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Social Processes: Methodology · Types of test

Uses of Mechanical Aptitude Test Edit

File:Mechanical aptitude test sample question.jpg

The major uses for mechanical aptitude testing are:

  • Identify candidates with good spatial perception and mechanical reasoning ability
  • Assess a candidate’s working knowledge of basic mechanical operations and physical laws
  • Recognize an aptitude for learning mechanical processes and tasks
  • Predict employee success and appropriately align your workforce

These tests are used mostly for industries involving:

  • Manufacturing/Production
  • Energy/Utilities

The major occupations that these tests are relevant to are:

Types of Tests Edit

Barron's Test of Mechanical Aptitude Edit

The Barron’s Test, which is also called the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), was the most widely used mechanical aptitude test in the world. The test consists of ten subject specific tests that measure your ability to perform separate job related areas and provides an indication of your level of academic ability. The ASVAB was used very often in the 1920s and 1930’s, especially by the military. The military would ask that all recruits take this exam to help them be placed in the correct job while enrolled in the military. In the beginning, World War I, the U.S. Army developed the Army Alpha and Beta Tests, which grouped the draftees and recruits for military service. The Army Alpha test measured recruits’ knowledge, verbal and numerical ability, and ability to follow directions using 212 multiple-choice questions.

However, during World War II, the U.S. Army had replaced the tests with a newer and improved one called the Army General Classification Test. The test had many different versions until they improved it enough to be used regularly. The current tests consist of three different versions, two of which are on paper and pencil and the other is taken on the computer. The scores from each different version are linked together, so each score has the same meaning no matter which exam you take. Some people find that they score higher on the computer version of the test than the other two versions, an explanation of this is due to the fact that the computer based exam is tailored to their demonstrated ability level. These tests are beneficial because they help measure your potential; it gives you a good indicator of where your talents are. By viewing your scores, you can make intelligent career decisions. The higher score you have, the more job opportunities that are available to you.[3]

Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude Edit

The Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude is a measure of a person's mechanical aptitude which is referred to as the ability use machinery properly and maintain the equipment in best working order. The test is 30-minutes and has 60-items that can help predict performance for specific occupations involving the operation, maintenance, and servicing of tools, equipment, and machinery. Occupations in these areas require and are facilitated by mechanical aptitude. The Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude was designed with the intent to create an evolution of previous tests that helps to improve the shortcomings of these earlier mechanical aptitude tests, such as the Bennett Test of Mechanical Comprehension. This test was reorganized in order to lessen certain gender and racial biases. The reading level that is required for the Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude has been estimated to be at a sixth-grade level, and it is also available in a Spanish-language version for Spanish speaking mechanical workers. Overall, this mechanical aptitude test has been shown to have less of an adverse impact than previous mechanical aptitude.

There are two scores given to each individual taking the test, a raw score and a percentile ranking. The raw score is a measure of how many questions (out of the 60 total) the individual answered correctly, and the percentile ranking is a relative performance score that indicates how the individual's score rates in relation to others people who have taken this particular mechanical aptitude test and how they scored.

Average test scores for the Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude were determined by giving the test to a sample of 1,817 workers aged 18 and older working in specific industrial occupations that were mentioned previously. Using this sample of workers, it was determined that the Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude has very high reliability (statistics) (.97) in determining mechanical aptitude in relation to performance of mechanical occupations. [4]

Bennett Test of Mechanical Comprehension Edit

Main article: Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test

The Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test (BMCT) is an assessment tool for measuring a candidate’s ability to perceive and understand the relationship of physical forces and mechanical elements in practical situations. This aptitude is important in jobs and training programs that require the understanding and application of mechanical principles. The current BMCT Forms, S and T, have been used to predict performance in a variety of vocational and technical training settings and have been popular selection tools for mechanical, technical, engineering, and similar occupations for many years.

See alsoEdit


  1. Pearson TalentLens. Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test. Pearson Education, Inc.. URL accessed on 24 April 2012.
  2. [( Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test].
  3. Duran, Terry L. (2009). Major, U.S. Army, 3–9, New York: Barron's Educational Series.
  4. WTMA: Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude. Criteria On-Demand Assessment. URL accessed on 12 April 2012.

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