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shl mechanical reasoning

SHL Mechanical Comprehension Tests

  • 10 tests
  • 80 questions
shl mechanical reasoning

SHL’s mechanical comprehension test is used in the recruitment process to assess candidates’ knowledge of mechanics. It’s commonly encountered when applying for a technical position within an engineering firm, manufacturing company, or the armed forces.

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Free example SHL mechanical questions

The three questions below serve as an example of the types of questions you’ll find on an SHL mechanical comprehension test. Have a go at working through the questions, then check your answers against the solutions underneath.

For more practice questions, see our free mechanical reasoning questions and answers. Each example question includes an answer explanation. For specific mechanical tests, check out our pages on Bennett mechanical tests and Ramsay mechanical tests.

SHL mechanical test

What is the maximum weight that this lever could lift?

A) 100kg B) 200kg C) 300kg D) 400kg

Question 2

SHL mechanical reasoning test

What force is required to lift the weight using the pulley?

A) 10kg B) 20kg C) 30kg D) 40kg

Question 3

SHL mechanical comprehension test

If oil and water were added to a flask, which of the following would occur?


1) The formula to calculate the force required to lift a weight using a lever is:

w x d1 = f x d2

w = weight

d1 = distance from fulcrum to weight

f = force needed to lift weight

d2 = distance from fulcrum to point where force is applied

If we plug what we can see from the diagram into the formula we are left with the following equation: ? x 40 = 400 x 40

? x 40 = 16,000

16,000 / 40 = 400

So the answer is D) 400kg

2) To calculate the force needed to lift the weight we need to identify how many of the sections of rope are load-bearing. Here there are 2 sections that are supporting the weight, meaning we divide the total weight by 2.

60/2 = 30

So the answer is C) 30kg

3) Oil is less dense than water so will sit on the surface.

So the answer is D).

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Are SHL mechanical comprehension tests difficult?

The questions on the SHL mechanical comprehension test vary in difficulty: some will be straightforward and others very challenging. The difficulty of the test is increased by its timed nature and the rapid pace required to complete all the questions. Preparing using timed practice tests will ensure you are well equipped to pass your test.

How are SHL mechanical comprehension tests scored?

SHL test scores are comparative, which means that your raw score is compared to a comparison group (or to comparison standards) chosen by your prospective employer or your recruiter. You’ll receive a percentile score, which will reveal your position relative to the comparison group. If you receive a percentile score of 85, this means you’ve scored better than 85% of candidates in your comparison group, not that you’ve answered 85% of the questions on the test correctly.

How long is an SHL mechanical comprehension test?

The mechanical comprehension test is a relatively short test by SHL standards, lasting only 10 minutes. To pass, you’ll need to be able to work rapidly through the 15 questions in the test, without compromising your accuracy.

What knowledge of mechanical comprehension does an SHL test cover?

To succeed on your SHL test, you’ll need to feel confident identifying and applying key principles, such as force, movement, hydraulics, velocity, and simple electronics. Questions are likely to involve gears, levers, pulleys, belts, and circuits.


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SHL Mechanical Comprehension Tests Tips

1Brush up on your mechanical knowledge

The SHL test will assess your understanding of technical mechanical elements such as levers, springs, pulleys, gears, and electrical circuits, as well as principles such as force, motion, and energy. It will require a good knowledge of tools and terminology, alongside awareness of how different mechanical components operate. This is a test that requires existing knowledge, so make sure yours is strong.

2Complete as many practice tests as possible

SHL has a practice mechanical comprehension test on its website, so be sure to try this. To achieve a high score on the test, you’ll need to hone your pace and freshen your skills by completing multiple online practice tests.

3Take the test in appropriate surroundings

To increase your chances of success, sit your mechanical comprehension test in a quiet environment, free from distractions. You’ll need to work at a fast pace, so you cannot afford any interruptions or diversions of your attention. Make sure you have everything you need, including a piece of paper for jotting down calculations.

4Check your equipment before the test

Before you begin the test, ensure your browser is updated and your internet connection is stable. The next question in the mechanical comprehension test loads once you’ve clicked submit on the one before, so you’ll want a good internet connection to ensure the questions load rapidly throughout the test.

5Read the questions carefully

Mechanical comprehension questions involve diagrams depicting different mechanical scenarios. Take the time to absorb the information that is being presented to you, so you can deduce its implications and perform the correct calculation. You need to work at a steady pace, but don’t rush, as this will lead you to overlook the details and make unnecessary mistakes.

Mechanical Reasoning Video Tutorials

SHL Tests: A Guide

5 mins

Mechanical Reasoning Tests: A Guide

4 mins

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Reviews of our Mechanical Reasoning tests

What our customers say about our Mechanical Reasoning tests

  • United States of America

    November 20, 2021

    Online test

    I liked how they gave you real-world questions and ones with pictures. I'm sure it could help others also.

  • United States of America

    November 13, 2021

    It was a good test

    I liked this test, I took the practice test first and honestly it helped. I didn't know about all of these things, so the test helped me learn more. I hope to see the other tests as well.

  • United States of America

    November 11, 2021

    It’s important to know the analytics of procedures

    What I like most about this test it the manner in how easy it is. What I dislike is the fact that it’s too easy.

  • United States of America

    November 11, 2021

    Different types of metals

    What I liked about the test is how it showed me graphs and representations of graphs and to solve them. What I disliked about the test is the time.

  • United States of America

    November 03, 2021

    Being able to study and practice to know what to expect

    Seen a few things from earlier that had me prepared, but the ones I did I'd never seen before, so had to make a guess as I did not know.

  • India

    October 23, 2021

    Easy-Peasy and Interesting

    Really enjoyed the test, and yeah, I bragged a little bit too much in the headline when I called the test easy-peasy.

  • United States of America

    October 05, 2021

    Exciting, and fun!!

    Practice test too short. Would have enjoyed more questions to share positive experience with others.

  • Pakistan

    October 03, 2021

    Well structured

    I like this type of test. It is about the basic mechanical sense of a human being. My interests are according to mechanical aptitude, so I like these types of tests.

  • United States of America

    September 22, 2021

    Mixture of things

    The test was somewhat challenging, I felt I did fine with it. I think it could help in hiring new candidates for our machine areas. It could improve what our Human Resource department gives us in future employees.

  • Uganda

    September 18, 2021

    Application of basic principles

    I liked the test because it would make me think all around to find out which physics principle each question is testing for