About Mechanical Aptitude Tests
Mechanical Aptitude Tests, also referred to as Mechanical Comprehension tests, are psychometric tests intended to predict performance in a variety of industries requiring a level of mechanical knowledge such as engineering, machine operation, and manufacturing. The results of such tests are used by employers as indicators of potential success in the job environment. There are a number of topics which may be included on mechanical aptitude tests including mechanical comprehension and knowledge, electronics knowledge and more.
A mechanical aptitude test essentially checks two things: whether the candidate understands mechanical concepts and their ability to use those concepts in applied work scenarios. The major professions which Mechanical Aptitude Tests are relevant to include, but is not limited to:
- Automotive/Aircraft Mechanics
- Industrial/Technical Sales
- Transportation Trades
- Equipment Operation
Succeeding in your aptitude test is a critical part of the recruitment process. Prepterminal’s range of Mechanical Aptitude Test preparation packs has been expertly designed by our in-house psychometricians in order to build your understanding from the ground up so that you may thrive in a fiercely competitive labor market and get one step closer to your dream job.
There are a number of mechanical aptitude tests that are widely-used by prospective employers. Such tests include, but aren’t limited to:
- Wiesen Mechanical Aptitude: The Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude is a measure of a candidate’s ability to properly use machinery and maintain the equipment in the best working order. Designed as a predictor for job performance in specific occupations involving the operation and maintenance of tools, equipment, and machinery, this test comprises of 60 questions to be answered in 30 minutes.
- Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test: The second version of the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test, this is a tool for the assessment of a candidate’s ability to perceive and understand the relationship of physical forces and mechanical elements in practical situations. This test comprises of 55 questions with a time limit of 25 minutes. Questions are weighted based on difficulty, and so the raw score differs from the calculated score and percentile ranking. It is quite usual for two candidates with identical raw scores to score completely different in every other facet of the results report.
- US Department of Defence Test of Mechanical Aptitude: The US Department of Defence Test of Mechanical Aptitude is the mechanical comprehension subtest of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). This test is used to identify the capability and academic ability of recruits in order to appropriately assign them the correct job. Generally speaking, the higher the score of a candidate, the more job opportunities they will have in the military. This mechanical aptitude test is one of ten subtests in the ASVAB.
- Stenquist Test of Mechanical Aptitude: A slight variation from standard mechanical tests, in the Stenquist Test candidates are required to observe a set of pictures and determine which one fits in best with another group of pictures. This is delivered as a visual test in order to avoid any difference in scoring which is not related purely to mechanical aptitudes, such as reading and comprehension issues. This test comes in a variety of different versions depending on the field in which the candidate is pursuing a career within.
- AT&T Technician Test: This exam is given at AT&T for potential technicians. This test, like others, tests if the candidate is suitable for the position. Of course, in this case, it includes specific skill sets necessary for AT&T technicians.
- Spatial Reasoning: This exam tests a candidate’s knowledge and ability regarding spatial relations among objects and space. This test is common for candidates for public safety roles as well as engineers, chemists, etc.
In the mechanical exam, there are a number of topics which tend to be covered, pertaining to mechanical principles and concepts, such as:
- Levers: In a common application, levels offer a mechanical advantage when carrying loads. It is comprised of a fulcrum and a rod/beam, with the load being applied on the beam. Results are contingent upon the distance between the arm and the force producing torque. Questions may cover differentiation between the level of torque between the input or output or the course of its tilt. It is common for these questions to require light calculation.
- Pulleys: A pulley is a combination of a wheel placed on an axle with a rope wrapped around it, which can be used to more easily lift loads using a rope. A fixed pulley serves to change the direction of an applied force, while a movable pulley allows for the lifting a load with much less effort. A combination of the two types can provide directional and mechanical advantages. For the purpose of mechanical aptitude tests, pulleys are considered to be one-dimensional, and as such size and friction are not a consideration. Questions will often pertain to the volume of force required to lift a defined weight.
- Gears: Gears are cylinders or wheels which have cogs or teeth on their edges for the purpose of transmitting spherical torque to another gear, turning said cogwheel in the opposite direction. In mechanical aptitude tests, it is common to be asked to identify the direction or velocity of a given set of gears.
- Springs: A spring is a piece of metal or wire which is compressed or extended by force, returning to its original form when the force is removed. A variety of springs are available, such as torsion springs and spiral coils. They are used in numerous applications due to their flexible utility. In a mechanical aptitude test, one may be required to identify whether or not shown springs have a linear approach.
- Simple Electrical Circuits: Questions pertaining to this topic are delivered in the form of circuit diagrams, which are restricted to show switches, power source and wiring route. Questions can cover questions pertaining to the route of power or how to correct a given circuit, amongst other things. It is important to have basic knowledge of electrical circuitry in order to understand these questions.
- Shop Arithmetic: These questions tend to require a proper understanding of decimals, percentages, averages, ratios, fractions and basic mathematics, as well as the knowledge of the formulae required to calculate the volume and areas of different shapes. Familiarity with the imperial system of measurement is also helpful.
- Gravity: Gravity is the downward force produced by objects of any size, though it is not noticeable until the object is of a massive size – just look at how the moon’s gravity is relatively weak despite its gargantuan size. In a mechanical reasoning test, questions on this topic cover swinging pendulums, falling objects and structural support mechanisms.
- Screws: Screws are cylinders wrapped around by an inclined plane, a smooth surface which connects the lower point of the screw to the upper one. Questions on this topic tend to cover how the course of rotation affects the result of the work to be performed.
- Spatial or Visual Relations: Questions on this topic require the identification of certain objects by shape, pattern or spatial alignment. This might include hidden figures, paper folding, and object assembly.
Most exams present an image and an explanation of a problem or scenario which the test taker must solve. Sometimes the candidate may be required to explain the tools used to solve the problem.
It is important to learn the format of the exam that is to be taken. Research the various topics being tested, number of questions, time limit, etc. Being prepared with specific information about the exam will put any candidate at an advantage on test day.
Mechanical aptitude and reasoning tests are considered to be excellent predictors of success in the workplace and therefore great emphasis is placed on them in the recruiting process. In most cases, you will also be asked to participate in an interview and other parts of the recruiting process but you can be sure that the employer will take the exam results very seriously. Mechanical aptitude exam results have often been found to be the most accurate predictor of success on the job, much more than other parts of the recruitment process.
Prepterminal offers a range of courses for various mechanical aptitude tests. Equipped with video and text-based modules as well as mock assessments to benchmark your progress, by taking our test preparation packs you significantly improve your prospects in a highly competitive labor market. Allow us to alleviate your anxiety and remedy any gaps in your knowledge by arming yourself with our expertly-designed courses and get one step closer to your dream job.
- Most mechanical aptitude tests are timed and therefore practice is critical in order to answer the test quickly and correctly.
- Very few candidates finish the entire test- it is more important to answer correctly than to finish. Only 1-5% of all test takers typically finish the exam in this type of test.
- Do practice tests- be prepared and know what to expect!
- Each question has only one correct answer- make sure to narrow down your choices and to answer the question being asked!
- Most tests allot approximately 30 seconds to each question. It is important to work efficiently and accurately.
- The difficulty of the exam will most likely depend on the role that you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a role in management, your exam will most likely be more difficult than someone applying for an entry-level position.
- In most cases, the questions on your exam will be industry specific. When doing practice exams the industry is irrelevant. Answer as many questions as you can in order to get a feel for the question formats and possible scenarios.
Final Thoughts Before Getting to Work
Taking a mechanical aptitude test for a prospective job role can be an intimidating prospect. Be sure to use the information provided here as a starting point for figuring out how to approach one of these challenging exams. In order to prepare adequately for these tests, one should ideally take the time to study the contents and take practice tests to ensure that one is confident with the contents to be encountered.
Prepterminal’s expert psychometricians have composed a range of courses for various mechanical aptitude tests. Utilizing video and text-based modules in a structured study course along with mock assessments for the benchmarking of your progress, our mechanical aptitude test preparation packs can significantly improve your optimal level of performance so that you may be met with success in your job applications.
Start preparing for your mechanical aptitude tests today with Prepterminal, your partner in test success.