Friday, November 30, 2012

COAB and Bennett tests

I just took these two tests, and I am (almost) humiliated to have not done well-enough to "pass." I get to retake sometime soon, TBA. And expect (with reasonable hope) to do much better, especially now that I know what I am up against. That is the crux of this post. Maybe one of those poor souls searching around online for a little guidance will find something to help them. I sure didn't find much, or rather I found too much seeming advice in the wrong direction. Any advice or comments I make are from my own one-time experience. The test questions almost certainly change, although I am given to wonder if they change in type of question as well. These tests are both for industrial machine operator training, but I have read where they are applicable (and taken by) various job categories, from the armed forces to structural engineers. I took both tests today, although I imagine a person might take only one or the other, or maybe combined with other industry-specific tests. THIS PRACTICE TEST HELPED A LOT WITH BENNETT:,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=994d01e560db146b&bpcl=39314241 First thing to know: these tests are timed sharply. With both tests, it is very important to realize you will be in a huge rush to finish on time. I have heard a few different things about that, and they can't all be right. Some have said you should take your time and be sure you are right. Others seem to say that you should go as fast as you can and do as many as possible, even if you don't feel confident, or even a guess. So in the end, I'm not sure how to advise, just to be aware. Bennett test (Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test): This is about 15 tests (of maybe 4-16 questions) in one, and I think the grades are merged together for the final score. Categories of questions included: Acoustics, Inertia, Belt Drive, Levers, Center of Gravity, Optics, Centrifugal Force, Planes and Slopes, Electricity, Pulley Systems, Gears, Resolution of Forces, Gravity and Velocity, Shape and Volume, Heat, Structures (such as arches), Hydraulics, and Miscellaneous Let me go thru each one from my experience today: 1- Acoustics - (can horn in a tunnel any louder than normal?) 2- Inertia – (I didn't notice any) 3- Belt Drive - (Belt A turns this way; how does Belt B turn?) 4- Levers – (I didn't notice any) 5- Center of Gravity – (Which loaded crane would tip over easier?) 6- Optics – (How would a pen look if half in water, A,B, or C) 7- Centrifugal Force – (What movement will mud travel when slung off a wheel.) 8- Planes and Slopes – (A winding path vesus a straight incline) 9- Electricity – (Which switch turns on ONLY bulb B. What set-up for 2 battaries is correct?) 10-Pulley Systems – (Does man A pull harder or man B in the same task?) 11- Gears - (If gear A turns this-a-way, which way will gear B turn? And which turns faster? which will have more complete rotations?) 12- Resolution of Forces – (I didn't notice any) 13- Gravity and Velocity – (if you throw a stone horizonally, will it land at the same time as one siply dropped?) 14- Shape and Volume - (What shape has more capacity for volumn, a box or a cylinder of the same width?) 15- Heat- (I didn't notice any) 16- Structures – (What kind of arch is strongest? Which bridge?) 17- Hydraulics – (wish rushing water, will a faster current "push" water up a pipe?) 18- Miscellaneous - (will a helicopter fly on the moon? how do you pull from beside a canal?) I advise everyone to study rudders (ride of a boat on water, shooting a bullet on the moon) I think I did fairly well here, as most of the test questions were "simple" physics and so-called mechanical common sense. However, neither of these tests should be taken for granted. Some of the points that were tricky (for me) were connecting multiple battaries and water pressure (hydraulics) questions. But how pullies work, what turning gears and belt do go eath other, one turning the other at what speed, but it also asked what direction mud slings off a raised bycycle wheel. Ah, that was a cintrifugal force question. COAB (Computer Operator Aptitude Battery): The COAB is really 3 tests in 1, and each is fairly seperate, although scored together. It requires no prior knowledge or even familiarity with programming, but is rather logical reasoning, ordering of events in sequence, following directions in formating, ability to follow complex procedures (flow charts), and attention to detail. First is sequences, second is formatting, and last is interpreting flow charts. Good (although inexact) Bennett resources: Google: mechreasoning sampletest (look for tlc and;jsessionid=aZyaYbQ9f3D9
Good resources for COAB (not exact): I could not find much help, and most of what I did find was inapplicable, not what was on the test, but there are a lot of Yes or No on the flow charts and I suggest sketching your own flow chart on scrap paper and go aheard and write in the outcomes at each point. It seems like you waste time, but it is quicker in the end. For the formatting, just remember to follow directions, all of them.

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