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Select Assessment for Manufacturing (SAM) Test

    • 15 tests |
    • 110 questions

If you are looking for a job in manufacturing, whether on an assembly line at a car plant or getting into engineering, you might need to complete a Select Assessment for Manufacturing (SAM) test.

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What does the SAM test assess?

Throughout the assessment, there are several key traits and behaviors that are being tested. You can expect questions based around mechanical reasoning: understanding the physics principles that underpin mechanical systems to answer questions based on things like acceleration, gears and pulleys, and electrical circuits.

Some of the questions in the assessment look at your work-related skills, eg things that are specific to a manufacturing role. These include visual acuity, which is essential when dealing with tiny components or when reading diagrams and schematics, as well as work pace, which makes a difference for productivity.

SAM test

As this assessment is designed for workers who are on the ‘front line’ in manufacturing businesses, there are certain personality traits that are needed for success. These include:

  • Reliability
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership potential
  • Problem solving
  • Quality focus
  • Positive attitude
  • Safety attitude

By asking these questions under time pressure, the SAM test can provide realistic work scenarios that are more than just interactive and engaging. They can mimic the conditions that the employee might have to face when solving problems and troubleshooting too.

Sample Select Assessment for Manufacturing (SAM) Test question Test your knowledge!

Two gears are meshed together. If Gear A has twice the number of teeth as Gear B and Gear A is the driver gear, which of the following statements is true?

  • Gear B will turn at half the speed of Gear A.
  • Gear B will turn at twice the speed of Gear A.
  • Gear B will rotate in the same direction as Gear A.
  • Gear A and Gear B will rotate at the same speed.

A solid metal rod is being heated at one end. As the temperature increases, what happens to the length of the rod?

  • It remains the same.
  • It decreases slightly.
  • It expands and thus increases in length.
  • It contracts first then expands.

Which of the following materials would be the best conductor of electricity?

  • Copper
  • Glass
  • Rubber
  • Wood

If the fulcrum of a lever is moved closer to the load, how does this affect the effort needed to lift the load?

  • Increases the effort needed
  • Decreases the effort needed
  • Does not change the effort needed
  • Makes lifting the load impossible

A spring is compressed between two solid surfaces. When released, what type of energy does it express?

  • Kinetic energy
  • Potential energy
  • Thermal energy
  • Chemical energy

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Within two hours of practice I have improved my score from 50% correct to 88%.

Joseph used Practice Aptitude Tests to improve his numerical reasoning scores.


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Select Assessment for Manufacturing (SAM) Test Tips

1Know the job requirements

When you apply for a new role, the job description should have all the information you need to understand what criteria must be met to be a successful candidate.

Most job descriptions will list skills, competencies, experience and qualifications as essential or desirable. This is how you can ensure that you have what it takes before you apply.

2Get your head around mechanical reasoning

Mechanical reasoning questions can sometimes throw even the most seasoned manufacturing employee, because of the way they are written.

Practicing mechanical reasoning questions will help you recognise both the structure of the questions and the best way to answer them.

3Brush up on essential skills

Whether you are coming from a similar role in another company or are brand new to the world of work, making sure that you know as much as you can about what skills the job needs will set you in good stead to be successful: not only in the assessment, but in the role itself.

A little bit of revision on these things can only help in the long run.


There are few ways that are better to prepare yourself for an assessment than practicing, and this is true of the SAM test too.

Practicing tests online – under exam conditions, including a time limit – will make you feel more confident when you have to face the real thing, and also help you to highlight any areas where you need more practice.

5Be honest, and try your best

As some of the questions do not have an obviously right answer, part of your strategy should be to answer as honestly as you can. The recruiters are looking at the way that you are approaching problems, as well as the answers.

Make sure that you are answering the questions to the best of your ability, and try to answer as many as you can in the allotted time, so that you can get the best chance for a good score.

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Select Assessment for Manufacturing (SAM) Test FAQs

What is a good score on the SAM test?

As the SAM test is designed to be bespoke to the requirements of the business and the role, it is difficult to know what a good score looks like.

However, you should always aim as high as possible. Your score will be compared to other test-takers, and you want to beat them all if you can, to guarantee your position in the next round of the application process.

What do I need to complete the SAM test?

The SAM test is delivered online, and you do not need any particular equipment to take it. If you need anything specific for the role you have applied for, you will be told by the recruitment team beforehand.

In all cases, you will need to be somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed, and ensure that you have a strong and stable internet connection.

Is the SAM test hard?

The SAM test is designed to ensure that the right candidates are taken through the application process, which means it has to be challenging to weed out those that do not have what it takes to be successful.

However, the content is based around basic knowledge that anyone in manufacturing should know. It is the pressure of a time limit and the unfamiliar presentation that makes it challenging.

How long is the SAM test?

Depending on the modules that the company you have applied to are using, the SAM test can last anywhere between 30 and 70 minutes, with up to five separate exams.

Reviews of our Select Assessment for Manufacturing (SAM) Test tests

What our customers say about our Select Assessment for Manufacturing (SAM) Test tests

  • United States of America

    July 26, 2023

    Mechanical reasoning

    I liked this test because i could take the practice test over until I understood what these questions were expecting me to know.

  • United States of America

    June 23, 2023

    Competed & retried to see if varied

    i took the test once and decided to try it again to check if the questions varied from my first run.

  • United States of America

    April 25, 2022


    I thought that the test did a good job in a short amount of questions to challenge someone's basic knowledge as well as aptitude and awareness.

  • United States of America

    March 16, 2022


    I need to practice studying – is this how the test is going to be? Because I'm not prepared for it at all. I don't understand what manufacturing is.