NYC Sanitation Exam Preparation [2021Updated]

The Department of Sanitation test is administered as a paper and pencil and multiple-choice question exam. In order to pass the exam, a minimum score of 70 is required. Your score is then ranked alongside all other applicants from highest to lowest, and you are considered for employment in this order.

NYC Sanitation Civil Service Test Subjects

Below is a detailed explanation of the different sub-sections.

Written Comprehension

This section of sanitation testing is essentially reading comprehension. It measures your critical thinking skills and your understanding of the English language. Candidates will be presented with several passages to read and are required to draw logical conclusions from the material. Answers must be based on only the given information, and no prior or external knowledge is necessary to complete these questions. Although the position of a sanitation worker can be physically demanding, a necessary requirement is to read and understand different kinds of written information, such as departmental messages and memos.

Written Expression

Here candidates are tested on their English language proficiency and are asked to identify errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, or answer sentence completion questions. The Sanitation Exam formats these grammar questions in different ways, such as requiring you to reorder a set of sentences to form a logical paragraph. Sanitation workers, as required by the sanitation department, must be able to clearly express themselves through writing in a way that is understandable to others.

Problem Sensitivity

This section requires applicants to identify problematic situations from given information. You must read the presented situation, understand the problem, and then identify the different elements and causes of the problem. Sanitation workers may face issues with their vehicles or equipment and must be able to recognize when a challenging situation occurs.

Information Ordering

This section tests your ability to understand and follow written directions. Based on a set of given rules presented in the questions, candidates must place numbers, letters, procedures, pictures, etc., in the correct order. No outside information is to be used to order the information, only what is given on the sanitation test itself.

Deductive Reasoning

This section of the exam requires you to apply a general rule to specific situations. The general rule may be a set of orders that are followed by different situations and questions. You must use the rule to solve problems presented in the questions, or to come up with a logical answer to a specific scenario.

Spatial Orientation

This section of the test is highly important on the job. Having a general sense of direction is necessary to get from one point to another efficiently, and to avoid inconveniences like getting lost. Here, maps may be presented followed by questions on how to get from one point to another, or questions about what is the shortest or longest route.


Candidates must be able to visualize what an object would look like after undergoing a change or transformation like being rotated or unfolded. These questions may present an image of the original object with a description of the alteration the object will undergo, followed by four answer options of what the object will look like after its transformation.

Sanitation Worker Requirements & Duties

In order to be eligible to apply for the Department of Sanitation test, candidates must be a minimum of 17 ½ years of age. You are not required to have a driver’s license, an official educational diploma, or have any specific residency. However, in order to be appointed to the sanitation worker position, employees must be at least 21 years old, have a valid driver’s license and a high school (or educational equivalent) diploma.

The sanitation worker position can be physically demanding, requiring you to operate equipment involved in street cleaning, waste collection, recycling collection, snow removal, encumbrance removal, and waste disposal.

Preparing for the New York Sanitation Exam

Our state-of-the-art practice test package is specifically designed to prepare you for the New York sanitation exam. Our online practice tests can optimize your performance on test day.  With each practice test you take, your solving abilities improve. To prepare efficiently for this test, it is recommended to practice as much possible to familiarize yourself with all the varieties of questions you may encounter on testing day. Practice with JobTestPrep. We provide:

  • The most comprehensive and in-depth Sanitation Exam practice test questions available online
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Our Premium Membership allows you to study for as many civil service exams as you'd like. The premium membership is licensed for 12 months, allowing you to study well in advance and arrive feeling confident.

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Books no longer provide the most current and complete civil service test preparation. Our online services not only gives you access to many practice tests than books do, but also optimizes your test preparedness with timed tests and auto-saved score reports that enable you to go back to questions you answered wrong. Track your progress, focus on what you need to improve, all with a vast library of practice tests at your fingertips.

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