Beat the MTA Exams: Bus Operator and Train Conductor (2020)

Last updated 11/2020

The Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) is one of the largest public transit authorities in North America. The MTA is responsible for coordinating the travel of over 11 million passengers. The MTA uses the MTA Bus Operator and MTA Train Conductor Exam to make sure that all of its operators are competent and responsible.

Prepterminal’s all-inclusive guides are the ideal preparation resource for anyone who wants to work as an MTA Bus/Train Operator.

Introduction to the MTA Bus Operator Exam

If you wish to become a MaBSTOA bus operator, MTA bus driver, or an MTA train operator, you will need to pass 1 or 2 MTA operator/MTA conductor tests. Namely; the MTA Multiple-Choice Exam and the BOSS Exam.

Given that the bus operator or train conductor exam comes in two forms: BOSS and Multiple-choice, you need to know which test you will be taking. These two tests are very different.

To work out which test you will need to take a look at the “Type of Test” box on the top right-hand side of your notification of examination (NOE). If the term “See the Selection Process Section” appears, you will most likely need to complete the BOSS exam. You can check the selection process section on the NOE to be certain. If the term ‘multiple choice’ appears in the box, you will need to take the multiple-choice exam.

The MTA Hiring Process

There are 4 stages you will need to go through to become an MTA bus operator:

#1. Apply
You need to apply online for the majority of job positions at the MTA. To do this, you will require an email address. You will also need to fill out all pages of the application. You will need to provide your educational background, past job positions, and contact information. Then, you will be requested to upload a copy of your resume. After you have selected a job you wish to apply to, choose the job and add it to the Job Basket. Check that you meet the requirements, and click on the Apply for Jobs button to submit your application.

#2. Take an MTA Employment Assessment
All candidates who wish to become operators, conductors or drivers must complete the MTA employment test. Applicants that successfully complete the exam will be called in for an interview. This can happen at any time, even several years later.

#3. Drug Test & Medical Test
All applicants need to pass a medical exam (physical) and a drug test.

#4. Interview
Only applicants who got a top score on their pre-employment test will be invited to attend an interview.

What is the MTA BOSS Exam?

In 1996, the American Public Transportation Association and ED Jacobs created the Bus Operator Selection Survey (BOSS) Exam. Different public transportation employers in North America use the BOSS.

This exam is a personality profiling test, which measures your personality characteristics to see if you are a good fit for the job.

What is the MTA Multiple-Choice Exam?

The MTA Multiple-Choice Exam for conductors and operators is a pre-employment test. This test concentrates on cognitive ability, which is your capacity to solve problems and adopt new ideas. Below you can read through the subjects that feature on this exam.

The Structure of the MTA Multiple-Choice Exam

The multiple-choice MTA contains questions centering around 11 subjects:

Deductive Reasoning: You will be given a passage that contains the state laws of policies of the MTA. You will need to read and analyze how these rules apply to a certain situation or question.

Inductive Reasoning: You will need to reach a logical conclusion, after looking at a set of pictures, numbers, scenarios, objects, words or letters.
Sometimes, you will be asked a question in the form of a table, chart, or sentence. You will need to find the common: element, concept, rule or sequence, shared by all the figures.

Information Ordering: You will be given five to six statements, in no particular order. You will need to re-arrange the statements so that they follow a logical sequence, or logical chronological order.

Problem Sensitivity: This part is sometimes called the MTA situational judgment test. The questions featured in this section ask to solve a conflict that you could encounter while working as an MTA bus/train operator.
The responses will range from highly tolerant to firm or aggressive. You will need to choose the most suitable option.

Short Term Memorization: As a bus/train operator you will need to have good memorization skills, so that you can navigate routes. The questions in this section will ask you to find a complicated line of letters, numbers, symbols, or a mix of everything, according to a list or table.

Spatial Orientation: In this part, you will be asked to find the fastest route without breaking traffic laws and other requirements given in the question.

Written Comprehension: This is like a reading comprehension test. However, you will be shown passages and words that are commonly used by the MTA in bulletins, messages, policies, and regulations.

Written Expression: This section will test your ability to express yourself verbally. You will typically be shown incomplete sentences and will need to select the answer that completes the sentence. You must know vocabulary, grammar, spelling, and word order rules, when answering these questions.

Visualization: In this part of MTA Bus Operator Test, you will be asked to use your mental imagery skills. You will be given questions where you will need to identify the original object, mattern, figure or person, after a number of changes. The changes will take place in relation to position or appearance of the object.
Generally, the questions will come in the form of a unique geometric pattern/portrait. You will need to choose the answer that matches the original image.

Mechanical Aptitude: Here, the MTA wants to assess your ability to understand and apply mechanical concepts and principles. They want to see how you can use these concepts to solve problems, like noticing that the bus needs fuel when the fuel gauge is nearly empty.
The questions will revolve around speed, wheels, belts, pulleys, levers, mechanical concepts, etc.

Customer Service: This section seeks to assess how helpful you will be to the passengers and customers of the MTA.
In this section, you will be given a short passage that contains a conflict or problem. You will have to solve the conflict. You will be given a number of choices varying in friendliness, intensity, approachability, etc.

Additional Requirements for MTA Bus Operator Exam

There are a number of requirements that you must meet to become a MTA Bus operator, such as:

  1. A driver’s license that’s either:
    • A Class B Commercial Driver License (CDL) valid in the State of New York with a passenger endorsement and no disqualifying restrictions (serious moving violations, a license suspension or an accident record); or
    • A Motor Vehicle Driver License valid in the State of New York and a Learner Permit for a Class B CDL valid in the State of New York with a passenger endorsement and no disqualifying restrictions (serious moving violations, a license suspension or an accident record).
  2. Pass a medical exam
  3. Pass a drug screening test

What is the Passing Rate for the MTA Bus Operator Multiple-Choice Exam?

The minimum score required to pass the test is 70%.

The 70% minimum passing score of the MTA Multiple Choice Exam seems manageable. However, we have discovered that a number of test-takers underestimate the difficulty and the complexity of this exam. This causes them to lose precious time and money just because they didn’t prepare.
To make matters worse, passing the MTA bus operator exam may not be enough. As your score will be compared to other candidates. This makes the competition for bus/train operators fierce.

Therefore, it is highly recommended to practice to make sure that you attain a top score on your MTA bus/train operator exam.

How Prepterminal can Help with the MTA Bus Operator or Train Conductor Exam

The MTA Bus Operator or MTA Train Conductor test is difficult, as bus/train operators have a lot of responsibility and are privy to many benefits. Many people want jobs as bus/train operators, so you will have to stand out from the competition. Thus, you cannot and should not settle for a passing score.

Test experts designed Prepterminal’s comprehensive MTA Bus/Train Operator Exam Prep Course. These experts regularly research the contents of the MTA bus operator and train conductor exam – so our guides are always up-to-date.

Our experts have put together a full curriculum-based course for an optimal learning experience. We are here to help you prepare and succeed on your MTA Bus/Train Operator exam.

Our prep course has study guides, video guides, practice questions, and full practice tests. Our course contains all of the subjects, questions, and question formats featured in the real MTA Exam.

Make sure you get the job you want as a Bus/Train Operator and start practicing for your MTA exam with Prepterminal today.

*Note: MTA and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with PrepTerminal or this website.

Beat the MTA Exams: Bus Operator and Train Conductor (2020)

Last updated 11/2020

The Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) is one of the largest public transit authorities in North America. The MTA is responsible for coordinating the travel of over 11 million passengers. The MTA uses the MTA Bus Operator and MTA Train Conductor Exam to make sure that all of its operators are competent and responsible.

Prepterminal’s all-inclusive guides are the ideal preparation resource for anyone who wants to work as an MTA Bus/Train Operator.

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