Human Resources
Assessment and Selection Applicant Profile<sup>™</sup> Industrial Suite

Assessment and Selection Applicant Profile Industrial Suite

Mechanical Comprehension

Aon Hewitt’s Mechanical Comprehension test measures candidates’ ability to solve problems using knowledge of mechanical principles and physical laws. This test has been successfully used and validated in a variety of industries and settings. The test is appropriate for jobs requiring mechanical knowledge, analytical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Example items are presented below.

The Mechanical Comprehension test requires 25 minutes to complete 35 items. Each test item consists of a question about objects or events depicted in a drawing. The candidate is required to read the question, examine the drawing, and choose between alternative answers to the question. Identifying the correct response requires the candidate to correctly apply basic mechanical principles (e.g., leverage, pressure) or physical laws (e.g., gravity, force, momentum) to the specific problem presented.

The assessment is also available in a computer adaptive test (CAT) format, which takes 16 minutes, maximum (most candidates take less time), to complete 21 items. The Mechanical Comprehension CAT version utilizes content balancing so each applicant receives approximately the same number of items from the following sub-scales: (1) Electricity, (2) Fluid Mechanics and Fluid Dynamics, (3) Forces and Motion, (4) Simple Machines, and (5) Structures and Structural Support. Since in-person testing is not always viable, this assessment is designed to be used in an unproctored setting. Administering the CAT version significantly reduces the risk of cheating and provides several additional benefits as well.

  • Secure—Virtually every candidate gets a unique string of test items from a large item pool, so the integrity of the test is much less likely to be compromised.
  • Quick and convenient—Candidates spend less time testing because each item is matched to their estimated ability, resulting in fewer delivered items, and they can take the test online.
  • Unproctored—The costs associated with monitoring and hosting test sessions are eliminated.
  • Accurate—Each test is tailored, allowing for accurate estimates of all knowledge, skill, or ability levels.

Key Features


  • Validated for use in a variety of industrial settings


  • Jobs requiring knowledge of general mechanical principles or physical laws
  • Jobs requiring problem solving skills

Skills Targeted

  • Mechanical skills
  • Understanding systems
  • Using tools and equipment
  • Problem solving
  • Knowledge of physical laws
  • Analytical thinking


  • Web
  • Paper

Scoring and Reporting

  • Web
  • Fax

Sample Items

Example A

Which of the two objects shown at the right would be easier to tip over if both are made of the same material? (If no difference, mark C.)

Example B

If both balls placed in the container of water are the same shape and size, which is heavier? (If no difference, mark C.)