a percentile score that signifies the percent of candidates you outperformed (for example, a score of 89 means you were better than 89 percent of the candidates).

For more information on the scoring method used in the CEB’s SHL Excel test and what you can learn from it in order to optimize your preparation, click here.

Tips & Advice

  1. Contrary to what you may think, multiple choice question tests tend to be harder than interactive ones. This is because they require a higher level of familiarity with Excel’s interface and can challenge even experienced Excel users. Our preparation package was developed with that in mind.

  2. Some work places like to compose their own tests, in which case you will probably be asked to perform several tasks on the actual Excel software. In any case, the topics covered in the preparation package are fairly standard and are likely to fit any Excel test you are asked to take.

  3. Tests contain a wide range of topics, and questions are taken from a large database; meaning that every test is unique and you must be well acquainted with the different topics by practicing thoroughly.

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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.  

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"The Numerical and Verbal reasoning package is very helpful and is close enough to the real CEB's SHL-style tests."
European Central Bank, Budget and Investment analyst, May 2015
"The material was really good. The content and style of the questions were very similar to the real test."
SHL numerical pack, Graduate applicant, BDO, November 2015

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