EEI POSS Test – Full Guide and Free Practice for 2024

A 146-questions test assessing power plant operators in 4 very different cognitive abilities.

Assessing 4 major cognitive abilities (math, figural, mechanical, and reading comprehension), and a specific emphasis on math, the EEI POSS test is a challenge for many skilled candidtaes.

This guide provides you with everything you need to ace the POSS test, including a free sample test, a complete test overview, and tailored tips.

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Basic Details

Math, reading, figural, mechanical
146 questions
77 minutes

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What Is the EEI POSS Test?

The EEI POSS Test (Plant Operator Selection System) is a collection of 4 pre-employment assessment tests used to screen power plant operators. The test is designed and administered by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI).

The 4 sections of the EEI POSS assess 4 cognitive abilities, meant to measure how well you are predicted to perform as a plant operator.

Test Structure and Question Format

The EEI POSS Test is divided into 4 sections, each with its own content and time limit:

  • Figural Reasoning – 20 questions in 10 minutes.
  • Mathematical Usage – 46 questions in 17 minutes.
  • Mechanical Concepts – 44 questions in 20 minutes.
  • Reading for Comprehension – 36 questions in 30 minutes.

Let’s describe each of these sections in a bit more detail.

You will find detailed answers for the questions below (+more) in the Free Practice section.

Figural Reasoning

The Figural Reasoning section assesses your ability to recognize and apply patterns depicted in abstract shapes. This section contains 20 questions divided into 3 types: Shape Series, Shape Sets, and Matrices. In the Free Practice section, we provide one sample question of each type.

Pro Tip

Probably more than any other section in the POSS test, trying to solve the Figural Reasoning section with no previous acquaintance with it is likely to harm your score.

EEI Figural Reasoning Sample 1

Mathematical Usage

The Mathematical Usage section assesses your ability to understand numerical data and perform quick, accurate calculations. It is a major part of the POSS test and contains 46 questions in 17 minutes – a very narrow time frame. Questions come in three types: unit conversion, algebra, and word problems.

EEI Mathematical Usage Sample 2

Pro Tip

The Mathematical Usage section is probably the section in which time poses the greatest challenge. Focus on improving your solving speed to succeed.

Mechanical Concepts

The questions in the Mechanical Concepts section assess your understanding of basic mechanics and electricity. The questions do not require calculations, and therefore can be solved quickly. The section contains 44 questions to be solved in 20 minutes.

Here’s a question you may be asked:

EEI Mechanical Concepts Sample 1

Pro Tip

The variety of questions in the Mechanical Concepts section requires you to understand the major physical principles at the heart of the test. Examples are law of the lever, centrifugal force, fluid mechanics, etc.

Reading for Comprehension

The last section measures your ability to understand and interpret text. You will be presented with a short piece of text (~400 words) and will be required to answer 9 questions about it.

4 such texts will be given throughout the section, so 36 questions overall. The total time limit is 30 minutes.


Check out the Free Practice section to try some of these questions yourself.

Test Interface

The POSS test interface is easy to follow and is similar to that of other EEI tests such as CAST, TECH, or MASS. Here are 4 basic things you should know about the test:


Separate Sections

Each section on the EEI POSS Test is conducted separately, with its own content and time limit. For instance, the Reading for Comprehension section is very generous on time, while the Mathematical Usage section is very time tight.  Since you must solve each section separately, make sure you are well-prepared for each section’s own time constraints.

You Can Move Between Questions

The POSS test allows you to move back and forth between questions or skip them and get back to them later. That allows better time management and development of solid solving methods while preparing.

No Points Reduced for Wrong Answers

Your score on the POSS Test will be determined only based on the questions you have solved correctly. This means that it’s better to guess than leave questions unanswered.

Calculators Are Not Allowed

Of all EEI tests, the math portion is mostly significant in the POSS test. Since the test aims to assess your calculation ability, you will not be allowed a calculator. As such, you should master pen-and-paper calculation to maximize your chances of success.

Free Practice

This free practice test includes 12 questions, and is designed to get you familiar with the types of questions on the EEI POSS Test and their level of difficulty.

You will also find answers, explanations, and tips for success.

Good luck!

Section 1 – Figural Reasoning

Question 1 (Shape Series)

PI Cognitive Assessment Visual Series Sample 3

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is 4.

In every step, an additional triangle is added. The direction of the entire shape varies and does not follow any specific pattern. Therefore, the next shape in sequence should contain 5 triangles.

Question 2 (Shape Sets)

EEI Figural Reasoning Sample 2

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is A.

  • In Set A – the number of squares is equal to the number of stars, and the number of circles is equal to the number of triangles.
  • In Set B – the number of squares is equal to the number of triangles, and the number of circles is equal to the number of stars.


Question 3 (Matrices)

EEI Figural Reasoning Sample 1

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is 3.

  • Across the columns (left-to-right) – the colored part of the rectangle follows the motion pattern and moves one step to the right. The arrow’s movement is independent of the columns.
  • Down the rows (top-to-bottom) – the arrow follows the rotation pattern, rotating 90 degrees counterclockwise in each step.

When the arrow is horizontal, it is hidden behind the rectangle and is therefore invisible. That is a rather common trope in abstract reasoning questions.

Section 2 – Mathematical Usage

Question 4 (Unit Conversion)

EEI Mathematical Usage Sample 1

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is B.

3 acres = [3 x 160] square rods = [3 x 160 x (0.252)] square chains = 30 square chains.

Pro Tip

When converting square units – don’t forget to square!

Question 5 (Word Problems)

87 tasks have been assigned to you and your team. On Monday, you completed 13 tasks. On Tuesday you completed 22 tasks. On Wednesday you completed 18 tasks, and on Thursday you completed 25 tasks. Today is Friday morning. How many tasks remain?

  1. 14
  2. 7
  3. 9
  4. 11

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is C.

87 – 13 – 22 – 18 – 25 = 9.

Question 6 (Algebra)

2x – 14 = 4.5x + 1 ; x = ?

  1. 4.5
  2. -6
  3. 6
  4. 10

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is B.

2x – 14 = 4.5x + 1

– 15 = 2.5x

x = -6

Section 3 – Mechanical Concepts

Question 7

EEI Mechanical Concepts Sample 1

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is B.

In a pipe where the flow is uniform, the narrower the pipe, the faster the flow. The underlying physical principle is the volumetric flow rate formula.

Q = V x A

  • Q = volumetric flow rate
  • V = flow velocity
  • A = pipe cross-section area

Since Q is constant along the entire pipe, if A is lower, V must be higher.

Pro Tip

While the mechanical concepts section does not require previous knowledge, being familiar with basic physics is going to give you a major advantage.

Question 8

EEI Mechanical Concepts Sample 2

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is A.

When two cars travel side by side, the one doing the larger curve is going faster. The underlying physical principle is angular and linear velocity.

V = w x R

  • V = Linear velocity (how fast the car is moving in a straight line)
  • w = Angular velocity (how fast the car is “rotating” along the center of the circle)
  • R = The distance from the imaginary center of the circle.

Since Car A and Car B have the same angular velocity (they travel side by side), but Car A is farther from the center, its linear velocity is greater.

Tip: If you still haven’t wrapped your head around this, think about a VERY wide circle, with two cars travelling inside, with a line between them. Clearly, the car in the outer lane will have to travel much faster than the one in the outer lane to keep up.

EEI Mechanical Concepts Sample 3 - Explanation

Question 9

EEI Mechanical Concepts Sample 3

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is B.

A spring’s stiffness is proportional to its length. The longer the spring, the less stiff it is. The underlying principle is Hooke’s Law.

Section 4 – Reading for Comprehension

Use the following passage for questions 10-12.

Safety Measures in Electrical Work

Electricians work with potentially hazardous electrical systems, and ensuring their safety is paramount to prevent accidents and injuries. Implementing effective safety measures is crucial in minimizing risks and creating a secure working environment.

Wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is fundamental for an electrician’s safety, including insulated gloves, safety glasses, flame-resistant clothing, and steel-toed boots. PPE provides a protective barrier against electric shocks, burns, and other potential hazards. However, proper safety measures are designed to ensure that PPE remains only a backup plan.

Using the right tools for the job is crucial in that sense. Insulated and non-conductive tools help prevent electric shock, and regular maintenance ensures that tools remain in good working condition. Compliance ensures that electrical installations meet safety standards, reducing the risk of accidents and ensuring the longevity of the electrical systems. Having first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and other equipment in the worksite ensures a prompt and effective response in case of accidents or injuries.

Professional knowledge is an essential component of safe work. Hence, electricians must undergo proper training and obtain the necessary certifications. While in the case of other jobs this training is designed mostly for professional reasons, the electrician codes and regulations were designed to prevent serious injury and death. Therefore, an in-depth familiarity with them is non-negotiable in this case.  This requirement translates to a legally mandated official certification in nearly all countries and states, yet the specifications may vary. This includes but is not limited to adequate knowledge of electrical systems, safety protocols, and emergency procedures. Some regulatory bodies also require first aid training.

As every working environment has its own unique features, a thorough risk assessment should be carried out by a certified electrical engineer or electrician before commencing any electrical work. Identifying potential hazards and implementing preventive measures ensures a safer work environment, including assessing the voltage levels, potential exposure to live circuits, and any other factors that may pose a risk.

The usage of lockout/tagout procedures is another highly important safety measure. These procedures involve isolating energy sources and using locks or tags to protect electricians from unexpected electrical discharges. De-energization of panels should be used whenever possible, as well as proper labeling of circuits for quick and accurate identification.

Additional safety measures should be implemented for electrical work at heights. This may include the use of harnesses, guardrails, and proper scaffolding. Implementing these measures helps prevent falls and the associated injuries. Safety organizations and labor unions regularly conduct training and certification plans for those working at height.

Question 10

According to the text, which of the following may be prosecuted?

  1. An electrician using substandard equipment.
  2. An electrician not using lockout/tagout procedures.
  3. An electrician working at heights.
  4. An electrician without an official certification.
  5. An electrician who did not carry out a risk assessment.

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is D.

According to the text (paragraph 4), electricians have a legally mandated official certification in nearly all countries and states.” Therefore, an electrician without such a certification is violating the law.

Pro Tip

Since you can move back and forth between test questions, it may be worthwhile to have a look at the questions before reading the text, to get an idea of what you are looking for.

Question 11

In which paragraph would it be most relevant to describe new patented pliers especially designed for electricians?

  1. Paragraph 1
  2. Paragraph 2
  3. Paragraph 3
  4. Paragraph 4
  5. Paragraph 5

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is C.

Each paragraph of the text deals with a different aspect of safety measures for electricians. Paragraph 3 focuses on “the right tools for the job”, a category that is most appropriate for pliers. Paragraph 2, which describes Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), is less relevant, as it focuses on equipment whose main purpose is to protect the electrician.

Question 12

Which of the following measures could be described as “the last line of defense” in an electrician’s work?

  1. Risk assessment
  2. An official certification
  3. Proper work tools
  4. PPE
  5. Professional knowledge

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is D.

According to the text: proper safety measures are designed to ensure that PPE remains only a backup plan.” That is, if all other safety measures have failed, PPE is the last resort to prevent injury or death. Careful adherence to safety protocols should ensure that electricians do not face a situation in which their safety depends on their PPE.

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