Engineering is a technical profession, so the style of aptitude test you will experience will necessarily be technical in nature. However, you are often expected to also sit the more traditional reasoning tests including numerical, verbal and abstract reasoning. In this article we run through a complete set of aptitude tests. 

Aptitude Tests for Engineering

There are several categories of aptitude test that are designed to measure technical skills. Mechanical reasoning, spatial reasoning and diagrammatic reasoning are just some of the more specialised tests. Fault diagnosis is another test commonly found in an engineering battery of tests. Numerical reasoning is seen as an important test for many engineering employers as they look for evidence that you can identify the important elements of numerical data and pick it out.

Engineering aptitude questions tend to be based on engineering content. You generally do not need to have outside knowledge on the numerical and verbal reasoning tests, but the tests examining your technical reasoning skills will assume a level of knowledge.

Some of the skills that employers are looking for in engineers and will therefore be tested through the engineering aptitude tests are:

  • Critical thinking
  • Ability to detect and analyse systematic themes in data
  • Attention to detail

Engineering Technical Aptitude Tests

Mechanical Aptitude Tests

Mechanical reasoning tests assess your knowledge of physical and mechanical principles. Unlike many other reasoning tests which focus more on skills, these tests are more knowledge based. You need to know the mechanical principles to apply to each question. The main topics in a mechanical reasoning test are mechanics, including forces and motion and energy; electricity, covering circuits, voltage, and magnetism; and tool and terminologies. Questions in this test ask you to apply these principles to pulleys, gears and levers. Tests include CEB's SHL mechanical comprehension test, and Saville Consulting's mechanical reasoning aptitude test. Find out more about these types of tests and sample free mechanical reasoning tests.

Spatial Ability Tests

Spatial reasoning tests measure your ability to manipulate shapes. In this test you are expected to visualise how shapes work, take them apart, rotate them or look at them from a different view. Spatial reasoning tests, such as Saville Consulting's spatial reasoning aptitude test, contain four shapes per question, asking you to identify the one shape which is different to the others. See examples of spatial reasoning questions and how to prepare for the tests on our spatial aptitude test pages.

Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests

A diagrammatic reasoning test requires you to evaluate processes from a series of diagrams. Saville Consulting's diagrammatic reasoning test contains a series of illustrations of logical processes and questions to answer on what is depicted. CEB's SHL diagrammatic reasoning test assesses your ability to infer a set of rules from a flow chart, and apply them to understand a new situation. The aim of this test is to assess how you work through complex problems in a systematic and analytical way. Prepare for your diagrammatic aptitude test with JobTestPrep.

Additional Aptitude Tests

Numerical reasoning - You can expect that the engineering numerical reasoning test will be of a high level of difficulty. This test assesses your ability to work with numbers in a range of formats, extract the relevant information and answer questions. The types of information you will be given in an engineering numerical reasoning test include performance figures, technical reports and analysis reports.

Verbal reasoning - Some companies may ask for a verbal reasoning test of some level as English language skills are an important part of any job. For engineers you may be asked to take a verbal comprehension or other reasoning test such as working with analogies. Verbal reasoning is usually of lower importance to engineering companies, but you will still need to prove you are up to the level of test they have set.

Logical reasoning - Logical, abstract or inductive aptitude tests are non-verbal tests measuring your ability to understand patterns in symbols and matrices to draw assumptions, and complete the set.

Fault Diagnosis Tests - This type of test is usually used for engineers who are more involved in electrical or electronic industries. Using logic, your aim is to eliminate all the options until you have diagnosed the fault.

Preparing for your engineering aptitude test

Engineering aptitude tests contain a whole range of assessments examining you on quite a range of skills. Preparation is key to ensuring that you get the score you deserve. By taking practice tests you are sharpening your skills and familiarising yourself with the engineering aptitude test questions and how to answer them.

Some of the testing companies have created engineering and technical test batteries which contain most or all of the tests outlined above, such as CEB's SHL Technical Test Battery. They have also created test packs aimed at individual sectors, for example the Network Engineer/ Analyst Solution, or the Sales Engineer Solution.

You can prepare for your engineering aptitude tests with JobTestPrep's specially created Aptitude tests for Engineering pack. This pack contains a complete set of the tests you can expect, including practice numerical reasoning, diagrammatic, inductive and abstract reasoning, fault finding, mechanical and spatial tests.

Testing companies and tests

Testing Company Engineering Tests Other Useful Aptitude Tests Engineering Companies
Saville Mechanical reasoning
Diagrammatic reasoning
Spatial reasoning
Numerical comprehension Verbal comprehension
Error checking
CEB's SHL Mechanical comprehension
Spatial ability/ reasoning
Diagrammatic reasoning
Fault finding/ fault diagnosis
Numerical computation
Verbal comprehension/ technical understanding
EDF Energy
Network Rail
Rio Tinto
Cubiks Diagrammatic reasoning Numerical reasoning
Verbal reasoning
cut-e   Numerical reasoning
Verbal reasoning
Criterion Partnership   Numerical reasoning
Verbal reasoning
British Gas

Prepare for your engineering aptitude tests with us. Free engineering aptitude tests on our site include: mechanical reasoning, spatial reasoning, inductive reasoning, numerical reasoning, whilst we also offer complete packs to suit all your needs from technical test battery practice packs, to engineering aptitude test packs.

Many engineering applicants may also be asked to sit some psychometric tests. Learn more about these tests and how to prepare for them with JobTestPrep.