How to Prepare for a Mechanical Reasoning Test?

Tips on What to Review and Practice

Mechanical Reasoning Test: Mandatory for Jobs with Machines

A mechanical reasoning test exists because not everyone has the aptitude for working with machines. Some people have a natural knack for understanding physical objects. Others, however, tend to remain hopeless even with careful study. A job that requires working with equipment and technology, therefore, requires serious screening, unless the company wants to be stuck with someone without a clue.

In all this, you may be wondering: what on earth is “mechanical reasoning”?

The term may seem paradoxical at first, as it seems to deal with both things and mental concepts at the same time, but this is precisely what mechanical reasoning is all about. It is the application of physical principles to mechanical problems, the use of logic to find solutions for issues involving machinery.

Prepare a Mindset to Take the Test

mechanical reasoning test

Unlike other kinds of aptitude tests, you will not pass a mechanical reasoning test without prior knowledge of physics. This includes the understanding of how levers and pulleys work, how gears and springs go together, how screws and bolts should look like, and how simple and complex electrical set-ups can be made. It requires know-how on the theory involving effort, distance, weight, load and resistance. It requires visio-spatial aptitude, or the ability to make mental representations of objects and then manipulate the image that is in one’s head. It involves being able to track cause-and–effect relationships. It means computation of shop arithmetic.

Here are some sample questions you can expect from a mechanical reasoning test:

  • Which tool is most suitable for X task?
  • How many switches are needed in order to light a bulb in a given circuit system?
  • Wheel A rotates counter-clockwise at a speed of 12 rpm. How does it affect the other wheels it’s connected to?
  • What is the weight of X load if a force of y lbs is needed to lift it?
  • Where should you place the lever to balance weight A and weight B?

As you can see, they are questions that can’t be answered without having to review, which is why advanced preparation is imperative for anyone who is about to take this exam.

Methods to Enhance your Performance

What are other ways to enhance performance on a mechanical reasoning test? Consider the following tips:

First, study the drawings carefully. In general, questions on a mechanical reasoning test are accompanied by drawings, graphs, statistics and other illustrations related to the question. Study them carefully as they provide clues on how you can approach the presented situation. The question may seem straightforward at first, but a drawing can show that the set-up is actually complex.

Second, study industry-specific machinery if you’re applying for a specific job. If the aptitude test that you are taking is for job placement, then you can expect that the questions would veer towards machinery you’re likely to use. For example, expect printing machines if you’re applying for a job in a printing factory. In this regard, it wouldn’t hurt to ask ahead of time what you can review in anticipation of the assessment. Some complex machines take time to master, and fair warning is something always appreciated.

Third, work with a lot of tools and equipment. This is sound advice especially if you’re a fresh graduate who still has to gain work experience. Experienced machine operators will always have an advantage when it comes to these types of tests, but you can make up for being green by studying and working all the machinery you can get your hands on. If you can build things from scratch you would also improve your aptitude. If you can’t get access to sophisticated equipments, then at least study operating manuals; they should be easy to access on the web.

Lastly, make sure that you get a good night sleep. This is imperative for anyone going to a test-taking situation, but more so when you’re about to take a mechanical reasoning test. Because a lot of mental analysis is involved in answering mechanical reasoning questions, it makes a lot of sense to have a relaxed mind during testing. Stop the reviewing the day before the exam and catch some zzz’s --- there is such a thing as over-studying, you know!


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