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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

    May 19, 2022

    Seems fine

    This is the first practice test I've done, but it seems alright. I wonder if it will show me how to figure out the answers? I’m not sure of one.

  • South Africa

    May 18, 2022

    Read Carefully

    On the one answer originally, I had the right answer but still clicked on the wrong answer because I was scared of running out of time.

  • United States of America

    May 12, 2022

    It's OK

    The test is not very engaging to participate with the questions. It's a good test website, and overall test. However, it's not the best I've seen. Would, however, recommend to people.

  • United States of America

    May 05, 2022

    Basic Understanding of Gears

    I liked the variety of questions, the only downside was the few easy question such as which car color would overheat.

  • Czechia

    April 27, 2022

    Basic physics

    I like that you do not need to know any specific language to complete the test, as it's mostly pictographic.

  • United States of America

    April 22, 2022


    It's complicated but it's how the Ramsay test would be at a job site. Expect to be asked a lot of random things.

  • India

    April 15, 2022

    It seems good for prep

    In this test figures are very clear and easy to understand. Questions are also very relevant to the subject, though sometimes questions change but their figures remain unchanged.

  • Canada

    April 13, 2022

    Being able to analyze and think under pressure

    I liked that this test was very different and each question threw you off. Being able to change the way you’re thinking and process the question is important

  • United States of America

    April 07, 2022


    I feel this is a wonderful test for determining a wide range of skills necessary for employers to properly gauge the aptitude of the potential employee. They are challenging questions, yet easy enough to understand what the questions are wanting to know.

  • United States of America

    April 06, 2022

    Good intro questions

    The cog question required some calculations. I would say an introductory portion shouldn't have any calculations, just simple statics/physics questions