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The SHL Cognitive Test

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Did you get up early this morning to check your emails? Were you excited to find that there was an email about that job you applied for in your inbox? But, the excitement didn’t last long because as you read through the email you realized you need to take an SHL Cognitive Test as part of the recruitment process.

Oh no, a cognitive test’ you muttered to yourself.

What could that possibly mean?’

If you have been asked to sit an SHL cognitive test and are unsure of what to expect, don’t stress, we’re here to provide you with concrete answers and information.

About The SHL Cognitive Test

Organizations use cognitive ability assessments to find candidates with the abilities and skills that fit their company requirements. Cognitive tests are tools used to discover how an individual solves complex problems, makes decisions and more. Companies often want to see how a candidate works with information, reasons and applies logic so they can predict how successful the person will be at their job.

Why is an SHL cognitive ability assessment so important?

It is important to do well in these tests so you can show your prospective employer that you are the right candidate for the advertised job. How can you maximize your chances of success? The best way is to prepare for these tests before you sit the ‘real thing’. One way to start preparing is to become familiar with the format of the test.

The format of SHL cognitive tests

SHL’s cognitive tests are made up of multiple-choice questions that gauge various mental capabilities, for example, reading comprehension, numerical and verbal skills, and reasoning ability. Certain SHL cognitive tests measure specific abilities (such as numerical or verbal skills), while others measure a variety of different skills to give a prospective employer an overview of a candidate’s general mental ability.

The more you familiarize yourself with the format and structure of the cognitive test the better. Knowing what to expect will not only help you stay focused and deal with the test material presented to you, it may also help calm your nerves.

To help you further understand what to expect from your cognitive test we’ll now take a look at 5 examples of SHL cognitive tests.

SHL Verify Cognitive Ability Assessment

SHL has cognitive tests known as SHL Verify Cognitive Ability Assessments. Verify ability tests are used by employers to find top people to fill job roles, develop the current workforce, and help employees reach their potential. These tests are known for their difficulty, so it makes good sense to practice before test day.

5 Examples of SHL Verify Cognitive Tests

1. The Verify Numerical Ability Test

This test measures your ability to work with numbers and use suitable mathematics in various scenarios. You will be asked to undertake numerical calculations, solve word problems, and understand the data presented in graphs and tables.

2. The Verify Inductive Reasoning Test

This test measures your ability to make conclusions from, and see relationships between, different concepts. You will be asked to decipher patterns in a series of images and identify the correct image from the options given to you.

3. The Verify Deductive Reasoning Test

This cognitive test measures your ability to draw conclusions from the information presented, isolate the strengths and weaknesses of an argument, and complete scenarios from the incomplete information provided. You will be given tasks such as, reading statements and deciding which of the options have to be true and which of the options cannot be true.

4 The Verify Calculation Test

This test measures your ability to subtract, divide and add, and work with numbers accurately and quickly. Organizations often use this test when hiring for entry-level, clerical roles, and administrative roles.

5. The Verify Verbal Ability Test

This cognitive test measures your capacity to extract key information from written information and make objective judgments with this information in mind. This test will tell your prospective employer just how well you work with correspondence, reports, research information and instructions. The test places emphasis on using, understanding and interpreting verbal sources, and not spelling, vocabulary, or grammar.


If you have been asked to sit an SHL cognitive test don’t fret! The key to doing well in these tests is familiarizing yourself with the material and sitting several practice tests before the ‘real thing’, and you have already started this process by reading this article. How can you continue this process? A great way to take the next step is to enroll in an online SHL prep cognitive test. Good work for getting started, and keep the momentum going. Good luck!

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About Shane Avron

Shane Avron is a freelance writer, specializing in business, general management, enterprise software, and digital technologies. In addition to Flevy, Shane's articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, among other business journals.

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