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SHL Deductive Reasoning Test: Guide and Tips {YEAR}

SHL Deductive Reasoning Test: Guide and Tips 2024

When you enter the world of work, you need to check certain boxes and provide the necessary information to show you have the eligibility and capability to carry out the role.

For some entry-level or mid-level positions, you will be required to take a deductive reasoning test.

These assessments test your logical thinking skills. One type of these exams is the SHL Deductive Reasoning Test.

In this article, we will explain what this test is and what you need to do to prepare for success.

What Are SHL Tests?

The SHL test is designed to assess the problem-solving ability of job candidates. It involves using logic to make decisions based on the facts presented to you.

The purpose of the test is to assign you a score that is compared to other candidates in the pool. Those who score highly will be seen as strong candidates for the job role.

There are eight common types of SHL test that are used for job applicants. These are:

  • SHL inductive reasoning test – This 25-minute test includes 24 questions that test your nonverbal and spatial abilities through a series of shapes and patterns.

  • SHL deductive reasoning test – With 18 questions and a 10-minute time limit, this test requires you to deduce if the statements and outcomes you are given make logical sense.

  • SHL verbal reasoning test – Requiring you to answer 30 questions within 19 minutes, the verbal reasoning test assesses your cognitive ability through logical deductions and understanding of oral and written information.

  • SHL numerical reasoning test – This test lasts 25 minutes and you will be given 18 mathematical problems to solve. You can expect these questions to be relevant to the organization you have applied to, so they really test how suited you are to the specific role.

  • SHL mechanical reasoning test – The 25-minute mechanical test assesses a candidate’s understanding of mechanical principles such as gears, pulleys and levers.

  • SHL comprehension reading test – This test requires you to deduce information from written statements and includes 18 questions to be answered within 10 minutes.

  • SHL Management and Graduate Item Bank (MGIB) – This 92-minute test is taken for managerial and graduate-level positions. Consisting of three sections, it assesses a candidate’s creativity, verbal reasoning and numerical understanding.

  • Bespoke ability test – Used for candidates applying for positions in the finance and sales industries, this test consists of custom-made questions that are tailored to the company’s needs.

You can see that on this list is the SHL Inductive Reasoning Test, which is different to the focus of this article: the SHL Deductive Reasoning assessment.

deductive reasoning tests require you to think logically to spot patterns in a sequence of graphics. You must do this accurately but quickly, as you are against the clock. During these tests you need to think broadly and test out different possibilities.

On the other hand, deductive reasoning tests give you the statements and the outcomes and ask you to deduce which possibility is correct. As you are presented with potential possibilities, you do not have to think as openly but you must apply logic to decide the only possible outcome.

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SHL Deductive Reasoning Test Format

As this test assesses your ability to analyse scenarios and decide a logical outcome, it is easy to prepare for.

Once you know the format of the test, you can take SHL deductive reasoning practice tests to exercise those logical muscles.

There are two versions of the SHL deductive reasoning test that each vary slightly. These are the SHL Verify G+ Deductive Reasoning Test (Interactive) and the SHL Verify G+ Deductive Reasoning Test (Non-Interactive).

The tests vary in format, so they will be presented and answered in different ways, but both versions examine your skills in planning and organization.

The version you take will depend on the company you have applied to and the level of the job position. Below we will go into detail on what these tests involve.

SHL Verify G+ Deductive Reasoning Test (Interactive)

The interactive test consists of 12 interactive questions to be answered within 18 minutes. The test is supposed to be taken in one sitting on a computer or a smartphone.

The questions in this test are activity-based, so you will need to schedule and rank questions using the drag-and-drop method.

There are three main types of questions asked in the SHL Deductive Reasoning assessment:

  • Syllogisms – The most common type of deductive reasoning questions, syllogism questions involve using reasoning to draw a conclusion from two or more given premises.
  • Arrangements – These questions ask you to deduce the conclusion based on the placement of the given objects.
  • Underlying assumptions – For these questions, you must identify the assumption that is being made in a given statement, passage or sequence of events.

We will go through examples of these questions below.

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SHL Verify G+ Deductive Reasoning Test (Non-Interactive)

The non-interactive test lasts for 20 minutes and consists of 18 multiple-choice questions.

The format of these questions is that of a rating scale. You will be presented with multiple-choice questions and five potential answers to choose from.

Once you have taken the non-interactive test you can then take an optional additional verification test. This is a shorter version of the original test so the evaluators can assess the patterns and consistency of the answers to ensure that the first test was taken by the job candidate.

The interactive and non-interactive tests may differ in the way the questions are presented, but they both aim to assess your attention to detail and your ability to deduce logical conclusions from the information you are given.

Both versions of the SHL Deductive Reasoning Test have also been designed to be taken unsupervised.

SHL Deductive Reasoning Practice Test Examples

In this section we will go through some deductive reasoning test examples so you can learn what to expect from the SHL assessment.


In this example, you should read through all the facts and then the question and potential answers. Which answer must be true?

Example Question

Spock is a dog in good health.
Stripy is a black cat.
London has no cats.
Some healthy cats have all vaccinations.
All healthy dogs have all vaccinations.

With the above information in mind, which of the following statements HAS TO BE true?

a) Spock lives in London
b) Stripy lives in London
c) Spock has all the vaccinations
d) Stripy gets a vaccine once a year
e) Spock and Stripy live in the same city


Example Question

The smoothie bar is launching a new drink called the Fruity Four.

  • Apple can be selected only if Banana is selected.
  • Orange can be selected only if Cherry is selected.
  • Either Mango or Cherry must be selected but not both.
  • Either Apple or Watermelon must be selected but not both.

Which one of the following could be a complete and accurate list of the fruits inside the smoothie?

a) Banana, Apple, Orange, Mango
b) Banana, Cherry, Honeydew, Guava
c) Mango, Cherry, Orange, Apple
d) Apple, Mango, Guava, Watermelon
e) Guava, Apple, Banana, Orange

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Underlying Assumptions

Example Question

There is a zoo with exactly five tigers – Jack, Jill, Steve, Lula and Tim. They are kept in three adjacent courts numbered one to three. Number one is the furthest to the left and number three is furthest to the right. Each court has at least one tiger and each tiger can only be in one court.

The tigers’ locations need to be consistent with the following statements:

Jill is in a court somewhere to the left of the court where Steve is.
Lula and Tim are not in the same court.
Either Lula or Jack, but not both, are in court two.
Tim is in court three.

Which statement CANNOT be true?

a) One tiger is kept in court two
b) Two tigers are kept in court one
c) Two tigers are kept in court two
d) Three tigers are kept in court three
e) Three tigers are kept in court two

SHL Deductive Reasoning Test 2024
SHL Deductive Reasoning Test 2024

SHL Deductive Reasoning Scores

Now that you have learned about the deductive reasoning test and tried out some example questions, you hopefully feel more at ease with the idea of taking the test.

Being good at deduction is a skill you can learn, so don’t worry if it doesn't come naturally. The good thing about these tests is that the questions are multiple-choice, so you can eliminate the incorrect SHL deductive reasoning test answers one by one until you settle on the right conclusion.

What’s more, when it comes to SHL Deductive Reasoning Tests, correct answers are the only ones that count. If you are stuck on a question and running out of time, you can guess the one that seems most logical based on what you have read so far – you won’t be marked down for incorrect SHL deductive reasoning test answers.

Your correct answer rate is compared to the average score of a norm group, before your score is transformed into a percentile. This number will rank you in the norm group and indicate how you performed.

For example, if you are in the 70th percentile, it means you scored higher than 70% of people in the norm group.

This scoring method means that you should aim for a high score so you stand out amongst other candidates.

Your score will be provided to the employer, and you will receive a grade between A and E.

The breakdown of grades is:

Grade Ranking Percentile
A Well above average 90–100
B Above average 70–89
C Average 30–69
D Below average 10–29
E Well below average 0–9

For the SHL Deductive Reasoning Test, there is no general pass mark as average scores vary depending on employer requirements and the norm group that your score is compared to.

However, being in the top 20% of your norm group should result in a test pass.

It is possible to fail the SHL Deductive Reasoning Test. This will happen if you score below the current pass mark that is based on the norm group and company requirements.

If you are unsuccessful in the test as part of a job application, you may be able to retake the test when you reapply for the role. You should check this with the company as procedures vary between employers.

This scoring method is why practice is so important. You should do lots of preparation to aim for at least a B grade.

How to Pass the Deductive Reasoning SHL Test in 2024

Follow these SHL deductive reasoning test tips for the best shot at success.

Step 1. Practice the Test Online

When it comes to deductive reasoning tests, practice makes perfect.

Take lots of SHL deductive reasoning practice tests online under exam conditions to get an idea of how you will do in the real thing.

Revewing your SHL deductive reasoning practice test answers is a great way of learning your strengths and weaknesses so you can focus on key areas.

Step 2. Understand the Different Question Types

It is important that you understand the different question types – syllogisms, arrangements and underlying assumptions – so you know how to approach each question.

By training your brain to answer these types of questions, you give yourself the best chance of success.

Step 3. Use Different Problem-Solving Strategies

We all work differently and may use different ways to come to the same, correct conclusion.

Don’t be afraid to try out different strategies when problem solving, as the perfect method is the one that works for you.

Step 4. Don’t Question the Validity of the Statements

You may think that the wording of the statements does not make sense, but don’t dwell on that.

The statements are logically accurate, and there will be one answer that is the correct one.

Step 5. Don’t Read Between the Lines

The point of deductive reasoning SHL tests is that all the information you need is provided to you.

The exam is not designed to catch you out or make you think of possible conclusions: they are all laid out for you to choose the correct answer.

It can be easy to think you need to read between the lines, but this could lead you to the incorrect answer.

Relax, take a deep breath and carefully read through the whole question.

Once you are confident that you understand the question, use your well-trained logical skills to deduce the correct answer.

Step 6. Understand Syllogisms

A syllogism is defined as “the simplest sequence of a combination of logical premises that lead to a conclusion”.

This is a basic explanation of syllogisms, but gaining a deeper understanding can provide greater context when you take the test.

Step 7. Read the Questions Carefully

The questions aren’t trying to catch you out, but they do sometimes need a few reads before they become clear.

Frequently Asked Questions

The SHL Deductive Reasoning Assessment tests job candidates’ problem-solving ability. It involves using logic to make decisions based on the facts presented to you.

The SHL Deductive Test can be difficult to pass as a successful score depends on the average level of achievement of the norm group. However, the test is straightforward and easy to revise for, so with SHL test deductive reasoning practice it is very possible to get a good score.

It is not possible to give a pass score as this depends on the norm group of each intake, but if you aim to achieve a percentile mark of at least 80 you should pass the test.

You can prepare for the test by taking online deductive reasoning SHL test practice exams. Review your SHL deductive reasoning practice test answers to determine your strengths and weaknesses.

To give yourself the best chance of passing the test, you should put in lots of practice. If you train your brain to answer logical questions, it will become second nature and you will be able to apply your skills in the real test.

If you fail the test, you may be able to retake it if you reapply for the job.

You will be given a SHL feedback report that includes the grade you have scored, from A to E.

As well as the examples above, you can find practice questions online.

The SHL Deductive Reasoning Test is used in applications for jobs that involve analysing and evaluating. Some of the companies that require a pass score include Deloitte, J.P. Morgan, Microsoft and Vodafone.

When it comes to the SHL Deductive Reasoning Test, cheating would be pointless as it may get you a pass mark, but it would not prepare you for the job role. It would be far better to practice for the test and pass it honestly and legally so you can be proud of your achievements.

You can find a study guide online from reputable job sites and test preparation companies.

After taking the test, your score will be calculated and compared to the norm group to give you a percentile and grade. Your grade will be provided to you, and you will find out if you were successful in moving to the next stage.

Final Thoughts

As you can now see, the SHL Deductive Reasoning Test isn’t as scary as it first seems. If you regularly take an SHL deductive reasoning practice test, it is perfectly possible to achieve a high score.

Make sure you follow the tips in this article to give yourself the best chance of success. When it comes to test day, relax and remember that all your effort will pay off!

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