A Guide to the Elevator Industry Aptitude Test (EIAT): Examples & Tips
Updated July 21, 2023
The elevator industry is one of the most financially rewarding trades, offering numerous career opportunities. If you want to build a career in this industry, the best way to start is by joining a recognized apprenticeship program.
Among these, the National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP) is probably the most prestigious apprenticeship scheme. To secure a place in this program, you must pass the Elevator Industry Aptitude Test (EIAT), a subsequent interview and a tool assessment exam. I
This article will provide information about the EIAT assessment test, including its structure and what type of questions you may be required to answer. You will also be given several handy tips to help you prepare for the EIAT exam and perform well enough to secure an apprenticeship.
The EIAT is an initial assessment test for applicants wanting to join the National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP) and gain an apprenticeship in the industry.
It is sometimes referred to as the NEIEP elevator industry aptitude test.
It was developed by the joint efforts of the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) and the National Elevator Industry, Inc., and has been serving as a solid foundation for everyone wanting to establish a career in the elevator trade for several decades.
The elevator mechanic aptitude test represents the initial stage of the application process and is obligatory for all candidates. It is followed by an interview that verifies your background and skills shown on the test and a practical tool application test.
Your final score represents the average of all three stages and determines your eligibility for the apprenticeship.
However, without passing the EIAT, you can’t progress to the next two stages.
The EIAT test has two main purposes.
The first one is to assess the existing knowledge and skills you need when working with elevators. Your reading, mechanical aptitude and numerical skills are thoroughly examined to determine whether you can safely join the apprenticeship.
Your ability to evaluate different scenarios is also tested and when you prepare for it, you are given the opportunity to grow your knowledge and hone your skills to show you are the right candidate.
When testing your numerical reasoning skills, the test ensures that you have apt knowledge of basic arithmetic (commonly known as math).
This includes basic numeral computation and arithmetical operations, such as addition, division, subtraction, multiplication, percentages and fractions.
Employers use this part of the test to evaluate your numerical proficiency and your accuracy and speed when performing basic arithmetical calculations.
You are not allowed to use a calculator for this segment.
The reading skills test your reading comprehension levels in terms of vocabulary, definitions, synonyms, antonyms, context and overall communication skills.
By measuring these skills, employers can ensure you have sufficient ability to understand and communicate written information.
It also helps them see whether you can put this information into context in critical situations when time is of the essence.
The mechanical comprehension section is probably the most critical part of your elevator apprenticeship test. It evaluates your knowledge of physics and mechanical concepts, as well as how you can put your knowledge into practice.
It includes the application of concepts involving force, pulleys and gears to solve specific mechanical issues.
Employers typically use this section to estimate your possible future performance on the physical part of the job as an elevator mechanic.
It may also show them your ability to grow your skill set and learn how to become better in your trade while still attending the apprenticeship program.
The test is divided into three main segments:
- Arithmetic computation
- Verbal comprehension
- Mechanical comprehension
Each of these segments has 30 to 35 multiple-choice questions, divided between smaller segments as shown below.
Here are some example questions for each section.
The arithmetic computation section of the elevator aptitude test evaluates skills for two different segments: basic arithmetic as well as fractions, percentages and decimals.
When calculating these, ensure that you have enough information to connect your question to your final answer. This will help you avoid losing time.
Here is an example of what a question from basic arithmetic would look like:
47,182 + 15,908 = ?
Here is what a question from fractions, decimals and percentages could look like:
1/3 + 3/6 = ?
If I want to _____ to the interview section, I must _____ a score of 80% on the test.
a) Progress, achieve
b) Passed, obtain
c) Skip, score
d) Receive, achieve
Here is an example of what a question testing your vocabulary skills would look like:
Sample exercises are valuable because they improve my knowledge.
Which of the following could be a replacement for the bold word?
As the most mentally challenging segment, the mechanical comprehension part requires you to apply your knowledge of physical principles and concepts. Questions in this segment typically involve pulleys, forces, levers or gears.
Here is an example of what a question from this EIAT tool assessment segment could look like:
You are shown a picture of three cogs connected to the same gear. The cogs are different sizes but rotate in the same direction.
Which cog will have the fastest rotation speed?
a) All of them will rotate at the same speed
The EIAT is a class pass or fail test and you must reach the predetermined number of points to pass it.
This threshold is 70 points, which means that you have to answer at least 70% of the questions correctly and within the allocated time frame.
That being said, achieving this score only means that now you can proceed to the interview stage, which will also be scored.
If you pass the interview, you will be required to take one final exam, the practical tool assessment.
The marks from the written EIAT, the interview and the tool test are all incorporated into your overall performance score.
This score is broken down into four tiers, which represent the ranking of all candidates who passed the tests:
- 96 to 100 points = tier one
- 90 to 95 points = tier two
- 80 to 89 points = tier three
- 70 to 79 points = tier four
Employers usually look for the highest scoring candidates in each recruitment period. The competition in the industry is rather fierce, so to secure apprenticeships, you must position yourself in the top tiers.
Fortunately, the score is valid for two years. If you weren't offered to join a program right away, you can apply again in the next recruitment period.
If you haven't gotten an apprenticeship within two years of passing the exam, you will need to retake it.
If your score on the elevator aptitude test is less than 70, you have failed.
You can retake it during the next recruitment period but you may have to wait several months for it to open. Use this waiting period to prepare better and ensure that you get the highest mark possible on the test next time.
How to Prepare for the EIAT
As with any other test, the trick to passing the EIAT assessment is to be prepared. Here are some great tips on how to best prepare for the exam.
While all three sections have multiple-choice questions, due to the different nature of the segments, there are some notable differences in the test formats.
For example, in the reading comprehension segment, the question format will be focused on assessing whether you can understand the question in a particular context.
Make sure to practice this slowly first, taking your time to read a question several times until you get the context right.
Likewise, the mechanical comprehension segment typically offers comparison options, which aren't too hard to resolve. However, the stress and the time restraint can make your skills fade into the background, making you lose points.
A great way to practice this format is to take a question and exaggerate the answers in your head. Think of them as being extremely different from one another.
Moreover, despite having encountered multiple-choice questions before, having to answer them in such a restricted time frame can be confusing. By skim-reading the question to get over it as soon as you can, you will miss its meaning and lose valuable points.
It's critical to practice going over all the choices in each question and learn to use your deduction skills to find the right one as swiftly as possible.
Some offer an EIAT practice test for free, while others will require you to pay for them.
The latter can also be a sound investment in your future if the knowledge isn't so fresh in your mind or if you aren't sure what topics are covered in the test.
The more practice tests you can complete, the more topics you will go over in your head.
Either way, an EIAT practice test is the closest thing you can get to the real test until the day of the exam, so you want to take advantage of them as much as possible.
Online tests will also help you follow the previous advice and familiarize yourself with the test format itself.
Typically, it isn't advisable to study or practice a day before a test as it can lead to confusion. However, in this case, it can be helpful. Preparing for the EIAT is all about remembering numerous math and physics principles.
If the last time you go over an EIAT study guide is several days before the exam, when it's time to apply your knowledge, it can be easily mixed up or forgotten due to stress. Feel free to complete an EIAT practice test every day before the exam to keep the principles fresh in your mind.
You have 75 minutes to complete the EIAT exam, leaving you less than a minute for each question. Besides the math and physical principles, this time constraint is the second most challenging aspect of the exam.
So to overcome this difficulty, you must practice timing yourself when completing the sample tests.
If you are just starting to practice, finishing a free elevator aptitude test in 75 minutes will be unrealistic for you, even if the knowledge is still fresh in your mind. Start with two hours and slowly shorten the time with each batch.
Make sure to pay attention to the accuracy as well. The goal is to get as many answers correct in as little time as possible.
When practicing with an elevator union practice test, you will soon notice which segments are your strong points and which are the weakest.
While it's important to practice all the sections, you should pay more attention to your weakest ones.
For most people interested in this line of work, the reading comprehension section will represent a considerably larger problem than arithmetic.
If you also struggle with understanding complex texts, make sure to practice this outside the samples by reading books and complex texts. Remove sentences and words from them and try to gauge where they belong.
If the mechanical comprehension or arithmetic computation skills don't come naturally to you, or your knowledge has gotten a little rusty, it's time to brush up on them and complete an EIAT free practice test.
Remember, calculators are not allowed in the exam, so you must be confident in your calculations on paper. The more you focus on these, the quicker you will get accurate results.
As mentioned before, the elevator industry aptitude test is timed and every second counts. Avoid getting stuck on a question for too long because this may leave you short on time by the end.
Getting stuck on questions can also make you feel frustrated. You will soon start losing control, panic and leave more and more questions unanswered.
If you don't know the answer to a question, move on to the next one as quickly as possible. Don't spend too much time overanalyzing the ones you've already answered either.
If you practice enough, the answer should come naturally, and the more you think about it, the more you are risking getting it wrong.
There are no penalties for wrong answers on the elevator union aptitude test, so you will want to answer as many questions as possible.
It's always better to take an educated guess and answer a question even if you aren't sure of the answer than to leave it empty.
Being that these are multiple-choice questions, you still have a chance to get it right if you guessed correctly and improve your score.
The EIAT is an initial assessment test given to those who submit their application to join the National Elevator Industry Educational Program. The test is administered by the National Elevator Industry and the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC).
The EIAT is meant to establish all the skills a candidate needs for working in the elevator industry.
This includes reading, numerical and mechanical aptitude, and the candidate’s ability to apply their skills and knowledge to different scenarios they may encounter in their job.
The passing score for the EIAT exam is anything above 70.
That said, your overall performance between the scores of 70 and 100 is ranked into four tiers.
Moreover, the score on the EIAT is combined with your interview and the tool recognition exam. The higher you rank on the EIAT, the more likely your application will be accepted.
The key to passing the EIAT exam is to be prepared.
This means practicing through sample tests, brushing up on your arithmetic skills and learning how to make educated guesses.
You may also want to practice gauging the context in different circumstances on paper – which can be difficult, particularly in extreme situations.
The NEIEP elevator industry aptitude test is challenging because it assesses specific skills in mechanical areas, reading and following instructions. It’s not possible to pass the tests without proper preparation and the knowledge of math and physics obtained during your prior education.
Applications for the EIAT aptitude test are accepted at local branches of the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) during specific recruitment periods.
Here you can request an application, and you will be given an envelope with several forms to fill out and instructions on how to proceed. You will need to send this back to the IUEC, along with the personal document you are required to present according to the instructions.
The EIAT is a strictly timed exam.
You have only 25 minutes to complete a section, leaving 75 minutes to finish the entire test. This means you’ll have less than one minute to answer your question – which is why you have to practice it in these conditions.
NEIEP offers a comprehensive elevator aptitude test study guide on the Elevator Constructor Program, including the EIAT and other tests you need to pass for joining.
As for the tips on NEIEP test prep, you will find them on all the websites that offer practice tests, in local elevator constructor communities and even at your local IUEC.
The EIAT exam is the first and most crucial step toward a career in the elevator construction industry. Candidates wanting to join the Elevator Constructor Program can move forward with the rest of the application if they score 70 or above on this exam.
However, obtaining the minimum required score doesn't necessarily mean that you will be offered an apprenticeship in the program. The scoring system on the EIAT has four tiers, and employers will recruit candidates from the top tier first.
While the test is not highly complex, you must have prior numerical and reasoning skills and will need to practice their application.
Make sure this practice is structured and time-sensitive, as you only have 75 minutes to answer 90 to 100 questions. Practicing several weeks ahead of time will ensure that you score high enough for the top tiers and have more opportunities to build a promising career.