Industrial Skills Test (IST): Free Practice Questions and Guide

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What is the Industrial Maintenance Skills Test?

The Industrial Maintenance Skills test is an assessment used to determine the level of reading comprehension, numerical reasoning, and mechanical aptitude of prospective employees for a range of mechanically oriented occupations.

In its current form, the Industrial Skills Test (IST) concentrates on the skills required for mechanically oriented jobs such as assembly jobs in manufacturing, or processes and operations jobs involving machinery, maintenance, repair, and also professions such as warehouse worker, construction worker, count or stack worker, and maintenance worker.

Industrial Skills Tests gained popularity for their ability to weed out applicants who might be prone to make costly or dangerous mistakes for both the company and themselves. Each section of the test explores different skills while posing questions that are relevant to the role.

What Companies Require the IST?

  • Smithfield Foods.
  • Anheuser Busch.
  • Pacific Gas and Electrical Company.

Relevant IST pages

Industrial Skills Test Sample Questions

Sample Question - Reading Comprehension

Although Britain would not use African troops in Europe, as this would "undermine the dignity of the white man", to Britain’s horror and disapproval, France used some 160,000 Africans from its west African colonies in Europe, with another 65,000 used elsewhere. Britain used some 50,000 African troops and about one million ‘carriers’ in the African campaigns and some 1,000 were used in Mesopotamia. The death rates were high: in the east African campaigns, over 11,000 African soldiers and around 100,000 carriers died; some 22,000 were wounded and/or missing-in-action.

As opposed to Britain, where did France use African soldiers?

A. In Europe
B. In Mesopotamia
C. In the African campaigns
D. In India

The Reading Comprehension
section is designed to assess your ability to comprehend text as well as your attention to details. You will be presented with a written text, followed by a question. This section is 30 minutes long and consists of approximately 25 questions.

Sample Question - Numerical Reasoning

A train travels 90 miles in 15 minutes. How many miles does it travel in two hours?

A. 542
B. 720
C. 789
D. 800
D. 942
D. none of these

This section measures an applicant's Numerical skills. You will encounter some basic math questions, word problems, and analysis of charts and graphs. This section is 30 minutes long and consists of approximately 25 questions.

Sample Question - Mechanical Comprehension 

Industrial Skills Test Preparation

Mechanical Comprehension tests usually consist of multiple choice questions, generally relating to an included diagram. The purpose of these questions is to assess a candidate's knowledge of machinery and other physical concepts. A candidate is not usually tested on profession-specific knowledge. Rather, these tests assess the candidate’s inclination, understanding, and intuition concerning a variety of subjects This section is 20 minutes long and consists of approximately 36 questions.


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