Mechanical Aptitude Tests

Mechanical Reasoning or Mechanical Aptitude Tests assess the test taker's ability to apply basic physical, mechanical, and technical principles in specific situations. These tests are meant specifically for examining the caliber of the test taker in extending fundamental concepts to practical application, rather than purely assessing only theoretical knowledge. These tests also examine the test taker's knowledge of the fundamentals underlying the operation, maintenance and repair of machinery and equipment. They are typically required in assessment centers or by the Human Resources (HR) departments of companies and industries that offer job roles such as engineer, technician, plumber, electrician, firefighter, and other blue-collar jobs.

Various names are used to describe Mechanical Aptitude Tests:

  • Mechanical Aptitude Test
  • Mechanical Reasoning Test
  • Mechanical Psychometric Test
  • Mechanical Comprehension Test

These names described the same tests and are interchangeable.

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What Does a Mechanical Aptitude Test Look Like?

A Mechanical Aptitude Test is generally presented in the form of a multiple-choice questionnaire accompanied by simple illustrations, in color or black and white. The time limit for completing the test varies between test publishers and is usually between 20 and 30 minutes, but some tests may take two hours long. The number of questions also varies between 30 and 70 questions per test. The test can be taken online on a computer or on paper.

Where Is the Test Usually Taken?

The venue of the test is usually at the recruiting center of the company to which the candidate is applying. However, the use of online tests from remote locations that are convenient for the candidate have been increasing in the past few years and has become more commonplace since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

What Do Mechanical Aptitude Tests Evaluate?

Mechanical Comprehension Tests evaluate the candidate's competence and basic mechanical knowledge according to the following criteria:

  • Mechanical reasoning skills
  • Understanding and application of basic mechanical and physical concepts
  • Understanding of basic electrical principles
  • Spatial reasoning: visualizing shapes in three dimensions

Mechanical comprehension tests contain questions on several popular topics that are fundamental to the subject. These include gears, gravity, pulleys, levers, thermodynamics (heat transfer), rotations, etc. Some of these topics are more commonly tested than others and should therefore be studied with special emphasis during your preparation and practice for the test to improve and succeed in your assessment.

Depending on the job and the test setter, the range of topics covered in any specific Mechanical Aptitude Test are usually restricted to concepts that are relevant for the job. However, if Mechanical Aptitude Test you wish to train on comprehensive mechanical aptitude practice tests that cover the whole range of topics and concepts, and read mechanical and electrical study guides, go to the following page.

Is It Possible to Improve Your Results on a Mechanical Aptitude Test?

Absolutely. The concepts and subjects in these tests can be learned by everyone through adequate training and reviewing these subjects consistently will increase the chances of success in these tests. A high score on the test ensures that the candidate stands out in the eyes of the recruiters, giving him/her the possibility of moving on to the next stage of the interview without any problems. The key is to develop a firm understanding of the various domains of physical principles and then to proceed with extensive training over numerous practice tests. Most of the leading Mechanical Aptitude Test assessments required by employers use the same test setters and/or the same topics and types of questions - the same as we use in our sample questions and preparation material.

Need to pass a Mechanical Aptitude Test with flying colors? Start with our study guide and practice test now.

Who Are the Leading Publishers of Mechanical Reasoning Tests?

Among the many test publishers, a few names stand out and are the most used by employers:

Ramsay Mechanical Aptitude Test (MAT)

This test, published by the Ramsay Corporation (and not Ramsey, as often misspelled), assesses the potential of the apprentice/trainee for maintenance occupations (millwrights, production jobs such as machine operators and set-up operators). It is used by many big companies such as Amazon, GoodYear and Walmart. You can find more information about the Ramsay MAT on the following page.

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test (BMCT)

This test published by Pearson TalentLens is one of the leading mechanical comprehension tests on the market. The last version, the BMCT-II is widely used and helps identify candidates with good spatial and mechanical reasoning abilities, as well as aptitudes for learning mechanical processes and tasks. It is used by many companies such as Keyence, Delta Airlines or DuPont. You can find more information about the Bennett Mechanical assessment on the following page.

Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude (WTMA)

Created by Joel P. Wiesen, this test is distributed by several publishers, such as Criteria Corp. and Ramsay Corp. It is a short and well known assessment covering all the mechanical topics described in this page. The WTMA is used by the Keyence company in its recruitment process. Find more information in the dedicated WTMA page.

SHL Mechanical Comprehension Test

The SHL Mechanical Comprehension Test is part of the SHL Aptitude Assessments where verbal, numerical, logical, and other abilities are tested. It evaluates the basic mechanical aptitude and knowledge of the candidates. SHL tests are very popular among employers as they are very short but hard assessments. Find more about SHL assessments on the general SHL page.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)

The IBEW Aptitude Test, also known as the JATC Test (or NJATC, ETA, EAT and others), is a multiple-choice test conducted for electrician apprentice candidates. It is used by all Electrical Unions and Locals, to provide a standard measurement scale for all U.S. electrical apprenticeships. The exact structure of the test may vary, but it is generally divided into two sections: Trades Math (Algebra and Number Series) and Verbal (Reading Comprehension). The number of questions is 69, for a total duration of 96 minutes. The IBEW is usually considered as more difficult than other apprenticeship tests, and in particular their math section. You can find complete online preparation material for the IBEW Apprenticeship Aptitude Test with full-length simulations and study guides on the following page.

Coming soon! A dedicated IBEW page on Assessments.Careers.

Elevator Industry Aptitude Test (EIAT)

The EIAT was developed by the National Elevator Industry Education Program (NEIEP). It is the initial screening stage for all candidates wishing to work in the Elevator Industry in the US. Therefore, it is used by all IUEC (Union of Elevator Constructors) Locals, in order to create a standard and uniform measurement for all apprenticeship candidates. Some major companies like Schindler, WMATA, Thyssenkrupp and OTIS use the EIAT in their hiring process. The test consists of three sections: Math (25-35 MCQ), Mechanical Aptitude (25-35 MCQ) and Verbal Reasoning (25-35 MCQ). It is a timed test of about 1.5 hours. The candidates also must take the EIAT Tool Recognition Test as part of their hiring process. You can find a full online EIAT practice test on the following page.

Technical/Mechanical Test II/III

The TMT II/III belongs to the AT&T company. The TMT II consists of 50 items that asses the candidate's ability to solve technical, mechanical, and logical problems. The time needed to complete the test is approximately 50 minutes, and it is administered locally (not online).

The TMT III is a Computerized Adaptive Test (CAT), meaning the questions are changing based on your previous answers, allowing for more accurate testing. It consists of three tests sections, and the time allotted for completing the test is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

  • The first test section contains 11 questions, each one taking 2 minutes (22 minutes in total). It assesses your ability to follow standard work instructions and address issues faced in technician jobs. You will have to review tables, graphs and diagrams and answer questions. If you cannot answer in the time allotted for each individual question, the question will be marked as incorrect.
  • The second test section contains 21 questions with 45 seconds for each question (total time allotted = 15 minutes and 45 seconds). You will have to use your knowledge of physical principles and laws in order to solve common issues encountered during by a technician while on the job. Each question is composed of a question and drawings, and you have to choose which drawing or which part of a drawing answers the question.
  • The third test section contains 100 questions and is untimed but takes approximately 30 minutes to answer. It assesses the candidate's work orientation and customer service skills in different situations. The questions are presented as pair of statements, and the candidate must choose which statement within the pair they agree with the most.

You can find complete preparation material with sample questions and study guides for the TMT II/III and explanations on the following page.

Edison Electric Institute Tests (EEI)

This institute has developed many electrical and mechanical tests (as well as others) and is used by many companies, for example Dominion, Entergy, Exelon, Duke Energy and CenterPoint Energy (and many more). They are all aptitude test batteries, meaning each test is composed of different parts and topics.

Plant Operator Selection System (POSS)

The POSS is a test battery developed in order to select candidates applying to work as power plant operators. It consists of four tests and the duration of the entirety of the test is approximately 2 hours. The components are Reading Comprehension (36 MCQ/30 minutes), Mechanical Concepts (44 MCQ/22 minutes), Mathematical Usage (18 MCQ/7 minutes), and Figural Reasoning (20 MCQ/10 minutes). To prepare for this test, go to the specific POSS package on the following page.

Power Plant Maintenance Positions Selection System (MASS)

The MASS is very similar to the POSS but was created and developed for electric power generation maintenance jobs. The battery is composed of a Reading Comprehension section (36 MCQ/30 minutes), a Mechanical Concepts section (44 MCQ/20 minutes), an Assembling Objects section (20 MCQ/15 minutes), and a Mathematical Usage section (18 MCQ/7 minutes). Its total duration is also approximately 2 hours. You can find complete online preparation material with practice tests for each section, study guides and video tutorials on the following page.

Construction and Skilled Trades Selection System (CAST)

The CAST is a test battery developed in order to assess candidates for construction and skilled trades occupations. The different test sections include Graphic Arithmetic (16 questions/30 minutes), Mechanical Concepts (44 MCQ/20 minutes), Reading Comprehension (32 MCQ/30 minutes), and Mathematical Usage (18 MCQ/7 minutes). The duration of this test is also approximately 2 hours. You can find complete online preparation material for the CAST with full-length tests and study guides on the following page.

Technician Occupations Selection System (TECH)

The TECH is a battery of aptitude tests designated for technical occupations in the electric power industry. It is composed of four sections with a total duration of 2 hours. The sections are Graphic Problem Solving (16 MCQ/15 minutes), Interpreting Diagrams (16 MCQ/15 minutes), Mechanical Concepts (44 MCQ/20 minutes), Reasoning from Rules (15 MCQ/15 minutes). A comprehensive online Practice Test can be found on the following page.

Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)

The ASVAB is a multiple-choice test administered by the United States Military Entrance Processing Command. The ASVAB is generally administered to High-School students and is used to determine if a candidate is qualified to enlist in the military, and to determine which job they are eligible to apply for. There are multiple ASVAB versions, some paper-and-pencil, and some online. Another assessment that is similar to the ASVAB is the PICAT, which is essentially an untimed ASVAB test. You can find complete online preparation material adapted to each ASVAB version as well as the PICAT on the following page, with full-length tests, a diagnostic test and study guides.

Each of these tests has been optimized to reduce gender inequality, as well as inequalities related to social and cultural background.

For Which Jobs Is the Mechanical Reasoning Test Used?

Companies around the world use these tests to evaluate the potential of their employees. Here is a brief overview of companies that require mechanical reasoning tests:

Amazon

Ramsay Corporation has created and developed a special assessment solely for the Amazon Maintenance Technician position and other RME tech jobs. The assessment is also called the Amazon RME Maintenance Technician Test. It is a unique and adapted version of the Ramsay Mechanical Test, with 75 multiple-choice questions and a total duration of 2.5 hours. It covers all the usual mechanical topics described on this page. You can find all the info and an Amazon Maintenance Technician Test Prep with more than 400 practice questions with full explanations on the following page.

Coming soon! A dedicated page for the Amazon Maintenance Ramsay Test.

Walmart

Walmart General Maintenance jobs also use a specially tailored version of the Ramsay tests. Unlike Amazon, the test used here are the Ramsay MecTest and the Ramsay MultiCraft test, depending on the job. Both are 1-hour long tests and include 60 multiple-choice questions. The only difference between them is that the MecTest includes questions that test only mechanical topics, whereas the MultiCraft Test includes questions that test both mechanical and electrical topics. Are you applying for a maintenance job at Walmart? Check out our complete online Ramsay Maintenance Practice material!

SoCalGas/SDG&E

Both companies use the Blue Battery Mechanical Assessment as part of their hiring process, among other aptitude and personality tests. The Blue Battery Test consists of four sections: The Mechanical Comprehension Test, the Computation Test, The Symbolic Reasoning Test and the Visual Speed and Accuracy Test. For more information and a comprehensive online practice test with study guide, go to the following page.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority uses the BMCT as a part of their hiring process, among other aptitude tests. You can find complete online preparation material related to this on the following page.

Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines use the Basic Mechanical Aptitude and Reasoning Test (BMAR) as a pre-employment assessment for technical positions. The BMAR is administered by PSI and contains three sections: a BMCT test, Spatial Reasoning assessment and a Personality Profiling section. Do you need to take the BMAR? Find a comprehensive BMAR Prep Course on the following page, with over 500 practice questions.

Topics, Explanations, and Free Mechanical Sample Questions

The following section contains a full study guide with the basics of mechanics as well as free sample questions with explanations. Read it carefully and try to answer the questions before reading the solutions and explanations.

Mechanics

Newton's laws

Newton's three laws form the basis of the fundamentals of classical mechanics. These laws are taught in high school and are used to both formulate and solve problems in mechanics.

  1. Newton's first law is known as the "principle of inertia". "Any body not subjected to forces retains its state of rest or rectilinear and uniform motion". Thus, ΣF=0, i.e., the set of forces to which the body is subjected is equal to 0.
  2. Newton's second law is entitled "fundamental principle of dynamics". "In a frame of reference of inertia, the velocity of a material point varies proportionally to the sum of the external forces applied to it and inversely proportionally to its mass". Thus, ΣF=ma, i.e., the sum of the forces applied to an object is equal to its mass multiplied by its acceleration.
  3. Newton's third law, the "principle of reciprocal action" or "action-reaction" is defined as "the actions of two bodies on each other are always equal and in opposite directions".

What Forces Can Be Applied to a Body?

The gravitational force of the object (mg): the mass of the object multiplied by gravity (9.8m/s²), which is equal to the weight (P).

The gravitational force of the object (mg)

Tension (T): tension exerted by a wire (e.g., pendulum).

The force of friction (F): The force of friction exists when two bodies are in contact. It always opposes motion. The friction force is not only contrary to the movement, but also essential to ensure contact between two surfaces (e.g., contact of tires on the road, braking).

The force of friction (F): The force of friction exists when two bodies are in contact. It always opposes motion. The friction force is not only contrary to the movement, but also essential to ensure contact between two surfaces (e.g., contact of tires on the road, braking).

Normal Reaction (N or R): Each body exerts a force on another body that is in contact with it. For example, if an object rests on a table, the table exerts a force on the object. This force is called the reaction of the support or normal reaction, it is always vertical to the contact surface.

Normal Reaction (N or R): Each body exerts a force on another body that is in contact with it. For example, if an object rests on a table, the table exerts a force on the object. This force is called the reaction of the support or normal reaction, it is always vertical to the contact surface.

In a Mechanical Aptitude Test, questions rarely deal directly with forces or Newton's laws. However, it is extremely important to keep them in mind because knowing these laws make it easier to simplify and understand exercises on mechanical forces, such as pulleys, levers, and springs.

Pulleys

The pulley is an elementary mechanical device. It consists of a wheel-shaped part used to transmit motion and is used with a rope or cable. Different kinds of pulleys appear in mechanical reasoning tests:

Fixed pulley

The tensions on both strands of the cable are identical. The fixed pulley simply allows the direction of applied force to be changed. If an object is lifted with a fixed pulley at constant speed (or at rest), then the tension is the same throughout the rope. A fixed pulley therefore does not change the norm of a force but only its direction and/or sense. To lift the body by a height h, the point of application of the force F must be moved by a distance x=h.

Fixed pulley

Movable Pulley

Movable pulleys move with the load to be lifted, which is supported by two strands of rope with equal tension T. A movable pulley thus changes the intensity of a force. To lift the load by a height h, the point of application of the force must be moved by x=2h.

Movable Pulley
Example of an Exercise With a Single Pulley

Which weight requires the least amount of force to move?

Example of an Exercise With a Single Pulley
  1. A
  2. B
  3. Both weights require the same force
Answer and explanation

The correct answer is B, which requires a force equal to 5 kg while weight A requires a force equivalent to 10 kg.

Single pulley questions are relatively simple. If the pulley is fixed, the force required is equal to the weight. If the pulley is movable, the force is equal to half the weight. Another way to reason is to divide the weight by the number of sections of rope supporting it to get the force required to lift it. Weight A has only one section of rope supporting it, so 10/1 = 10 kg is required to lift the weight. Weight B has two sections of rope supporting it, so 10/2 = 5 kg is required to lift it.

Hoist

A hoist is a combination of several fixed and mobile pulleys. The mobile pulley reduces the force by half, the fixed pulley changes the direction and the sense of the force: F=P/2 Here again, the load is supported by 2 strands of rope x=2h.

A hoist is a combination of several fixed and mobile pulleys.
Example of an Exercise With a Hoist

How much force is needed to move the weights?

Example of an Exercise With a Hoist
  1. 100 kg
  2. 150 kg
  3. 50 kg
  4. 60 kg
Answer and explanation

The correct answer is C.

The weight is 300 kg and there are 6 sections of rope to support it. Divide 300 by 6 to get 50 kg. In any case, simply divide the weight by the number of sections of rope supporting it to get the force needed to lift it.

Levers

A lever is, in general, a rigid body that can rotate around an axis and is subject to at least two forces called the "driving force" and the "resistance".

The lever has three parts:

  • The driving force
  • The fulcrum
  • The load or resistance

There are three types of levers:

  • The inter-support lever (1st Class Lever): Here, the fulcrum (support axis) is placed between the driving force (effort) and the resistance (load) (swing, toggle, scissors).
  • The inter-resistance lever (2nd Class Lever): Here, the resistance is between the support axis and the driving force (wheelbarrow, nutcracker).
  • The inter-motor lever (3rd Class Lever): Here, the driving force is between the support axis and the resistance (sugar tongs, pliers, tweezers).
Mechanical Aptitude Tests: Levers Explained + Free Samples
Example of an Exercise With a Lever

How Much Force Is Needed to Lift the Weight?

Example of an Exercise With a Lever
  1. 40 lbs
  2. 50 lbs
  3. 60 lbs
  4. 70 lbs
Answer and explanation

The correct answer is C: 60 lbs. are needed to lift the weight.

Explanation:

The following formula is used to calculate the force required to lift the weight:

w x d1 = f x d2

Where:

W = weight
d1 = distance between the support point and the weight.
f = force required
d2 = distance between the point of support and the point of application of the force.
f = (w x d1)/d2
f = (80 x 9)/12
f = (720)/12
f = (720)/12
f = 60 lbs

Springs

A spring is a piece of wire or metal that can be extended or compressed by an external force and returns to its original length when the force is no longer applied.

A spring is a piece of wire or metal that can be extended or compressed by an external force and returns to its original length when the force is no longer applied.

There are two types of springs appearing in mechanical reasoning questions:

  • Series assemblies
  • Parallel assemblies
A spring is a piece of wire or metal that can be extended or compressed by an external force and returns to its original length when the force is no longer applied.

When the springs are arranged in series, each spring is subjected to the applied force. When the springs are arranged in parallel, the force is distributed equally among the springs.

Example of an Exercise With One Spring

A force of 5 kg compresses the springs in series by 10 cm. What is the total distance at which the springs in parallel are compressed?

Example of an Exercise With One Spring
  1. 10 cm
  2. 2.5 cm
  3. 5 cm
  4. 7.5 cm
Answer and explanation

The correct answer is C. The total force is divided equally between the 2 springs in parallel. Since the force is halved, the distance traveled will also be halved. The springs in series were compressed by 10 cm, so the springs in parallel will be compressed by 5 cm.

Gravity

Essentially, gravity is the constant downward force that holds people and objects to the ground. This force is such that it resists any other force that attempts to lift bodies off the ground.

Speed of Fall Time

In matters of free fall of bodies, some essential fundamentals are as follows:

  • The force of gravity exerted on every body is equal, regardless of its mass, size, or shape. Thus, two objects falling in free fall from the same height will always arrive at the same time, regardless of their differences in weight, mass, etc. A tennis ball and a bowling ball will hit the ground at the same time as long as both fall from the same height at the same time.
  • The duration of the fall depends only on the initial height and does not depend on the mass of the body.
  • Air friction is negligible in mechanical reasoning questions.
Example

Assuming that both balls fall in free fall from the same height, which ball will hit the ground first?

Assuming that both balls fall in free fall from the same height, which ball will hit the ground first?
  1. A
  2. B
  3. Both balls will hit the ground at the same time
  4. The question does not give enough information
Answer

The correct answer is C. As explained earlier, two objects falling from the same height arrive at the same time.

Pendulum

A simple pendulum is a device containing a mass suspended from an inextensible wire, which owes its oscillatory motion to gravity. In a simple pendulum, the mass oscillates only vertically, whereas a compound pendulum will have its mass oscillate horizontally and vertically.

Mechanical comprehension questions are usually about simple pendulums.

Good to Know
  • The pendulum cannot exceed the initial height from which the mass is thrown.
  • The longer the wire, the lower the swing speed.
  • The equilibrium position is the position vertical to the axis.
Example

If the two masses shown are not in motion, which situation is the most unlikely?

If the two masses shown are not in motion, which situation is the most unlikely?
  1. La situation A
  2. La situation B
  3. Both situations are equally likely.
  4. Both situations are equally unlikely.
Answer and explanation

The correct answer is B. Since gravity always pulls objects downward, the ball at the end of the string is pulled directly toward the ground. Therefore, in the absence of another force, such as a magnetic force, it is unlikely that the ball would be suspended as presented in situation B.

Throwing a Ball

When a ball or any other projectile is thrown non-horizontally, the velocity vector forms an angle alpha with the x-axis. The motion forms a parabola. The ball then changes its trajectory and heads towards the ground.

Good to Know
  • When the ball reaches its maximum height, i.e., the top of the parabola, the velocity on the Y-axis is zero; the ball only has a velocity on the X-axis.
  • For equal velocity, the maximum range for a shot angle is always 45 degrees.
  • For an equal velocity, complementary shooting angles have the same range (e.g., 30 degrees and 60 degrees).
  • For the same value of alpha angle, the greater the velocity, the greater the range.

In a Mechanical Comprehension Test, it is rare to come across questions that deal directly with bullet throws. However, it is important to understand the basics of this topic, which can help in solving other questions.

Inclined Plane

An inclined plane is a flat, sloping surface (i.e., with one side higher than the other), which allows objects to be moved between different levels (e.g., ramps, slides, or mountainsides). Inclined plane questions usually involve angle of inclination, weight and height, and the effect of gravity on bodies.

Good to Know
  • The steeper the plane, the greater the necessary force used to raise the object. This is due to gravity which always pulls bodies downward.
  • Loads moving down an inclined plane will move faster and longer than on a flat horizontal surface.
  • The steeper the plane, i.e., the greater the angle of inclination, the greater the speed of a ball dropped from the top of the plane.
  • Friction is created when a surface and a body meet. This resistance makes the movement more complicated, whether down or up the plane.
Example

Assuming the boxes are of equal weight and made of the same material, which box will slide more easily down its ramp?

Assuming the boxes are of equal weight and made of the same material, which box will slide more easily down its ramp?
  1. Box A
  2. Box B
  3. Both boxes
  4. Neither of the two boxes
Answer and explanation

The correct answer is B.

Since the boxes weigh the same and are at the same degree of inclination, the only factor to consider is the contact area, i.e., friction, as indicated by the dotted lines. As explained above, the greater the frictional area, the more complicated the motion. The box with the least friction will therefore slide faster on the inclined plane.

  • If the boxes had the same size and weight and were made of the same material, gravity would have been the only factor affecting the downward motion of the inclined plane. Therefore, they would both have moved down the slope equally with ease.
  • If the boxes had the same weight and size but were made of different materials, it would have been impossible to determine which one moved more easily without information about the state of the materials, since the degree of friction would depend on the material used.

Rotations

Gears

Questions about gears appear frequently in mechanical reasoning tests. A system of gears forms a gear that transmits rotational motion and is connected to a rotating shaft that is driven by a power source. These gears appear in many mechanisms such as watches and gearboxes.

There are two types of rotation:

Rotation in the same direction: in this gear, the wheels are connected by a belt and rotate in the same direction, for example - in a bicycle.

Rotation in the same direction: in this gear, the wheels are connected by a belt and rotate in the same direction, for example - in a bicycle.

Reverse rotation: in this gear, the wheels are in contact with each other and rotate in opposite directions, for example - in a clock.

Reverse rotation: in this gear, the wheels are in contact with each other and rotate in opposite directions, for example - in a clock.
Good to Know
  • When gears are of the same size and have the same number of teeth, they will rotate at an equal speed. If the number of teeth is unequal, then the gear with fewer teeth will rotate faster.
  • A gear with small wheels turning at the same speed as a gear with large wheels will make more turns in the same amount of time.
  • If a gear has an odd number of wheels, then the last wheel will always turn in the same direction as the first.
Example

If bar Y moves to the left at a constant speed, how does bar X move?

If bar Y moves to the left at a constant speed, how does bar X move?
  1. To the left, faster
  2. To the right, at the same speed
  3. To the left, more slowly
  4. To the left, at the same speed
  5. To the right, more slowly
Answer

The correct answer is C.

Winch

A winch is a mechanical device that allows to control the winding of a cable in order to carry or pull a load. The best-known example is the system for lifting a bucket in a well. The crank allows the mass to be lifted more easily.

Good to Know
  • The longer the crank arm, the lesser the effort that is required to lift the object.
  • The smaller the diameter of the cylinder, the lesser the effort that is required to lift the object.
Example

With Which Winch Is the Load More Complicated to Lift?

With Which Winch Is the Load More Complicated to Lift?
  1. A
  2. Both are equal
  3. B

Speed of Rotation

If two wheels connected by a belt are the same size, they will also rotate at the same speed. When the two wheels are unequal in size, then it is necessary to calculate the ratio between the two wheels to determine their speed.

If two wheels connected by a belt are the same size, they will also rotate at the same speed. When the two wheels are unequal in size, then it is necessary to calculate the ratio between the two wheels to determine their speed.

Size of B = Number of turns of A x Size of A.

Example

Which wheel completes the most revolutions per minute?

Which wheel completes the most revolutions per minute?
  1. Wheel A
  2. Wheel B
  3. Wheel C
  4. The wheels make an equal number of turns per minute
Answer and explanation

The correct answer is A. Due to its smaller size, wheel A turns faster than the other wheels, so it makes more revolutions per minute (rpm).

Direction of Rotation

If the belt is straight, both wheels rotate in the same direction.

If the belt is straight, both wheels rotate in the same direction.

If the belt is crossed, the two wheels turn in opposite directions.

If the belt is crossed, the two wheels turn in opposite directions.
Example

If wheel A turns clockwise, wheel B turns:

  1. Clockwise
  2. Counterclockwise
  3. Impossible to know
Answer

The correct answer is B.

Electricity

An electric circuit is a circuit made up of conductive elements linked together. The circuit is composed of:

  1. A generator of electricity (battery or electrical outlet) with a positive and a negative pole.
  2. Electricity conducting wires connected to the two poles of the generator.
  3. An electrical device connected to the wires.
  4. A switch to control the circuit.

Nomenclature

Electricity Nomenclature

When the switch is open, the current does not flow and the circuit is said to be open. When the switch is closed, the current flows and the circuit is said to be closed.

When the switch is open, the current does not flow and the circuit is said to be open. When the switch is closed, the current flows and the circuit is said to be closed.
Parallel Circuits

Branch circuit or parallel circuit: when an electric circuit contains several loops connected to the same generator.

Branch circuit or parallel circuit: when an electric circuit contains several loops connected to the same generator.
Example

How many switches must be closed in order for a bulb to be lit?

How many switches must be closed in order for a bulb to be lit?
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
Answer and explanation

The correct answer is B. Two switches must be closed for the above circuit to be complete.

Series Circuits

A series circuit is a circuit in which the various components are placed one after the other, offering only one possible path for the current.

A series circuit is a circuit in which the various components are placed one after the other, offering only one possible path for the current.
Example

How many bulbs light on when the switch is closed?

How many bulbs light on when the switch is closed?
Answer

The correct answer is D, all 4 bulbs light up.

Short Circuit

In the case of a short circuit, the circuit creates a shortcut, that is, it creates a path without a bulb, through an intermediate wire. Thus, the electricity flows through the circuit without the bulb rather than through the path with the bulb and, when the circuit is closed, the bulb goes out.

In the case of a short circuit, the circuit creates a shortcut, that is, it creates a path without a bulb, through an intermediate wire. Thus, the electricity flows through the circuit without the bulb rather than through the path with the bulb and, when the circuit is closed, the bulb goes out.

Magnetism

A magnet is a material that naturally develops a magnetic field and is able to attract certain materials such as iron, nickel, cobalt, and chromium. A magnet has a north and a south pole. Poles of the same nature repel each other, those of different natures attract each other. Magnets are therefore magnetic dipoles whose poles are inseparable.

Example

Which of these pairs of magnets attract each other in situations A and B?

Which of these pairs of magnets attract each other in situations A and B?
Answer and explanation

The correct answer is answer A. Opposite poles attract, identical poles repel (situation B).

Voltage

The electric voltage is the flow of the electric field along a circuit measured in volts by a voltmeter. It is noted U at the terminals of a dipole. When connecting batteries, the current flows only when the opposite poles of batteries in series or in parallel follow each other.

Example

Two batteries each supplying 1.5 V of electricity are connected. In the following two illustrations, which of these connections gives 3 V, figure 1 or figure 2?

Two batteries each supplying 1.5 V of electricity are connected. In the following two illustrations, which of these connections gives 3 V, figure 1 or figure 2?
  1. Figure 1
  2. Figure 2
  3. Both figures
  4. Neither of the two figures
Answer and explanation

The correct answer is A. The connected batteries provide energy when the opposite poles follow each other.

Tools

In Mechanical Competency Tests, there are often questions about different tools, such as hammers, screws, etc. These questions may include tool identification, tool usage, and a comparison of different tools.

Tool Identification

Tool knowledge questions assess the candidate's ability to identify and/or determine the uses of common types of tools (hammers, wrenches, pliers, etc.). Becoming familiar with a wide range of tools is the best preparation for answering this type of question.

Example

What is the name of the following tool?

What is the name of the following tool?
  1. Mallet
  2. Hammer
  3. Sledgehammer
  4. Pliers
Answer

The correct answer is B, a hammer.

Uses of the Tools

Example

Which tool or combination of tools is most useful for general woodworking?

  1. Voltmeter
  2. Hacksaw
  3. Wood chisel
  4. Flat chisel
  5. Planer
  6. Glass cutter
  7. Wood saw
  8. Soldering station
  9. Welding machine
Which tool or combination of tools is most useful for general woodworking?
  1. 4 and 2
  2. 3, 5 and 7
  3. 2, 4 and 6
  4. 4 and 7
  5. 3 and 6
Answer and explanation

The correct answer is B. Tools 3, 5 and 7 are the most useful for carpentry.

Tool Comparison

Which tool is best for tightening and loosening nuts?

Which tool is best for tightening and loosening nuts?

Tool A

Which tool is best for tightening and loosening nuts?

Tool B

  1. Tool A
  2. Tool B
  3. Neither tool
  4. Both tools
Answer and explanation

The correct answer is B. The wrench is specially adapted for nuts.

Fault Checking/Fault Diagnosis

Fault diagnosis questions are used for the selection of technical personnel who must be able to find and repair faults in electronic and mechanical systems. Indeed, with the sophistication of modern equipment and machinery of all types, it becomes essential that a potential candidate is able to address errors occurring in these devices in a logical manner.

Example
Fault diagnosis questions are used for the selection of technical personnel who must be able to find and repair faults in electronic and mechanical systems. Indeed, with the sophistication of modern equipment and machinery of all types, it becomes essential that a potential candidate is able to address errors occurring in these devices in a logical manner.

Which switch indicates an error?

Which switch indicates an error?
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
Answer

The correct answer is A.

For more sample questions, study guides and complete online preparation material for a mechanical assessment, go to the following page.

Tips and Tricks

  • In order to improve your mechanical aptitude,learn how the fundamentals of classical mechanics work in real situations. Work with tools and mechanical equipment, try to fix and repair different objects, build new objects using technical user manuals. You can also look at YouTube explainer videos talking about mechanical principles and tools.
  • Try to learn and understand the different basic physical and mechanical (and electrical) principles and learn the key formulas by heart. It is true that most of the questions won't ask you to use those formulas, but they will test your understanding of the mechanical principles.
  • Don't aim to answer a question too quickly but also don't answer it too slowly. Answering too quickly could cause you to mark erroneous answers that you could have avoided if you read the question carefully and with focus. Also consider the fact that some of the questions can be quite tricky which require understanding the structure of the question more than the principle being tested. The goal of these tests is to differentiate between candidates who understand the logic behind the principles and those who don't. On the other hand, answering too slowly could cause you to exceed the time limit set for the test. It is therefore important that you check in advance the number of questions your assessment is composed of as well as its total time duration, so that you know how much time on average is available for answering each question. This way you can manage your own time.
  • Try to precisely identify the mechanical principle behind each question, so that you can recall all the information needed to answer the question with ease.
  • Preparation is key. Extensive practice will improve familiarity with concepts and question types allowing you to understand the logic behind the fundamental principles and their practical application in aptitude test questions and make it easier for you to answer them. Check which mechanical assessment you must pass and prepare for it specifically. You can find complete and comprehensive preparation material for each of the Mechanical Aptitude Tests here.

FAQs

What is the minimum qualifying score on a Mechanical Aptitude Test?

Each assessment from each test creator or company has its own scoring and qualifying cutoffs. However, most tests will have 80% as a minimum passing threshold in order to move the candidate forward in the hiring process. The best you can do is check which assessment you have to pass and visit their dedicated page, where you can find all the information about the scoring system.

How are mechanical reasoning tests scored?

As stated in the previous question, each assessment has its own scoring system. You should therefore check which assessment you have to take, depending on the position and company that you are applying for, and then visit the respective assessment page.

What can I expect to see on a Mechanical Aptitude Test?

Most Mechanical Aptitude Tests are based on the same topics. You can find a recapitulative table of all main topics as well as sample questions for each one here.

Is there a standard Mechanical Aptitude Test?

There isn't a standard Mechanical Aptitude Test. However, most companies are make use of the same assessments - which are Ramsay MAT, Bennett (BMCT), Wiesen (WTMA) and more. You can find all the main assessments here. Do consider that some job categories do use standardized tests. This is the case for the Electrical Union which uses the IBEW test, as well as the Elevator Industry, which uses the EIAT assessment.

Can I get a job without taking a Mechanical Aptitude Test?

These days, most companies are using pre-hiring assessments as an essential part of their hiring process which helps filter the candidates by level of expertise. If you wish to apply to a mechanical or technical position, the odds are high that you will have to pass a Mechanical Aptitude Test. There is no cause for worry because all you have to do is to prepare well for the assessment. Complete courses for Mechanical Aptitude Tests are available on the following page.

Are there fees to take a Mechanical Aptitude Test?

There are generally no fees for candidates needing to take a Mechanical Aptitude Test, as employers absorb all the fees.

How can I practice for a Mechanical Aptitude Test?

You can find complete preparatory material, courses, study guides and dedicated preparation packages for many mechanical assessments on the following page.

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