12/16/06

anyone here has done the test? what should I expect? how should I prepare for it? I have to complete it by sunday. thanks.

SHL Online Assessment

The SHL assessment is an apptitude test used by several banks across Wall Street as a pre-interview screen. There are several exams geared towards different areas - but for Wall Street the quantitative exam is the most common. The exam will draw from the same set of questions regardless of the bank you are interviewing with.


SHL Quantitative Exam

Our users explained their experiences with the exam below:

@boredom explained that:

The basic quantitative skills exam focused on percentages, ratios, graphs, and the occasional exchange rate question.

@jgsim elaborated:

The math part involves very basic math and drawing conclusions from graphs. Some of the questions involved converting one currency to another (picking the proper exchange rate to use off of some sort of chart). It reminded me of the easier SAT math type questions.

Sample Question

Source: https://cebglobal.com/shldirect/en/assessment-...

Correct Answers: B, B

SHL Verbal Exam

@jgsim again explained:

The verbal section is a bit more difficult, but still quite easy. You read a short paragraph and then are asked a question about what was stated or implied in the paragraph. Most of the questions were very straightforward and basically, they just asked if a statement was true or not based on the reading. The statement was like a rewording of one sentence in the paragraph or something completely out of the blue (so, obviously a not true answer).

Sample Question

Source:https://cebglobal.com/shldirect/en/assessment-...

Correct Answers: True, False, Cannot Say, True

SHL Timing

Many users explained that the most challenging part of the test was timing. Pacing is the most important thing. If you get stuck on a problem you need to move on and come back to it. Users pointed out that there were between 20 - 30 question with 30 minutes for the overall exam.

To practice more - users advise running through the practice exams on the CEB website.

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Comments (24)

12/16/06

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Investment Banking Interview Course
12/16/06

I did it to get an interview for an internship last year. It is a joke. The math part involves very basic math and drawing conclusions from graphs. I think some of the questions involved converting one currency to another (and you picked the proper exchange rate to use off of some sort of chart). It's really easy..nothing to worry about. It reminded me of the easier SAT math type questions. The verbal section is a bit more difficult, but still quite easy. I believe you read a short paragraph and then are asked a question about what was stated or implied in the paragraph. Most of the questions were very straightforward and basically they just asked if a statement was true or not based on the reading. The statement was like a rewording of one sentence in the paragraph or something completely out of the blue (so, obviously a not true answer). I believe there are thorough directions along with practice questions before you begin the test.

I think you are required to pass the test before they will interview you, but I'm not sure how well you have to do to pass. It's weird, but I remember at the presentation they gave at my school, they said only like 50% of people pass the test. So that leads me to believe that you have to get a large number of the questions right since they're pretty easy.

One thing though - just make sure you pace yourself appropriately. There are like 20-25 (I don't remember exactly) questions to answer in about 30 minutes for each section, so you need to work quickly otherwise you will not finish. Oh, and have a calculator on hand.

12/16/06

I have never take an SHL test for HSBC specifically, but I have had a bunch of them. jgsim is pretty much right about everything. But I think that even though the questions themselves are pretty easy the time is is really limited. You need to have have a very good pace if you want to finish on time. I think that USUALLY those kinds of tests have 20 minutes for 20 questions (although it varies for each company)... Also definitely have a calculator and scratch paper to make quick calculations. Honestly the best way to do well on these is practice. Each question is easy but with the time pressure you easily make mistakes or don't have time to finish.
I remember I had screwed up the first one I did. The rest were fine though....

Good Luck!

(I assume this is for a London summer analyst position?)

12/16/06

I just reread my comment. I apologize for my writing, but the sun is rising and still no sleep for me :)

I also wanted to add something for the math questions. They usually ask you to derive conclusions from graphs or tables etc. For example they would give a pie chart on a company's income from different sections on a particular year. Then they'd ask you to find the income from a particular sector if certain things remained constant in a different year (they'd give you all the data you need). Basic stuff like that, where you just need to make a couple of calculations to get the result.
Again, my suggestion is practice. Also they will probably have a small practice test before you take the real one (maybe 5-8 questions). Try to do that as you would solve the real ones. It will give you an indication of how you are doing and also warm you up for the real one...

12/16/06

I remember doing those at HSBC and at BNP Paribas - they had the same set of questions!

I was in teh 95th percentile on the Maths and Verbal Reasoning at HSBC - that got me interviews; at BNP (I did these first) I was in the 93rd percentile for Maths and the 85th percentile for Verbal Reasoning - this did NOT get me an interview!

The questions are easy but you gotta be quick and accurate.

From the ghetto....

From the ghetto....

9/22/17

It's the same set of questions wherever you go!

Investment Banking Interview Course
12/16/06

This is actually for us position not in europe. But still, I never did the SAT's so I have no idea what to expect. Do you think it's similar to the practice tests they have on the website http://shldirect.com/phasei/practicesection-ph...
I have done those, and don't think they were that hard. I got 21/22 on the math, but I do need to work a bit on the verbal.

Do you know any other practice websites so that I can practice before I actually do the actual test?

Thanks

2/1/16

I took the logical reasoning test(figure patterns) but didn't complete all the questions. I answered only 19/24 of them and I believe that all of them are correct. Is that a good result?

2/1/16

I'm not exactly sure what the SHL test is, but I do know that when I applied to ML's London Office for FT I had to take a 30 minute online math test. It was very, very basic. Ability to read charts and do division -- calculator allowed. If this is indeed the SHL test, I wouldn't fret it. Nothing you need to prep for.

CompBanker

2/1/16

A bunch of banks use tests supplied by SHL as some sort of first screen. Some use it immediately after application submission, some later when they've determined you have a shot at a first round.

There are several different versions geared towards different areas, but most banks seem to use the one targeting basic quantitative skills related to percentages, ratios, graphs, and the occasional exchange rate question. There is a verbal one (rarely used), and I believe a couple of others--one looks a lot like a rudimentary IQ test (patterns, etc.). Odds are you'll only have the first one.

If you'd feel better getting a look beforehand, visit shl.com and look for practice tests somewhere on the site. Just before the actual test, you are given a couple of practice questions as well.

2/1/16

I have taken the test online. You cannot prepare for them. There is a reasoning test and a mathematical test. The one i did was 30 minutes for reasoning and 30 minutes for the mathematical portion. However, you have essentially less than a minute per question as there are approximately 30 questions or more. The math section that I took was more than 30 questions, however pretty basic. The reasoning test was about 30 questions, however you have to read a paragraph worth of information and answer from the multiple choice questions. Basically these test are testing how fast you can think. Don't waste your time trying to figure out a question your stuck on. Becuase if you do, you wont finish. These test definitely cannot determine which candidate is better. So i wouldn't sweat it.

2/1/16

Is this for IB in NY? I remember applying there, getting an interview... never took any tests though. Must be something new.

PLEASE DONT CHANGE EXCEL SHORTCUTS!!!

2/1/16

this is there for HSBC as well. Really simple though.

2/1/16

For HSBC, do they give it out to those with hopes of making interview or to anybody?

2/1/16

No idea. When I went to fill out the online app for HSBC, they gave me a link to shl.com and told me to practice those questions.

2/1/16

I heard European banks love using apptittude tests. When I applied for trading position with BNP (in New York) one of their criteria for judging an application was the SHL math test. There also exists an SHL reading comprehension test that some places may use. Wouldn't hurt to go to shl.com to get a little a practice, but those tests are shit easy if you ask me.

2/1/16
dollabillz:

I have been selected to interview for a secondaries PE firm. The first round consists of a 45 minute online numerical test from SHL. Is anyone familiar with this exam or what to expect? I don't suppose there is much to do to prepare for the exam. Thanks.

http://shldirect.com/practice_tests.html
Google is your best friend haha

2/1/16

how did it go?

9/16/16

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