SHL Assessment Tests Results Explained: Step by Step Guide

What is SHL?

SHL, which stands for Saville, Holdsworth, and Lumley, is a global talent assessment and psychometric testing company that provides a wide range of psychometric assessments, talent measurement solutions, and related services to organizations for various HR and talent management purposes. These assessments are designed to evaluate and measure different aspects of a candidate's or employee's cognitive abilities, personality traits, and job-related skills.

SHL assessments cover a broad spectrum of areas, including numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, inductive reasoning, situational judgment, personality, motivation, and more. These assessments are commonly used by organizations for purposes such as recruitment, talent acquisition, employee development, and training.

SHL's assessments are often utilized to:

  • Screen job candidates for their suitability for specific roles by evaluating their cognitive and behavioral attributes.
  • Identify top-performing employees and promote talent development within the organization.
  • Assess an individual's job fit, including their cognitive and personality traits, within the context of the company's culture and job requirements.

SHL assessments are widely recognized for their rigor and effectiveness, and they are used by a variety of companies across different industries. However, the specific assessments and services offered by SHL may vary, and the company continually updates its offerings to meet the evolving needs of organizations in the field of talent management and human resources.

Who uses SHL Assessment Tests?

SHL (Saville, Holdsworth, and Lumley) Assessment Tests are used by a wide range of organizations and industries for various HR and talent management purposes. These assessments are valuable tools for evaluating the skills, abilities, and traits of job candidates and employees. Here are some examples of who uses SHL Assessment Tests:

  • Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Industry: SHL assessments can be used in healthcare and pharmaceutical companies for roles that demand critical thinking, problem-solving, and attention to detail, such as medical research and healthcare administration.
  • Financial Services Industry: Financial institutions often use SHL assessments for roles related to finance, investment, and risk management, where numerical and analytical skills are essential.
  • Technology and IT Companies: Technology firms may use these assessments to evaluate technical and problem-solving skills in candidates for software development, IT support, and other technology-related roles.
  • Retail and Customer Service: Retail companies and organizations in the customer service industry may use SHL assessments to assess customer service skills and the ability to work effectively in a team.
  • Manufacturing and Engineering: Manufacturing and engineering companies may use SHL assessments to evaluate problem-solving and mechanical skills in candidates for technical and engineering positions.

These are just some examples, and the use of SHL Assessment Tests is not limited to these industries. Various organizations across different sectors utilize these assessments to enhance their talent management and human resources practices, improve their hiring processes, and identify high-potential employees.

How are SHL Tests Scored?

SHL Tests often have multiple sections, each assessing different skills, and the overall score is a combination of your performance across all sections.

Notice, that SHL only considers your right answers, and there are no penalties for wrong ones. This holds true for most SHL tests, unless the specific test instructions state otherwise.

Given that most SHL Tests use multiple-choice questions, it improves your chances if you need to make an educated guess.

How are SHL Scores Interpreted?

SHL tests typically use a percentile scoring system. Your score is compared to the scores of a large group of people who have previously taken the test. The percentile score indicates the percentage of people you scored higher than. For example, if you are in the 80th percentile, it means you performed better than 80% of the people who took the test.

The employer selects the most relevant norm group from several options provided by SHL.

What is an SHL Norm Group?

An SHL norm group is a reference group used for comparison when scoring individual test-takers. It consists of a large sample of individuals who have previously taken the same SHL assessment. This group's performance establishes the basis for percentile ranks and helps in interpreting the scores of new test-takers.

The norm group is diverse and often includes individuals from various industries, job levels, and backgrounds. By comparing an individual's performance to this norm group, SHL assessments can provide insights into how well a person's skills and abilities align with the broader population.

This method allows employers to assess candidates in a standardized way, understanding how each candidate's performance compares to a representative sample of the workforce.

How are SHL Scores Reported?

SHL Test Scores are typically reported in percentile ranks. Here's how it works:

  • Percentile Rank: Your score is compared to the scores of a norm group - individuals who have taken the same SHL assessment. The percentile rank indicates the percentage of people in the norm group that you scored higher than. For example, if you are in the 75th percentile, it means you performed better than 75% of the norm group.
  • Graphical Representation: Some reports may include a graphical representation of your performance compared to the norm group, showing your score on a scale.
  • Interpretation Guidelines: Reports often provide interpretation guidelines, helping employers understand the significance of different percentile ranks in relation to the skills and competencies assessed by the specific SHL test.

You can get an SHL feedback report, where your abilities will be graded on a scale from A to E.

  • A - Well above average (90-100 percentile)
  • B - Above average (70-89 percentile)
  • C – Average (30-69 percentile)
  • D - Below average (10-29 percentile)
  • E - Well below average (0-9 percentile)

The employer receives an SHL report containing the normalized score for each test you completed. Please note that you won't have access to this information.

How to Read the Normal Distribution Graph?

A normal distribution graph, often depicted as a bell curve, is a graphical representation of a dataset where most values cluster around the mean, creating a symmetric distribution. Here's how to interpret one:

  • Bell Shape: The graph typically forms a bell shape, indicating that most observations cluster around the mean.
  • Mean (Average): The peak of the curve represents the mean (average) of the dataset.
  • Symmetry: The graph is symmetric, with equal areas on both sides of the mean. This symmetry implies a balance in the distribution.
  • Standard Deviation: The spread of the data is influenced by the standard deviation. The wider the curve, the larger the standard deviation.
  • Percentiles: The area under the curve represents the percentage of data within specific ranges. For example, the central 68% of the data falls within one standard deviation of the mean.
  • Tails: The tails of the curve represent the more extreme values in the distribution. Outliers are found in the tails.

Getting an SHL report is crucial for your upcoming SHL assessments, especially if you didn't pass the current one. The report gives you details about your performance and offers a general sense of your normalized scores.

This information can help you pinpoint areas for improvement, making it easier to focus your practice on strengthening your weak points in the future.

What is the SHL Pass Score?

There isn't a universal "pass score" for SHL assessments, as it depends on the specific requirements of the employer and the nature of the job. Employers typically set their own criteria based on the skills and abilities they are seeking in candidates.

In many cases, there may not be a strict pass or fail threshold. Instead, employers use the scores to compare candidates and make informed decisions about their suitability for a particular role. A higher percentile rank often indicates stronger performance relative to the norm group.

If you're preparing for an SHL assessment, it's a good idea to check with the employer or recruiter to understand their specific expectations and how they interpret the assessment results for the position you're applying for.

Cognitive Ability Test

Cognitive ability tests assess candidates' problem-solving, analytical, and reasoning skills, which are essential for a wide range of positions.

Numerical Reasoning Test

Used by Employers to determine your numerical reasoning and data interpretation skills.

Spatial Reasoning Test

A spatial reasoning assessment test evaluates an individual's capacity to visualize, manipulate, and comprehend spatial relationships and patterns, often used to assess skills relevant to fields such as architecture, engineering, and design.



Not What You are Looking For? If the Assessment Test you are looking for is not on this page or if you have any questions about how to practice for your upcoming test, please contact us, and we'll get back to you within 24 hours.

Cognitive Abilities Assessment Test

Free Cognitive Test

Determine the Analogy

Next Step: Prepare for the Assessment Test

Preparing for an employment assessment test can be a daunting task, but practicing beforehand can significantly improve your chances of success. Below are 3 reasons why you might consider to get prepared by practicing using materials from JobTestPrep.

Using JobTestPrep practice materials can be an effective way to prepare for the employment assessment test, helping you to build confidence and increase your chances of success. By following these tips and practicing regularly, you can improve your chances and succeed on the test. Select the best Option for the assessment among the tests listed below:

  1. Cognitive Ability Test: Cognitive ability tests assess candidates' problem-solving, analytical, and reasoning skills, which are essential for a wide range of positions.
  2. Verbal Reasoning Test: Company may use this test to evaluate candidates' ability to understand written information and communicate effectively, which is crucial for various roles, including administrative assistants and communication specialists.
  3. Situational Judgment Test (SJT): SJTs can help evaluate how candidates respond to real-world work scenarios, providing insights into their decision-making and problem-solving abilities in the context of company's operations.
  4. SHL Calculation Test: The SHL Calculation Test typically consists of a series of questions that assess your ability to perform basic mathematical calculations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

All the best on your job interview and assessment test! Good luck & I truly hope you will get hired soon!

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Why Prepare with JobTestPrep Practice Materials

  1. Realistic Test Simulation: JobTestPrep provides practice tests that accurately replicate the format and difficulty level of the actual test, allowing you to prepare effectively for the real assessment.
  2. Eliminate Stress by Practicing Time Management Practice: Practicing with time limits helps you improve your speed and accuracy during the test, ensuring you can efficiently complete all sections within the allotted time.
  3. Get Detailed Feedback and Customized Study Plan: JobTestPrep's practice tests offer detailed feedback and personalized study plans based on your performance, enabling targeted improvement and optimized study time.


Not What You are Looking For? If the Assessment Test you are looking for is not on this page or if you have any questions about how to practice for your upcoming test, please contact us, and we'll get back to you within 24 hours.