The Complete Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Guide [2022]

Shlomik, Mechanical test specialist at JobTestPrep.

Have a question? Contact me at: ask_shlomik@jobtestprep.com

 

What is the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test (BMCT)?

The Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test (BMCT) is a pre-employment mechanical aptitude test developed by Pearson Assessments. This test aims to find individuals with good mechanical reasoning and is therefore used mainly for entry-level positions.

The test contains 55 questions in 25 minutes, covering the following topics:

  • Velocity (28%)
  • Force and Torque (23%)
  • Fluids (15%)
  • Pulleys (8%)
  • Thermodynamics (Heat) (6%)
  • Electricity (6%)
  • Gears (6%)
  • Wheels (4%)
  • Acoustics (4%)
  • Optics (2%)

Below we dive a bit into each topic (with sample questions and answers).


The Bennett Test 3-Minute Guide [Video]

Play Video preview image
Video preview image

 

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Free Sample Questions and Answers

Below are 10 sample questions and answers, one of each category, all adapted from the actual Bennett Mechanical Aptitude Test:

 

Velocity

This is the broadest area of the Bennett test, covering around 28% of the 55 test questions. Topics include acceleration and inertia, gravity, the center of gravity, etc.

BMCT Velocity Sample Question

In which way is the wagon accelerating? (if either, mark C.)

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Sample Question - Velocity
A
B
C
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The pendulum is moving backward; therefore, the car is accelerating in the opposite direction.

What happens when an object is in an accelerating system, in the same way, you feel pulled back when the car is speeding up or forwards when it is braking.

Remember the physical principle: When an object is within an accelerating system (another object that accelerates or decelerates), the inner object's force will be in the direction opposite to the acceleration.

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Sample Question - Velocity

 

Force and Torque

Another very broad and common topic (12-13 questions). Questions typically deal with the resolution of forces, the centrifugal force, and the law of the lever.

BMCT Force and Torque Sample Question

In which direction should the acrobat move his body to balance the seesaw? (If neither, Mark C.)

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Sample Question - Forces
A
B
C
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

A seesaw is an example of a first-class lever, where the fulcrum is between the effort and load.

For the seesaw to be balanced, the torque applied by the acrobat must increase. Since the acrobat's weight is constant, the only way to increase the input torque is by increasing the distance from the fulcrum.

Moving in direction B will shift the acrobat’s center of gravity farther from the fulcrum, resulting in greater torque, thereby balancing it.

 

Fluids

Here you will be asked about the main concepts of fluid such as the ideal gas law, basic hydraulics, and Bernoulli's principle. 8-9 of the test questions will deal with these subjects.

BMCT Fluids Sample Question

Which of the three following diagrams is correct?

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Sample Question  -Fluids
A
B
C
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The bending of the partition is caused by pressure differences on both sides, determined by the differences in water levels.

The height of water determines the pressure on the container – the higher the water – the greater the pressure.

In A, the partition bends to the right, suggesting the pressure is greater on the left side. That is consistent with the higher water level on the left side.

In B, the partition is flat, suggesting no pressure difference between its two sides, despite the different water levels. Therefore, this answer is false.

In C, the partition bends to the left, suggesting the pressure is greater on the right side. That contradicts the higher water level on the left side. Therefore, this answer is also false.

Remember the physical principle: Higher water level – higher pressure.

 

Pulleys

Pulley questions on the BMCT test are usually more common than in other tests (4-5 questions), so it is important to go over the basic rules of this mechanism. Pulley questions will normally ask you to determine which of two pulley systems is more efficient.

BMCT Pulleys Sample Question

Who will need to apply more force to lift the weight? (If equal, Mark C.)

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Sample Question - Pulleys
A
B
C
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

Figure B has an additional wheel to reel in the rope, so 3 wheels total, while figure A only contains 2 wheels.

However, this extra wheel does nothing to divide the force and only changes the pulling from a linear motion in A to a circular motion in B.

Remember the physical principle: In a pulley system, the wheels that reduce the applied force are moving wheels, not wheels that only change the motion’s direction.

 

Thermodynamics (Heat)

This topic focuses on the basics of heat transfer – most commonly heating, cooling, condensation, and evaporation.

BMCT Thermodynamics (Heat) Sample Question

In which direction will the pressure gauge move if the closed oxygen canister is heated? (If neither, mark C.)

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Sample Question - Heat
A
B
C
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

TL;DR: Heated gas expands. If it cannot expand, its pressure rises.

And now for a more elaborate explanation:

The answer to the question relies on the Ideal Gas Law:
PV=nRT

Where P =pressure, V = volume, n = number of moles of gas (amount of gas), R = Gas constant (property of the material), T = temperature.

When the temperature (T) rises, the right side of the equation increases, while n and R remain constant (the amount of gas and the material itself are unchanged). Therefore, to maintain the equation, its other side must increase. Since the volume is fixed, the only option is that the pressure increases.

 

Electricity

Here you will be asked about a completely different set of rules and principles. Most often, electricity questions here will deal with the fundamentals of electricity like Ohm's Law and DC electric circuits. With about 3-4 questions, it is a rather small topic.

BMCT Electricity Sample Question

If the red switch is closed, which bulb would light up? (If both, mark C.)

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Sample Question - Electricity
A
B
C
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

When the red switch is closed, a closed circuit is formed both for bulbs A and B.

Both light bulbs are connected in parallel, so they both get current and light up.

 

Gears

Gears are a less common topic in the Bennett test than in other mechanical tests (3-4 questions). These will mainly test your understanding of gear ratio and the ability to deduce a gear's direction of rotation.

BMCT Gears Sample Question

In which direction does the grey wheel turn? (If neither, mark C.)

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Sample Question - Gears
A
B
C
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

When contact is made between the rack (toothed belt) and the cogwheels, a conversion from a linear velocity to an angular velocity occurs. The location of the point of contact is critical.

The point of contact between the red cogwheel and the rack is in the lower part of the red cogwheel. The counterclockwise angular velocity induces a linear velocity to the right.

The point of contact between the grey cogwheel and the rack is in the grey cogwheel's upper part. The linear velocity to the right (determined by the rack) induces an angular velocity in a clockwise direction. The process can be exemplified by the blue arrows, which show where each part of the wheel is moving under the rotation conditions:

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Sample Question Answer - Gears

Remember the physical principle: When converting the linear velocity of a rack to the angular velocity, “translate” the rotation into arrows and follow the directions.

 

Wheels

Wheels questions (2-3 questions) rely on the application of physical concepts to wheels. You will usually need to understand the relationship between wheel size and speed, rotational vs. linear velocity, etc.

BMCT Wheels Sample Question

In which direction will the wheel spin? (If neither, mark C.)

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Sample Question - Wheels
A
B
C
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

A band connects the two wheels on the left. The clockwise rotation of the initial wheel (blue arrow) determines the movement of the band, which, in turn, rotates the top wheel counterclockwise. That is because the band is crossed.

The two wheels at the top are connected by a rod; thus, both rotate in the same direction. The wheel in question is connected by a straight band to the top right wheel, and will therefore rotate in the same direction - namely, counterclockwise.

 

Acoustics

Some of the basic concepts of sound will be the center of acoustics questions - the Doppler effect, refraction, reflection, and attenuation. This is one of the smallest test topics on the BMCT, with no more than 1-2 questions.

BMCT Acoustics Sample Question

Which siren will sound higher-pitched to the man? (If equal, Mark C.)

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Sample Question - Acoustics
A
B
C
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

When a sound-omitting object approaches, the soundwaves are “compressed” by the speed (are reaching the ear faster than they would have been the object standing still). That “compression” will cause a higher-pitched sound. Vice versa, if the object is moving away, the sound will be lower-pitched.

Remember the physical principle: When a sound omitting object approaches – higher-pitched sound. When it moves away – lower-pitched sound.

Note: That phenomenon is called the Doppler Effect.

 

Optics

The smallest topic on the test, usually with only 1 question. It will deal with one of the basic concepts of light, reflection, and sight.

 BMCT Optics Sample Question

How will the man see his image in the mirror? (If neither, mark C.)

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Sample Question - Optics
A
B
C
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

Due to the reflection of light rays, a concave mirror reflects an upside-down image of an object that stands in front of it. A convex mirror will always show an upright reflection.

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Sample Question Answer - Optics

Alternative Names of the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test

All the following names refer to the test officially named Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test (BMCT):

  • Bennett Test
  • Bennett Mechanical Test
  • Bennett Mechanical Aptitude Test
  • BMCT
  • BMCT-II / BMCT-I
  • BMCT Test

BMCT-I vs. BMCT-II

The Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test comes in two versions:

  • BMCT-II – The current version – 55 questions in 25 minutes. Online only.
  • BMCT-I – An older version – 68 questions in 30 minutes. Online or pen-and-paper.

Most commonly you will be taking the BMCT-II version, as Pearson (the test developer) does not officially distribute BMCT-I anymore. However, some employers still use the older version.


How Difficult Is the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test?

The Bennett Mechanical Test is considered a mid-to-high level test in the realm of mechanical aptitude tests.

It should be noted that the difficulty of the test questions is not uniform, and the test will combine test questions of various difficulty levels, so each candidate faces the same overall challenge.

While most candidates will do well with the basic and mid-level questions, solving the high-level questions is what will separate you from the rest and allow you to pass the BMCT test successfully.


What Score Do I Need to Pass the Bennett Test?

The score you need greatly depends on the job you want. Unlike other mechanical aptitude tests, the Bennett test does not have a predetermined passing score and your score is determined compared to other candidates, based on your prospective employer's needs.

The developer of the Bennett test, Pearson Assessments has set standard scores required for various occupations:

  • Automotive/Aircraft Mechanic – 45/55 (average 38-39)
  • Engineer – 49/55 (average 43)
  • Installation, Maintenance, Repair – 43/55 (average 41)
  • Technical Sales Representative – 44/55 (average 38)
  • Skilled Tradesperson – 45/55 (average 39)
  • Mechanical Trades – 45/55 (average 39)

As you can see – the differences between the average and top performers are not THAT significant – 4 to 5 questions total!

 

Get those extra 4-5 points for a passing score with focused and accurate preparation for the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test (BMCT).


Does the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Have an Answer Key?

Since test questions are randomly distributed between candidates, the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test has no answer key.

Therefore, your best option for passing the Bennett test is to learn the physical concepts behind the questions, so you can correctly answer every time.


7 Practice Tips for the Bennett Mechanical Test

The Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test doesn’t deal with complex techniques, calculations or high-level physics. It basically assesses your ability to grasp physical concepts and apply them to never-seen-before scenarios.

As such, the following 7 practice techniques are recommended to maximize your success with the BMCT test:

  1. Learn Physical Concepts and Principles
  2. Practice the Actual Test
  3. Know the 4 Question Formats
  4. Focus on the Right Things
  5. Go to the Extremes
  6. Know Your Weaknesses
  7. Ignore Environmental Effects

 

BMCT Practice Tip #1 – Learn Physical Concepts and Principles

This is probably the single most important preparation tip for the Bennett Mechanical Test.

The variety of topics and scenarios in the Bennett test makes memorization completely pointless. Therefore, it is essential that you learn the physical concepts behind questions, so you can re-apply them to any possible scenario.

 

What is the underlying physical principle in this question?

Answering THIS question will not only help you in solving the particular question you’re facing. It will also help you with future questions on the same topic.

Sample - Can You Spot the Physical Principle?

The following are two typical questions from the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test. After solving question 1, try using the physical principle behind it to solve question 2.

Question 1

Which ball will hit the ground first? (If equal, mark C.)

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Sample
A
B
C
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is that both balls will hit the floor at the same time.

Free falling speed does not depend on the mass of the element, and every object falls at the exact same speed.

Now, before you ask whether a bowling ball falls down as fast as a feather, remember that this has to do with air resistance. Air resistance is an environmental effect and is therefore disregarded in the Bennett test.

Now, use this principle to solve the next question:

 

Question 2

Which ball will hit the ground first? (If equal, mark C.)

Bennett-Mechanical-Comprehension-Test
A
B
C
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

After solving question 1, you might have guessed that both balls will hit the floor at the same moment. But why?

Initially, it seems like a completely different question. Both balls have the same weight, but their trajectories are different. However, the physical principle about free falling remains the same – the falling speed of both balls is equal.

Each ball moves in two directions - horizontally (forward) and vertically (downwards).

Although the blue ball is moving faster HORIZONTALLY, thus landing farther from the table, both balls have the same VERTICAL speed, so the answer doesn't change.

The physical principle: The free-fall speed of two falling objects is always identical, regardless of shape, size, or mass. 

 

BMCT Practice Tip #2 – Practice the Actual Test

The well-defined structure of the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test has all kinds of benefits for those preparing with accurate test mockups.

Besides the self-evident benefits of getting familiar with the time constraints and test formatting, thus increasing confidence and solving speed, utilizing Bennett-specific practice techniques will amp up your score even further.

Use full-length Bennett practice tests simulating the actual test's content areas, time constraints, and structure.

 

BMCT Practice Tip #3 – Know the 4 Question Formats

The questions in the Bennett test are always formatted the same:

  • A brief question
  • 1, 2, or 3 images
  • 3 answer choices: A, B, and C
Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Question

Yet this basic structure can come in 4 different formats:

  • Format I – 1 image, 1 scenario
  • Format II – 1 image, 2 scenarios
  • Format III – 2 images, 2 scenarios
  • Format IV – 3 images, 3 scenarios

For each of these types, you will find specific techniques that make solving faster and easier. For instance, the Going to the Extremes Technique is especially suited for Format II questions.

 

BMCT Practice Tip #4 – Focus on the Right Things

Some topics on the BMCT are more common than others. In fact, 3 main topics (velocity, force and torque, and fluids) constitute around 66% of the test questions.

Practicing these topics, first and foremost, is therefore crucial, especially if you have a short time to prepare.

 

BMCT Practice Tip #5 – Go to the Extremes

This technique holds true for all mechanical aptitude tests. However, it is especially suited for the BMCT. How does the technique work?

When asked to determine the relation between two scenarios, take the variation and stretch it to the extreme. While keeping in mind that only physical principles matter in the Bennett test, this can often give you a good hunch about the correct answer.

Check out this sample question:

Sample - Go to the Extremes to Solve

Who will find it harder to row?

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Practice
A
B
C
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

Taking the answer choices to the extremes, we can easily figure it will be significantly harder to row with a 1-mile long paddle than with a 1-inch paddle!

Therefore, it will be harder to row as the paddle goes longer, and the correct answer is A.

That basic intuition is physically explained by the law of the lever, a fundamental principle in the Bennett test that is extensively discussed in the practice material.

 

BMCT Practice Tip #6 - Know Your Weaknesses

Every candidate has his or her own strengths and weaknesses. Some have difficulty grasping the implications of an accelerating system, others are especially confused by gear mechanisms.

When practicing, it is highly important to combine this knowledge of yourself with the most frequent Bennett Test topics to make your practice as focused and effective as possible.

Go over topic-based practice tests (force and torque, velocity, gears, etc.) to find your weak spots and strengthen them.

Bennet test practice

 

BMCT Practice Tip #7 - Ignore Environmental Effects

The Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test deals with theoretical physics. As such, real-world effects that are not at the core of the question should be ignored. Some examples may be:

  • Friction
  • Non-uniform distribution of mass
  • Material strength (assume infinite)

Note that it takes practice and experience to identify whether a topic stands at the core of the question or not.


Tips for the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Day

You’ve finished your practice and you have come to the day of the actual test. Here are 4 tips you should follow during the test to make the best out of this one-shot:

 

BMCT Test-Day Tip #1 – Don’t Leave Questions Unanswered

The Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test does not reduce points for wrong answers. Therefore, guessing is better than leaving a question unanswered.

 

Tip #2 – Use the “Review” Option

During the actual test, you will have the opportunity to review questions you’re not sure about and get back to them later. Use that option! If you’re not sure about an answer, guess it and move on.

Important: It is still recommended to select an answer, even if you plan to get back to the question later.

Why?

Considering that no points are reduced for wrong answers on the BMCT, it is wise to select an answer in case you find yourself at the end of the test with no time left to review questions.

 

Tip #3 – Manage Your Time Well

With an average of fewer than 30 seconds per question, time is a major issue on the Bennett Mechanical Test.

While practicing actual test simulations is going to make time management throughout the Bennett test more natural to you, it is still important to occasionally check the time and to know if you are on a good pace or should speed things up.

 

Tip #4 – Out of Options? Trust Your Gut!

The Bennett Mechanical Aptitude Test is designed to assess your mechanical aptitude – your ability to understand and apply physical concepts.

These are often things we deal with in everyday lives – in home appliances, games, physical activity, etc. If you find yourself clueless in a particular question, don’t overcomplicate – trust your gut feeling as a last resort – you have pretty decent chances of making it right.


What Employers Use the Bennett Mechanical Aptitude Test?

The most common employers using the Bennett Test are companies employing large personnel of technical employees, such as Delta Airlines, GM, Keyence, DuPont, Valero, Smurfit Kappa, Ineos, Michelin, and many, many more.


What Positions Require the Bennett Test?

From an analysis of over 1,500 job candidates required to take the BMCT test, here are the most frequent positions:

  • Mechanics and maintenance mechanics
  • Operators
  • Machine and process operators
  • Apprentices
  • Millwrights
  • Aircraft support mechanics / Aircraft maintenance technicians
  • Pipefitters
  • Technical sales representatives
  • Students in mechanical or technical programs
Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test, BMCT and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders is affiliated with JobTestPrep or this website.