Mechanical Aptitude Test

Quick measure of mechanical aptitude/learning ability for production/maintenance jobs.

Description

(Not to be confused with the Mechanical Aptitudes Test)

The Mechanical Aptitude Test was designed to be a quick evaluation of a person’s mechanical aptitude measuring their ability to learn and perform production and maintenance job activities. This test is not designed to measure specific knowledge and skills, but rather the potential to be successful in an apprenticeship or trainee program for maintenance jobs such as maintenance mechanics, industrial machinery mechanics, and millwrights, or production jobs such as machine operators and tool setters. It has been shown to have less adverse impact than earlier measures of mechanical aptitude.

Development

The Mechanical Aptitude Test was professionally-developed in 2004 to measure mechanical aptitude while reducing adverse impact based on gender and race. It is a short measure of mechanical aptitude and has been found to be highly correlated with other measures of mechanical aptitude. It should be useful in selecting apprentices, trainees, or other candidates who are learning and performing production and maintenance job activities.

Great care was taken in selecting questions that relate to everyday items and common knowledge to reduce adverse impact (early data collection reveals this test to be very gender friendly). The following areas are the primary focus of the questions:

• Household Objects
• Work – Production and Maintenance
• School – Science and Physics
• Hand and Power Tools

This test was developed to address several issues in the realm of mechanical aptitude testing. Specifically, the Mechanical Aptitude Test fills the following voids:

• The need for an updated measure of mechanical aptitude.
• The need for a short and user-friendly measure of mechanical aptitude.
• The need for a measure without reference to city/rural or gender-based content.
• The need for a measure appropriate to the context of 21st century life.

Validity

In order to ensure this test can measure the ability to learn and perform production and maintenance jobs, the Mechanical Aptitude Test underwent criterion-related validation studies for both maintenance and production applications. This test has been used in 8 content validation studies and 2 criterion-related validation studies.

It was found to be significantly (.48 p< .01) correlated with GPA for a sample of mechanical technicians in a technical college.

Scores on the Mechanical Aptitude Test were found to correlate (.40 p<.01) with a measure of mechanical knowledge.

In a study of production workers, the Mechanical Aptitude Test was found to be significantly correlated with “ability to troubleshoot equipment” and “ability to enter and receive information using competency”.

The Mechanical Aptitude Test was shown to have a significant predictor-criterion relationship to success and manager ratings.

Additionally, validation studies were completed to determine the construct validity of this test and was found to be significantly correlated with scores on the WTMA (Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude) and the Bennett Test of Mechanical Aptitude.

Reliability

The reliability of the test was shown to be .72 (KR20) in a sample size of 994 persons.

Available Online and In Paper

Available In English & Spanish (Online/Paper) and French (Paper Only)

 

Please contact us for pricing and more information.  Sample questions are not available for this instrument.  Sample copies are available for purchase only.

We recommend that test validation be conducted for an organization that meets any of the following criteria:

  • Is a highly visible national or international company
  • Has more than 200 employees
  • Has a labor agreement
  • Has a federal contract
  • Has ever had an EEO charge
  • Needs professional assistance for setting cutting scores on tests

The Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (1978)1, developed by the EEOC, Civil Service Commission, Department of Labor and Department of Justice, are intended to establish a uniform Federal position in the area of prohibiting discrimination in employment practices. Regarding the use of tests and other selection procedures, the Guidelines state:

These guidelines apply to tests and other selection procedures which are used as a basis for any employment decision. Employment decisions include but are not limited to hiring, promotion, demotion, membership (for example, in a labor organization), referral, retention, and licensing and certification, to the extent that licensing and certification may be covered by Federal equal employment opportunity law. Other selection decisions, such as selection for training or transfer, may also be considered employment decisions if they lead to any of the decisions listed above. (Section 2B)

The Guidelines also state:

The use of any selection procedure which has an adverse impact on the hiring, promotion, or other employment or membership opportunities of members of any race, sex, or ethnic group will be considered to be discriminatory and inconsistent with these guidelines, unless the procedure has been validated in accordance with these guidelines. (Section 3A)

From the employer’s perspective, it is very useful to have a job-related test. When tests are job related, they have more credibility with the persons taking them, giving the test takers more confidence in their results and providing less likelihood of complaint or litigation. A validated test is usually the product of research by a psychologist. The resulting validation report is the documented evidence by a professional researcher of the validity of the selection procedure. In the event of complaint or litigation, the report would usually be entered into evidence. In addition, the author would provide testimony that the report reflects generally-accepted professional practice and is in conformance with the requirements of the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures.

1 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Civil Service Commission, Department of Labor, and Department of Justice. (1978, August). Uniform guidelines on employee selection procedures. Federal Register, 43, 38290-38315.

 

 

 

© Ramsay Corporation

 

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