Have you tried sample SHL-style numerical questions found across the web, and struggled to understand how they got to that answer? Here we look at two such questions and invite you to work through them with us.

SHL numerical reasoning tests are amongst the most common psychometric tests, and if you are applying for a job, you may well find that you have to take one. There are several free samples around (including on the  SHL website), but they rarely give you both the answer to the question and an explanation of how to work it out. We will focus on two of these sample questions and provide you with the correct answers as well as a complete explanation for both of them.

Solutions to SHL-style Numerical Reasoning Questions

Question #1 – World Fossil Fuel Regulation

Solutions to CEB’s SHL-style Numerical Reasoning Questions - World Fossil Fuel Regulation

Which mine can produce the greatest amount of units of electricity before it runs out of coal?

  1. Folen
  2. Dirme
  3. Ilt
  4. Ryken
  5. All Others


The table presents us with a great load of data. However, reading the question carefully, we can see that the only data we need for solving the question is the amount of electricity that could be produced per kg of coal in each mine (the 2nd column from the right) and the remaining coal left in each mine (the right-most column).
Hence, for each mine separately, we need to multiply the numbers in the “electricity production per kg (units)” column by the numbers in the “remaining coal (millions of tonnes)” column:

  • Folen: 17×68.27 = 1,160.59
  • Dirme: 12.3×70.95 = 872.685
  • Ilt: 14.2×62.73 = 890.766
  • Ryken: 21×61.02 = 1,281.42
  • All Others: 14.7×82.63 = 1,214.661

From the calculations we can see that Ryken can produce the greatest amount of electricity units before running out of coal.

The correct answer is therefore Ryken.

Solving tip: We can save some time solving this question by eliminating answer choices based on the following reasoning:
Since we are looking for the largest multiplication of “electricity production” and “remaining coal”, we can discard mines in which both numbers are smaller than those of other mines.
To do so, we can start by choosing the greatest number in one of the columns. If we look at the right-most column, this number would be 82.63 (All Others).
Since all of the other mines have a lower amount of “remaining coal”, we can discard those mines that also have a lower “electricity production” rate (i.e., a rate lower than 14.7). Thus, we can discard Dirme (which has a 12.3 rate) and Ilt (which has a 14.2 rate).

Question #2 – Newmellum Retail Outlets

Solutions to CEB’s SHL-style Numerical Reasoning Questions - Newmellum Retail Outlets

If all staff, both operations and admin, were required to wear trousers, shirts and shoes, how much would this cost the company?

  1. £4,698
  2. £12,843
  3. £18,648
  4. £27,364
  5. £33,615


When solving this question, it is important to note that the table in fact comprises two separate smaller tables. The first table, which includes the first three columns from the left, presents data concerning the company’s staff. The second table, which includes the remaining five columns, presents data concerning the cost of purchasing different items depending on the purchase quantity.
To solve this question we need to follow the following steps:

  • First, we need to find the total number of staff members (both Admin and Operational): 212+64+16+33+112=437
  • Since the company needs to buy each of these 437 employees a pair of trousers, a shirt and a pair of shoes, the prices that apply for the purchase are those in the bottom row of the right table (the “100+” row).
  • Therefore, the total cost of purchasing the three clothing items for all staff members is: Total no. of staff × (Cost of Trousers + Cost of Shirt + Cost of Shoes) = 437×(£7.49+£3.26+£18.64) = 437×£29.39 = £12,843.43

The correct answer is therefore £12,843.

Prepare for your SHL-style Numerical Reasoning Test

Now that you have started practising SHL-style numerical reasoning questions, it is the ideal time to continue practising to excel at your real test. At JobTestPrep’s website you can find free SHL-style numerical teststips for passing SHL-style numerical tests and of course – our famous SHL-style preparation packs. So what are you waiting for? Start preparing today and get the job you always wanted!