How to Prepare For A Mechanical Aptitude Test

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Skills tests are a popular tool used by companies and organizations as part of pre-employment screening. As they seek to hire the right job candidates, they need to know applicants are competent in areas relevant to the job opening. One such test is a mechanical aptitude test, which is commonly used with jobs that require technical knowledge and expertise.

Using practice material from companies like JobTestPrep can help you prepare and pass your upcoming mechanical aptitude test. Here’s a quick look at mechanical aptitude tests, what they entail, and how to properly prepare for your next test so you can ace it and land your desired job.

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What is a Mechanical Aptitude Test? 

Mechanical aptitude tests are used during the hiring process for entry-level technical positions. These tests assess fundamental mechanical knowledge and the ability to understand basic physical principles. Test questions present various scenarios where this technical knowledge must be applied to answer correctly.

Mechanics and technicians typically will see these tests during the hiring process, but other professions may also have to take mechanical aptitude tests as well. Passing one of these multiple-choice tests could be the difference between landing a job or continuing your job search.

Sometimes referred to as a mechanical comprehension test, this skills test measures your ability to take mechanical concepts and apply them to make deductions and inferences.

How to Prepare for a Mechanical Aptitude Test

Preparing for a mechanical aptitude test isn’t easy. That’s because you most likely won’t see the same questions on your test as in any practice tests you take.

With that said, your test preparation should focus on a few specific tasks:

  • Focus on principles and subjects relevant to jobs that you’re applying for that require a mechanical aptitude test
  • Concentrate on understanding physical principles
  • Identify areas where you struggle so you can get up to speed before taking the test

Mechanical aptitude tests are used across a broad spectrum of industries. You’ll probably won’t see too many questions outside of your field, so focus on topics that line up with the specific job opening.

One of the best methods when preparing for a skills test like a mechanical aptitude test is taking practice tests. Through practice tests, you’ll become more familiar with concepts and calculations you may see on the real test.

JobTestPrep is the go-to source for mechanical aptitude test study materials online. Not only can you get materials for general mechanical aptitude tests, but they also offer resources for specific tests you may see, like:

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test: Developed by Pearson Assessments, it’s the most popular mechanical aptitude test in the U.S. It’s used by employers like Delta Airlines and DuPont.

Ramsay Mechanical Test: This series of tests is often used during pre-employment screening for apprentices, mechanics, and maintenance workers. The three most common Ramsay tests are Ramsay MAT, Ramsay MecTest, and Ramsay MultiCrafTest. JobTestPrep has test preparation materials for all three Ramsay tests.

MASS Test: The MASS Test is one of seven Edison Electric Institute (EEI) tests, typically used in the hiring process for plant maintenance jobs.

JobTestPrep has test prep materials for numerous mechanical aptitude tests. Other mechanical aptitude test materials available include:

  • Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude
  • CAST Test
  • SOPD Test
  • TECH test
  • ASVAB Mechanical Comprehension Test
  • Firefighter Mechanical Aptitude Test
  • Industrial Skills Test (IST)
  • ASTB Mechanical Comprehension Test (MCT)
  • EEI (Edison Electric Institute) Tests

With JobTestPrep, customers can gain access to PrepPacks, which typically include practice tests, study guides, explanations of test answers, and bonus tests. PrepPacks are sold as a license, lasting from one week to three months.

The general Mechanical Aptitude Test PrepPack also comes with ten spatial reasoning tests. These tests are often paired together. Each PrePack offers slightly different materials depending on the specific test.

PrepPacks simulate real test conditions as much as possible. You’ll go into your mechanical aptitude test, knowing you’ve done as much as you can to prepare thanks to materials from JobTestPrep.

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How to Pass a Mechanical Aptitude Test

It’s important to do well on mechanical aptitude tests. You could face stiff competition when applying for a job. Passing your test can separate you from the competition and give you an advantage as you continue to the hiring process.

When preparing for your test, keep these tips in mind:

  1. The most important thing is to learn mechanical principles that will show up on your test. You need to be able to apply these principles to solve problems on your test.
  2. Ignore minor details in your test that have no bearing on the answer.
  3. Don’t waste time on questions if you get stuck. Skip them and move on to the next one. You can go back if there’s time left.
  4. Draw a picture or diagram if it helps you figure out specific concepts.
  5. Memorize key formulas that will most likely pop up on your test.
  6. Once you know you’ll be taking a test, get test materials from JobTestPrep, and create a study schedule, so you’re adequately prepared come test time.
  7. After taking practice tests, take time to go through the answers, using the explanations provided in the PrepPack. Make a note of areas of weakness and spend extra time studying those principles.
  8. Read through all of the instructions before answering questions.
  9. Check your answers as you go along to ensure your calculations are correct.

Spending time each day leading up to your test will build your confidence and knowledge. You’ll be prepared to pass your mechanical aptitude test with flying colors.

Types of Jobs that Require a Mechanical Aptitude Test

Mechanical aptitude tests are geared towards people entering into technical fields. This includes a wide range of specialty areas, which include:

  • Maintenance technicians
  • Auto mechanics
  • Aircraft technicians
  • Firefighters
  • Police officers
  • Military
  • Machine operators
  • Assembly line workers
  • Train driver
  • Engineers
  • Electricians
  • Apprentices
  • Tradesman
  • Plumbers
  • Material handlers

Other career options may require a mechanical aptitude test as well. It’s an integral part of the pre-employment screening process for many companies across the U.S. Companies like Amazon, PepsiCo, Valero, USPS, Coca Cola, General Motors, Walmart, and Phillips 66 use mechanical aptitude tests during the hiring process to identify promising job candidates.

What is the Format of a Mechanical Aptitude Test?

Mechanical Aptitude tests all follow a similar format. Questions include a diagram or image that depicts a mechanical scenario. These are typically multiple-choice questions with only one right answer. Scenarios you may come across include:

  • Friction
  • Energy transformation
  • Gear ratios
  • Springs
  • Levers
  • Pulleys
  • Screws
  • Kinetic energy
  • Potential energy
  • Pressure
  • Gravity
  • Acceleration

The number of questions on a mechanical aptitude test can vary depending on the job type and career field. Mechanical aptitude tests are timed tests, typically 25 to 60 minutes in length.

These tests are designed to be difficult, not allow much time on each question, and typically most people won’t correctly complete the test within the set time. Tests may be more difficult as you move past entry-level jobs, like managerial and other leadership positions.

Scoring depends on which test you end up taking. Whatever test you take, though, your test results are compared to those from other candidates. An average score is calculated from all of the scores and becomes a baseline for the test. It’s important to score towards the high end of the spectrum if you want to move on in the hiring process.

Other Skills Tests You Might Encounter 

Along with a mechanical aptitude test, you may be asked to take other skills tests as part of the pre-employment screening for a job. This will depend heavily on the specific employer and job type. Some of the tests you may encounter include:

Spatial Reasoning Test: Spatial reasoning is the ability to recognize spatial relations between objects and space. The ability to picture objects in 3D and make deductions is important on this type of test. Spatial reasoning tests focus on four specific areas: spatial perception, spatial visualization, mental folding, and mental rotation.

Trade Apprenticeship Test: Trade apprenticeship tests that differ slightly depending on the specific skills being tested. Some of the more popular trade apprenticeship tests include IBEW, Ironworkers Apprentice Aptitude Exam, and NJATC.

Personality Test: Employers often give personality tests to determine specific traits, strengths, weaknesses, and other factors to determine if a candidate is a good fit with the company or with other staff. There are several personality tests available, including ones created by SHL and Caliper.

Electrical Aptitude Test: Explicitly used in the electrical industry, these tests help determine a candidate’s knowledge in the areas of electrical aptitude and mathematics. Computer aptitude is often included in these tests now.

Industrial Skills Test: This test is used by employers to test aptitude in the areas of manufacturing, shipping, and distribution. It’s used by many companies to determine if candidates can follow work instructions and common processes found within industrial settings.

JobTestPrep offers test preparation supplies for all of these tests, and almost any other skills test you might see in addition to a mechanical aptitude test.

Final Thoughts

Because a mechanical aptitude test requires a different type of studying than many other tests, it can seem intimidating. With the help of test prep resources from JobTestPrep, you can go into your test fully prepared to do well on your test and continue in the hiring process towards your dream job. Whether you are taking the test this week or next month, JobTestPrep can help improve your chances.

Don’t rely on past experience for something as important as a mechanical aptitude test. Doing well on your upcoming test could be the difference between getting the job or not. Invest the time and energy to ensure that you will do your best. Get started with mechanical aptitude testing prep on JobTestPrep today!