Mechanical Aptitude Test is a broad term used during the job recruitment process by certain companies. Typically, these tests are used in engineering fields, the army, emergency services and many others. The results of such tests can indicate 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: if you understand mechanical concepts and if you can use those concepts in real life situations and scenarios to make decisions, infer information and more.

Succeeding on your aptitude test is a critical part of the recruitment process. Here we will outline the most important things you need to know and we’ll also throw in some tips at the end.

General Information

There are various mechanical aptitude tests that are common for potential employers to use. Here are some of the most common exams:


Bennett Mechanical Test- This exam tests your understanding of physical force and mechanics. You must be able to understand and examine the effects of physical force and the related mechanics.


Wiesen Mechanical Aptitude- This exam tests physical and mechanical concepts and topics related to machinery. This is often used for jobs that will require operating and servicing machinery.


Barron’s Test of Mechanical Aptitude- This exam is generally used for the army recruitment process. It tests relevant subjects needed to succeed in such positions.


Stenquist Test of Mechanical Aptitude- This exam requires no previous knowledge or experience. Test takers choose one out of four pictures that doesn’t fit with others presented.


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.

Some common topics on these mechanical exams include electrical circuits, springs, tools, gears, maps, levers and springs. You most likely have some knowledge of these topics if you have advanced in the recruiting process for a relevant position but it’s important that you brush up on the material.

Most exams present an image and an explanation of a problem or scenario which the test taker must solve. Sometimes you may have to explain the tools used to solve the problem.

It is important to learn the format of the exam that you are taking. Research the various topics being tested, number of questions, time limit, etc. Being prepared with specific information about the exam will put you 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.


  • 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 types and different scenarios.

Final Thoughts Before Getting to Work

It can be stressful and intimidating to be asked to take a mechanical aptitude test while applying for a new job. We hope that the information provided here has helped you gain a better understanding of what you will be asked to do on the test and how it is best to prepare. We recommend keeping these tips in mind while also researching the exact layout and subject matter of the specific exam you will be taking. Good luck!