Mechanical Reasoning Tests

Mechanical and electrical aptitude tests are commonly administered for engineering and technical positions including the emergency services and the army.

Mechanical Reasoning Tests

What are mechanical reasoning tests?

Mechanical and electrical aptitude tests are commonly administered for engineering and technical positions including the emergency services and the army. They are designed to measure your ability to understand and apply mechanical concepts and principles in order to solve problems. These tests are usually multiple choice and under timed conditions. You will typically have no more than 40 seconds to complete each question.

What skills do mechanical reasoning tests assess?

Mechanical aptitude tests are typically used to assess how well you can apply reasoning in a practical environment.

What is the mechanical reasoning test format?

The questions are typically based on a variety of topics such as: Electrical circuits, pulleys, levers, springs, tools, gears and maps. You will be given an image depicting a mechanical or electrical scenario for which a related question will be asked. These images are likely to include kinetic/potential energy, friction and forces, acceleration, gravity etc. They may also be specific to the sector applied for, meaning they could include a question that refers to a problem or scenario you are likely to encounter in the role you have applied for.

What topics do mechanical reasoning tests cover?

There are a rang of topics that could be included in mechanical reasoning tests and the more you know, the better. However, below we have listed the most popular subjects that appear on both mechanical and electrical aptitude tests.


  • 1) Circuits – series, parallel
  • 2) Magnetism
  • 3) Circuit Diagrams
  • 4) Voltage, current, resistance, capacitors and charge


  • 1) Forces and motions – pressure, frictions, moments, acceleration, gravity etc
  • 2) Energy – kinetic and potential, transformation, work and power
  • 3) Levers, screws, gears, pulleys, springs etc


  • 1) Calculation of areas
  • 2) Conventions and units
  • 3) Tools, terminology

Prepare yourself for leading employers

What are the most common mechanical reasoning tests?

Companies may choose from many types of well-known mechanical reasoning tests. Below we have provided links to the most commonly used tests, so that you can learn more about each one.

  • Bennett Test of Mechanical Comprehension (commonly used for engineering and mechanical roles)
  • Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude (commonly used for roles where you will be required to operate and service tools and machinery)
  • Barron’s Test of Mechanical Aptitude (commonly used for the Military)
  • SHL Verify Mechanical Comprehension Test (known as 15 questions that need to be answered in 10 minutes, it is the most commonly used test for mechanical or technical positions)

Mechanical reasoning example questions

Q) Work out how much force is needed to lift the weight.


Answer: 1kg F = (w x d1)/d2 F = (5 x 2)/10 F = 10/10 F = 1kg

Q) Which Gears are rotating clockwise?

Just 2 1 and 3 All of them


Answer: B The arrow indicates that the first cog is turning clockwise which means the joining cog is rotating in the opposite direction (anti-clockwise) and the final cog changes direction again, back to clockwise

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Mechanical reasoning test tips

1One question = one minute rule

Make sure you understand how many questions you will have to answer and how long you have to complete the test. Usually, mechanical reasoning tests consist of 10 to 15 questions and don’t last longer than 15 - 20 minutes.

2Watch your timing

Don’t let one question to stop. Work out roughly how much time you have per question before you start each test. If it feels like going through hell, keep going!

3Practice in exam conditions

When you practice for your assessment, try to do so in the same conditions in which you will be sitting your real mechanical reasoning test. Try a quiet surrounding with a minimal distraction at a table. This will not only keep you more focused but also make silence less daunting while sitting your real assessment.

4Remember to research

Try to find out as much as possible about the assessment’s format the employer is going to tests you with. Employers typically provide that information to candidates on their careers websites.

5Answer the question

It might be obvious but the fact that we mention it means it is not. At least not always. Although there is only one correct answer, the questions may try to trick you. Stay calm and focused and be careful with identifying the patterns. Some of them might look suspiciously similar.

6Be competitive

Try to measure your achievements against other users in order to make sure you stand out in a crowd. The average results might help you to pass to next stage, but might not be enough to bag you that job. Practice makes perfect, particularly with mechanical reasoning tests which take some getting used to.

Diagrammatic reasoning video tutorials

Unfolded Shapes

1 min

Similar Shapes

1 min

Rotated Views

1 min

Mirror Images

2 mins

Input Type

2 mins


2 mins

Practice mechanical reasoning tests

There’s a reason they say practice makes perfect. That phrase holds true when it comes to mechanical reasoning tests. In fact, practice is perhaps even more important if you’re pretty new to these tests.

But don’t worry, we have all the tools you need to get started. Begin by trying some mechanical reasoning questions, viewing the explanations and seeing your scores improve.

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