Mechanical Reasoning Tests
Mechanical reasoning test measure your knowledge of straightforward mechanical and physical concepts. They do not measure your underlying mechanical aptitude in the same way that abstract reasoning questions measure your underlying intellectual ability. For example, you could sit an abstract reasoning test without having seen one before and still get a reasonable score. The same is not true of mechanical reasoning where your score will depend significantly on your knowledge of:
You may have come across: levers, pulleys, gears, springs and simple circuits in elementary science and the questions on these topics are fairly straightforward. If elementary science classes seem like a long time ago then you may need to refresh your memory before attempting these questions.
If you are taking a mechanical reaso1ing test as part of the selection process for the emergency services or the military then the questions you can expect will tend to concentrate on principles rather than on making calculations. For example, you may be shown 3 diagrams of a lever and asked which one is the most efficient. If however, you are taking a test for a craft or technical job then you may be expected to calculate the actual force required to move a particular lever. In this case, knowing the principle is not enough, you need to know the formula.
Example Mechanical Reasoning Test Questions
1) How much weight is required to balance the lever?
2) How much weight is required to balance the lever?
3) Approximately how much force is needed to lift the weight?
4) If gear X turns clockwise at a constant speed of 10 rpm. How does gear Y turn?
A) anti c/w 10 rpm
B) c/w 10 rpm
C) c/w 5 rpm
D) anti c/w 5 rpm
E) c/w 20 rpm
5) If drive wheel X rotates clockwise at a speed of 10 rpm. How does wheel Y turn?
A) anti c/w faster
B) c/w slower
C) c/w faster
D) anti c/w slower
E) anti c/w same
6) A force of 5 Kg compresses the springs in series 10cm. What will be the total distance that the springs in parallel are compressed?
A) 10 cms
B) 5 cms
C) 20 cms
D) 7.5 cms
E) 15 cms
7) In the circuit shown, how many switches need to be closed to light up one bulb?
8) Which is the most suitable tool for breaking up concrete?
9) Which tool or combination of tools would be most useful for general woodwork?
A) 4 & 2
B) 3,5 & 7
C) 2 ,4 & 6
D) 4 & 7
E) 3 & 6
10) The sketch shows the floor plan of a bathroom. The shower tray is 2'6" square and is fixed to the floor. The toilet and washbasin are both wall mounted. Allowing for 15% wastage, approximately how many square yards of floor tiles should be ordered?
The answers to these questions are given at the bottom of the page.
Many of the questions in mechanical aptitude tests are ‘industry’ specific. For example, tests used by the fire service tend to frame the questions in terms of fire-fighting whereas tests used to select for an aircraft maintenance job would tend to frame the questions in aviation industry terms. It doesn’t matter if the questions you practice on aren’t specific to the industry you are applying for. It is the substance of the question that is important – the scenario is incidental.
These sample question papers each contain 40 questions and have a suggested time limit of 30 minutes each. The questions are presented in Letter/A4 format for easy printing and self-marking.