If you've been told you need to take a mechanical reasoning test as part of a job application, you're likely to have a few questions that need answering. That's why we've put together this handy guide - so you can quickly and easily get up to speed with all things mechanical reasoning!
What are mechanical reasoning tests?
Mechanical reasoning tests are designed to assess your mechanical and electrical knowledge. Typically used in the hiring of tech, engineering and armed forces employees, the test puts your knowledge of everything from pulleys and levers to electrical circuits and maps. The questions will probe the extent of your knowledge, and may even include hypothetical scenarios related to the job or industry you're applying for.
What format do they take?
Most aptitude tests allow you around a minute to answer each question on the test, but for the mechanical reasoning test it's more like 40 seconds. This can be challenging, so making time to practice mechanical reasoning tests is really important for speed, accuracy and confidence on the day. The questions will be multiple choice, and most commonly will use situations depicted in pictures to really probe your mechanical, electrical and technological know-how. At the end of the test, your score will be taken and then compared to a normative group to give the employer a clearer idea of how challenging the test was and how well you did.
Why are the tests useful for employers?
The mechanical reasoning test will only be set by employers hiring for roles with a mechanical or electrical component to them. Therefore if you're taking the test it's likely you'll be fairly familiar with many of the concepts explored on the test. For employers, the test offers an additional opportunity to learn more about the interested candidates they have in front of them, whereas for candidates it's a chance to showcase strengths and skills. As the job market shows no sign of getting less competitive any time soon, aptitude tests are increasingly being used so employers have more than just an interview to assess someone by.
How can I get better at them?
Practising as many aptitude tests as you can before the one that counts is crucial if you want to make sure you do your best. Repeatedly taking past mechanical reasoning tests will not only improve your skills, it'll also instill you with confidence and ensure you're up to the significant challenge of answering each question in 40 seconds or less. To practice, it's always best to set yourself up a working space that's quiet and will allow you to concentrate. Make sure you've got everything you need with you before you start taking the test (including a timer!). At the end, work through your results and identify any areas that still need attention or topics you feel less confident with - this will help you decide what to brush up on next.