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# Mechanical Aptitude for Firefighter Exam Study Guide (page 7)

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Updated on Jul 5, 2011

1. c. See the table under "Carpenter's Tools" earlier in this chapter for the functions of the items listed.
2. d. As defined under "Carpenter's Tools," a compass is used to draw circles.
3. a. A level, a compass, and a chisel are all carpenter's hand tools.
4. b. Vice grips are a kind of wrench.
5. c. Changing gears on a ten-speed bicycle is a good example of using different-sized gears to change speed.
6. d. Pulleys are used to change not the strength of a force but its direction.
7. b. Apply the distance formula, w × d1 = f × d2, to come up with the equation 50 × 3 = f × 6. Solve for the unknown f by multiplying 3 times 50 to get 150 and then dividing by 6 to get 25 pounds.
8. d. A covalent bond is a chemical bond. Welding, buttoning, and bolting are all mechanical fastening processes.
9. a. The total pulling force will be divided equally, with each spring experiencing one-third of the total force. Since the force is divided by 3, the amount of movement will be divided by 3 also. The original configuration stretched 9 inches, so the new arrangement will stretch only 3 inches.
10. b. A tachometer measures rotation in units of revolutions per minute or rpm.
11. d. Any of the energy sources listed could be used to operate a pump.
12. a. As discussed in the section "Internal Combustion Engines" earlier in this chapter, a pump is used to help cool an ICE.
13. c. The braking system uses friction to slow or stop the rotation of the wheels.
14. d. Springs are commonly used in suspension systems.
15. b. A wrench is used to turn a bolt-like head. Although pliers could be used, they would tend to slip. Both a lever and a screwdriver would be useless in this instance.
16. d. Flow meters measure the volume of flow within a piping system or flowing from a piping system. A pressure gauge would show you the pressure of the water, but you are not interested in that. You need to measure flow, the volume (amount of water), not the pressure (force of water). Tachometers and speedometers measure machinery speed, not water speed or volume.

### How to Answer Mechanical Aptitude Questions

• Read each problem carefully. Questions may contain words such as not, all, or mostly, which can be tricky unless you pay attention.
• Read the entire question once or even a few times before trying to pick an answer. Decide exactly what the question is asking. Take notes and draw pictures on scratch paper. That way you won't waste time by going in the wrong direction.
• Some questions will require the use of math (typically addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) and science. In these situations, think about what you have learned previously in school.
• Use your common sense. Some mechanical devices can seem intimidating at first but are really a combination of a few simple items. Try to break complicated questions down into smaller, manageable pieces.
• Answer the questions that are easiest for you first. You do not have to go in order from start to finish. Read each question and, if you are not sure what to do, move on to the next question. You can go back to harder questions if you have time at the end.
• Many mechanical devices are commonly used in everyday life. You do not have to be a mechanic or an engineer to use these devices. If something seems unfamiliar, try to think of items around your house that might be similar.
• Don't be intimidated by unfamiliar terms. In most instances, there are clues in the question that will point you toward the correct answer, and some of the answers can be ruled out by common sense.