If you’ve dreamed of breaking into an engineering or technical career, you’re going to need to do well on a mechanical aptitude test. These tests show prospective employers that you have the right background to excel and already have a basic understanding of mechanical and physical concepts.

There are a number of different mechanical aptitude tests, including these well-known versions: 

  • Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude
  • Ramsay Mechanical Aptitude Test
  • And more

Did you know?

Mechanical Aptitude Tests typically have 8 different question types: (1) forces, (2) levers, (3) pulleys, (4) gears, (5) springs, (6) simple electrical circuits, (7) hydraulics, and (8) tools. You’ll need to score 80% or higher to move forward in the hiring process. To pass, you’ll need to demonstrate mechanical comprehension, understand simple machines, and be familiarized with basic physical forces.


Free Practice


Icon Questions Explained White Question Types Explained

Mechanical aptitude tests are generally timed multiple-choice tests. While each test is different, you can expect to have between 30-60 seconds per question.

These are the common mechanical aptitude question types:

(Click the “+” sign to expand each question type)

Basic Physical Forces

You may be expected to understand different energy forces, such as gravity, velocity, heat, and friction. You will need to demonstrate how these physical concepts apply in everyday life by predicting the behavior of objects subjected to various forces.

Levers

These questions display pictures of levers with weights on one or both sides of the fulcrum. You’ll be challenged to answer questions about weight, balance, spacing, and the mechanical advantage of levers.

Pulleys

You will be shown a picture of a pulley or pulleys and have to answer questions about the structure of the pulley system or the force needed to lift or move a weight.

Gears

Like the other sections, you will be presented with an image of gears and have to answer questions relating to the direction and speed of the different gears.

Springs

Each question will display a spring, and challenge your ability to calculate responses based on compression, force, and distance.

Simple Electrical Currents

After looking at simple diagrams of electrical currents, you will need to answer questions relating to power sources, switches, loads, and wiring paths.

Hydraulics

Hydraulics deal with the mechanical properties and use of liquids. Questions will deal with transmission of power by the use of pressurized liquids, pipe flow, dam design, and more.

Tools

You will need to identify tools and the tasks for which they are used.

Icon Preparation Strategies White Preparation Strategies

Mechanical aptitude tests won’t let you skate by on general knowledge and strong reasoning skills. While the challenges presented on the test are not complex problems, they require an existing understanding of a number of physical and mechanical concepts. Here are a few things you can do to give yourself the best chance of doing well and impressing your hiring manager.

  1. Study any guide that you are given before the test.
  2. Take multiple practice tests, like those offered by iPrep, to familiarize yourself with types of questions you will face even if you are already familiar with the material. 
  3. Understand your weaknesses, and spend more time studying those sections.
  4. Ask a friend to help, or find a study group online.
  5. Take a refresher course, either at a local college or online. 
  6. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep and eat right before taking the test. When your body is taken care of, your mind can do its best work.

Icon Test Features White Test Features

There are a number of different tests used by companies:

Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude

The Wiesen test was designed to be a standalone test or part of a larger testing process.

Administered by: The test is administered by a company as part of its hiring process.

Test Structure: The test contains 60 questions and must be completed in 30 minutes or less. It may be given online or using a pencil and paper.

Test Results: Scores are given as a raw score and percentile. An average electrician will need a raw score between 47-56, while a materials handler will need a 40-52. When taken electronically, test results are available immediately.

Ramsay Mechanical Aptitude Test

Administered by: The test is administered by Ramsay during the hiring process.

Test Structure: The test consists of 36 questions and must be completed in 20 minutes or less. It may be given online or using a pencil and paper.

Test Results: You will receive both a raw score and a percentile rank, with the average score being 43-48. Different positions require different scores.

Bennett Test of Mechanical Comprehension

Administered by: The test is administered by Pearson, either at your potential employer, a Pearson Assessment Center, or online at home, as part of the hiring process.

Test Structure: There are two versions of the test. The first has 55 questions and must be completed in 25 minutes, while the second has 68 questions which must be answered in 30 minutes. Tests are usually taken on a computer, but pencil and paper versions are available.

Test Results: Scores are presented as both a raw score and a percentile and are broken down into subsections. Passing scores are based on each individual company’s policies, but generally, 70% or higher is needed to move ahead in the hiring process.

Icon Results Scale & Interpretations White Results Scale and Interpretations

While every company determines its own passing scores, the different tests provide percentile ranges for different positions. For example, Criteria Corp’s Wiesen test report shows recommended scores by position.

Source: Criteria Corp

One rule of thumb to keep in mind is that employers are looking for candidates who score a minimum of 70%-80% regardless of which mechanical aptitude test is being taken. If you’re serious about a job in a mechanical job, you’ll need to score well to get your foot in the door.

Icon Frequently Asked Questions White Mechanical Aptitude Test FAQs

What can I expect to see on a mechanical aptitude test?

Mechanical aptitude tests have a few things in common. Almost every question begins with some type of diagram that you will need to understand before you can answer the question. They are almost always timed multiple-choice tests, giving you less than a minute for each question.

Is there a standard mechanical aptitude test?

Most mechanical aptitude tests draw on a library of questions from their question bank. Additionally, tests may be modified based on the type of position.

Can I get a job without taking a mechanical aptitude test?

There is no law requiring you to take a mechanical aptitude test in order to get a job. However, most companies today won’t consider candidates who refuse or are unable to take the test.

Are there fees to take a mechanical aptitude test?

Most employers absorb the test fees for the mechanical aptitude test. However, you may come across an employee who wants you to cover the cost of the test as part of the screening process.

What does a mechanical aptitude test measure?

Mechanical aptitude tests measure your understanding of mechanical concepts, and your ability to apply those principles to solve problems.

What is a good score on a mechanical aptitude test?

While every company has different standards, 80% or higher is considered a good score. Some companies will consider candidates who score as low as 70%.

How can I practice for a mechanical aptitude test?

The best way to practice for your mechanical aptitude test is to simulate testing conditions as closely as possible. Make sure to strictly adhere to time limits during your practice test, and review incorrect answers so you can improve on your next attempt.

What is a mechanical aptitude test?

A mechanical aptitude test helps prospective employers determine whether or not you are a qualified candidate. The tests display pictures of different mechanical challenges and ask multiple choice questions for you to answer.


Free Practice


Icon Tips White Mechanical Aptitude Test Tips

  1. Don’t miss points for providing partial answers. Each question has only one correct answer but rather often, it will be an answer like “all the options are correct” or “neither option is correct.” 
  2. It is helpful to know basic formulas of volume, pressure, acceleration, and moment by heart. In most cases, you will not need to do the math but you will need to understand the potential effects of different magnitudes of forces.
  3. The first thing you should ask yourself while reading each question is what is the mechanical principle this question focuses on. The answer should be as precise as possible. For example, do not answer “pulleys” but “the number of ropes pulling the weight in the pulley system.”
  4. If you are caught up by a question and are not sure of the correct answer, try to “exaggerate” the application of the forces. For example, if the question compares two different heights, then instead of rather similar heights, think of the problem as if one point is very high and the other is very low. Same goes for distances (very short and very long), mass (very heavy and very light), and many other features such as speed, volume, surface area, and force applied. This “exaggeration” will usually help you in refining the essence of the mechanical principle you should examine.

Icon Administration White Administration

Test Location: Mechanical aptitude tests are generally given at the employer’s office. However, some tests can be taken online at home or at a local testing center. 

Test Schedule:  Mechanical aptitude tests are scheduled as part of the job hiring process. 

Test Format:  Mechanical aptitude tests are multiple-choice, with candidates having less than a minute per question. 

Test Materials: Tests are typically taken on a computer, although some tests are done using pencil and paper. Candidates can have a piece of scratch paper with them to work out questions. 

Retake Policy: If you fail the test, most employers will not allow you to take the test again. However, there is no set policy against the practice.

Icon Test  Provider White Test Provider

There are a number of mechanical aptitude test providers, including Pearson, Ramsay, and Criteria Corp (Wiesen). 

Disclaimer – All the information and prep materials on iPrep are genuine and were created for tutoring purposes. iPrep is not affiliated with Pearson, Ramsay, Criteria Corp, or any third-party providers of assessment tests.

Curriculum

  1. Course Introduction
  2. Mechanical Comprehension Guide
  3. Mechanical Aptitude Test Simulations
  4. Course Conclusion

Reviews

5.0
  • 5 Star
    0%
    100%
  • 4 Star
    0%
    0%
  • 3 Star
    0%
    0%
  • 2 Star
    0%
    0%
  • 1 Star
    0%
    0%
(2 Ratings)
  1. Avatar
    Kansas B*********
      October 25, 2020 at 6:30 PM

    IPREP is a very helpful tool to understand not only the kinds of questions needing to be answered in these tests but also the science behind the correct answers.

  2. Avatar
    Sue J****
      October 24, 2020 at 5:18 PM

    Very helpful in all explanations and variety of sample questions. Definitely raised my confidence level for my impending test! Thank you for providing such an excellent product!