Mechanical Comprehension Tests by Richard McMunn


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In the following video Richard McMunn explains how this 130 page book will help you to prepare for and more importantly pass the mechanical comprehension tests by providing you with sample test questions and answers


Mechanical comprehension or aptitude tests have been in use for many years as a method for assessing a candidates potential to perform a specific job. Predominantly, they are used in careers which require an ability to work with, or understand, mechanical concepts. Examples of types of careers which require this level of aptitude include:

  • Careers which require an ability to work with and operate complex machinery, such as Train driver;
  • Driving careers where an ability to understand mechanical concepts is a must, such as Freight Driver;
  • Some Armed forces jobs such as the Royal Engineers, Royal Navy or Royal Air Force;
  • Engineering careers;
  • Emergency services, especially the job of a firefighter;
  • Vehicle or transportation mechanic;
  • Aircraft engineers.

Of course, the above list is not exhaustive and there are many other jobs which require an ability to interpret mechanical concepts.


Mechanical Comprehension Tests 5-star rated book!

  • Some mechanical comprehension tests include fault diagnosis questions which are used to select personnel for technical roles where they need to be able to find and repair faults in different operating systems.
  • Many mechanical comprehension tests require you to concentrate on ‘principles’ rather than on making calculations, and as such will include diagrams and pictures as part of the question.


You may find that some mechanical comprehension tests ask you to calculate the mechanical advantage of a simple pulley system. Here’s an explanation of how mechanical advantage works when using a simple pulley system.

Understanding Mechanical Advantage in Pulley Systems

  • If you study the three pulley systems above you will note that each system has both supporting (red) ropes and non-supporting (blue) ropes.
  • Supporting ropes are ones which, as the name suggests, support the load.
  • Only the first two pulley systems have non-supporting ropes which I have indicated.
  • The non-supporting ropes in the first two pulley systems above simply change the direction of the force.

To calculate the mechanical advantage in a moveable pulley system, we simply have to count the number of supporting ropes. Counting the supporting ropes in the pulley systems above, the mechanical advantage of each of system is, from left to right 2, 3, and 5.

In addition to being able to work out the mechanical advantage of pulley systems you will also be required to understand simple cog mechanisms.

Here is a sample mechanical comprehension test question including cogs:


Q. If wheel A rotates anticlockwise, which way and how will B rotate?

Sample mechanical comprehension test

A. Clockwise faster
B. Clockwise slower
C. Anticlockwise faster
D. Anticlockwise slower

Answer: C

Wheel B will rotate anticlockwise and faster because it is smaller than the other two wheels.

Now let’s take a look at some important tips for helping you to prepare for mechanical comprehension tests.


  1. The majority of employers will assess you on speed and accuracy. Therefore, you are advised against random ‘guessing’. In order to stop this practice more and more test administrators are deducting marks for incorrect answers. Therefore, during your preparation for your assessment I recommend you simply practice lots of test questions but more importantly understand how the answer is reached.
  2. Whilst on the subject of multiple-choice questions, you will most probably find that there are more mechanical comprehension test questions than you can answer during the allocated time given for the test. If this is the case, do not worry. Many tests are designed so that you do not finish them. Once again, simply work as fast as you can but also aim for accuracy.
  3. If you come up against a difficult question during your mechanical comprehension test, move on, but remember to leave a gap on the answer sheet. If you fail to leave a gap then each of the preceding answers will be incorrect.
  4. In the build-up to the test, if you feel like you are struggling with basic mechanical concepts then I recommend you study a car manual such as Haynes. This will give you an idea of how mechanical concepts work. You can obtain Haynes manuals at

Preparing to sit a mechanical comprehension tests


richard_mcmunn_entrepreneurI get asked on many occasions what is the pass mark for the test I am sitting? Whilst many test administrators will set a pass mark of 70% the simple answer is I do not know. This is because it is not uncommon for an employer or test administrator to set the pass mark based on an average score for group of people taking the test.

This enables the employer or test administrator to pick the upper quartile of test takers, ensuring they get the cream of the crop. The other matter to consider is that your scores in the mechanical comprehension test will normally go towards you overall score in an assessment; so, if you don’t do too well in one particular test this does not necessarily mean you will fail the entire assessment!

Order your copy today of the brand new Mechanical Comprehension Tests book:

Mechanical Comprehension Tests by Richard McMunn

This booked is packed full of sample test questions for the mechanical comprehension test. It provides advice and tips on how to prepare for this type of assessment including how to understand mechanical advantage in simple pulley systems and rotational cog configurations. The workbook contains the following:

  • 130 pages of advice, sample tests and explanations to the answers.
  • 7 in-depth test sections, each containing 20 questions.
  • Tips on how to calculate mechanical advantage.
  • A multitude of differing mechanical comprehension tests.

Dear candidate,

I have spent 3 months creating the tests for this new mechanical comprehension testing workbook. As with all my books, I believe this will help you to prepare fully for your selection process or assessment. 

Richard McMunn – Author 





Mechanical Comprehension Tests by Richard McMunn

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