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shlomik silbiger author

Shlomik is Jobtestprep's mechanical aptitude specialist, and the developer of our Mechanical Aptitude, Bennett, Ramsay, and EIAT packs.

Have a question? Contact me at shlomik_mech@jobtestprep.com.


What is the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test (BMCT)?

The Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test (BMCT) is a mechanical aptitude test developed by Pearson Assessments. The BMCT is used as a prerequisite during the recruitment process for technical roles.

This test aims to find individuals with good mechanical reasoning and includes 55 questions covering various mechanical concepts. The test time limit is 25 minutes.

The BMCT is the most popular mechanical reasoning test in the U.S and is used by major employers such as Delta Airlines, Keyence, and DuPont

 

bennett test bmct


The Value of Preparation

The BMCT has 4 features that make it necessary to practice thoroughly and professionally.

By carefully constructing a tailor-made preparation pack, we've addressed each and every one of these obstacles so you can maximize your potential, score at the top and get the job.

 

Feature #1: The test questions are collected from a constantly updated pool of hundreds of mechanical aptitude questions.

Solution: Learn the physical principles behind questions, so you are prepared for any scenario. More about that.

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Feature #2 - With 55 questions in 25 minutes, The BMCT requires quick recognition and solving of the problem.

Solution: Practice the actual exam with the actual time constraints. More about that.

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Feature #3: The structure of BMCT questions is specific.

Solution: Get familiar with the 4 types of questions on the test and the appropriate techniques to solve them. More about that.

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Feature #4: Some subjects on the BMCT are more common than others.

Solution: Focus your practice on what matters first, but leave some time for the minor subjects as well. More about that.

 

With several days of practice and preparation, you can greatly improve your score on the Bennett test and get from average to top. What is average and what is top on the BMCT?

Learn more about how JobTestPrep can help you, or keep reading to get more in-depth information on the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test.


BMCT Versions

The current version of the Bennett Test is the BMCT-II, though some employers still use the previous pen-and-paper BMCT-I. The differences between the 2 versions are detailed below:

Test No. of Questions Time Limit Administration
BMCT-II 55 25 min Online
BMCT-I 68 30 min Pen & paper

 

Although we've updated the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test PrepPack™ to resemble the BMCT-II in 2018, we've kept the older BMCT-I tests, just to keep you covered.


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 compared to that of other candidates, based on your prospective employer's needs.

Scoring at the top 20% of BMCT exam takers is usually the entry point for the next stage in recruitment. The higher the score, the more likely you are to make it through. That 20% mark differs according to the position you apply to.

That said, Pearson Assessments, the developer of the Bennett test, has set standard Bennett test scores required for various occupations. After some statistical analysis on our side, these can be found in the table below:

Standard raw scores (correct answers out of 55)

  Automotive Mechanic Engineer Installation, Maintenance, Repair Technical Sales Representative Skilled Tradesperson Equipment Operator Mechanical Trades Aircraft Mechanic
Average Score 39 43 41 38 39 34 39 38
Top 20% Score 45 49 46 44 45 42 45 45

 

Passing the average score is an indication that you are at the top 50% of examinees, which is a good way to know the general level of the applicants to that position.

Nevertheless, usually only the top 20% performers will proceed to the next stage – hence the top 20% score appearing in this table.

As you can see – the differences between the average and top performers are not THAT significant – 4 to 5 questions total! Start practicing now to get that leverage!


 

How to Succeed in the BMCT - 5 Ground Rules

The BMCT is a mechanical aptitude test. That means it does not deal with techniques, calculations or high-level physics. It basically assesses your ability to grasp physical concepts and apply them to never-seen-before scenarios.

 

Don’t be fooled. The Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test is a BASIC test, NOT AN EASY test.

 

The following ground rules will greatly help you to reach the desirable score on the BMCT:

  1.  Learn physical concepts
  2. Practice the actual test
  3. Know the 4 question types
  4. Focus on the right things
  5. Go to the extremes

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lightbulb Ground Rule #1 – Learn Physical Concepts

The questions on the Bennett test are gathered from a pool of hundreds of constantly updated questions. As such, getting well prepared for the test requires a studying approach with a focus on 2 key points:

  • The breadth of subjects covered
  • Studying basic principles rather than practicing repetitively

Whenever you encounter a question on the Bennett test, you should ask yourself the mother of all questions:

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 in 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.

So, can you spot the principle?

Question 1

Which ball will hit the ground first?

mechanical aptitude sample 1

 

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 not a physical principle and is therefore disregarded in the Bennett test.

Question 2

Which ball will hit the ground first?

mechanical aptitude test sample 2

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. 

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lightbulb Ground Rule #2 – Practice the Actual Test

If you’re reading this page, you probably know that one already. Practicing timed simulations of the actual test will help you in every test you take, period. And yet, what is helpful in any other test is essential in the BMCT.

That has 2 main reasons:

The BMCT format is well-defined

The Bennett test has a very specific, well-defined structure in terms of number and format of questions, time limit, and covered topics.

Therefore, practicing the actual test in advance gives you an EXACT knowledge of what is about to come, as well as a very good idea on where you stand compared to the competition, and increases self-confidence.

Time is a major factor in the BMCT

The average time to solve a question on the Bennett test is less than 30 seconds. As such, learning how to cut down on your solving time is essential for success.

While learning the physical principles of generic mechanical reasoning tests will create the basic expertise necessary to succeed, practicing Bennett mock-up tests will give you the leverage needed to pass the required score for the position you want.

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lightbulb Ground Rule #3 – Know the 4 Types of BMCT questions

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

  • 1, 2 or 3 central images
  • A very short question
  • 3 answer choices: A, B, and C

The questions can appear in one of 4 types:

 

Type (I) – 1 image, 1 scenario

These questions will depict a single incident with two possible outcomes (A and B). You will be requested to determine which is true. If neither is correct (or both), the answer would be C.

Knowing the physical principles of force, moment, and velocity are essential for solving type (I) questions.

★ Sample Type (I) Question

In which way is the wagon accelerating? (if neither, mark C.)

bmct bennett test velocity

The correct answer is A.

The pendulum is moving to the right; therefore, the car is accelerating in the opposite direction. That happens when an object is in an accelerating system. In the same way, you feel pulled back when your car is speeding up or forwards when it is braking.

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

Note: Deceleration is considered backwards acceleration.

 

Type (II) – 1 image, 2 scenarios

These questions will depict a single incident with specific variations in one of its components (variation A and variation B). You will be requested to determine something about the relation between these variations – which is faster, slower, heavier, etc.  If they are both equally fast, heavy, etc., the answer would be C.

The going to the extremes technique is especially helpful in solving type (II) questions.

★ Sample Type (II) Question

Which part of the wheel rotates slower (if equal, mark C.)

bennett bmct test wheel

The correct answer is B.

In a circular motion, angular velocity will be identical in every point on the wheel. The linear velocity will change according to how distant the point is from the center. Further away from the rim of the wheel, a greater linear distance must be covered per each time unit.

Remember the physical principle: Under the same angular velocity – the bigger the wheel, the faster (more distance) it would travel.

 

Type (III) – 2 images, 2 scenarios

These questions are similar to type (II) questions and will depict 2 incidents with clearer differences between the variations, with each shown in a separate image. The phrasing of the question will usually be similar to type II questions.

Also similarly to type (II) questions, going to the extremes technique is especially helpful here.

★ Sample Type (III) Question

Which pulley system requires more force to lift the box? (if equal, mark C.)

bmct bennett test pulleys

The correct answer is A.

The fixed pulley A provides no mechanical advantage since it requires the same force to lift a load with a fixed pulley as it does without it. It only changes the direction of the force needed.

The pulley system B has two supporting ropes; therefore, it reduces the force required to lift the load in half (15 Kg).

The reason for this is that the rope wrapped around the pulley pulls it upwards twice, with each part of the rope. Since the tension is equal along the entire rope, the weight is divided equally between the part of the rope connected to the ceiling and the part pulled.

The pulley system essentially applies half the load onto the ceiling.

Let's summarize:

  • The force required to lift the load on system A: 20 kg.
  • The force required to lift the load on system B: 30 kg / 2 = 15 kg.

Remember the physical principle: The required force to lift a weight using a pulley system is distributed evenly to each supporting rope.

 

Type (IV) – 3 images, 3 scenarios

What differs these questions from all three previous types is that there is no “neutral” choice. One of the answers HAS to be correct. Such questions combine scenarios from all previous question types and have to be dealt with accordingly.

★ Sample Type (IV) Question

Which of the three following diagrams is correct?

 bmct bennett test fluids

 

The correct answer is A.

The bending of the partition is caused by a pressure difference on both sides. That pressure difference is determined by the level of water in each container.

The pressure is determined by the height of water 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 there is 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 at the bottom.

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lightbulb Ground Rule #4 – Focus on the Right Things

Knowing exactly which subjects are more and less common on the BMCT is a major factor in effective practice and will greatly impact your chances for success.

 

The BMCT emphasizes velocity, force and moment, and fluid mechanics, which constitute 2/3 of the exam material

 

Although all mechanical aptitude tests generally cover the same subjects, each test puts the focus elsewhere. In the Bennett test, the three major topics are:

  • Velocity
  • Force and Moment
  • Fluid Mechanics

These 3 topics combined cover nearly 66% of the test content, and are therefore the most crucial topics to learn properly. However, the need to get the maximal possible score will require you to pay some attention to smaller subjects as well, such as gears, thermodynamics, pulleys, and more.

JobTestPrep provides a preparation pack which focuses on the big things without forgetting the little ones:

bennett test bmct practice

Learn more about the BMCT content

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lightbulb Ground Rule #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.

★ Sample Question

Who will find it harder to row?

bennett test bmct sample

 

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 Content

The content of the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test is similar to other mechanical aptitude tests and covers 10 subjects total:

Force and Moment

Your understanding of the principles of force and moment (torque) will be tested mainly via mechanisms, structures, and levers, as well as work-related scenarios such as carrying a hammer or tightening a screw.

★ Sample Question

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

mechanical aptitude test sample force moment

 

Fluid Mechanics

★ Sample Question

Here you will be asked about the main concepts of fluid like the ideal gas law, basic hydraulics, Bernoulli's principle, etc.

Type (IV) sample question mentioned before belongs in this category:

Which of the three following diagrams is correct?

mechanical aptitude test sample fluids

 

Velocity

The 101 of physics and the major topic on the BMCT. Acceleration, gravity, and Newton's laws are all common subjects in this section.

★ Sample Question

Type (I) sample question, for instance:

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

mechanical aptitude test sample velocity

 

Thermodynamics

A big name for a fascinating subject – heating, cooling, condensation, and evaporation are discussed here. Next time you want to cool your beer fast, you'll know how to do it.

★ Sample Question

In which direction will the pressure gauge move if the closed oxygen canister is heated? (If either, mark C.)

mechanical aptitude test sample thermodynamics

 

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.

★ Sample Question

Which bulb will light up? (If both, Mark C.)

mechanical aptitude test sample electricity

 

Wheels

In these questions, you will usually need to understand the relationship between wheel size and speed, rotational vs. linear velocity, etc.

★ Sample Question

Which part on the wheel will rotate faster? (If equal, Mark C.)

mechanical aptitude test sample wheels

 

Gears

Although less common in the Bennett test than other mechanical tests, you can bet there will be at least some questions about gears. These will mainly test your understanding of gear ratio and the ability to deduce a gear's direction of rotation.

★ Sample Question

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

mechanical aptitude test sample gears

 

Pulleys

Mostly following the type (II) format, pulley questions will normally ask you to determine which of the two is more efficient.

★ Sample Question

Which pulley system requires more force to lift the box? (If equal, mark C.)

mechanical aptitude test pulleys

 

Acoustics

Some of the basic concepts of sound will be the center of acoustics questions - the Doppler effect, refraction, reflection, and attenuation.

★ Sample Question

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

mechanical aptitude test sample acoustics

 

Optics

These questions deal with the basic concepts of light, reflection, and sight. Definitely a subject that requires a deeper understanding of the physics behind the scenes.

★ Sample Question

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

mechanical aptitude test sample optics

 

The distribution of all of the 10 subjects on the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test is shown below:


How Can JobTestPrep Help You?

Our PrepPack™ was constructed in 2018 and resembles the most up-to-date version of the BMCT. It includes 2 BMCT-II practice tests, meticulously structured and timed to give the closest possible experience to the real thing. Apart of the BMCT-II practice tests, we've also included 2 older BMCT-I practice tests. These will provide a simulation if you're taking the BMCT-I, and additional practice material if you're taking the BMCT-II.

In addition, the pack contains over 20 other, shorter mechanical practice tests covering all the subjects on the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test.

All in all, the pack contains +300 questions with detailed explanations following the 5 ground rules for success - explaining the principles, focusing on what matters and incorporating the relevant techniques for each of the 4 BMCT question types.

 

 

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