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What Is Select Assessment for Manufacturing (SAM) Online Test And How to Prepare for It?

Last Updated on January 4, 2023

The Select Assessment for Manufacturing test is more than likely the pre-employment test you will be required to do if you are looking for a job in manufacturing. The test is produced by Select International Inc. and is designed to test if you have what it takes to work in manufacturing, for example, on car assembly lines.

The test is computer-based and is designed to help companies and employers in the manufacturing industry find people with the specific skills required in their workplace. If you have applied for a job with Polaris, General Electric or V&M, or quite a few other companies, you will certainly come across it in your pre-employment screening.

Like most pre-employment testing, you will encounter the SAM test before you progress onto other sections of the recruitment process. Acing the test is essential if your ambition is to play a part in the manufacturing industry.

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What Is the SAM test?

The SAM test is an online test that employers give to candidates during their application process to jobs in manufacturing. It is made up of multiple choice and interactive questions. The test is modular and there are five tests available, meaning the test you are given will cater to the specific employer’s needs. 

The test you will be asked to do will focus on what the specific employer wants to see in a future employee. Using this pre-employment test, the employer is ensuring that the applicant he selects is a good fit for the role.

Some employers also use the test as a means of finding out what skills an applicant has and then deciding what role they could appoint the applicant to. 

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Multiple-choice and Interactive Tests

What are these two types of tests like? 

Multiple-choice Test

You need to be prepared for something a little bit different in the multiplechoice questions. Not all of the questions have a right or wrong answer, meaning you may have to come up with your own answer. 

The purpose of this is to give employers a better idea of the position you are best suited to. Many employers feel this type of question gives them a better idea of the range of your abilities.

Interactive Test

The interactive tests will see you multi-tasking. Interactive tests are simulations of workplace scenarios where you have to handle a problem that can arise in the workplace. 

You may, for example, have to solve a problem with a machine while at the same time ensuring the workplace is functioning productively.

When doing the interactive questions, you need to show that you can be logical and methodical even when faced with a difficult problem.

Essentially you are not just being tested on your workplace know-how but also on your problem-solving abilities.

Your answers will show a prospective employer your problem-solving skills as well as your abilities in the workplace. This puts the company in a better position to decide if you are suited to a role in their workplace.

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How Can I Prepare for the SAM Test?

Preparing for any test involves finding out all you can about the format of the test and then sourcing relevant preparation materials. Rather than wasting time searching for information yourself, a more efficient approach is to use the services of a job test preparation company. 

For this, we recommend using Job Test Prep, a leader in helping candidates prepare for pre-employment testing.

They will supply you with a test prep pack containing:

  • All the relevant information about the format of the test
  • Sample practice tests modeled on the real tests
  • A scoring system to monitor your progress as you practice
  • Explanations for questions and answers
  • Useful study guides and videos

To get a feel for the type of tests they give you, have a look at this free sample mechanical reasoning test. With thirty years of experience in preparing applicants for the recruitment process, they have developed resources to deal with all aspects of the SAM test.

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What Are Employers Looking for?

Employers in the manufacturing field are looking for employees who have specific skills and qualities, with different employers stressing different qualities. You can expect to be tested for some or all of the following:

  • All employers value a good work ethic
  • Many employers like their employees to have the potential to become leaders in the workplace
  • A sense of responsibility is considered necessary in manufacturing jobs 
  • The ability to work as part of a team is needed for most roles
  • Specific employers will be looking for people with specific skills, including Mechanical Reasoning or Quantitative Problem-solving skills

Looking at your test results, the employer will be able to decide what role in the company you are most suited for. The SAM test also searches for some of the following qualities in prospective employees:

When doing the test, keep that list in mind and study the job advertisement to find other qualities the employer may have in mind. And don’t forget that workplaces need hard-working, productive employees!

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Is Working on a Car Assembly Line for You?

To give an idea of how the various tests operate, we will take a look at how you are likely to be tested for the role of working on a car assembly line.

The employer at the car assembly line facility looks for people who can:

  • Follow directions
  • Work quickly 
  • Work accurately

The test is interactive, and you will be shown the assembly line and given details of how the process works. You can then be given the task of building a car. You could, for example, be given a car, a wheel, paint, or other car components.

You are allowed to do practice sessions before undertaking the test, and the test itself should take 15 minutes or less. There is no set time limit, but employers will be concerned with how quickly and efficiently you can work.

Given the safety standards necessary in car manufacturing, they will naturally also be concerned with how accurate your work is.

This example of a SAM interactive test should give you some idea of how well prepared you should be for the test. It should also illustrate how clear-headed you need to be approaching the test.

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Is the Test Hard?

You may already have studied the material on the test, but there are some factors that can make the tests quite difficult.

  1. We all forget things, so studying is essential.
  2. Knowing material is very different from applying that material to test questions.
  3. The style of questioning may be different from any you have encountered before.
  4. The test is timed, so learning how to give your best while working within the time restrictions is essential.
  5. And most importantly, don’t forget the competition for the job! Manufacturing companies tend to get a great many applications for any open position they advertise. When doing the tests, you will need to outshine a great many other candidates to reach the next stage of the recruitment process. 
  6. A final and very important factor to bear in mind is that you are not just tested on your job know-how. You are also tested on your efficiency when doing the job and on your attention to detail and especially to safety factors.

Essentially, you need to be well prepared when taking the SAM test.

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Preparing for the Test

Taking an organized approach to your preparation will help you do well when the exam comes around. Consider some of the following tips when working towards the test:

  • Begin preparing immediately after you are notified about the assessment.
  • Work to a timetable ensuring you allow the day before the exam free for final studying and to get some rest.
  • Use good study techniques. Ideally spend 50 minutes working followed by a 10-minute break. Working like this will help you retain material more easily.
  • Don’t take it for granted that you know the material you studied in the past well enough. Revise and do practice questions on it.

Use Your Sample Papers

By making your sample papers the backbone of your preparation, you are ensuring:

  • You are working on relevant material at all times.
  • You are becoming familiar with the style of questioning and the format of the exam.
  • You are training yourself to work within the time allowed.
  • You can monitor your progress using the scoring system.
  • You can quickly identify areas that are causing you to lose scores and devote further time to them.

And most importantly, for any exam, you are learning how to marry the information you have to the specific question.

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Doing the Test

Don’t underestimate how challenging these tests can be. You need to approach the exams well rested. While preparing, get adequate rest and nutrition and build up some stress-busting techniques you can use before the exam. Even the coolest of candidates fall victim to exam stress!

Approach the exam with the confidence that comes from having done the work. Go in there knowing you deserve this job, and give it your best shot! If you are on doing the SAM test, click here for the resources that will help you ace it.

Written by Elizabeth O Mahony

With 25+ years’ experience as a teacher and state examinations corrector, Elizabeth now writes for the education and careers industry. Her experience preparing students for examinations and running an academy for supplementary education give her invaluable insights into what it takes for job seekers and graduates to succeed in assessments.

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