Joel P. Wiesen, PhD
The WTMA is a 30-minute paper-and-pencil test of mechanical aptitude designed for use alone or as part of a personnel selection battery in a variety of employment and training settings (e.g., manufacturing/ industrial settings), as well as for academic research. It is also suitable for use in many vocational/technical training programs and temporary staffing agencies.The WTMA is appropriate for ages 18 years and older.
The WTMA was designed to minimise both gender and ethnic bias, as well as the academic bias found in many other existing instruments. The WTMA questions do not require familiarity with objects or events encountered primarily in a physics or chemistry class or an auto repair shop. The WTMA is currently being used by Fortune 250 and smaller manufacturing companies, as well as several government agencies.
Multiple-choice questions, which are written at a 6th-grade reading level, include simple drawings that cover broad mechanical/physical concepts (e.g., basic machines, movement, gravity/centre of gravity, basic electricity/electronics, transfer of heat, basic physical properties) as they are seen in everyday objects and situations. The brief questions involve the function and/or use, size, weight, shape, and appearance of common physical objects, tools and devices. For every question, there is always one clear difference between the pictured alternatives, and the questions refer to the impact of that difference.
Test materials include a Professional Manual, a Reusable Test Booklet, an Answer Sheet, and a transparent Scoring Key. The 30-minute timed test may be scored in 5 minutes using the scoring template.
The WTMA Professional Manual provides technical information, as well as combined-gender percentile conversions for WTMA Total scores. Normative data are based on 1,817 adults from several industrial settings. Although many WTMA users may prefer to set their own cut-off scores based on local norms or predictive validity studies, the Manual provides means and standard deviations for the total industrial sample, by gender and ethnic group, and for 221 college students.
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