Power Plant Operator

Hello I’ve been in contact with a cogen plant for an operator position and will be taking a “basic skills test”…I’m not worried too much about it, but just wondering if there’s certain topics I should refresh on such as gas turbines, steam/thermo etc…Or is this a basic math and writing test? Any input would be helpful! Thanks.

It’s probably the company’s own test and most likely will focus on GT and HRSG ops. Smaller plants might want some recip experience. Depending upon the configuration, i.e. process plant vs an electric-only CCCT, knowledge of chillers/refrigeration is helpful. Being called “Basic Skills” it might also include anything from arithmetic up to basic thermo. Be able to rattle off the steam-water cycle backwards and forwards; HRSGs are just unfired boilers. All your shipboard balance-of-plant knowledge will serve you well too.

Best of luck

[QUOTE=VibrationTech;166598]Hello I’ve been in contact with a cogen plant for an operator position and will be taking a “basic skills test”…I’m not worried too much about it, but just wondering if there’s certain topics I should refresh on such as gas turbines, steam/thermo etc…Or is this a basic math and writing test? Any input would be helpful! Thanks.[/QUOTE]

Hello-Sorry I saw this post so late, but here is info I believe to be correct about taking an operator plant test:

Plant Operator Selection System (POSS): Used to help select employees for operator jobs in electric power plants (fossil, nuclear, and hydroelectric). Examples of jobs covered by POSS are power plant operator, control room operator, and nuclear reactor operator. -

Use the links below to take free online practice tests for the POSS Exam.


You will be prompted for a name and password. Use [B]firstenergy [/B]for both.


FYI-I think the EEI tests are more like the ASVAB tests to enlist in the US military than the USCG exams for the Merchant Marine IMO.

[B]Plant Operator Selection System (POSS)
POSS is a set of test batteries that were developed and validated to aid in selecting power plant operators. POSS is the culmination of a large research program sponsored by the Edison Electric Institute and carried out by the Personnel Decisions Research Institute. A total of 70 investor-owned electric utility companies initially participated in the project. Research information was obtained and analyzed from thousands of company officials, supervisors, and plant operating personnel working in hundreds of plants. The result of this extensive research effort is a battery of paper-and-pencil tests that predict the likelihood of success in various power plant operator jobs.

POSS can be used to select candidates for operating jobs in fossil, nuclear, or hydro power plants. The tests take about two hours to administer. Components of the batteries measure how a candidate compares with others on a number of important aptitudes or abilities. Each POSS test battery consists of a number of aptitude tests.

The aptitude tests measure the cognitive abilities found to be important to successful job performance for plant operators. The aptitude tests are arranged in two alternate batteries which differ slightly in the test components and time required for administration.

Although the content of the aptitude batteries differs somewhat, both batteries have been found to be related to success in plant operations work. Some of the aptitude tests included in the battery are described below.

[B]Reading Comprehension. This test measures a person’s ability to read and understand the type of material found in power plant operator training and safety manuals. The Reading Comprehension test consists of five reading passages, each followed by several multiple-choice questions about the passage. The test has 36 items and a 30-minute time limit.

[B]Mechanical Concepts. This test measures the ability to understand mechanical principles. There are 44 multiple-choice items. Each item contains a pictorial description of a mechanical situation, a question, and three possible answers. This test has a 20-minute time limit.

[B]Mathematical Usage. There are two versions of this test. The short version measures candidates’ skill in working with basic mathematical formulas based on information provided at the beginning of the test. This version of the test includes 18 questions and has a 7-minute time limit.
The longer version of the test measures skill in solving and manipulating mathematical relationships. There are three sections: formula conversion problems, algebra problems, and word problems. The total test contains 46 multiple-choice items and has a 17-minute time limit.

[B]Spatial Ability. This test measures the ability to visualize the properly assembled form of an object. In this test, candidates are to assemble the parts so that the places having the same letter are put together. The test contains 20 multiple-choice items and has a 10-minute time limit.

[B]Tables and Graphs. This test measures speed and accuracy in reading tables and graphs. Part I contains a table of numbers which is used to answer 60 multiple-choice items. It has a five-minute time limit. Part II contains a graph which is used to answer 24 multiple-choice items. It has a four-minute time limit.

[B]Scoring and Interpretation:
A job candidate’s answers to the POSS tests are scored and converted to an Aptitude Index ranging in value from zero to 15.

Candidates’ standing on the Aptitude Index should be interpreted as a measure of their cognitive abilities that are important in plant operations work. Candidates with high Aptitude Index scores should be expected to understand mechanical principles, comprehend written materials including tables and graphs, use and understand mathematical relationships, and perceive details quickly and accurately.

The Aptitude Index provides a prediction of overall plant operations effectiveness. The Aptitude Index is used to determine the probability of success or failure in plant operations jobs; as such, it can differentiate between potentially effective candidates and those applicants less likely to succeed.

Federal regulations mandate that employment tests must be job-related. EEI’s employment test batteries are designed and validated for specific energy industry job families, including power plant operators, maintenance and craft positions, power dispatching positions, customer service representatives, and more.

EEI does not administer any of its employment tests directly to applicants. If you are interested in a position with an electric utility, please contact the utility directly for job and pre-employment testing information.

If you have previously taken an EEI employment test and are looking for your results, please understand that EEI does not provide results directly to applicants. If you have applied for a position with a utility company that requires an EEI test that you have already taken elsewhere, please be sure to notify the company to which you are applying.[/B][/B][/B][/B][/B][/B][/B][/B]