Mechanical Aptitude Test

Mechanical aptitude tests, also known as mechanical reasoning tests, are used to select the most suitable candidate for certain jobs, as well as part of the admission process for schools such as military and firefighter.

Many of these tests are computer-based, but some are offered in the paper and pencil format. The questions are usually multiple-choice with one correct answer. You should allow yourself 30 seconds to answer each question. The total number of questions and amount of time allocated to the test can vary, based on who is administering the test.

If you require special testing accommodations, be sure to consult with the administrator of the exam before the day of the exam, to make sure you submit any and all required documentation, if necessary.

Who is generally required to take the aptitude test?

Engineers, auto mechanics, aircraft mechanics, equipment operators, welders, electricians, carpenters, and students looking for admission into mechanical programs.

What are the major topics covered on this test?

• Mechanical Comprehension
• Mechanical Knowledge
• Electronics Knowledge
• Mechanical Tools

Mechanical Comprehension questions are typically the most common questions on aptitude tests. This category focuses on mechanical and physical concepts. Some of these include pulleys, gears, springs, levers, gravity, acceleration, hydraulics, energy types, friction, and pressure.

Mechanical Knowledge questions are on the basics of physics and auto mechanics. Some of these include four-stroke engines, hydraulics, brakes, acceleration and momentum, mechanical advantage, effort, gravity, and compression.

Electronics Knowledge questions generally refer to electronic circuits. Some of these include batteries, series and parallel circuits, Ohm’s Law, voltage, current, and resistance.

Mechanical Tools questions require you to recognize and comprehend the purpose of everyday tools, as well as those that are industry-specific.

Examples of aptitude tests?

• The US Department of Defense Test of Mechanical Aptitude is associated with the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, and is taken by military recruits to help identify at which jobs they’d be most successful.
• The Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude is designed to determine an individual’s ability to correctly use and maintain machinery.
• The Bennett Test of Mechanical Comprehension assesses an individual’s ability to comprehend the relationship between physical forces and mechanical components.
• The Stenquist Test of Mechanical Aptitude focuses on problem-solving with the use of pictures.
• The Ramsay Corporation Mechanical Aptitude Test assesses an individual’s level of knowledge once completing trading school or an apprenticeship.

What is the cost of taking the test?

Generally, there is no fee for the examinee. The school or company that requires the test is responsible for any cost associated with it.

What are the testing dates and locations?

This depends on who is administering the test.

What should I do the day of the exam?

Arrive at the test site at least 15 minutes early so you can get settled in before testing.

What happens if I don’t pass the exam?

Consult with the administrator of the test. Each has its policy on whether or not you can re-take the test.

How Can I Prepare for the Mechanical Aptitude Test?

That’s a great question.  We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.

  1. Do yourself a favor and study.  Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try.  Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
  2. Take care of yourself.  Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping.  All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance.  If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
  3. Get a study guide.  Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them.  We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide for your exam. Below you’ll see a link to it!

Study Guide


Last Updated: November 9, 2023