Our shortlisting procedure

How do we shortlist?

All candidates with Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership and the minimum English language and residency requirements will be invited to take part in our screening procedure.

Lancaster is one of a number of programmes who use the same online general mental ability (GMA) tests. If you have applied to one or more of these other programmes, you will only be asked to do the tests once and your results will be shared with the programmes you have applied to.

Shortlisting test window

Applications arrive: 31st January 2021
Testing window opens:
8th February 2021, 10:00AM
Testing window closes: 22nd February 2021, 23:59PM

Practising the shortlisting test

Practising the tests beforehand can help ensure that all applicants, regardless of background, can demonstrate their ability.

Please visit the SHL website to complete their practice tests - you only need to do the verbal and deductive reasoning tests for the Lancaster programme. SHL practice tests are only examples of the type of questions you will be given and do not indicate the difficulty level as this changes dynamically in the live test based on your responses. The live test system has some visual differences from the practice tests and includes additional support to allow for zooming and changing text/background colours. A wide variety of practice tests from other sources are available online, many of which are free of charge.

IMPORTANT: The deductive reasoning test is a new interactive version which has recently been released by SHL and there is no practice test available on their site at present. However, practice questions are provided in the live test for you to familiarise yourself with the style of questions and how to interact with the test. It is very important you take the opportunity to do these practice questions before trying to complete the test itself.

This is adaptive testing so the questions get harder if you keep getting them correct!

As a result ALL candidates find the test extremely challenging regardless of how well they do and all candidates are likely to get questions wrong. Although our approach encourages applicants with a wide range of abilty, our standards for entry remain very high and require applicants to demonstrate doctoral level standards.

How the shortlisting works

Candidates will be invited via an email from SHL to take the online tests at a time and place convenient to them. Candidates must complete these tests during the screening window noted above using the invitation link. Candidates who do not receive an email on the day the window opens should contact the programme urgently to resolve the issue.

Unfortunately it is not possible to reschedule the screening test due to any individual circumstances. However, the window to complete the test online is sufficient to allow for flexibility in when candidates choose to complete the tests. Please note that we cannot provide technical support outside of office hours. Candidates should leave sufficient time to allow for them to deal with any difficulties that may arise.

Each test (verbal and deductive reasoning) will take approximately 30 minutes to complete (including time to read instructions etc). There is a standard time limit of 18 minutes for the deductive test which has 12 items and 19 minutes for the verbal test which has 30 items. You do not have to complete both tests at the same sitting if you prefer to have a break between them.

Achieving a threshold score in or above the 70th percentile of a professional/managerial comparison group during screening is a minimum entry requirement. Those with the top 72 scores will be invited to the selection event at Lancaster University in May. Those who declare a disability and who reach the threshold score will be invited to the selection event even if their scores are not in the top 72. If you are an applicant with a disability, please contact Programme Administrator Katherine Thackeray as soon as possible stating the nature of your disability, how this may impact on your participation in the screening and selection day, and any specific support you may feel you need. Please contact Katherine via email or phone: k.thackeray@lancaster.ac.uk / 01524 592970.

The programme monitors the professional behaviour of all applicants throughout the application processes and use this information in making short listing decisions when required.

Candidates who receive a provisional offer are required to take the tests again on campus, to verify their performance. Offers to candidates who cannot successfully verify their screening scores may be withdrawn at this point.

Using the test system

Tab Content: Logging in to SHL

The email you receive from SHL is a generic email which all candidates receive althought the link in it is unique. It contains expected times required to complete tests. These are not your individual test time limits. Click on the link in the email to get to the SHL login page.

When you first use the link from the invitation email you may need to register to use the system. If you have used SHL to complete tests previously you may already have an account. You can reset your password if required in order to login if this is the case. Just follow the instructions on the appropriate tab.

 Screenshot of the SHLOnline login screen

Tab Content: Starting a test

When you are logged in and have agreed to any terms and conditions, you will see the following screen. You can click on the blue Start buttons to begin any test when you are ready. You can do them in any order you prefer. You are also given the opportunity to complete practise questions after clicking on a start button.

Deductive and verbal reasoning shown

You should have a calculator, pen and paper on hand when doing the tests. You can use any pointing device such as a touchpad - you don't specifically need a mouse.

The expected time shown on this screen is set by SHL and does not vary regardless of any extra time you have been awarded due to a disability. The actual time you have been allocated appears on the following page once you click on a start button. If you have been given extra time, the time limit shown on the next page will already have been increased from the standard timings described above.

Tab Content: Accessibility

If you have a disability which will affect your performance on the screening test, you should contact us using the details below. Extra time is available (usually 20%) for candidates who require additional support although we will look at individual circumstances to ensure that no applicant is unfairly disadvantaged.

The test system provides a function to change the colours of the display and supports zooming using the standard browser controls (use CTRL + / -). Please note that these functions are currently NOT available on the practice tests SHL provide, only on the live test system.

Screenshot of the accessibility options page in the SHL system

Our policy on technical issues during screening

A generous window is provided in which to complete the tests so that technical issues can be identified and resolved without causing undue anxiety and stress. We expect candidates to complete the tests as soon as they are able. While we make every effort to resolve issues, delay may mean candidates are not able to complete the screening. If in our opinion, a significant issue caused by ourselves or our testing partner has impacted on a candidate then we reserve the right to review the status of the application. However, we will not routinely extend any deadline due to technical issues.