What is a Mechanical Aptitude Test?

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  • Written By: Meghan Perry
  • Edited By: Amanda L. Wardle
  • Last Modified Date: 02 January 2020
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A mechanical aptitude test is administered to test basic ability in and understanding of mechanics, mechanical procedures, and machines. This exam is generally a brief, written format. It can be used to test mechanical aptitude in many fields, including auto mechanics, electronics, emergency services, the military, and law enforcement. Test questions may be designed to meet standards in specific fields; therefore, test content can vary.

Not only does a mechanical aptitude test measure ability, it may also measure the interest someone has in this type of work. For example, a high school student may take a mechanical aptitude test to find out not only whether he or she has the basic ability to enter the field, but also whether he or she might enjoy working with mechanics or machines. Questions generally cover a broad range of topics, so it can often be a good way to measure how successful one may be pursuing a career in a mechanical field.


Some of the common topics covered in a mechanical aptitude test include questions about how mechanical items work, as well as how to use different related tools. Questions may also address the principles of electricity, as well as the tester's general knowledge of other types of machinery and different mechanical principles. In addition to basic ability, people taking the mechanical aptitude test should have a good understanding of things like levers, pulleys, gears, springs, and electrical circuits. Knowledge of tools and how they work is also important, as is an understanding of basic mathematics.

People may take a mechanical aptitude test for a number of different reasons. Often, employers will administer the test to prospective employees during an interview process. This allows the employer to get an idea of the kinds of mechanical knowledge and skills the potential employee already has. The test results may aid in the hiring decision, and may also show specific areas of strength that suggest particular areas in which an employee might excel.

The test may also be given after someone is already hired as part of his or her on-the-job training. These results can illustrate areas in which an employee may need extra training. The test can also be taken before going on to higher education, or sometimes as part of admission to a higher education program, depending upon the field in which the student wishes to study.


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