Mechanical Reasoning Test

Mechanical reasoning tests are designed to assess a candidate's ability to use mechanical and engineering concepts to solve problems.

  • What is a mechanical reasoning test and what does it measure?

    A mechanical reasoning test is an assessment of a candidate's understanding of physical and mechanical principles.

    Candidates are provided with a range of multiple-choice questions based on principles such as forces, compression, expansion, magnetism, electricity, gravity, gears, springs and levers. Using their knowledge and understanding, a test-taker must correctly select the right answer.

    For some roles, you may also be expected to make calculations such as basic mathematics (ratios, percentages, averages and fractions), conversions and units, as well as calculating area.

    A variety of publishers write tests for mechanical reasoning. The most popular are Bennett Test of Mechanical Comprehension, Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude, Barron's Test of Mechanical Aptitude, Stenquist Test of Mechanical Aptitude and SHL Mechanical Comprehension Test.

    A mechanical reasoning test is used by employers to measure critical thinking, attention to detail and problem-solving skills in the context of mechanical and engineering concepts.

    The assessment ensures high employee performance and helps identify top talent where mechanical reasoning is needed as a prerequisite for the role.

About the Mechanical Reasoning Test

Mechanical reasoning tests are common assessments given for technical jobs such as engineering roles and positions in the emergency services and armed forces.

A mechanical reasoning test is likely to cover concepts such as forces, electricity, pressure and sound energy, temperature, fluid dynamics, kinetic energy, momentum, the properties of different materials and heat transfer.

The test is particularly useful for employers looking for talented individuals who might be able to solve complex mechanical problems with logical thinking.

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  • Why should you use a mechanical reasoning test for recruiting?

    74% of employers admit they’ve hired the wrong person for a position and up to 78% of resumes are misleading. Skill assessment tests help employers ensure candidates do in fact have the skills needed to perform well in a job.

    A mechanical reasoning test demonstrates a candidate’s ability in core competencies needed for engineering and mechanical based roles, as well as how a test-taker copes under pressure.

    The test is given to all applicants in your talent pool and provides comparative data, helping you to make more informed hiring decisions.

    A score is given for each candidate so you can compare and advance only the strongest candidates to the next stage. During the early stages of recruitment, it can also help significantly reduce hiring bias, as the decisions will be data-driven.

Sample Mechanical Reasoning Test question

What does Hooke's law refer to?

  • The acceleration of falling objects

  • The distance a spring stretches when force is applied

  • The change in weight on different planets

  • The effect of gravity on moving objects

Picked Sample Report

View a sample report

Results for the Mechanical Reasoning Test along with other assessments the candidate takes will be compiled to produce a candidate report. The report is automatically generated and available both online and as a downloadable pdf so they can be shared with other team members and employees alike.

The format of Picked’s mechanical reasoning test

Picked’s mechanical reasoning test contains multiple-choice questions that are presented as diagrams. A top-performing candidate will need to determine which mechanical principle is being illustrated and select the one correct answer from the three other distractors.

The level of difficulty will vary depending on the position applied for.

The tests are also timed, adding additional complexity and pressure for the candidate. The test is approximately 20–30 minutes, which gives a candidate roughly a minute per question. This helps simulate what a real-life work situation might feel like and helps assess how a candidate performs under stress.

The multiple-choice questions might reflect specific industry sectors, which mean they will simulate situations a candidate is likely to encounter in the role you have advertised.

For civil service roles such as a civil engineer, the mechanical reasoning test is most likely to measure your understanding and skills in applying key principles. For a technical job, you may be expected to make calculations too.

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Picked provides evidence-based recommendations for tests to use for over 750 jobs. Our recommendation engine leverages data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

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    We offer Mechanical Reasoning tests for all levels so you can assess all roles within your organisation.

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“We used Picked as part of our Finance Graduate Scheme recruitment and it was just what we needed – really simple to send candidates the link to complete and clear to see how they all compared. And great value for money!”
Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK
Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK
Mechanical Reasoning Test expert

Written by a Mechanical Reasoning Test expert

This test was created by our team of assessment experts, made up of I/O psychologists and psychometricians who are dedicated to making all of our tests as reliable, valid and fair as possible. They strictly adhere to best practices in the industry and stay on top of the latest innovations to ensure job candidates’ unique profiles of characteristics, abilities and knowledge are being measured accurately while minimising bias. They leverage decades of research and advanced predictive analytics to build assessments that link to outcomes that matter, such as job performance, turnover, engagement, culture fit and more.

“Personality profiling allowed us to perform lookalike modelling of our most successful employees and use this as a blueprint for new hires.”
Nick, HR Operations, Airbus, Spain
Nick, HR Operations, Airbus, Spain

FAQs

Can I try the test for free?

Yes, you can sign up (no credit card required) and enjoy a 7-day trial completely free. You’ll get unlimited access to create as many jobs and test as many candidates as you like.

Can I mix the mechanical reasoning test with other tests?

Yes, using the Picked platform you can mix and match a variety of different tests to meet your hiring requirements and job specifications.

What is the cost for Picked’s mechanical reasoning test?

Once you’ve finished your free trial there are a number of flexible pricing plans to suit your company's needs, whether you're a start-up, SME or enterprise business. Read more about our plans here.

Which jobs is the mechanical reasoning test relevant for?

Mechanical reasoning tests are typically used in roles for the military, police force and fire service, as well as various engineering occupations. The test is relevant to any job that might require prior knowledge of mechanical or engineering concepts.

“Focusing on data reduced the subjective decision making from our hiring process and allowed us to reduce bias and make better hiring decisions.”
Izzie, Head of HR, iZettle, Sweden
Izzie, Head of HR, iZettle, Sweden

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