Learn About SHL's Personnel Test Battery (PTB)

One of the most thorough tests administered by SHL is the personnel test battery, the SHL PTB. This is the test of choice for employers wishing to hire people who will be working in positions where a degree of clerical and administrative work is involved. These include those of secretarial and word processing jobs as well as warehouse workers.
SHL-style PTB Practice

35 CEB's SHL-style PTB tests: checking, numerical and verbal!

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There are 12 different tests in the CEB's SHL Personnel Test Battery and they are used to assess and evaluate the candidate in three different areas. This test battery is used to measure the candidate’s ability and skill level in the following areas:

  • Processing basic work correspondence.
  • Straightforward calculations.
  • Checking detailed information quickly.
  • Handling multiple sources of information and filing it away in the correct manner.
  • Understanding and interpreting written information.
  • Basic reasoning skills.
  • Proofreading in a quick and efficient manner.
  • Data Checking. Checking if new data that has been entered onto a computer is accurate or needs to be amended.

This battery of tests is used particularly with secretarial and administrative staff. Each of these tests can be crafted to the employers’ own particular needs thus giving them a full understanding of the candidate’s suitability for the job. Not only do these tests assess your ability to complete tasks, they also show where your talents are suited towards.

Listed below are the different tests in the battery so you will be able to get a deeper understanding of the personnel test battery thus giving you an advantage of knowing what the assessors are looking for. Tests in the SHL personnel test battery can be divided into three categories: Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning and SHL Clerical Checking Tests. The tests are listed according to these categories:

SHL PTB Verbal Reasoning:

  • Verbal Usage – You will be presented with a sentence that has two words missing. Your task is to select the two correct words from five different sets of words. This test measures your literacy skills, particularly the skills needed to be able to draft and process different correspondence.
  • Verbal Comprehension – You will be presented with a text with some accompanying statements. Your task is to decide as to whether these statements are correct, incorrect, or cannot say (true/false/cannot-say format). This test is on a higher level than that of the Verbal usage test and it measures your ability to interpret and understand written information.

SHL PTB Numerical Reasoning:

  • Numerical Computation – In this section you will be given a series of simple sums with one number missing which you will be required to complete by using the four basic operations, fractions and decimals. This is used to assess whether you have straightforward calculation ability.
  • Numerical Reasoning – This test is harder than the Numerical computation test. You will be given a short maths problem with five possible answers. These questions may involve decimals, fractions, averages, as well as graphs. You will be allowed to use a calculator.
  • Numerical Estimation – In this test you will be under severe time pressure so you must estimate the solutions to the maths problems. You will have five different options to choose from. 

For tips on how to pass CEB's SHL numerical tests click here.

SHL PTB Clerical Checking tests:

  • Clerical Checking – In this exercise you will be given a handwritten chart containing a long list of numbers, letters, or a combination of both. Alongside this you will receive a printed computer copy. It is your job to check that the information on both copies is the same. This test is designed to analyse your speed and accuracy and is likely to come up in the job you have applied for.
  • Classification – You will be given different types of information that need classifying and sorting out according to the rules specified in the instructions. These take the form of simple coded items.
  • Basic Checking – This is similar in a way to the Clerical checking section. You will be given five different strings of either numbers or letters and have to select the two identical strings. This will test your speed and accuracy levels.
  • Audio Checking – Here you will be given a choice of five different strings of either letters or numbers and you have to select the one that has been played to you through headphones.
  • Text Checking – You will be given two texts and you have to compare one to the other. You will have to find the mistakes on the second version and mark them down.
  • Computer Checking  Here you will be given a series of different records that have been transferred to a spreadsheet. It is your task to find the records and check whether the information matches the record that you have.

SHL Personnel Test Battery Practice

To be able to perform well on these tests practice is a must. Apart from learning how to approach the content of the tests, you need to learn how to answer questions at a rapid pace. This is because, in every part of the PTB you will be under time constraints and without practice you are practically guaranteeing yourself underperformance. Our CEB's SHL Personnel Test Battery practice includes the entire range of tests seen in SHL PTB. We hope you have enjoyed this article and look forward to hearing from you soon.

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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.

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"JobTestPrep's preparation pack was a great help to me. I found the clerical checking tests very good. The verbal reasoning practice material was also very good and helped me a lot."
Civil Service Applicant, July 2015
"JTP was really useful to make practice for reasoning tests and increase our confidence. I will definitely recommend to practice such tests before appearing for final examination test."
Chemical Industry, Manager position, September 2014

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