Free SHL Numerical Reasoning Test & Tips ▷ 12 Min Full Test + Score Report
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Content Table:

  1. What is SHL Numerical?
  2. Free Test
  3. Sample Questions
  4. Tables & Graphs
  5. Solving Techniques
  6. SHL Numerical Test Characteristics
  7. Test Scoring
  8. Build a Prep Work Plan


What is SHL Numerical Reasoning?

As a candidate who is about to go through the SHL numerical assessment process, your performance, speed, accuracy and awareness are all taken into consideration during the exam.

All of these factors will help to determine your overall test score. It is therefore important to nurture and sharpen your skills properly before taking the test.

Free SHL Numerical Test

Complete your test to get predicted score, then review your answers

Test Time 12 min
Questions 9
Pass Score 8

Read on to:

✓ Get a first insight into numerical reasoning SHL tests for the full variety of job levels,
   including graduate, management, and operational
✓ Improve your abilities with example questions & answers
✓ Solve faster and more accurately with insider tips and techniques


SHL Numerical Reasoning Sample Questions (Tables & Graphs)

Most of SHL's numerical reasoning questions are in a charts and tables format, so familiarising yourself with them and learning to interpret them fast is crucial for your success. We advise that you practise this type of question until you dream about it at night.

Each practice question below is followed by a thorough explanation regarding the correct answer, as well as tips for solving questions of this type, so go slow to take it all in.

But first, some basics.


The 7 Elements That Make Up Tables and Graphs

  1. Title and headings - will tell you what the chart/table is about, what information it presents and how it is presented.
  2. Types of charts used to present the data - Pie, bar, histogram, line etc.
  3. Numerical data presentation format - Integers, fractions, decimals, percentages etc.
  4. Math terms to become familiarised with - Terms such as mean, median, mode etc. What do they mean and how to use them correctly?
  5. Macro and Micro - Understand what each piece of the chart or table means, as well as the general theme the chart or table is associated with.
  6. Scales - What are the scales in which the chart or table elements are presented? (hundreds/ thousands/ percentages/ litres/ millilitres etc.)
  7. Locate and mark the specific element/s you are asked about.


For example: the revenues in July. Cross July, on the months' axis with its revenue, on the revenues' axis.

NOTE: 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.


Ready to try some questions?

  • Answer each question prior to looking at the correct answer and its explanation
  • SHL numerical reasoning questions tend to be complex. Read them carefully

Question 1

If in 2009 13.7% of earned dividends were paid to shareholders before the financial statement was made, approximately what was the original income from dividends if the proceeds from sales were 4.7 million that year?

A. £5.3m

B. £5.79m

C. £6.03m

D. £6.14m

E. £11.71m


Answer with Explanation

The correct answer is (D) - £6.14m.

The following equation appears under the graph: Cash Flow from investments = Proceeds from sales + Dividends earned.

Company earnings are either reinvested or paid to stockholders.

Dividends are payments made by a corporation to its shareholder members.

First, find the correct value of investments in the graph. The value in 2009 was 10 million.

You can then subtract the portion belonging to proceeds from sales according to the formula given below the graph: 10 – 4.7 = 5.3. 

To find the original income from dividends, all you need to do is divide 5.3 by the remaining percentage:
100% - 13.7% = 86.3% = 0.863
5.3/0.863 = 6.14

Question 2


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


Answer with Explanation

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 3

What is the ratio of the number of students who visit the Louvre museum to the number of Adults who visit Madame Tussaud's (approximately)?

A. 103:171

B. 104:143

C. 105:169

D. 101:159

E. 106:163

Answer with Explanation

The correct answer is (C) – 105 : 169.

According to the table:

Students who visit the Louvre: 45% out of 4200 = 1,890.

Adults who visit the Madam Tussauds: 78% out of 3,900 = 3,042.

The ratio is: 1890 : 3,042.

Since you don't have this possibility in the answer-options, you will have to divide this ratio by a common denominator. When adding up the digits of each ratio number, you will see that 1,890 adds up to 18 and that 3,042 adds up to 9. This means that both numbers can surely be divided by a common denominator of 9:

210 : 338.

As can be seen, this ratio can further be divided by 2 to arrive at the correct answer:

105 : 169

(In other words, both numbers' (1,890 and 3,042) greatest common denominator equals 18).

Question 4


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


Answer with Explanation

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


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4 Solving Strategies & Techniques for SHL Numerical

Take Your Numerical Reasoning Skills to the Next Level.

Use the CEEC Answering techniqueCalculation/ Estimation/ Elimination/ Combination:

  1. Calculation - there are cases where you need to fully calculate what you are being asked in order to get at the correct answer.
  2. Estimation - sharpen your estimation skills- especially (but not solely) when the use of a calculator is forbidden. Using estimations as a shortcut can be of great value. You might be able to eliminate some of the answer-options based on rough estimations, thus saving a considerable amount of time.
    Differentiate questions in which estimation can be of valuable use, from those where it can't (e.g. answer-options of very close values, questions which calls for an accurate answer-value etc).
  1. Elimination - Go over the answer options and eliminate those that stand out as incorrect.
  2. Combination - There is more than one technique to be used when answering a numerical reasoning question (Calculating & Eliminating / Estimating & Eliminating etc.)

You can see CEEC in action, implemented on the example questions below:


CEEC Technique Example 1

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


Answer with Explanation

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.

CEEC Technique Example 2

Which brewery produced the least in 2004?

A. Uxbridge, UK

B. Malmo, Sweden

C. Torino, Italy

D. Ottawa, Canada

E. Canberra, Australia

Answer with Explanation

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

Here are some of the CEEC techniques used to solve the question:

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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Specific Characteristics to Look out for in SHL Numerical Tests

  1. Complexity - SHL tests tend to be complex and require your attention to details.
  2. Job-Specific tests - SHL offers several numerical reasoning tests compatible with a variety of positions and job levels (including graduate, management, and operational).
  3. Heterogeneity - SHL numerical reasoning tests may differ greatly in terms of the number of questions and the time limit. Note: our SHL tailored PrepPacks™ take into account the components and characteristics of the specific test they target and structure your practice material and mock test accordingly.
  4. Holism - Time limit applies to the whole test (and not per question). In most cases, you will be given between 25-35 minutes to complete the test.
  5. Appearance - SHL numerical reasoning questions mostly appear in the form of graphs and/or tables, which will: a) Be followed by multiple-choice questions relating to the data presented and b) Present you with numerical data.
  6. Statistically one - Most questions consist of one graph/table (Some may exceptionally consist of more).
  7. Sharing - Usually, two to four questions relate to the same graph/table.
  8. The magic five - Most questions consist of five distractors.

SHL numerical reasoning test expert Tips

Top Tips: Solve Your SHL Numerical Assessment Faster & Better

Answering SHL numerical reasoning questions often requires you to demonstrate basic numerical aptitude and to perform calculations involving fractions, percentages, ratios, exponents, conversions etc. Therefore, assimilating the following tips might serve you greatly in your preparation process:


1. Calculator - Yes or No? 

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: Practice the required maths techniques such as basic arithmetic operations, averages, percentages, ratios, exponents, square roots etc. Check out the 2 guides in the links above to refresh your maths skills and close your knowledge gap. For strengthening your mental arithmetic check out this site.
    • In case the use of a calculator is allowed: Master your skills in operating it; Aside from the basic arithmetic operations, learn how to use its various, more advanced, formulas and operations such as exponents, square roots, factorial, memory, etc. Get on top of this issue with our guide on how to use a calculator.  


2. Order of solving questions:

At the start of your test, you should check whether moving backward and forwards through the questions is possible/permitted.

  • In case it is permitted, answer the questions in your own preferable order.
  • However, while doing so, mark questions you haven’t answered yet, so you won't miss any of them.


3. Time management:

SHL's numerical tests have a time limit. Learn how to manage your time per question within that time limit.

  • 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.
  • In case the questions' points-value is stated on the test, focus your time on questions that are worth the most points.
  • 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 to stick to your time budget.
  • 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.
  • Expect the unexpected- take into consideration that although well prepared for the test, you may seldom stumble upon an unfamiliar 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.


4. Guessing is better than not answering at all

On SHL's numerical tests, don't leave questions unanswered. You can find tips for making educated guesses (such as estimation and elimination of answers) on the Solving Strategies and techniques below.


5. Only one correct answer

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

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

The SHL scoring system is comparative- meaning that your test score is based upon comparing your performance to those of the other candidates who took the test. This competition-like scoring system should inspire you to perform well above average on your test. You can read about SHL Scoring in more detail here.

Preparation Work Plan (Using Our Prep Materials)

1) Introduction - Introducing you to the SHL numerical reasoning test:

  • Test material - what math-topics does the test include.
  • Questions style, format, structure, etc.
  • Answering style.

2) Reflection - of how you currently cope with numerical reasoning questions:

  • What your strengths and weak areas are.
  • What needs to be done in order to improve your performance and overcome obstacles.

3) Feedback - Providing you with feedback in the form of a score-report informing you:

  • How well you did on the free test.
  • On which questions you failed to answer correctly.

4) Explanation - Providing you with detailed answer explanations to each question:

  • Stimulating your learning process.
  • Clarifying how beneficial pre-test preparation can be for you.

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