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What are Mechanical Aptitude Tests?

Mechanical aptitude tests measure candidates' knowledge of mechanical and physical concepts.

They are most commonly used in the energy and manufacturing industries. Relevant occupations include mechanics, engineers, repair persons, maintenance personnel, skilled tradespersons (i.e., carpenters and electricians), and transportation operators. The U.S. military is also known to use mechanical reasoning tests when evaluating candidates for military personnel. There are various industries in the field of mechanics and therefore the content of mechanical aptitude tests may vary accordingly.

For example, a candidate for military pilot and flight officer training program will probably be asked questions concerning machinery and terms common to the aviation industry, whereas an electrician or plumber will likely be asked questions about home appliances and other related mechanisms.

Test Format and Content

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. The test may be administered either on a computer or on paper. 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. Therefore, score results often depend on the depth of the candidate's knowledge of the following subjects:

1. Mechanics

  • Energy - transformation, work & power, kinetic & potential energy
  • Forces & Motion - friction, acceleration, gravity (center of gravity), moments, pressure, etc.
  • Test Questions: levers, pulleys, screws, gears, spring, etc.

2. Electricity

  • Voltage, resistance, current, capacitors, and charge
  • Circuits - parallel, series
  • Magnetism
  • Test Questions: circuit diagrams, etc.

*Portions of this section may also appear on electrical aptitude tests. Click here to learn more about this kind of test.

Other Popular Mechanical Aptitude Tests

  1. Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test (BMCT) - The Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test (BMCT) is among the most widely used examinations for mechanical aptitude testing and is considered one of the most reliable selection tools for industrial and repair positions.
  2. Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude (WTMA) - The Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude (WTMA) is a test designed to assess an applicant's ability to operate, maintain, and repair machinery by providing illustrations and following up with simple questions about everyday objects and situations.
  3. ASVAB Mechanical Comprehension Test - The Mechanical Comprehension is a subtest for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), an assessment series used by the U.S. Armed Forces to determine qualification for enlistment into the army. Applicants are tested on subjects such as simple and compound machinery, mechanical motion, and fluid dynamics.
  4. Ramsay Mechanical Aptitude Test - The Mechanical Aptitude Test (MAT) produced by Ramsay Corporation is a popular mechanical comprehension test that evaluates an applicant's ability to learn about production and maintenance job activities. This test is designed to identify potential candidates for trainee programs and apprenticeships
  5. DAT for PCA Mechanical Reasoning Test - The Mechanical Reasoning Test is a subtest in the Differential Aptitude Tests (DAT for PCA) series. This test is similar to the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test and is designed to measure the applicant's knowledge and understanding of the basic mechanical principles of machinery, motion, and tools.
  6. ASTB Mechanical Comprehension Test (MCT) - The Mechanical Comprehension Test (MCT) is a subtest of the Aviation Selection Test Battery (ASTB), an assessment tool used by the U.S. Armed Forces to select candidates for pilot and flight officer training programs. This test, designed to assess basic principles, thus, does not include complex calculations, covers basic principles learned in high school physics, such as gases and liquids, volume, velocity, simple machinery, gears, engine performance, and electricity.
  7. EEI (Edison Electric Institute) Tests - The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) provides industry-specific employment testing, primarily for the electric & power industry. EEI test batteries such as the CAST, MASS, TECH, and SOPD each include a mechanical comprehension test.
  8. Firefighter Mechanical Aptitude Test - The firefighter mechanical aptitude test is a common component of the firefighter aptitude test battery, designed to measure candidates’ knowledge of basic mechanical skills. The purpose of this test is to assess one’s ability to identify firefighter tools and machinery and understand how they work.
  9. Industrial Skills Test (IST) - The industrial skills test is commonly administered to industrial job applicants. The test consists of three sections; reading comprehension, numerical reasoning, and mechanical aptitude.

Who Uses the Mechanical Aptitude Tests?

Below is a table of the most popular companies and organizations that utilize mechanical aptitude tests. Outscore the competition with JobTestPrep's PrepPack™ and ensure your success today.

Companies & Organizations
Delta Airlines Amtrak DuPont Amazon
Nestle Coca-Cola Valero USPS 
Phillips 66 Walmart General Motors GPRC
IBEW PepsiCo Norfolk Southern Oxy

How to Prepare for Mechanical Tests

Mechanical aptitude tests require knowledge in specific fields. In order to succeed on any test, ample time must be dedicated to test preparation. JobTestPrep offers practice tests and other preparatory tools for mechanical reasoning tests. Our mechanical aptitude practice test pack consists of hundreds of questions to help familiarize you with the various types of questions found on mechanical comprehension tests. Becoming familiar with the structure of the test inspires confidence and results in higher test scores. Start studying now with JobTestPrep and succeed on your mechanical reasoning test.

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