CAST Mechanical Concepts Practice Test
Basic mechanical concepts are extremely important in most construction and skilled trade jobs. The mechanical concepts portion of the CAST exam will focus on the ones that come up most frequently in the day-to-day work for these kinds of jobs.
How Do I Register for the CAST Exam?
Because this test is administered by employers themselves, there is no universal registration process. Instead, when applying for a job, your potential employer will tell you if you need to take the exam. At that point, you can arrange the date and time of your test.
What Should I Expect on Test Day?
Again, the test administered by your potential employer so there will be some variation in what to expect depending on which company is administering the exam. With that said, there are some general guidelines that need to be upheld no matter who is offering the exam:
- You should always show up early (15-30 minutes before your appointment).
- The test is pencil and paper based.
- All materials that you will need to take the exam will be provided for you by the test administrators.
- The total length of the CAST exam is about two hours. You will have 20 minutes to complete the mechanical concepts section.
- You cannot bring any test taking aids like calculators or dictionaries.
- The test administrator will read out the instructions and information about the test at the beginning. This is when you should ask any questions you might have. During the exam itself, you will not be able to ask any questions.
Beyond these general guidelines, you will need to talk with a representative of the company where you are applying in order to find out more about what to expect on test day. When scheduling your appointment, remember to ask any questions you need to know about the test. Some good questions include:
- What kind of photo ID will you accept?
- What is your cutoff score? (see more on this below)
- When should I arrive for my appointment?
- What is your retake policy? (see more on this below)
- Do you offer accommodations for disabilities?
What Skills Are Tested on the Mechanical Concepts Section?
This section of the CAST exam will focus on your ability to work with fundamental mechanical concepts that are most relevant to construction and other skilled trade jobs. This portion of the test contains 44 multiple choice questions covering a range of everyday mechanical principles including:
- Centrifugal Force
Each question will include a visual representation of a mechanical situation and three possible answers. All of the possible skills and concepts you will need for this section are usually taught in basic mechanics courses, shop repair courses, and high school physics classes.
What Score Do I Need to Pass?
The sections are not scored individually but collected together to provide one total score ranging from 1 to 10. This score does not tell you exactly how many questions you answered correctly but rather measures your potential to both perform the skills of the job for which you are applying and learn additional skills that could make you even better at your job.
So the closer your score is to 10, the higher your potential as an employee. There is no universal standard but most companies will have a cutoff. The company’s specific cutoff is definitely something you will want to ask about when scheduling your appointment for the exam.
If you do not meet the cutoff, you can usually retake the exam but the wait period differs from company to company. Typically, you will need to wait somewhere between 45 and 90 days to try the test again but ask the company what their retake policy is.
How Should I Study for the Mechanical Concepts Section?
You need to be able to answer as many of the 44 questions as you can within the 20-minute time frame provided. So that means you need to get these core concepts thoroughly engrained in your mind and work on your recall speed so that you can quickly evaluate and answer each question.
This will take a combination of learning material and memorization techniques. The Mometrix study guide is your ideal one-stop study guide. It includes all the key foundations of the mechanical concepts as well as everything you’ll need for the other three sections of the test. Absorb all the information you will need to know on the test day from this study guide and the easy-to-follow YouTube tutorials that come with it!
Then, pick up a set of Mometrix flashcards to help not only reinforce all those concepts you learned but increase your recall speed. With the help of flashcards, you’ll be able to power through the mechanical questions quickly and, more importantly, accurately!
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