At one time, Barron’s Test of Mechanical Aptitude was the most commonly used mechanical aptitude test in the world. It has its origins in the armed services, and was seen as the gold standard for measuring the mechanical reasoning abilities of an individual that is to be placed into a job or a military position. The test has evolved over the years to be improved and to integrate the use of a computer into the test. Modern versions of this test can be given either on the computer or via pencil and paper.
While the test is used as a screening process for applicants to positions or for entry into various military careers, it can also be useful as a measuring stick of one’s strengths and weaknesses to help make career decisions. For example, if you are currently unsure of the direction that you wish to take your career, taking the Barron’s Test of Mechanical Aptitude can be a valuable tool in identifying areas where your mind is stronger than others. If you are able to use that information to decide what career opportunities to pursue, you might find yourself on a faster track to success than if you had wandered around without the assistance of the test.
If you have already applied for a position and are facing Barron’s Test of Mechanical Aptitude as a barrier between you and the job, it is wise to start preparing for the test right away. While you will not be able to know exactly what questions you will encounter on the test, you can study the basic concepts that are going to be tested. Those concepts include gears, pulleys, map reading, line following, matching shapes, hole punching, and more.
As you begin to look over the concepts covered on the test, you will likely find many of them to be intuitive and easy to work your way through. While it is true that many of the questions on the test will come easy to you, some of them won’t. The idea of the test is to get a whole picture of your mechanical aptitude, so don’t take any sections for granted. Even a few points on the test could be the difference between getting the job and the position going to someone else – take your preparation seriously even on sections that seem easy to you while studying.
One of the common difficulties that those taking Barron’s Test of Mechanical Aptitude run into is that they assume they know how a topic works but have never taken a test on it. For example, imagine that you have done a lot of work with gears in your past and are very comfortable with how they function in the real world. That is great experience – but it might not mean you will do well on the test. If you have never sat down to a test involving gears and answered questions on them, you might find it harder than you think. A good amount of time spend in preparation will help you to translate that knowledge from your brain to the paper and will greatly increase your chances of excelling on the test.
There are a wide range of different occupations that might require the taking of Barron’s Mechanical Aptitude test as part of the interview process. Many military careers will have this test as part of the basic examination, along with trades like carpenter and plumber, Police Officer or Firefighter, Pilot, Machinist, Auto Mechanic, and many, many more. If any of those careers are in your future plans, it is never too soon to start polishing up your skills on the mechanical aptitude test. Considering the stiff competition that you are likely to encounter during the hiring process, thorough preparation is in your best interest. Be prepared to ace this test and you will be well on your way to a career in the field of your choice.