What are Mechanical Reasoning Tests?

Mechanical Reasoning

Mechanical Reasoning Tests are often used in the recruitment process for technical or engineering roles, within the armed forces, emergency services, manufacturing and other industries. This is a unique type of psychometric assessment, consisting of problem solving challenges that involves specialist knowledge of mechanical concepts. If you are looking to start your career in one of the industries mentioned earlier, here is a brief introduction to Mechanical Reasoning Tests to begin with. 

The knowledge being assessed in Mechanical Reasoning Tests

Designed to measure one’s ability to apply mechanical principles to solve technical problems that will arise on the jobs, Mechanical Reasoning Tests cover topics like:

  • Mechanics:
    • Levers, pulleys, gears and similar
    • Forces and motions: frictions, pressure, gravity, moments, acceleration
    • Energy: work and power, transformation, kinetic and potential
  • Electricity:
    • Circuit: circuit diagrams, series, parallel
    • Voltage, current, resistance, charge
    • Magnetism
  • Other:
    • Conventions and units
    • Tools, terminology
    • Calculation of areas

Besides these particular topics to do with your disciplines, due to the nature of the roles Mechanical Reasoning Tests are recruiting for, some key skills and attributes required are logical thinking, basic numeracy understanding, ability to focus and work with speed as well as high attention to detail. 

The test format

Similar to Logical Reasoning Tests or Spatial Reasoning Tests, these tests often have about 15 to 20 multiple choice questions, with a 15 to 20-minute timer; which means you will get roughly a minute to work out a solution for each question, or even less, in tests with a higher level of difficulty. If you remember some of your physics class tests back in school, you will have a idea of Mechanical Reasoning Tests questions, as they normally provide you with an image or diagram depicting the technical problems, and a number of options to choose from for your answer, or occasionally, a space to fill in a numerical response. Questions may simply ask about generic mechanical or electrical knowledge, or place a variety of problems into real scenarios that you will encounter in the role; so do some research into your employer, industry and job function to be well-prepared.

Popular test publishers

While each employer and job role has different expectations, there are some more common standardised tests used across manufacturing and engineering industry, as well as by the army or firefighting service. The SHL Verify Mechanical Comprehension Test is a popular one, also known as one of the most challenging, where you would only get about 40 seconds to answer each question. Bennett Test of Mechanical Comprehension and Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude are two more to take note of if you are looking into positions that require operating and servicing tools and machinery. For those aspiring to join the army, Barron’s Test of Mechanical Aptitude is a Mechanical Reasoning Test worth getting your hands on. 

Finally, to expand your horizon, have a look at other top Aptitude Tests and resources to become an expert and ace your upcoming online assessments. 

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