Mechanical Aptitude for Firefighter Exam Study Guide
Mechanical aptitude is tested on many firefighter exams. This chapter will familiarize you with commonly tested concepts by presenting definitions, study tips, and sample test questions for basic mechanical devices and systems.
Firefighters use mechanical devices every day: simple hand tools such as axes and wrenches, as well as more complex systems such as pumps and internal combustion engines. The ability to understand and use mechanical concepts is critical to a firefighter's job.
If your exam includes a section on mechanical aptitude, it may cover topics with which you are very familiar, as well as some that are new. Regardless of your background, understanding the concepts in this chapter will benefit you both during the exam and in your career as a firefighter. After an introduction to mechanical aptitude questions, this chapter summarizes some of the most commonly tested mechanical devices and mechanical systems. It also suggests ways in which you can further improve your knowledge of mechanical devices and related scientific and mathematical knowledge. Finally, it gives you an opportunity to review what you have learned by presenting a sample mechanical aptitude section like those found on firefighter exams.
What Mechanical Aptitude Questions Are Like
Mechanical aptitude questions tend to cover a wide range of topics. The questions will usually be multiple choice with four or five possible answers. Some questions may require previous knowledge of the topic—so it is a good idea to study this chapter well! Other questions will include all of the information you will need.
Some questions will require the identification of various mechanical tools or devices. Some of the types of mechanical devices that may appear on the exam—and covered in this chapter—include hand tools, gears, pulleys, levers, fasteners, springs, valves, gauges, and pumps. In addition to individual mechanical devices, the exam may test your knowledge of various systems, or combinations of mechanical devices. A common example of a mechanical system is the internal combustion engine of an automobile.
A typical mechanical aptitude question will look something like this:
- Which of the following is a common component of an internal combustion engine?
- a piston
- a compass
- a hammer
- a hydraulic jack
The answer is a, a piston. A compass is used to determine a direction on a map. A hammer is used to drive nails. A hydraulic jack is used to lift heavy items.
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