ASVAB – Mechanical Comprehension (MC) Test

The Mechanical Comprehension Subtest measures your knowledge of machines and machine processes.  This subtest includes a lot of diagrams of mechanical operations and then questions about those operations. You will also need to have good math skills to score well on this section as you also may be asked to further explain mechanical processes by doing calculations based on math formulas.

This test has a weight of 2 and represents 5% the Verbal Expression (VE) score. The questions under this section deal with how machines work and what they do. A good knowledge base in math, science and mechanical principles is helpful to answering these questions correctly.

What Type of Questions Are On the Test?

Sample Questions from the ASVAB Mechanical Comprehension Test

Question: A pulley is a(n)

Answer: A wheel with a groove around the circumference, used with a cord or rope to change the direction of a pulling force.

Question: In a simple machine, the ratio of output force to input force is called the

Answer: Mechanical advantage. It is usually denoted by the letter “M.”


Here are some additional sample questions you might encounter on the Mechanical Comprehension Subtest:

  • What is the force that is produced when two objects rub against each other?
  • What is the approximate measurement of normal atmospheric pressure?
  • What do torsion springs do?

The Mechanical Comprehension section of the ASVAB Test measures your ability to understand how machines work and what they do. This knowledge is important in many careers, so if you’re interested in a career that relies heavily on machines, such as engineering or architecture, you should definitely take the time to study for this section of the ASVAB Test. The questions in this section are also important if you’re interested in pursuing a career in the military, as many military careers require a basic understanding of machines and their workings.

You’ll need a good knowledge base in math, science, and mechanical principles to answer these questions correctly, so make sure you spend some time studying for this section of the ASVAB Test. A strong performance in this section can help boost your Verbal Expression (VE) score, which is important if you’re interested in pursuing a career in a field that relies heavily on communication skills.

How Many Questions are On The Test?

The computerized CAT-ASVAB features 16 questions that you will have 20 minutes to answer. On the paper version of the ASVAB, you will have 25 questions to answer in 19 minutes.  The questions are adaptive which means they are structured in a way that will gradually increase in difficulty, so don’t get discouraged if you find the first few questions easy – they’re meant to be easy so that you can warm up for the harder questions later on.

Prepare with Practice Tests

For more questions that you might find on the Mechanical Comprehension Subtest, take our practice test now.  Our experts have carefully written questions covering commonly tested areas on the ASVAB to give you the best, most comprehensive test practice.  You can also look over our study guides and additional resources for more information on how to improve your score on the ASVAB.

The Mechanical Comprehension Subtest is not part of the AFQT score but it is used to help determine eligibility for certain military jobs. For instance, if you want to rebuild tanks or service aircraft, doing well on this section is vitally important for you.  Take our practice test to evaluate your current knowledge and see what areas you need to improve on. You can retake the test as many times as you want and each time you retake it we will reorder the questions.

Don’t forget, taking our practice test won’t just help you build your knowledge, it will also help you feel more relaxed and confident when you take the real ASVAB.