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shl mechanical reasoning

SHL Style 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 style 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 Style 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

  • Mozambique

    November 08, 2022

    The most important thing to know about machinery

    I liked all things, the questions were easy and clear too, I'm so happy to be able to participate in these classes.

  • United States of America

    October 05, 2022

    Perfect Pre-Test

    The explanation for each question is helping to understand the scenario and prepare for my aptitude test.

  • United States of America

    September 23, 2022

    Great test

    I like that this gave different situational questions I had never been asked before. It made me think about some of them.

  • United States of America

    September 22, 2022

    I learned a few things

    I was able to really understand why I got questions wrong and it explained it to me very well for me to understand

  • United States of America

    September 01, 2022

    Great Observation

    I like the fact that the test is quick and to the point. Most of these types of tests are long and drawn out.

  • Malaysia

    August 13, 2022

    Good reasoning of fundamentals

    Very easily accessible. Good interface with questions that are challenging. Definitely glad I took this test before taking a real test.

  • United States of America

    August 04, 2022


    I think this test is great for intermediate students. The questions all seem to assume past experience

  • United States of America

    July 28, 2022

    gear relovution and ratios

    I liked the test and I would like to check my answers. It is pretty easy to navigate and understand the drawings.

  • United States of America

    July 24, 2022

    Covered a broad spectrum of situations

    I like the variety of the questions that were asked. Some questions required having an understanding of different areas to solve.

  • United Kingdom

    July 21, 2022

    I thought it was easy but we'll see

    Didn't think the test was too difficult but I've had a lot of practice so I'll see based on the results how well I did.