Saville and Holdsworth (SHL) psychometric ability tests are broken into different tests for each level of role, rather than having one test for one type of ability (e.g. verbal reasoning) that can be used across roles.  SHL Ability Tests

While this customisation of tests to the level of roles makes the tests seem more relevant and face valid, it is our belief the basic abilities are the same, just the level and norms the individual is compared to, really changes. 

Many other tests, such as the Employee Aptitude Survey (EAS) tests, can be used across a wide range of roles and the choice of norm group would be the only change dependant on the level of role being assessed for. 

SHL have developed some more complex numerical tests which are good at assessing more applied numerical skills, such as reading charts, graphs and tables.

We have the SHL online platform which can deliver all their supervised and unsupervised ability tests available, as well as some paper based versions of some tests.

Each SHL test is listed under the SHL test battery is comes from:

Advanced Managerial Tests

NMT2 – Numerical Reasoning
  • 20 minutes in length.
  • 35 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Paper based only.
  • This ability test measures the ability to handle particular numerical problems set in a business context. 
  • Its main use would be to assess competence in handling numerical business data. 
  • Problem types range from straightforward arithmetic to proportions, ratios and probabilities.
  • Candidates may use a calculator.
  • Most often used at the senior management level.
VMT3 – Verbal Analysis Ability Test
  • 35 minutes in length.
  • 35 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Online and paper based versions of the test, though the paper based are being phased out.
  • This verbal analysis ability test measures analytical skills such as summarising, drawing inferences and logical reasoning. 
  • This ability test assesses ability to interpret high-level written information such as complex reports and policy documents. 
  • Most often used at the senior management level.
NMT4 – Numerical Analysis Ability Test
  • 25 minutes in length.Numerical Analysis with a calculator
  • 30 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Online and paper based versions of the test, though the paper based are being phased out.
  • This numerical analysis ability test measures the ability to interpret and use high level numerical data, charts, graphs, tables and statistics. 
  • This ability test is useful in assessing ability to identify trends or combine data to establish new information.
  • Candidates may use a calculator.
  • Most often used at the senior management level.

Management and Graduate Item Bank

VMG2 or VMG4 - Verbal Critical Reasoning Test
  • 25 minutes in length.
  • 48 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Online and paper based versions of the test, though the paper based are being phased out.
  • This ability test measures the ability to evaluate the logic of various kinds of argument. 
  • The tasks set and the topics covered are designed to be relevant to managerial work, enhancing the suitability of the tests for use with graduates and managers. 
  • The task is to decide whether a statement made in connection with given information is true or untrue, or whether there is insufficient information to judge.
  • Most often used at the graduate to middle management level.
VMG5 – Verbal Critical Reasoning Ability Test
  • 18 minutes in length.
  • 32 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Online administration only.
  • This numerical ability test is a new version of the VMG2/VMG4 test which are shorter and faster, but with comparable statistical properties to the longer versions.
  • Most often used at the graduate to middle management level.
NMG2 or NMG4 - Numerical Critical Reasoning Ability Test
  • 35 minutes in length.
  • 35 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Online and paper based versions of the test, though the paper based are being phased out.
  • This numerical ability test measures the ability to make correct decisions or inferences from numerical data. The tasks set and data presented are highly relevant to a range of management level jobs. 
  • Candidates may use a calculator, which further increases the relevance of the setting, and puts the emphasis clearly on understanding and evaluation, rather than computation.
  • Most often used at the graduate to middle management level.
NMG5 – Numerical Critical Reasoning
  • 20 minutes in length.
  • 20 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Online administration only.
  • This numerical ability test is a new version of the NMG2/NMG4 test which are shorter and faster, but with comparable statistical properties to the longer versions.
  • Candidates may use a calculator.
  • Most often used at the graduate to middle management level.

Critical Reasoning Test Battery

VC2.1 or VC2.2 – Verbal Evaluation Ability Test
  • 30 minutes in length.Verbal Reasoning Tests
  • 60 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Online and paper based versions of the test, though the paper based are being phased out.
  • This ability test measures the ability to understand and evaluate the logic of topics relevant to supervisors or junior management personnel. 
  • The task is to decide whether a statement is true or false in the context of the information given.
  • Most often used at the administrative, supervisory and junior management levels, the test has only business norms.
NC2.1 or NC2.2 –Interpreting Data Ability Tests
  • 30 minutes in length.
  • 40 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Online and paper based versions of the test, though the paper based are being phased out.
  • This numerical ability test assesses speed and accuracy in interpreting trends and inference in numerical information. This ability test is appropriate for any role where the logical analysis of numerical information is required.
  • Most often used at the administrative, supervisory and junior management levels, the test has only business norms.
DC3.1 – Abstract Reasoning
  • 20 mins, timed.
  • 40 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Online version only.
  • This ability test measures reasoning using diagrams and requires recognition of logical rules and governing sequences. 
  • Ideal for assessing skills needed in occupations where logical or analytical reasoning is required.

Customer Contact Aptitude Series

VCC1 - Verbal Interpretation Test
  • 12 minutes in length.
  • 36 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Online administration only.
  • This verbal comprehension ability test measures the ability to understand straightforward written information in order to arrive at reasoned conclusions.
  • This test is relevant to sales and customers service roles where the ability to read and comprehend basic information is required.
NCC2 – Numerical Interpretation
  • 20 minutes in length.
  • 35 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Online administration only.
  • Measures the ability to understand and use numerical data in order to answer questions.
  • The task is to use tables provided in order to solve basic numerical problems.  The data and the questions have been designed to simulate the kind of numerical information which might feature in sales and customer service jobs.
  • Candidates may use a calculator.
VCC3 – Verbal Evaluation Ability Test
  • 30 minutes in length.
  • 60 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Online administration only.
  • Measures the ability to understand and evaluate the logic of various written passages.
  • Suitable for candidates who are final year school leavers or up to those with graduate qualifications.
  • Useful for customer service and sales staff.
NCC4 – Numerical Evaluation Ability Test
  • 30 minutes in length.
  • 40 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Online administration only.
  • More demanding than the NCC2, this test measures the ability to make correct decisions or inference from numerical data, 
  • The test is appropriate for any job involving analysis or decision-making based on numerical fact, but the nature of the data presented makes the test particularly relevant for sales and customer service work.
  • Candidates may use a calculator.

Information Technology Test Series

DIT5 – Diagramming
  • 20 mins, timed.Online tests
  • 50 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Online version only.
  • This diagramming ability test assesses the ability to follow a set of complex instructions. 
  • In particular, candidates must follow a set of instructions, defined in the form of coded symbols, to manipulate a series of figures.
  • Relevant for all IT jobs as it mimics the ability to handle multiple and inter-dependent demands.
DIT6 – Diagrammatic Reasoning
  • 35 mins, timed.
  • 40 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Paper based version only.
  • This ability test assesses the ability to infer information from a symbolic system and to apply these rules to new situations. 
  • This test is a high level measure of symbolic reasoning ability and is especially relevant to roles that require the capacity to work through complex problems in a systematic and analytical manner such as systems analysis and program design.

Technical Test Battery

Technical Understanding Ability Test - VT5.1 and VT5.2
  • 20 mins, timed.
  • 36 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Online version only. 
  • This ability test measures a candidate’s understanding of written passages containing the type of verbal material likely to be encountered in a technical setting, such as equipment manuals and operating instructions.
Fault Diagnosis Ability Test - FT7.1
  • 18 mins, timed.
  • 36 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Online version only.
  • This ability test measures an individual’s ability at finding faults in systems. 
  • The candidate must locate which element of an arrangement of processors is not working as specified.
  • No specialised knowledge is required.
Mechanical Comprehension Ability Test - MT4.1 and MT4.2 Mechanical reasoning tests
  • 18 mins, timed.
  • 36 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Online version only.
  • This ability test measures understanding of basic mechanical principles and their application to a number of devices, including pulleys, gears and levers. 
SIT7 – Spatial Reasoning Ability Test
  • 20 mins, timed.
  • 40 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Online version only.
  • This ability test measures the ability to visualise and manipulate shapes in three dimensions given a two-dimensional drawing.
  • This test is relevant for engineers, designers, drafts people and IT staff working with graphics or CAD/CAM software.

Work Skills Series - Production

NWP2 – Working with Numbers
  • 10 minutes in length.
  • 36 test items.
  • Administration needs to be supervised.
  • Online administration only.
  • Measures ability to use basic rules of arithmetic.
  • Suitable for production or semi-skilled staff.

SHL Verify Assessments

SHL offer a suite of unsupervised assessments that are called Verify Ability Tests.   The idea behind these tests is that they can be used as an initial screening tool, and later the candidate’s results would be “verified” through a supervised shorter versions of the test.

These tests are available for different levels of role:

Verbal Reasoning – Lower Level Roles
  • 17 minutes in length, verify test 11 minutes in length.Online testing
  • A rotating bank of test items is used.
  • Unsupervised administration online.
  • The equivalent level of SHL supervised numerical test would be the VC2.1 or VC2.2.
  • Suitable for operational roles to junior supervisory roles.
Verbal Reasoning – Higher Level Roles
  • 19 minutes in length, verify test 11 minutes in length.
  • A rotating bank of test items is used.
  • Unsupervised administration online.
  • The equivalent level of SHL supervised numerical test would be the VMG2 or VMG4.
  • Suitable for graduate to management roles.
Numerical Reasoning – Lower Level Roles
  • 17 minutes in length, verify test 14 minutes in length..
  • A rotating bank of test items is used.
  • Unsupervised administration online
  • A calculator can be used.
  • The equivalent level of SHL supervised numerical test would be the NC2.1 or NC2.2.
  • Suitable for operational roles to junior supervisory roles.
Numerical Reasoning – Higher Level Roles
  • 25 minutes in length, verify test 15 minutes in length.
  • A rotating bank of test items is used.
  • Unsupervised administration online.
  • A calculator can be used.
  • The equivalent level of SHL supervised numerical test would be the NMG2 or NMG4.
  • Suitable for graduate to management roles.
Verify Inductive Reasoning Test
  • 25 minutes in length, verify test 7 minutes in length.
  • A rotating bank of test items is used.
  • This inductive reasoning test is really an abstract thinking or diagrammatic reasoning ability test.
  • It measures the ability to work with unfamiliar information and find solutions.
  • Those who perform well tend to have a greater capacity for conceptual thinking and analysis.
  • Unsupervised administration online.
  • Suitable for managerial roles.

We have other ability tests in the following categories:

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