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Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Tests – Tips for 2022

Updated May 19, 2022

Written by the WikiJob Team

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The Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test (BMCT) is an aptitude test relating to mechanics which has been developed by Pearson. It is used by many employers and schools as an indicator of aptitude for understanding and solving basic mechanical problems.

These are principles that are important in numerous career paths, so when an individual scores highly on this test it is a good indicator that they might excel in a vocation that makes use of their mechanical abilities.

The Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test is made up of a total of 55 questions/12 categories. There are actually two forms of the test: Form S and Form T.

These forms were developed by updating earlier versions and increasing the difficulty range of the questions.

Form S and T are comparable; both contain 55 items, covering 12 categories relating to mechanical comprehension. When you take the test, you will have 30 minutes to complete it, meaning, on average, each of the problems presented will need to be solved within 30 seconds to complete the entire test in the allotted time. So speed is key.

The concepts the test covers are not so advanced that you would need a college education to manage them – truth be told, it's at a sixth-grade level. The test doesn't aim to assess candidates based on their level of education and experience; rather, the Bennett test aims to identify a level of natural or instinctive mechanical thinking.

How Reliable Is the BMCT?

Like any aptitude test relating to mechanics, every correct answer you submit counts towards your overall profile. But these scores in and of themselves are quite useless if they aren't interpreted appropriately, and the Bennett test is known for its accuracy in defining parameters for evaluating aptitude.

It is not only the testing industry that recognizes this – psychologists and recruiters actually give substantial weight to BMCT results and trust the predictions it makes about an individual's potential. For jobs that require a range of aptitudes, the BMCT is most appropriately used in combination with other tests that cover the other skills.

The BMCT is a test that has been used for more than 50 years, which is a testament to its versatility and usefulness.

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Tests
Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Tests

Where and Why You Might Take It

There are many reasons why a person might need to take the BMCT, the most common being as part of an assessment process for businesses or organizations looking to hire people into roles needing mechanical proficiency.

The test can function as a screening process to rule out candidates who don't possess the natural aptitude in mechanics to succeed. It can also be used to identify weaknesses in employees so that they can be given training to enhance their skills in specific areas.

List of Jobs That Require the BMCT

The job roles where you might expect to take a BMCT include:

  • Auto mechanics
  • Carpenters
  • Electricians
  • Engineers
  • Equipment operators
  • Plumbers
  • Truck drivers

The test seeks to ascertain whether the candidate has a concept of the basic function of tools, has a good level of spatial perception, and possesses the ability to swiftly comprehend and apply basic mechanical concepts. If you are preparing to take the BMCT for a role in a specific industry, there's a good chance you'll be taking a version of it that is specifically tailored toward that field.

There are many prominent companies that are known to utilize the BMCT either for recruitment screening or evaluation purposes.

Here are some of the most notable ones:

  • Delta Airlines – for its mechanics
  • Nestle – for its electricians, maintenance technicians and machine operators
  • Union Gas – for its service representatives
  • Coca-Cola – for its maintenance mechanics
  • Culver Careers – for its technicians and sales teams

It's important to note that while the test might be a component of the recruitment process, employers will probably also require you to take other assessments, attend interviews, and participate in group exercises.

How to Pass the BMCT

It's vital that you familiarize yourself with a few core concepts of physics before taking the test. For example:

  • To push the roller over a step, one must exert a more significant force than required to pull the roller over the level.

  • A body's inertia is its inability to change its own state of rest or uniform motion.

  • The forces that act on a single point are concurrent, and if the resultant force is zero then they are in equilibrium.

  • A person on a surface that has zero friction can propel himself by blowing air out through the mouth or by throwing an object in the opposite direction to the one he wants to move.

  • To produce extension or compression in a spring, you will have to apply two opposite, equal forces to it. The equilibrium-restoring force that is developed, due to the spring's elasticity, is opposite to the applied force and equal to either force. A definitive amount of work must be done against the restoring force when compressing the spring. This work is stored as potential energy in the spring.

Watch this video from JobTestPrep for some insights into mechanical tests and tips on how to improve your score.

Getting Yourself Prepared for Your Test

If you are going to take the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test, it is important that you prepare sufficiently. This is essential if you want to finish with the best possible score and pass through to the next stage in the screening process.

Even if you have a good knowledge of many of the principles associated with mechanics, it is helpful to understand how the test works. This will help you work through the questions at a faster rate: key when you only have half a minute per question.

There are some good resources online to help you prepare for the BMCT. For example, if you head over to Personality and Aptitude Career Tests you will find some free practice resources to help you get a feel for what is expected.

If you're willing to put down a bit of money to prepare yourself, JobTestPrep has an excellent mechanical test practice package.

Examples of Questions You Might Face

Most questions in a mechanical aptitude test will involve a problem relating to an image. The following are a couple of examples of what to expect, to help you familiarize yourself with how the questions work.

Example 1

Example Question

Question: Which man carries more weight? If equal, mark C.

Example 2

Example Question

The question is asking you to choose which spot will be the least bumpy during the ride.

This question follows a similar format, presenting the tested individual with a simple diagram and a question relating to a mechanical concept. As you will have noticed, the questions are multiple-choice, so there is rarely need for any complex calculations to find the correct answer.

Within the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test, there are several sub-categories of mechanical concepts you’ll be asked questions on.

The most frequently asked topics include Velocity, Fluids, Forces, and Torque. Together, they account for two-thirds of the test content, so the next three examples relate to these.

Example 3: Velocity

With velocity questions, which account for 28% of the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test, employers are seeking to understand how much you know about the basic rule of physics. Largely, the questions are centered on gravity, acceleration, and Newton’s law of physics.

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Tests
Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Tests
Example Question

Determine which way the train wagon is accelerating. As with the example questions above, you can select A or B (or C if both could be the correct answer).

For these types of questions, of which there are plenty, it may be worth familiarising yourself with the rules on accelerating systems. It’s all related to gravity – if you’re on a rollercoaster, for example, you’ll be traveling forwards but will feel yourself being dragged backward during acceleration and when the ride jolts to a stop.

Example 4: Fluid Mechanics

As you’d expect, fluid mechanic questions deal with everything to do with how fluids, liquids and gas respond to a certain activity. For example, if the water pressure is higher, will the load sink or float? Will gas expand or contract when the temperature rises? All of these types of questions can appear in this section of the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test.

So, here’s an example below:

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Tests
Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Tests
Example Question

A glass cup already holds oil and water (the picture on the left). If you were to add more water to the cup, what would happen to the water and oil? Please choose either A or B (or if both or neither apply, pick C).

Example 5: Forces and Torque

Let’s explore the question below relating to force.

Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Tests
Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Tests
Example Question

Looking at the seesaw in the top picture, it is balanced with one car on either side of the same weight. However, if you were to add another car and place it on top of the right-hand car, where would you need to move the triangle (fulcrum) to re-balance the seesaw?

Why Is Preparation Important?

Having an understanding of mechanical principles and getting a high score on the test doesn't necessarily go hand-in-hand. The format of the test might distract you if you haven't done any preparation, or you may simply wade through the questions too slowly to achieve a high score at the end.

Work on some practice questions and you will find yourself far more relaxed and confident when it comes to sitting in a room and taking the real test.

Anyone with aspirations to work in a mechanical field, no matter what it may be, should familiarize themselves with the BMCT. Given its popularity and strong record for reliability, the test will play a role in hiring and evaluation processes for many years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Bennett test is an aptitude assessment. It is used by employers and educational establishments to test aptitude for understanding and solving mechanical problems.

You might be asked to take it as a prospective student, job applicant or employee.

It is especially relevant for career paths like carpentry, engineering and plumbing.

Upon completion of the BMCT, the hiring organization will receive your score report. This will include a competence (theta) score and a percentage score, which is derived from the competence score.

What constitutes a good score will depend on the profession, with some job roles requiring a higher score than others.

A percentile ranking is used to compare test results against others within a norm group. A percentile ranking score above 40 is considered to be within the ‘good’ range for many job roles.

The BMCT contains 55 questions across 12 different categories. Candidates have 25 minutes to answer all questions in the test.

There are many online resources available to help you improve your mechanical aptitude. Online instructional videos are a good option for visual learners who wish to learn mechanical concepts and skills.

Depending on your budget, you may wish to enlist the help of a dedicated mentor with relevant experience or take a structured course in mechanical concepts.

JobTestPrep offers a comprehensive Bennett test study guide with tailored mechanical aptitude practice materials.

The Bennett test is scored using a competence (theta) score and a percentage score, which is worked out using the competence score. A percentile ranking is used to compare competence score results against other test-takers within a norm group. The required pass rate will depend on the job role you are applying for.

Final Thoughts

The Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test is an established and recognized way for employers to evaluate and screen candidates for mechanical comprehension. The test is intended to reveal a person's innate aptitude rather than what they have been trained in.

To give yourself the best possible chance of success, familiarize yourself as much as possible with the format of the test and the types of questions you will encounter.

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