Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude™ (WTMA™)

Measures basic machines/drawings/spatial skills/gravity/weights/tools/devices and more.


The WTMA is a 30-minute paper-and-pencil test of mechanical aptitude designed for use alone or as part of a personnel selection battery in a variety of employment and training settings (e.g., manufacturing/ industrial settings), as well as for academic research. It is also suitable for use in many vocational/technical training programs and temporary staffing agencies. The WTMA is appropriate for ages 18 years and older.

The WTMA was designed to minimize both gender and ethnic bias, as well as the academic bias found in many other existing instruments. The WTMA questions do not require familiarity with objects or events encountered primarily in a physics or chemistry class or an auto repair shop. The WTMA is currently being used by Fortune 250 and smaller manufacturing companies, as well as several government agencies.

Multiple-choice questions, which are written at a 6th-grade reading level, include simple drawings that cover broad mechanical/physical concepts (e.g., basic machines, movement, gravity/center of gravity, basic electricity/electronics, transfer of heat, basic physical properties) as they are seen in everyday objects and situations. The brief questions involve the function and/or use, size, weight, shape, and appearance of common physical objects, tools, and devices. For every question, there is always one clear difference between the pictured alternatives, and the questions refer to the impact of that difference.

Test materials include a Professional Manual, a Reusable Test Booklet, an Answer Sheet, and a transparent Scoring Key. The 30-minute timed test can be scored in 5 minutes using the scoring template.

The WTMA Professional Manual provides technical information, as well as combined-gender percentile conversions for WTMA Total scores. Normative data are based on 1,817 adults from several industrial settings. Although many WTMA users may prefer to set their own cutoff scores based on local norms or predictive validity studies, the Manual provides means and standard deviations for the total industrial sample, by gender and ethnic group, and for 221 college students.

Now Available Online and In Spanish (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.




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