Power Plant Maintenance Selection System Exam

put together this handy resource for you to use as you prepare to sit for the
Power Plant Maintenance Selection System exam.

you’ll see, we’ve pulled together a wide range of helpful tips and information
around the exam, including registration details, exam cost, tips on what to
bring (and what to leave behind) on test day, along with an overview of the
types of questions you can expect to see on the test itself.

Exam Purpose and Background

technological marvels need the right people to operate and guide them. That’s
the mission of the Power Plant Maintenance Selection System exam. This test is
used to identify and select today’s top talent to work in a wide range of
maintenance roles in the nuclear, hydroelectric and fossil fuel power plants.

Men and
women who successfully complete the exam often find positions in the industry
in roles such as machinists, electricians, pipefitters, riggers, steelworkers,
welders, mechanics and more.


There are different ways available for you to register for,
and take, the exam. In some cases, you may be able to take the test at a local
facility where the types of work tested for in the exam take place. For
example, at a local power plant. In other cases, if you are taking applicable
coursework at an academic facility, the test may also be offered there.

Costs/Payment Options

The cost of taking the exam can vary, based on your location
and the local options you may have available to you. For example, if you take
the test at a local power plant or other organization where the work you’re
testing for is performed, you may not be charged to take the test. On the other
hand, if you are taking the exam through an academic institution, you may be
charged $30 with varying payment methods.

What to Expect on Test Day

Test Duration

The testing time for this exam is set at two hours.

What to Bring:

  • One form of government-issued ID that shows
    your name, photograph and signature.
  • Acceptable examples of IDs include a
    driver’s licens, a passport, or a military ID.

What Not to Bring:

  • Any type of phone or electronic device
  • Bags or other personal items

What to Expect During Your Exam

Format/Number of Questions

You’ll take this test using paper and pencil, and will answer a total of 118 questions.

Aptitude Tests

The Power
Plant Maintenance Selection System exam consists of four separate subsections,
or aptitude tests. Here’s an overview of each of these four areas, including
the types of questions you can expect to encounter on the exams, along with the
estimated number of test questions and percentage each area represents as part
of the overall test.

Test 1: Reading Comprehension (30 Minutes and 36 Questions)

This test will
assess your ability to read select text passages and understand the type of
detailed information contained in plant training manuals. During this portion
of the test, you’ll see five text passages. Each passage will be accompanied by
a number of multiple-choice questions pertaining to the text.

Test 2: Mechanical Concepts (20 Minutes and 44 Questions)

This portion of
the exam looks at your understanding of various mechanical concepts. During
this section, you can expect to see a picture description profiling a
real-world mechanical issue, along with a corresponding question and three
potential answers that you’ll choose from.

Test 3: Spatial Ability (10 Minutes and 20 Questions)

During this
portion of the examination process, you’ll be asked to correctly assemble a
given object. You’ll draw on your ability to visualize a completed object and
work toward completion of it by putting parts together by matching
corresponding letters on various component parts.

Test 4: Mathematical Usage (7 Minutes and 18 Questions)

With this
section of the testing process, you’ll be using your mathematical skills and
training to solve a variety of basic, real-world situations that represent
potential issues you’ll encounter on the job.

Calculating Your Passing Score

Once you complete all four aptitude tests, your scores from each of the four sections will be combined to produce a single cognitive index score for you. Once this step is completed, your score will be computed and applied to create a probability of success in various specific job roles you may be placed in.

How Can I Prepare for the Power Plant Maintenance Selection System Exam?

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 or set of flashcards.  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.  See the link below!

Study Guide


Last Updated: November 9, 2023