# Ironworker Aptitude Test – Ultimate Preparation Guide for 2024

*by Sarah Duncan*

An essential aspect of acceptance into an Ironworker apprenticeship is taking the trade skills assessment known as the Ironworker Aptitude Test.

Apprenticeships for Ironworking are not very abundant, and this test is a deciding factor in which applicants for vacancies receive the position.

There are a range of skills to be assessed and evaluate your suitability for the position, including cognitive skills such as numeracy and mathematics as well as mechanical aptitude and communication skills.

If you are going to ace the Ironworker Aptitude test and receive professional training, you need to know the test requirements inside and out. I’ve got you covered in this complete summary of the Ironworker aptitude test.

I’ll detail:

- What is the Ironworker Aptitude Test?
- Key topics to focus on
- Effective study strategies
- Test day preparation
- Post-test steps.

Let’s get into it!

Table of Contents

## What is the Ironworker Aptitude Test?

The Ironworker Aptitude Test is designed to select the most capable candidates for the challenging ironworker training posts of various locals such as 40 and 46L in New York City.

Not all locals require such an aptitude test; smaller locations may not. Similarly, some locals may require a modified test. Ironworker 580/764 requires mechanical aptitude with less of an emphasis on mathematical ability.

Getting into the apprentice programs at larger locales requires scoring competitively against other candidates. The test assesses personal cognitive skills/ abilities such as mathematics, algebra, and reading comprehension.

Top qualifiers from the Ironworker Aptitude Test are called back for physical testing before acceptance.

The ‘written’ test has a passing score of 70% but acceptance depends on where you sit relative to other candidates.

You’ll want to score highly to maximize your chances of success, which requires revision of mathematical and literacy skills.

## Key Topics to Focus On

There will be 30 questions per section of the test: Mathematics, reading comprehension, and practical applications. Key areas to focus on in your test preparation include:

- Basic math, such as the principles of fractions, decimals, and numbers

With these questions, you may be asked to evaluate the decimal value of a fraction given, to order a mixture of numbers from largest to biggest, to perform calculations, or to make estimates.

- Arithmetic, such as mental calculations and understanding the order of operations

I recommend brushing up on some mental math skills for the arithmetic questions, such as calculating multiples up to 12 in your head.

- Algebra, such as handling variables in a mathematical way and thinking about rates of growth

The algebra questions to qualify for Ironworkers 40 and 46L can be characteristically challenging. You should become familiar with simplifying, expanding, factoring, and solving short equations that include variables (letters in the place of unknowns).

Algebra also includes patterns and rates of change. Practicing mathematical activities, patterns and word problems is a must before attempting the algebra in this test.

- Geometry, such as understanding shapes, angles, and trigonometric theorems

Geometry will include basic concepts that you learned in high school such as an understanding of interior/ exterior angles. You shouldn’t need to memorize any bulky formulas.

- Mechanical principles, such as understanding the physical components of systems

You may need to understand the principles of mechanics such as the use of cogs, electricity, and pressure in systems. I’ll touch on some study techniques for this test section under my next heading.

- Reading comprehension, such as spelling, reading, and writing

The questions you receive on reading comprehension will often involve scanning a short passage and extracting key points, facts stated, or ideas.

This demonstrates that you’ve been able to read, understand, and critically extract points from the text. You could also be asked to select the correct spelling of a word from a short list or to choose the definition of a common English word.

## Effective Study Strategies

### Practice makes perfect

By far the best method of preparation for the Ironworker Aptitude Test is to safeguard yourself from being blindsided by the kinds of questions that will be asked.

There are no questions that are impossible to solve without a bit of practice but if you don’t know where to direct your efforts then what is it good for?

You need to focus on relevant mathematics and reading exercises to successfully prepare.

I recommend that you head to JobTestPrep‘s tailored simulations and tests for improvement.

This is a good source for practice because you can purchase professional examples and work through the questions in a timed, user-friendly situation. Which brings me to my next preparation strategy…

### Practice Under Pressure

The real test introduces an element of time pressure, so it is essential that you practice your time management skills once you’ve already brushed up on your ability to answer questions accurately.

My top tip for time management is not to spend longer than is necessary on a question that trips you up (hopefully of which there will be few).

If you know that you don’t know the answer – just move on. The multichoice nature of the test allows for lucky guesses on those “mean” questions.

### Master Basic Arithmetic

You should be on your way to mastering basic arithmetic by the time you take the test.

This may mean getting multiplications up to 12 x 12 down pat, along with divisions, factors, and common fractions.

You’ll be surprised how far these basic mathematical skills take you in answering more advanced questions as well. Repetition will help these skills stick; try flashcards.

## Comprehend practical applications

Head to YouTube, Khan Academy, or JobTestPrep to more deeply understand mechanical concepts. This includes aspects of systems, practical conversions, and identifying patterns.

## Test Day Preparation

### How to prepare for the test day

Leading up to your test day, try to sleep as well as possible.

You shouldn’t lose sleep over studying the night before. Remember, being well-rested will help with every question. Laboring over one tough concept may only help with one question.

### What to bring

Bring along yourself, confidence, documentation, and stationery (While many aptitude tests have gone online, this isn’t always the case depending on your locale.) DO NOT bring a calculator to your test.

### How to manage test anxiety

Positive self-talk is extremely important in the lead-up to a competitive examination. Persevere with learning mathematical concepts; telling yourself that you “cannot” do it is not only untrue but also unhelpful.

### Strategies for during the test

Some testing centers allow working paper that you can draw on and complete multiplication/ long division algorithms on. This can help you to keep track of your thoughts as you make calculations.

Try not to panic during your test.

Imagine that the test is like a swimming pool that you can touch the bottom of when you are standing up.

Panic causes us to splash and lose touch of the bottom. By staying calm, you’ll realize that the bottom of the pool is within reach when you take a deep breath and stop kicking.

## Post-Test Steps

Candidates will expect results within a fortnight of sitting the test. Check your spam folder if you are anxious that no results have been forwarded to you.

A physical acceptance test is taken after the written test, so don’t sacrifice your physical health during your study period.

Being in a fit physical condition is essential for this kind of work, and for being able to perform well mentally in the first place.

Should you be accepted for an apprenticeship, then the test accounts for 15% of your certification grade.

## Final Thoughts

With some key strategies for test preparation, you should be able to ace the Ironworker Aptitude test.

Always remember to prioritize practice questions, persevere in your studies, and be empathetic to yourself throughout the process.

Don’t shy away from the breadth of the Internet’s learning resources; there’s plenty to explore.

If you put in the time and effort in preparation then you’ll know on the day of the test that you are well prepared. This confidence gets you 50% on your way to an Ironworker apprenticeship at even the most competitive locales. Good luck!

Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.