About the SHL calculation test

The SHL calculation test is a psychometric assessment that evaluates an individual’s basic numerical skills. The test is also known as the SHL verify calculation test and focuses on whether candidates can use the mathematical functions of subtraction, addition, division, and multiplication when performing basic calculations.

The SHL calculation test is a timed assessment where candidates must work accurately and quickly to solve the calculations.

This assessment differs from other numerical assessments in that questions are timed rather than the whole test having a set time limit. Each of the 20 questions in the SHL calculation test must be answered in 18 seconds, with the test having an overall time limit of 6 minutes.

Test takers must answer each question before moving on to the next question and cannot go back to a question if they cannot answer it. Candidates are also not permitted to use a calculator in the test.

SHL calculation test

How to prepare for and pass an SHL calculation test

There are many ways that you can prepare for the SHL calculation test and give yourself the best opportunity to attain a high score. These center on devising an approach that suits you and ways to hone your skills in mental arithmetic.

Before sitting the SHL calculation test, you must practice sample tests. Practicing tests enable you to become familiar with the format and the questions’ style. In the SHL calculation test, information is given in various ways: tables, equations, and charts, with five multiple-choice answers.

Familiarizing yourself with the style of questions through practicing means that you can focus on answering the questions quickly and accurately when you come to sit for the actual test.

When practicing tests, ensure you simulate test conditions. Calculators can not be used in the SHL calculation test, and each question is timed. To put yourself under the same pressure that you will feel in the test, you must practice under these conditions. This will help you learn how to manage your time, so you complete as many questions correctly within the 18-second time limit per question.

To pass the SHL test, you must use basic mathematics to calculate the correct answer. Make sure you hone your mental arithmetic skills and know how to divide, subtract, add and multiply numerical information. Mastering your mental calculation skills will help you attain your best score on the test.

Look out for opportunities to use mental arithmetic in your daily life. When going shopping, mentally add up the cost of items. Practice basic mathematic puzzles using your practical knowledge of division and multiplication. Devise short-cut or fast-solving strategies to approach calculations.

Sharpening your mental calculation skills and approach to solving calculations will let your natural abilities shine through.

Example questions

Outlined below are some example questions that will help you hone your calculation skills and numerical ability.

Note: calculators are not permitted when determining the correct answer

Example 1

48 x 3 = ?

A: 144

B: 146

C: 124

D: 136

E: 134

Answer = A (144)

Example 2:

? - 57 = 254

A: 167

B: 197

C: 177

D: 193

E: 165

Answer= B (197)

Example 3:

Customer service rep Response time (minutes) Quality of service rating (1-10) Overall customer service score (response time x quality of service)
Customer Service rep 1 156 4 616
Customer service rep 2 146 4 ?
Customer service rep 3 110 5 550
Customer service rep 4 100 3 300

What was customer service rep 2 overall customer service score?

A) 484

B) 586

C) 584

D) 424

E) 564

Answer = C (154)

Example 4:

60% of 500 = ?

A) 250

B) 300

C) 350

D) 325

E) 275

Answer = B (300)

Example 5

42% of 500=?

A) 200

B) 310

C) 210

D) 215

E) 220

SHL calculation test


Can I use a calculator?

Candidates sitting the SHL calculation test are not allowed to use a calculator during the test. To ensure you perform to the best of your ability, practice tests to hone your skills in performing basic mental arithmetic.

How are SHL calculation tests scored?

SHL calculations tests are scored according to the number of questions an individual answers correctly in the test. Employers will have their own criteria for success in the test. This may include comparing an individual’s scores against a company benchmark or a population of individuals performing well at the organization.

How accurate is an SHL calculation test?

The SHL calculation test tests an individual’s ability to quickly perform mental calculations using addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication. Before taking the test, practicing sample questions is vital to perform to the best of your ability and demonstrate your true numerical ability.

Are SHL calculation tests difficult?

SHL calculation tests can be challenging for individuals who have not prepared. To ensure you perform to the best of your ability, practice sample questions under test conditions. Sharpen your calculation skills and devise strategies to help you approach basic mental arithmetic questions.

Tips to Pass the SHL Calculation Test


It is essential to practice sample tests before sitting the SHL calculation. Practicing helps you improve the speed and accuracy with which you answer the questions. Familiarizing yourself with how the questions are structured and the style of questions also means you don’t waste precious time in the test figuring out what the question is asking.

Simulate test conditions

Ensuring you practice under test conditions means you learn how to manage your time effectively. Questions in the test have an 18-second time limit, so ensure that you stick to this time limit. Familiarising yourself with how you react under this time pressure also enables you to devise strategies to keep yourself calm in the test.

Hone your calculation skills

Make a study plan that includes refreshing your memory on basic mathematical calculations. In doing so, you can hone your mental calculation skills in all the areas you will use in the test. Don’t just focus on areas of weakness; make sure you study areas of strength to master these and improve your speed of answering.

Keep calm and focus

It is essential to keep calm and focus on answering each question correctly as quickly as you can. SHL does not deduct points for incorrect answers, so if you get stuck, mark your best choice, then move on to the following questions.

Get into a positive frame of mind

Doing well in the SHL calculation test starts with taking care of yourself. Ensure you get a good night’s sleep the night before. On the test day, ensure you have eaten and are well hydrated. Give yourself the best opportunity to perform at your best by taking care of your physical and mental well-being.