Originally developed over 60 years ago by Pearson Assessments, the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test is an assessment tool which measures candidates on their mechanical aptitude and reasoning. The most recent version of this test, the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test II, is used both during the recruitment process and to assess the performance of students on technical and vocational training courses.
What is the BMTC-II ?
Often shortened to BMTC-II, the Bennet Mechanical Comprehension Test II is a type of aptitude test which is often used in the recruitment process for roles that require mechanical knowledge. The test measures a candidate’s aptitude in relation to mechanics and is often used by schools too, as a way of measuring how well applicants can understand and solve mechanical problems.
Where this test differs from the more generic pre-employment aptitude tests is the fact that the BMTC-II is specifically used for roles that are either mechanical, repair, or industrial in nature.
What should I expect from the BMTC-II
Unlike traditional multiple-choice aptitude tests, when taking the BMTC-II, candidates won’t all be answering the same questions. Instead, the 55 questions are randomly generated from an item bank of 300 different options. This method ensures that the testing process is far more secure than conventional aptitude tests and individuals are unlikely to be answering the same questions as anyone else taking the BMTC-II at the same time, or solving problems they have come across before. As a result, they are measured on their aptitude alone, rather than on their ability to revise and memorise the questions they expect to come up. Of course, if candidates take a BMTC-II Practice Test, they can still prepare themselves as they will at least gain an understanding of how the actual exam is set out.
All tests are generated from this item pool of 300 questions, with measures put in place to ensure that individual exams can be scored relatively equivalently, no matter what combination of questions they are faced with. By scoring individual tests using a method based on item response theory, minor differences can be adjusted for, creating an equivalent score across different administrations.
How the BMCT-II is Laid Out
As we have already mentioned, individuals will have to answer 55 multiple-choice questions. Each one will be comprised of a simple illustration depicting a common mechanism. Candidates will then have to choose the most appropriate answer from the three options provided, in relation to the question and the accompanying illustration. There is a 25-minute time limit, during which candidates will have to correctly answer as many of the 55 questions as they can. However, it is important to note that this is not a speed test and candidates will fare better by taking the time to answer questions correctly, as there is no penalty for not completing all 55 problems during the time limit.
When is the BMTC-II Used?
As we have already touched upon, the BMTC-II and its predecessor are most often used during the recruitment process in industry sectors where a degree of mechanical comprehension is required. For roles such as engineering and those that require mechanical or electrical knowledge, the test offers an excellent way to evaluate applicants on vital skills that would otherwise be difficult to gauge, either from their CV or during an interview. This helps employers save valuable time during the recruitment process, by allowing them to easily spot which candidates will have the spatial awareness and mechanical reasoning required for the role in question.
The test can also be used in conjunction with training programmes and courses that are related to mechanical reasoning. Administering the BMTC-II before and after these training courses can help gauge how well a candidate has picked up key concepts from these courses, providing an accurate assessment of how effective they are.
There is also a degree of risk management involved when it comes to the use of this test. In certain cases, employers need to assess the mechanical skills of the individuals they employ, as it may pose a risk to both the individual and the company if they do not have a certain level of mechanical aptitude.