Mechanical Aptitude Test: 18 Important Facts and Practice Questions and Answers

Mechanical Aptitude Test
Employers apply mechanical aptitude test to assess candidates’ ability to understand and apply mechanical concepts to solve problems.

Mechanical Aptitude Test: 18 Important Facts and Practice Questions and Answers

The mechanical aptitude test is an assessment test that is administered for technical and engineering positions.

The purpose of this test is to measure a candidate’s ability to understand and apply mechanical concepts and principles to solve problems.

You can also call this test a mechanical reasoning test.

Applicants seeking technical and mechanical roles such as trades people, fire brigade (CFA, MFB), train drivers, as well as operation and assembly-line workers, are likely to be asked to complete the mechanical aptitude test.

The level of complexity of the test questions differs according to the required skills.

If you have the vision of going into an engineering or technical career, you’ll have the need to do well on a mechanical aptitude test, so as to prove to the hiring manager that you have the right background to do extremely well and have a prior basic understanding of mechanical and physical concepts.

The various mechanical aptitude tests you can find these days include the Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude and Ramsay Mechanical Aptitude Test.

18 Important Facts about Mechanical Aptitude Test

Here are facts and tips you need to know about the mechanical aptitude test to be successful in it:

  1. What does a mechanical aptitude test measure?

The mechanical aptitude test evaluates your knowledge of mechanical and physical concepts.

Another name for this test is mechanical ability test or mechanical comprehension test.

This test doesn’t measure your basic mechanical aptitude in the same manner that abstract reasoning questions measure your basic intellectual ability.

You may take an abstract reasoning test without having seen one before and still achieve a reasonable score, but it’s not the same with mechanical aptitude test where your score will rely considerably on your knowledge of pulleys, levers, gears, springs, tools, shop arithmetic, simple electrical circuits, and fault diagnosis.

  1. The Bennett test of mechanical aptitude

Employers and schools have used the Bennett Test of Mechanical Aptitude for more than 50 years to assess an individual’s ability to solve basic mechanical problems.

This test is generally taken as part of the assessment process for organizations or businesses that are employing people for mechanically-related positions.

The test also specifically serves as a way to evaluate how well an individual can identify the relationship between physical forces and different mechanical elements in the world around them.

This test focuses on ensuring that an individual understands the functions of basic tools, has a good spatial perception, and can quickly learn and apply basic mechanical principles.

In the test, you will be asked to complete a total of 68 questions within 30 minutes. That means you will have less than 30 seconds to answer one question.

Because the test is written at around a sixth-grade level, you don’t need to have higher education qualifications to be able to complete it.

The Bennett Test has been proven to do a good job of predicting work performance, and so has remained popular for use in a wide array of fields.

The test looks for the level of natural mechanical thinking that the test taker has.

  1. The Barron’s test of mechanical aptitude

With its origin in the armed forces, the Barron’s test of mechanical aptitude test was the most commonly used mechanical aptitude test in the world.

The test was regarded as the gold standard for measuring the mechanical reasoning abilities of individuals searching for a job or those looking for a military position.

The Barron’s test of mechanical aptitude measures concepts such as pulleys, gears, line-following, map reading, hole punching, matching shapes, and more.

The test has modern versions that are usually taken on a computer with an available pencil and paper option.

The test is useful for individuals desiring to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses when making career decisions.

It is also used as a screening process for entry into different military careers.

  1. The Wiesen test of mechanical aptitude

This test is used to determine the test taker’s level of mechanical reasoning and logic.

It is considered to be one of the newer tests available for measuring mechanical aptitude and has been broadly accepted and used by many various employers.

There are quite a lot of applications for this test, ranging from personal career planning to the screening of potential candidates for various positions.

As a multiple-choice test, you will have only 30 minutes to complete 60 questions, and not all candidates will have the ability to finish the test in the time allotted.

With the Weisen test, your natural mechanical thinking will be evaluated rather than your educational background or experience.

You will be tested on topics such as basic machines, gravity, electricity, heat transfer, physical properties, movement, and lots more.

  1. The Stenquist test of mechanical aptitude

This is one of the oldest mechanical aptitude tests still used these days. The principles of this test have not changed much since it has been used for over 100 years.

The Stenquist test evaluates your mechanical aptitude in a way that differs from standard mechanical tests.

Candidates taking the test need to determine which image best fits with another group of images.

Those with an inbuilt knowledge of machines and tools will do well on this test (if any) without much formal education or training.

Since the test depends on pictures to assess the individual, any comprehension or reading matters that could cause a problem on other tests will not be a factor when taking the Stenquist test.

  1. What to expect on a mechanical aptitude test

The mechanical aptitude test has various mechanical scenarios that you will be presented with when taking the test and you will be asked to select the correct answer from the options given.

You will have a short time limit to complete these multiple-choice questions.

The concepts of gears, levels, tools, and more, are very likely to be present while the specific contents and difficulty of the test will be different based on the position that is being applied for.

You should get fully prepared for a wide variety of topics to be included as many of the questions in the mechanical aptitude test will be industry-based.

The questions you can expect will tend to concentrate on principles rather than on making calculations if you are taking a mechanical aptitude test as part of the selection process for the emergency services or the military.

For example, you may be presented with three diagrams of a lever and asked which one is the most effective.

However, you may be expected to calculate the actual force required to move a particular lever if you are taking a test for a craft or technical job.

In this case, you need to know the formula as knowing the principle is not enough.

You should also expect questions about tools and how they are used as well as questions on shop arithmetic.

  1. Shop arithmetic

Some of the questions you will encounter during the mechanical aptitude test may necessitate knowledge of basic mathematics, such as ratios, decimals, fractions, percentages, and averages.

These basic mathematical skills are a key aspect of mechanical ability. You will be expected to make basic calculations derived from your knowledge of mechanical principles and the information provided.

You should be familiar with the formulae for calculating the areas and volumes of simple shapes as well as demonstrating familiarity with imperial units including inches, feet, and yards.

You should also make sure you understand the types of energy and forces and their related equations, such as potential energy, kinetic energy, acceleration, gravity, friction, and pressure.

Some useful formulae include areas of shapes, the volume of rectangular solids and cylinders, and simple geometry, like the Pythagoras Theorem.

  1. The Ramsay mechanical aptitude test

This test, administered by Ramsay during the hiring process, is made up of 36 questions and must be completed in 20 minutes or less. The Ramsay Mechanical Aptitude Test can be offered online or by using a pencil and paper.

In a result of the test, you will get a raw score and a percentile rank, with an average score of 43 to 48.

The scores depend on the type of position as various positions require various scores.

  1. Results scale and interpretations

Each company determines its own passing scores and various tests provide percentile ranking for various positions.

For instance, Criteria Corp’s Wiesen test report shows recommended scores by position.

  1. Preparation strategies of mechanical aptitude test

The challenges presented on the mechanical aptitude test are not typically complex; they only require you to apply your understanding of a number of physical and mechanical concepts.

In order to give yourself the best opportunity of succeeding and impressing your hiring manager, you need to study any guide that you are given before the test.

It is also important to take multiple practice tests so you can get acquainted with the types of questions you will likely face at the mechanical aptitude test even if you are already familiar with the material.

Another preparation strategy requires that you understand your weaknesses and spend more time studying those sections.

You can ask for help from a friend or look for a study group online.

You can also take a refresher course, either at a local college or online.

Ensure you get a good night’s sleep and eat rightly before taking the test. Your mind can do its best work when your body is taken care of.

  1. Practicing for a mechanical aptitude test?

The best approach to use to practice for a mechanical aptitude test is to simulate testing conditions as closely as you can.

Furthermore, ensure you strictly adhere to time limits during your practice test, and review incorrect answers in order to improve on your next attempt.

  1. Can one secure a job position without taking a mechanical aptitude test?

You are not under any law that requires you to take a mechanical aptitude test in order to get a job in the United States.

Only that most companies these days won’t consider candidates who refuse or are not able to take the test.

  1. What score is considered good on a mechanical aptitude test?

Each company has its own standard in scoring on the mechanical aptitude test. However, 80 percent or higher can be considered a good score.

Some companies will even consider candidates who score as low as 70 percent.

You can see that scoring on the mechanical aptitude test depends on the company that is offering the test.

  1. Mechanical aptitude test question categories

There are four question categories that mechanical aptitude test questions can be divided into, including mechanical comprehension, mechanical knowledge, electronics knowledge, and mechanical tools.

The mechanical comprehension test questions are the most frequently used among these question categories.

  1. Where is the mechanical aptitude test used?

The mechanical aptitude test is an element of the selection process in various jobs such as machine operators, aircraft technicians, and auto mechanics.

The test is also often used as part of the admission test for the military and firefighter schools.

  1. How to pass the mechanical aptitude questions

Practice and revision are important as a mechanical aptitude test is designed to judge your applied knowledge.

The questions that you practice may not actually be specific to the industry you are applying for, but the substance of the question remains vital.

Don’t just focus on practice tests alone, but try to experiment safely with real tools and learn how things work together.

To gain mechanical aptitude in a large part, you need practical application. Also, read user manuals and try things out.

  1. What are mechanical aptitude tests made of and when are they applied?

The mechanical aptitude test includes the main mechanical topics and some electricity questions.

Several topic questions you will likely encounter include force and movement, gears and pulleys, velocity and gravity, springs and levers, energy such as kinetic, potential, etc., and electricity like circuits and magnetism, etc.

In a mechanical aptitude test, each question you come across has an image that describes a simple object or scenario, often with arrows or labels that point toward direction or motion.

You will then be presented with a question that requires the information in the image to answer, such as which object will travel more rapidly, or which object is the most stable.

Sometimes, the questions in a mechanical aptitude test will be adapted to the sector that’s employing.

For instance, for a fire-fighting role, questions might be included in the context in which a firefighter might experience.

  1. Guidance on dealing with mechanical aptitude test

The mechanical aptitude test, just like all other aptitude tests, provides invaluable predictions of job productivity.

You shouldn’t forget to remember that practice is an essential tool to help you answer mechanical aptitude questions quickly and accurately.

As the test is timed, it is beneficial to answer the questions as quickly as possible, although these categories of tests typically have a 1-5 percent full completion rate.

Therefore, reaching the end of the test won’t be as essential as the number of correct answers you provide.

You need to ensure you understand this topic well as most questions will be about “force and movement”.

To answer a question based on what effects a short or a long lever would have on the force required to pull it, the best approach is to attempt to picture it in the limits, which is the difference between a very short lever and a very long lever.

This might help you understand better than imagining a difference that is less extreme.

Roles in which this knowledge and these skills are useful are where the mechanical aptitude test can only be valuable.

So, if you’re finding it difficult to complete these tests, it could be that you will also find it difficult in the applied job role.

Other tests will be utilized for applying to jobs in completely varied sectors.

Mechanical Aptitude Test Practice Questions and Answers

Here are some mechanical aptitude test questions and answers you can practice with to get the knowledge of what you are going to face during the real test.

Just have a look below at these mechanical aptitude test questions and answers and get familiar with them:

Question One

Which of the two fishermen has to pull his fishing rod harder so as to lift the caught fish?

A. 1
B. 2
C. The two fishermen have to apply the same force
D. There is not adequate data

Answer and explanation
The correct answer is (A).

A lever is a long, firm beam or bar used to raise heavy weights, allowing for a space to apply less force for a longer distance in order to move weight around a fixed pivot.

A lever consists of three parts:

  • Fulcrum: This is a fixed point at which the lever pivots, and that is usually marked as a triangle.
  • Load: The load is the weight or resistance that is moved by the lever.
  • Effort arm: This is the amount of force required to the work, which is the force used for pushing down or pulling up the lever to move the load.

There are 3 categories of levers, classified according to the placement of the fulcrum, load, and effort.

Class 1 – the fulcrum can be found between the applied force and the load, (a pair of scissors or a crowbar).

Class 2 – the load is positioned between the fulcrum and the force, (a nutcracker).

Class 3 – the force is added between the fulcrum and the load (tweezers).

The fisherman rod in this question is a class 3 lever in which the effort is between the fulcrum and the load.

The end of the fishing rod becomes the fulcrum, which is the end without the fishing line, while the load is the fish and the effort is the force applied by the fisherman.

What changes between the two figures is the position of the effort required to lift the fish.

Since the work, or torque to be more precise, is stable, the longer the distance between the effort and the fulcrum, the easier it is to lift the load because the force needed to carry out the task is distributed over a longer distance.

The correct answer is then considered to be A. because in this figure the fisherman applies his effort at a shorter distance from the fulcrum and so has to pull his fishing rod harder.

Question Two

On which pole does the weight press harder?

A. #1
B. #2
C. The weight presses in the same way on both poles

Answer and explanation

The rectangle pins on the point of contact with the floor. As the pole becomes farther from the pivot point, the less force it needs to apply to achieve the same torque (the torque needed to keep the rectangle static).

So Pole 2 (the pole farther away from the point of contact with the floor) applies less force on the rectangle.

This is basically the Law of the Lever.

The rectangle applies less force to Pole 2 as well according to Newton’s 3rd Law.

Therefore, the correct answer is A.

Question Three

If another identical power source were to be added in parallel to the circuit, what would be the current flowing through point X?

A. Twice as strong
B. Half as strong
C. There is no difference

Answer and explanation

Examine how the extra power source was set up: both the positive and negative terminals are connected.

For that reason, the same electric potential is kept at each end.

The voltage, in other words, remains the same.

The resistance remains the same as well since the resistors have not been modified.

In conclusion, the current remains the same according to Ohm’s law (V=IR).

Trivia: Adding a cell or battery in parallel is typically worked out as a type of electrical backup to a circuit, not as a way to alter the voltage.

Therefore, the correct answer is C.


The mechanical aptitude test is a type of psychometric test that is administered during the recruitment process for technical jobs.

The test is used to assess your ability to understand and apply mechanical concepts to solve problems.

The assessment can be complex-based to complete in the time allotted regardless of your job level.

However, practicing before taking this category of test will help you improve your speed and accuracy when answering the questions you are presented with.

During the testing process, you will run into several mechanical situations which can include concepts such as acceleration, gravity, friction, pressure, kinetic and potential energy, work and power, and more.

Practicing the test will help you learn how to take no more than 30 seconds per question and will help ensure that you answer each one in a timely manner.

>> Learn how to make a great score in Mechanical Aptitude Test; prepare effectively for the test with Practice Tests consisting of detailed explanations of answers.