Sample Mechanical Reasoning Questions

Mechanical reasoning questions are used to select for a wide range of jobs including the military (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery), police forces, fire services, as well as many craft, technical and engineering occupations. These questions measure your knowledge of straightforward mechanical and physical concepts. For example:

Mechanical reasoning questions vary widely in difficulty from test to test. For example, if you are taking a mechanical reasoning test as part of the selection process for the emergency services or the military then the questions will tend to concentrate on principles rather than on making calculations. For example, you may be shown three 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.

The example questions on this website at the moment are most applicable to technical and engineering jobs.


Sample Mechanical Reasoning Questions

1) How much weight is required to balance the lever?

  • A) 15kg

  • B) 5kg

  • C) 10kg

  • D) 7.5kg

  • E) 20kg

Hint: the force required in the following way: w x d1 = f x d2

Where:          w = weight
                         d1 = distance from fulcrum to weight
                           f = force needed
                         d2 = distance from fulcrum to point where force is applied

2) Approximately how much force is needed to lift the weight?

  • A) 9lbs

  • B) 8lbs

  • C) 6lbs

  • D) 4lbs

  • E) 16lbs

Hint: If the pulley is fixed, then the force required is equal to the weight. If the pulley moves with the weight then the force is equal to half of the weight. Another way of thinking about this is to divide the weight by the number of sections of rope supporting it to obtain the force needed to lift it.

3) If gear X turns clockwise at a constant speed of 10 rpm. How does gear Y turn?

  • A) 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

4) 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

Hint: Where pulley wheels are driven by belts, they rotate in the same direction. Smaller wheels will turn faster that larger wheels.

5) A force of 15 Kg compresses the parallel in series 10cm. What will be the total distance that the springs in series are compressed?

  • A) 10 cms

  • B) 5 cms

  • C) 20 cms

  • D) 7.5 cms

  • E) 15 cms

Hint: When springs are arranged in series, each spring is subjected to the force applied. When the springs are arranged in parallel the force is divided equally between the springs.

6) If bulb 1 is removed, how many bulbs will light up when the switch is closed?

  • A) None

  • B) One

  • C) Two

  • D) Three

  • E) Four

Hint: These diagrams are usually restricted to showing the power source, switches, loads (typically bulbs), and the path of the wiring. To answer these questions you need a basic understanding of how electricity flows around a circuit.

7) Which is the most suitable tool for general carpentry?

  • A) None

  • B) 1

  • C) 2

  • D) 3

  • E) 4

Hint: Whilst all of the tools shown could be used, one of them is designed specifically for the job.

8) Which tool or combination of tools would be most useful for constructing a mild steel frame?

  • A) 3 & 4

  • B) 9

  • C) 1 & 9

  • D) 2 & 8

  • E) 6

Hint: If you don't have much practical experience of making and fixing things then you will need to make some effort to improve your knowledge of everyday tools. You can do this by getting hold of a catalog for a tool hire company and simply reading through it.

The sketch shows a component which is stamped out of sheet steel. These components are stamped out of a continuous steel coil with a width of 75 cms. The stamping process requires a gap of 25mm between each component. The steel is supplied in lengths of 30 meters costing $200.


9) What is the approximate area of the component in square centimetres?

  • A) 4688

  • B) 4470

  • C) 4562

  • D) 4860

  • E) 4328

10) What is the approximate percentage of steel wasted?

  • A) 42%

  • B) 35%

  • C) 44%

  • D) 37%

  • E) 39%

Hint: Some questions may require you to know some simple formulas. For example, the areas of simple shapes like rectangles, circles and triangles.

Answers to sample mechanical reasoning questions.

Download sample mechanical reasoning Questions.

You may also be interested in:

Mechanical Aptitude Tests, Levers, Pulleys, Gears, Springs, Electricity, Tools and Shop Arithmetic.

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