Individuals who have applied for technical or engineering roles may be asked to take part in mechanical reasoning tests during their assessment process based on the job specifications. You as a candidate may be evaluated on the basis of your abilities to solve and understand various technical, mechanical and engineering problems and principles. Also you may be tested on how efficiently you might apply such principles when provided with certain cases and real life scenarios. Usually, mechanical reasoning tests not only help measure your book-knowledge but also how you will apply it in practical scenarios.
What to Expect in a Mechanical Reasoning Test?
Mechanical reasoning tests usually require you to push your limits in terms of completing a series of complicated questions and problems in a limited amount of time given. These timed tests are called pressure tests which challenge the participants to process and solve every problem quickly and efficiently. They are designed in this way to ensure that only 1% to 5% of the participants are able correctly solve all the test questions within the allowed timeframe. Each test question includes a mechanical scenario that includes crucial concepts, like acceleration, kinetic energy, pressure, and energy transformation. Also, each test question has only one correct answer and around 30 seconds will be provided to solve each one of them.
The case scenarios and problems given in the test require the right techniques and frameworks to be solved properly. These questions and problems are conceptual based, so the answers and solutions provided by you are compared with the performance of a group of employees that did similar tasks before; since the problems are based on real life scenarios. In this way, your technical and mechanical knowledge and its application in reality is determined.
What Topics Are Covered in a Mechanical Reasoning Test?
- Pulleys: A pulley is a machine which is in fact a combination of a wheel placed on an axle and a rope that is wrapped all around it. It can be utilized to lift loads using a rope. A fixed pulley changes the applied force’s direction; i.e., when you will pull it downwards, the load is raised. On the other hand, a movable pulley helps to lift a load requiring much less effort. Moreover, a combination of them provide mechanical as well as directional advantages. Pulleys are considered one dimensional in a mechanical aptitude test. Thus, their size as well as their parts’ friction may be omitted. You may be asked to establish the volume of force needed for lifting a load.
- Levers: A lever usually offers a mechanical advantage when carrying loads. It contains a fulcrum and a rod or a beam, and the load is applied on the beam. The results will depend on the torques produced on the beam’s both sides. Here, torques are a product of the distance of the arm and the force. In a mechanical aptitude test, you may be asked to differentiate whether the input torque or the output one is larger. You may also have to identify the course of its tilt. Moreover, you may have to do some light calculations if necessary.
- Gears: Gears, also known as cogwheels, are cylinders or wheels that have cogs or teeth on their edges. They are usually designed to transmit the spherical torque to another cogwheel. If one cogwheel turns in a specific direction, the other one will turn in the opposite way. In a mechanical aptitude test, you may be asked to identify the direction or the velocity of the cogwheels portrayed.
- Springs: A spring is a piece of metal or wire that can be compressed or extended by force, though it will get back to its original size when the force is not applied anymore. Different types of springs are available, such as leaf springs, torsion springs and spiral coil. Springs are used in numerous applications, including vehicle suspensions and clocks. When participating in a mechanical test, you may be asked to establish whether or not the springs shown are having a linear approach.
- Electrical circuits: In a mechanical reasoning test, questions related to electrical circuits come in form of circuit diagrams. Such diagrams will be restricted to show the switches, power source, loads and the wiring’s route. To answer such questions, you should have the basic knowledge of the way electricity may flow around any circuit.
- Shop Arithmetic: In a mechanical reasoning test, you may come across questions requiring you to have a proper understanding of decimals, percentages, averages, ratios, fractions and basic mathematics. Such basic mathematical skills will help determine your mechanical ability to make calculations based on the given information. You should also have knowledge of the formulae needed to calculate the volumes and areas of different shapes. Moreover, you should be familiar with the imperial units, such as feet, yards and inches.
- Screws: Screws are cylinders wrapped around by an inclined plane. An inclined plane is a smooth surface that connects the lower point of the screw to the upper one. In a mechanical reasoning test, questions related to screws may help measure your understanding of how the course of the rotation affects the work to be performed.
- Spatial or Visual Relations: Questions regarding spatial or visual relations require you to identify certain objects by shape, pattern or spatial alignment. Some of the common types of spatial visual relations questions include spatial views, hidden figures, paper folding and block counting questions.
- Gravity: In short, gravity is the downward force which keeps all people and objects on the earth. It exerts the same force on all objects, irrespective of their sizes, shapes and weights. In a mechanical reasoning test, questions given based on gravity include swinging pendulums, fallings objects or structural support mechanisms.
Aside from the above-mentioned topics, mechanical reasoning test questions can also be based on the following subjects:
- Kinetic & potential energy
- Conveyor belts
- Mirrors & reflection
- Balancing scales
- Applied math