Many employers use psychometric assessments and aptitude tests as part of the employee hiring process.
Competition for job roles is fierce in every sector, so EEI tests are a useful tool for talent identification in the energy industry.
If you are applying for roles in the energy sector, you will likely be asked to sit one of the Edison Electric Institute Tests.
Sometimes referred to as EEI tests or the Edison test, these assessments are designed to measure your competency in skills and abilities required to work in a specific job role and in the energy industry as a whole.
If you are asked to take an EEI test, the recruiter will use your results to decide whether you have the appropriate skill mix to perform well in the job role that you have applied for.
In this article, you can find out what to expect when taking an EEI test, and the steps you can take to achieve the best possible score.Take A Test
What Are EEI Tests?
EEI tests are used to measure:
- Basic job-related abilities
- General industry knowledge
- Specialist strengths required for niche job roles
There are nine different EEI tests, and each is used to measure a particular set of capabilities.
Note that you will not be expected to take all nine of the tests.
The test you are asked to take will be the one most relevant to the job role that you are being considered for.
All of the EEI tests are designed and maintained by the Edison Electric Institute.
Since 1933, the EEI has been the representational body for investor-electric and privately owned companies in the US.
This is likely to be after your application has been shortlisted but prior to a formal interview.
Your test result will be used to determine whether you are chosen to move forward to the next stage of the hiring process.
What are the Nine Types of EEI Tests?
Plant Operator Selection System (POSS)
This pencil-and-paper-based test is used to assess skills and aptitude in relation to operational job roles within energy power plants.
You will be allowed approximately 80 minutes to complete it, although this varies between recruiters.Take A Test
The POSS covers four test batteries:
1. Reading Comprehension
You will be allowed 30 minutes for this section.
You will need to read five text passages and answer 36 associated multiple-choice questions within this timescale.
The reading passages relate to technical concepts, and you will need to show that you can understand and comprehend the information within them.
2. Mechanical Concepts
You will be allowed 20 minutes for this section.
You will need to answer 44 multiple-choice questions based on mechanical devices used within power plant operations.
Some of the questions will include figures or images, such as drawings of gears, levers, pulleys and ramps.
Your task will be to show that you understand physics concepts, such as pressure, motion and momentum.
3. Mathematical Usage
This section is presented in either short-form or long-form format.
The version of the test you take will depend on the role you have applied for.
- When applying for entry-level roles, you will usually take the short-form version. This contains 18 multiple-choice questions, which must be answered within seven minutes. The questions are designed to assess your ability to apply basic math formulas.
- When applying for supervisory roles and higher, you will usually take the long-form version. This contains 46 multiple-choice questions, which must be answered within 17 minutes.
You are not permitted to use a calculator for any part of the POSS test.
The questions are designed to assess your ability to solve equations, including algebra problems, word problems, and formula conversion problems.
4. Figural Reasoning
In this section, you must answer 20 multiple-choice questions within 10 minutes.
There are three different question types:
- Picture Series – You will need to study four images that create a series, then choose the appropriate image to continue the pattern.
- Picture Comparison – You will need to identify the pattern between two images, then choose an image to appear in the blank space.
- Picture Progression – You will need to study a number of rows and images, which form patterns in both horizontal and vertical directions. Your task is to decide which image will complete the pattern.
Power Plant Maintenance Positions Selection System (MASS)
This pencil-and-paper-based test is used to identify suitable candidates for job roles based within fossil, hydroelectric and nuclear power plants.
Relevant job roles for the EEI MASS test include electrician, painter, pipefitter, steelworker and welder.
If you sit the exam at an educational establishment working with a prospective employer, the cost of the test is 30 USD.
The test duration is approximately one hour.Take A Test
There are four sections to complete, and each has an allotted timescale:
- Spatial Ability – You will be allowed 10 minutes to answer 20 multiple-choice questions
- Mechanical Concepts – You will be allowed 20 minutes to answer 44 multiple-choice questions
- Mathematical Usage – You will be allowed seven minutes to answer 18 multiple-choice questions. **You will not be allowed to use a calculator for any part of the test**
- Reading Comprehension – You will need to read five reading passages. Each reading passage will have a set of associated multiple-choice questions to answer. You will be allowed 30 minutes to answer a total of 36 multiple-choice questions
Construction and Skills Trades (CAST)
This pencil-and-paper or computer-based exam is made up of four separate tests.
The time limit for answering all of the 110 multiple-choice questions is one hour and 27 minutes.
The EEI CAST test is usually administered as a pre-screening tool by the prospective employer, so there is no associated cost for the applicant.
Many employers in the skilled trade industry use the EEI CAST test as part of the recruitment screening process.
If you are applying for a job role that involves facilities work, servicing, repairs or distribution, you will probably be asked to sit the EEI CAST test.
If you are applying for entry-level roles in the construction industry, taking the EEI CAST test will offer prospective employers a standardized overview of your aptitudes and skills.Prepare for CAST Test
They can use this to assess your suitability for vacant job roles.
If you are already employed within the construction industry, you might decide to take the EEI CAST test to demonstrate your potential for higher-level roles.
1. Graphic Arithmetic
You will be presented with two problems.
Your task is to interpret the information provided within the drawings, and use it to solve a range of arithmetic problems.
You will need to answer 16 questions within 30 minutes.
2. Mechanical Concepts
You will need to answer 44 multiple-choice questions within 20 minutes.
For each question, you will need to choose the correct answer from four possible options.
Each question relates to an image describing a mechanical situation.
3. Reading for Comprehension
You will be presented with four written passages of text.
You will have 30 minutes to answer 32 questions relating to the text.
Your task is to demonstrate your comprehension of the information contained within the text passages.
4. Mathematical Usage
You will need to answer 18 multiple-choice questions within 7 minutes.
The questions are designed to test your ability to process and accurately solve basic math problems within a short timeframe.
You will not be allowed to use a calculator for any part of the test.
Systems Operator/Power Dispatching Systems Selection System (SO/PD)
This test is used as a pre-screening tool by employers hiring for systems operator, dispatcher and power-controller vacancies in the energy industry.
This computer-based exam is split into four battery assessments:
1. Mathematical Usage
You will need to answer 16 multiple-choice questions within 17 minutes.
The questions are designed to measure your ability to apply mathematical formulas, including basic algebra problems, formula conversion problems and word-based problems.
2. Analytical Thinking Skills
You will need to answer 23 questions within 45 minutes.
The questions are designed to assess your analytical ability in evaluating arguments (seven questions), problem-solving (five questions) and logical reasoning (11 questions).
3. Reading Comprehension
You will need to study four text passages, then answer 16 multiple-choice questions within 22 minutes.
Your task is to demonstrate your ability to read, digest and comprehend written information.
4. Multitasking Simulation
You will need to demonstrate your ability to manage multiple tasks, either at the same time or in quick succession.
You will be shown four different tasks in different sections of the computer screen, and you will need to complete all of the tasks.
The tasks will include basic math, listening, memorization and visual monitoring.
Technical Occupations Selection System (TECH)
The EEI TECH test is aimed at technical graduates interested in careers within the energy industry.
It includes four battery assessments:
1. Reasoning from Rules
This section will assess your ability to interpret and apply rules to solve problems on a logic network.
You will be allowed just one minute to answer each of the nine questions, so you will need to answer promptly and with confidence.
2. Interpreting Diagrams
You will need to show that you can use codes and symbols to identify objects within diagrams.
You will be allowed nine minutes to interpret nine different diagrams, so you will need to work quickly.
3. Graphic Problem Solving
You will answer 21 questions within 19 minutes.
You will need to solve practical arithmetic problems by interpreting visual resources.
4. Mechanical Concepts
This section comprises 44 questions, which must be answered within 20 minutes.
Each question includes an illustration of a mechanical scenario.
For each question, you will need to choose the option that describes the given mechanical situation from a choice of three.
Meter Reading Aptitude Battery (MRAB)
The EEI MRAB test is used as part of the pre-screening process for meter-reading job roles in the energy industry.
This short test only lasts 20 minutes. There are two sections to complete, with a total of 89 questions.Take A Test
These two sections are:
- Coding – You will be allowed five minutes to answer four questions linked to 18 different data sets
- Using tables – You will have six minutes to answer 85 questions; your result will be dependent on your ability to accurately recall numbers from a table in quick succession
Support and Administrative Selection System (SASS)
This test is used to assess candidate suitability for administrative job roles in the energy sector.
If you are applying for energy-based roles as a PA, secretary, receptionist or business performance analyst, you may be required to sit the SASS.Take A Test
1. Basic Competency Assessment Battery (BCAB)
You will have eight minutes to identify 50 different spelling and grammar mistakes within a document.
This section of the test will also assess your understanding of filing and basic math.
2. Basic Keyboard Skills Battery (BKSB)
You will need to demonstrate your ability to type quickly, fluently, and accurately.
You will be allowed seven minutes to prepare a document, plus 23 minutes to enter data into three separate forms.
During the tests, you will be assessed on other skills. These include spreadsheets, customer simulation and word processing.
When combined, the SASS batteries are referred to as the Advanced Competency Assessment Batteries (ACAB).
Customer Service Representative Test Battery (CSR)
This computer-based test is used in the recruitment of customer service representatives in the energy industry.
If you are applying for call-center roles for an energy provider, you can expect to sit the CSR test.Prepare for CSR Test
The CSR test is split into two batteries, designed to measure both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills:
1. Customer Order
This part of the test will explore your ‘soft’ customer-services skills.
Using a software program, you will need to demonstrate your ability to respond to a customer appropriately in a simulated situation.
The scenario you are presented with is likely to be challenging, for example an energy blackout.
2. Basic Workstation Test
You will be asked to input data into a typical energy software program.
Your input rate and overall accuracy will be assessed.
Career Assessment and Diagnostic Instrument (CADI)
This is an in-depth test used by energy companies hiring for senior business roles.
It is designed to provide a thorough assessment of your ability to perform in the job role you have applied for.
It will also assess your ability to lead a team and motivate others.
The CADI test takes approximately one hour to complete.
What to Expect From EEI Tests?
EEI Spatial Reasoning Test
The spatial reasoning element of EEI testing is designed to assess your spatial ability to draw and measure 2D and 3D objects.
You will also need to articulate the benefits of spatial visualization.
Your results from this test will give the recruiter an insight into your engineering knowledge.
In any engineering role, you must be able to visualize the outcome of a project before you start it.
Example Spatial Reasoning Test Question
Which of the images is the correct mirror image for the first image?
Choose from A, B, C or D.
The correct answer is: c)
The best way to approach this is to imagine a mirror line running vertically next to the image.
Example Reading Comprehension Test Question
Study this passage carefully before answering the multiple-choice question:
A short circuit occurs when a low resistance connection exists between two conductors supplying electrical energy to a circuit.
In this situation, there is an excess voltage streaming, which causes an excessive flow of current in the power source. That means the electricity flows through a short route, causing a short circuit.
The two types of electrical short circuits are normal short circuits and ground fault short circuits.
A normal short circuit occurs when a hot wire carrying current makes contact with a neutral wire. This causes an instant drop in resistance, so a high volume of current ends up flowing through an unexpected route.
In the case of a ground fault short circuit, the hot wire carrying current makes contact with a grounded part of the system. This can be anything from a bare ground wire, a grounded part of an appliance, or a grounded metal wall box.
Most electrical short circuits are caused by faulty circuit wire insulation, faulty appliance wiring or loose wire connections.
Here are some ways to prevent electrical short circuits:
Regularly check outlets and appliances
If you spot faulty wires or loose connections, or if the appliance or outlet is more than 15 years old, this can cause a short circuit.
Watch out for signs including burn marks, a burning smell, sparks or a buzzing sound.
If you notice faulty wiring or cracks, you should arrange for the appliance to be repaired or replaced immediately.
Reduce your electricity usage during thunderstorms
Short circuits caused by lightning strikes can be very dangerous.
Switching off appliances during a storm can prevent short circuits and reduce damage caused by an unexpected power surge.
Arrange an annual electrical inspection
Engage the services of a certified professional and organize an electric inspection every year.
They will be able to highlight any critical issues and resolve them before a short circuit occurs.
Install circuit breakers or fuses, ground-fault circuit interrupters and arc-fault circuit interrupters
According to the text passage, what is the main cause of electrical short circuits?
a) Loose wire connections
b) Electricity usage during thunderstorms
c) Faulty appliance wiring
d) None of the above
The correct answer is: d).
Although loose wire connections are one of the main causes of electrical short circuits, the text passage states “most electrical short circuits are caused by faulty circuit wire insulation, faulty appliance wiring or loose wire connections.”
Example Mathematical Basics Test Question
A football team played 272 games and won 198 of them.
What percentage of games did they not win?
The correct answer is: 27%.
The first thing to consider is how many games they did not win. This includes games where they drew with their opponent. By subtracting 198 from 272, you are left with 74.
By dividing 74 (the total number of games where they lost or drew by 272 (the total number of games), you are left with 0.27205.
Multiply this figure by 100 to find the percentage: 27%.
How to Succeed In EEI Tests
To perform well in your EEI test, it is important that you follow these steps:
Learn About the Format of the Appropriate Test
Carry out the appropriate research to ensure you know the type of questions you are likely to be faced with.
Use the Resources Provided by The EEI
Many resources are provided on the EEI website, including a summary of the EEI Employment Test Batteries.
These resources on the EEI website are useful if you want to learn more about the different tests.
Practice the Relevant Test Type Under Exam Conditions
Refrain from using a calculator, and ensure you work in an area where you will be undisturbed.
Practice answering the questions in line with the time limits set for the actual test.
Recognize Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Focussing on improving any areas of weakness is important; however, you should still continue to answer EEI practice test questions that you feel confident about.
You may just want to allocate more time to the questions that you find most difficult.
Read the Questions Carefully
As part of your preparation, practice reading the questions and any associated information carefully.
This is particularly important for reading comprehension and mathematical concept questions, although it applies to every type of question.
Don’t Get Stuck on a Single Question
If you’re not sure of an answer, move on to the next question. You can always return to it later.
As many of the EEI test batteries have time limits, it is important not to waste all of the allocated time trying to answer one tricky question.
However, note that this may not be possible if you are taking a computer-based test.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the EEI Tests?
EEI stands for Edison Electric Institute. EEI tests are used by hiring managers in the energy industry to learn more about prospective employees’ skills, competencies and suitability for the job role they have applied for.
What types of tests are included in the EEI Tests?
The EEI test batteries include:
- Power Plant Maintenance Positions Selection System (MASS)
- Plant Operator Selection System (POSS)
- Construction and Skills Trades (CAST)
- Systems Operator/Power Dispatching Systems Selection System (SO/PD)
- Technical Occupations Selection System (TECH)
- Meter Reading Aptitude Battery (MRAB)
- Support and Administrative Selection System (SASS)
- Customer Service Representative Test Battery (CSR)
- Career Assessment and Diagnostic Instrument (CADI)
Where can I prepare for the EEI Tests?
How are the EEI Tests graded?
Depending on the test format, EEI tests are graded either by hand or using a computer. Your score from each battery of the test will be combined, creating a final score. This score is used to decide whether you are a good fit for the job role that you have applied for.
Can I retake an EEI Test if I fail?
You will need to discuss this with your prospective employer. If they are happy for you to retake the test, you will usually have to wait up to 90 days before you will be allowed to retake an EEI test.
Where can I find sample questions for the practice of EEI Tests?
What employers use the EEI Tests?
EEI tests are used by employers in the energy sector. All investor-owned electric companies in the US are represented by the Edison Electric Institute, which means they are required to use EEI testing as part of standard hiring practices.
What topics are covered in the EEI Tests?
Each EEI test is tailored to a different job sector within the energy industry.
What is the next step after taking an EEI Test?
In most cases, you will receive your EEI test results within 10 days. You will normally receive your results by email, although they may be shared directly with your prospective employer.
You will be contacted by the recruiter if you are selected to progress to the next stage of the hiring process.
How hard are the EEI Tests?
What should I focus on while preparing for an EEI Test?
You may also wish to brush up on your general math skills, verbal comprehension, and problem-solving abilities.
The best way to prepare is by using online resources available on websites such as JobTestPrep and Psychometric Success.
Where can I find a complete guide to help me pass the EEI tests?
If you are interested in applying for a job role within the energy sector, you are likely to be asked to sit an EEI test.
As there are nine different test batteries under the EEI test umbrella, it is important to find out which of the tests you will be asked to sit on. Once you know this, you can take advantage of the many online resources to help you prepare for the test.
Having a clear understanding of what is expected from the job role you are applying for is important. This will help you to identify the skills and abilities you will need to be successful in the role.