Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Tests

What Is the BMCT Test?

The Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test (BMCT) is an aptitude test relating to mechanics. 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 68 questions. 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 68 items, covering 18 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.

Contents

  1. How Reliable Is the BMCT?
  2. Where and Why You Might Take It
  3. Tips for Taking the BMCT
  4. Getting Yourself Prepared for Your Test
  5. Examples of Questions You Might Face
  6. Why Is Preparation Important?
  7. Final Thoughts
  8. Further Reading

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.

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. 

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.

Tips for Taking 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.

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:

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

(Source: https://us.talentlens.com/wp-content/uploads/BMCT-II-Sample-1.png)

The correct answer is B. Because the box is nearer to Man 'B', he will be carrying a heavier load than Man 'A'.

In this question, the mechanical principle relates to weight distribution based on the positioning of the load in relation to the supporting factors (in this case the two men). It is not a complex question relating to sophisticated concepts in physics, but it does put the individual's understanding of basic principles to the test. The diagram is easy to understand, and the question is written in a straightforward, intuitive way.

Example 2:

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

(Source: https://us.talentlens.com/wp-content/uploads/BMCT-II-Sample-2.png)

The correct answer is C. The middle point is always less bumpy as, like a see-saw, the middle moves the least.

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.

Why Is Preparation Important?

Having an understanding of mechanical principles and getting a high score on the test don'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. 

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.

Further Reading

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