SHL Numerical Reasoning Test: Practice & Test Answers [2020] - JobTestPrep
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Since 1992, JobTestPrep has been successfully preparing hundreds of thousands of applicants for the most challenging pre-employment tests, including those for SHL. The knowledge we've gathered over the years enables us to create accurate practice materials aimed at helping you become one of the 20% who pass the SHL Numerical Test.

First things first:

What is SHL Numerical Test?

The SHL Numerical Reasoning test is an assessment used for job-seekers applying to jobs at all levels that require numerical reasoning ability.

The test involves analysing data in the form of a graph or chart, performing calculations and answering a short question. Therefore, we advise that you practise these types of questions until you can solve them in your sleep.


💡 Most of the questions on the SHL Numerical test are complex and require strong attention to detail. Make sure you read the questions carefully and don’t rush to input a potentially wrong answer, as this is where many candidates tend to fall.

Here’s an example for a question type that you might encounter on the actual test. Answers and explanations are given at the bottom of this page.

Question 1


SHL exam sample question 1

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

Have you noticed how long it took you to answer this question?

While being an easier question, it still requires high attention to detail and solid calculation skills. And for untrained candidates, it may take a considerable time to solve it accurately.

The main difference between candidates who pass the SHL test and those who don't make the cut, is the ability to quickly comprehend questions and make fast and accurate calculations under time pressure.

When you practise with the full SHL Numerical preparation pack, you gain these crucial abilities and learn to solve problems quickly and correctly.

Further down on this page, we’re going to show you a useful technique to answer questions lightning fast and save precious time during the test. 

💡 When dealing with two-axes charts you should be aware of: Time elements (days, months, years etc.) that will mostly appear on the horizontal ("X") axis, and Quantity elements that will mostly appear on the vertical ("Y") axis.

Axes being swapped around or mismatched (similar to what you’ve seen above) are one of the most common things you’ll encounter on the test, so pay extra attention to this.

Frequently, questions like the following will be centred around time change. Go ahead and give it a try:

Question 2

Share Sales and Dividend

SHL exam sample question 2

In the first half of the year, what was the total cost of buying 450 HPQ shares at their highest price and a fifth of this amount of DELL shares at their lowest price?

A. £8,730

B. £11,880

C. £17,730

D. £12,330

SHL Scoring System – Your Chance to Outscore Others

The SHL scoring system is comparative, meaning that your test score is based upon comparing your performance to those of the other candidates who take the test.

From our experience, many candidates practise using only the official sample questions that appear on SHL's site.

These questions are relatively simple, represent just a small portion of the real test and do not reflect the time limit you'll see on the test.

Thus, to succeed on the SHL Numerical Test, it's essential to prepare using practice materials that simulate the same time constraints and difficulty as the actual test.


⏳ Time Management Tip #1: In case moving backward and forwards through the 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 go back to the questions you skipped.

Here’s a sample question that may confuse many untrained test takers, as it includes a lot of details and complex calculations under tight time constraints. Give it a shot:

Question 3

SHL exam sample question 3

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

For candidates who are not familiar with these types of questions, it might take 2 minutes or more to answer. If you practise thoroughly beforehand, you can reduce the solving time to 1 minute or less!

⏳ Time Management Tip #2: Although sticking to your time budget is very important, it's also important not to rush yourself through the questions. After all, your goal is not only answering as many questions as you possibly can but answering them correctly.

Guessing Is Better Than Not Answering at All

To score higher than other candidates, you need to demonstrate quick thinking and fast solving abilities and try to answer correctly as many questions as you can.

Luckily, on SHL Numerical tests you're not penalised for choosing the wrong answer. Therefore, you shouldn't leave any questions unanswered.

If you see you're running out of time during the test, you can pull out the ultimate tool for answering questions lightning fast - educated guesses. One of the best ways to make quick and educated guesses on this test is by estimating calculations and/or eliminating answer choices.

Now, imagine you only have 20 seconds left on the test and you encounter the following question. You want to answer it correctly, of course, but you realise that the only way you can finish it in time is by making an educated guess.

How would you make it?

Set a stopwatch and give it a shot:


Question 4

SHL exam sample question 4

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

Did you manage to answer it before you ran out of time?

At first, using educated guesses may seem difficult or unnatural to you. But like any other skill, you can improve it by practising.

Try to answer as many questions as you can using the educated guessing technique and watch how your reasoning and problem-solving abilities become much sharper.


💡 Educated guessing can become second nature to you by deliberate practice. You can find hundreds of practice questions in our full SHL Numerical PrepPack™, which will allow you plenty of practice and improvment opportunities.


Here's a more challenging question type you might encounter on the actual test. Try to use an educated guess to answer it as quickly as you can:


Question 5

SHL exam sample question 5

Which brewery produced the least in 2004?

A. Uxbridge, UK

B. Malmo, Sweden

C. Torino, Italy

D. Ottawa, Canada

E. Canberra, Australia

We’ve reached the end of the sample questions section of this page. Now, you might be asking yourself where you should go from here. In this case, you have a few options to choose from, and here’s one of them:

I Finished Practising SHL Numerical Sample Questions – What Should I Do Next?

First, congratulations on acing these challenging SHL Numerical sample questions! You’ve already done more than many candidates who rely solely on the official SHL sample questions (which are usually easier than the actual questions).

The example questions we’ve introduced you today are a good starting point, as they resemble the difficulty and style some of the actual questions you will encounter on the test.

However, they still don’t cover all of the question types nor have the same stressful time constraints you’ll face on the real test.

⏳ Time Management Tip #3: Wear a watch/stop-watch to your test – since you won't be able to bring cell-phone into the testing area and having a clock hanging on the wall is not guaranteed, wearing a watch will allow you to stick to your time budget.

To teach you how to pass the test with the highest possible score and to learn how to work effectively under time pressure, we’ve created the Full SHL Numerical Test PrepPack™.

In this preparation pack, you’ll get:

  • SHL-style practice tests that simulate the actual test in terms of time limits and difficulty of questions (researched and verified by our test experts)
  • Advanced methods and techniques that will skyrocket your problem-solving speed (the educated guessing technique is just the tip of the iceberg…)
  • Specific Drills that target areas in which you feel you need reinforcement
  • Study guides and video tutorials with exclusive SHL tips found nowhere else on the web

From a survey we conducted, we found that our preparation pack has improved chances for success on test day by 73%. That’s quite amazing, right?

The more you practise, the more you will feel confident before the test, since you know you have the knowledge, tools and skills to solve every question you encounter.

⚠️ The test is tomorrow? No problem!

Even practising for as little as 3 hours the day before the test can help you increase your score significantly.

To gain these valuable skills and knowledge and to continue practising for your SHL test right away (with practice materials starting at only £39!), click the button below:


The Full SHL Numerical Test PrepPack™ Is Just One Step Ahead



Immediate Access & Money Back Guarantee 


Here's what one of our recent customers, who had only one day to prepare for his test, says about our PrepPack™:


J. Williams. Verified Reviewer
"Purchasing the JobTestPrep package was the best thing I could have done! I actually purchased it only one day before my test but spent as much time as I could going over the material. It paid off!!! Upon test day I felt confident and breezed through the 2 hour exam in only an hour and 15 minutes. I was the first one finished and received an email the next day that I passed and was invited to move on to the next steps in the hiring process. Money well spent!"

Frequently Asked Questions by Our Customers

Q: My SHL test is tomorrow. Do I have enough time to prepare for it?

A: Of course! Practising even for a few hours the day before the test can benefit you. You’ll get familiar with all the question types you’ll likely encounter on the test, learn solving techniques that will help you answer questions faster, manage your time wisely, and reduce stress before and during the test.


Q: I feel anxious before tests. Can your preparation help me with that?

A: Absolutely. Much of the anxiety before the test is caused by the uncertainty you may feel as the test content and the solving tactics are unfamiliar to you, and/or you haven’t encountered the test concepts since school. When you use our full preparation pack, you will know what to expect on test day and how to deal with each question effectively, resulting in reduced stress and a feeling of unshakable confidence.


Q: What’s the difference between your practice and others I can find online?

A: As SHL Numerical Reasoning is one of the most popular pre-employment tests in the world, we’ve invested enormous efforts in creating an accurate preparation for it, which simulates the actual test. Our preparation pack includes the largest number of SHL practice questions and study guides found online. Moreover, the practice materials are based on thorough research and validation made by our test experts, who have 27+ years of experience in preparing applicants for their pre-employment assessment tests.


Q: Can you use a calculator in SHL tests?

A: 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: Practise the required maths techniques such as basic arithmetic operations, averages, percentages, ratios, exponents, square roots etc. Check out the study guides in our PrepPack™ to refresh your maths skills and close your knowledge gap.

In case the use of a calculator is allowed: Master your skills in operating it; Aside from basic arithmetic operations, learn how to use its various, more advanced formulas and operations such as exponents, square roots, factorial, memory, etc.


Q: What should I do if I have any questions or encounter difficulties using your practice pack?

A: We have a friendly 24/7 customer support department (available via email, phone or here) that will help you with every question you might have.

Answers and Explanations to the Sample Questions

Question 1

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 2

The correct answer is (D) £12,330

According to the table, the highest price of HPQ shares in the first half of the year

(i.e. between Jan-June) was £25.
Thus, the cost of 450 HPQ shares was: 25 x 450 = £11,250.

According to the table, the lowest price of DELL shares in the first half of the year

(i.e. between Jan-June) was £12.
The question specifies that the number of DELL shares bought was 1/5 of the number of HPQ shares (=450).

Hence, the number of DELL shares bought was: 450 x 1/5 = 90 shares.
Thus, the cost of DELL shares was: 12 x 90 = £1,080.

Therefore, the total cost of the transaction was: 11,250 + 1,080 = £12,330

Question 3

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


Calculate the total approximate profit:

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

Question 4

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.

Question 5

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

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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