Practice for the NYC Auto Mechanic Exam


What is the Education and Experience Exam?

The Education and Experience Exam is an online questionnaire completed using the OAsys Application System. Here, you must truthfully complete information about your education and work background. If your answers about your background are revealed to be untruthful or inaccurate, this may cause your entire application to be rejected, so be careful!

What is the NYC Mechanic Exam?

The Department of Sanitation NYC Mechanic Exam  is administered as a computer-based multiple-choice question assessment for aspiring mechanics in New York & Staten Island. It is taken at the DCAS offices. 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.

The test requires an understanding of basic math along with other reasoning skills. Please note that by the date of appointment, you must have a  Category B commercial driver's license (CDL) or a regular driver’s license with a learner’s permit for a CDL.

New York City Mechanic’s Exam Subjects

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

Professional Knowledge

The test may include questions on the operating principles of internal combustion engines and automotive components; electrical and electronic principles and systems; repair, maintenance, and troubleshooting of transmissions, steering, and suspension, brakes, cooling and heating, ignition, fuel, hydraulic and other automotive systems; proper selection and use of tools and equipment (shop and diagnostic); proper safety practices; automotive inspections and emissions testing; New York State Department of Motor Vehicle operating rules; standards of proper employee ethical conduct; and other related areas.


Deductive Reasoning

This section of the exam requires candidates to apply a general rule to specific situations. The general rule could be a set of orders that are followed by different situations and questions. Candidates must figure out how the rules apply to a given situation or solve a logical question based on a general rule.

  • Deductive Reasoning Sample Question

There are four famous topical pictures in a museum: scenery, a kitchen, a park, and oranges.

The paintings were painted by Jones, Smith, Hardy, and Lane. The scenery painting is hanging next to Smith's painting. The scenery painting also hangs between the park and Hardy's painting. Jones didn’t paint the scenery or the oranges.

Who painted the kitchen?

A.   Jones
B.   Smith
C.   Hardy
D.   None of the Above
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The scenery painting is hanging next to Smith's painting, and between Hardy's painting and the painting of the park. We can conclude, therefore, that Smith painted the park. Since Jones didn’t paint the scenery painting, the oranges painting, or the park painting (drawn by Smith), then he must have painted the kitchen.

The correct answer is A

Inductive Reasoning

This skill is the reverse of deductive reasoning: it is the ability to derive general rules from separate, specific, pieces of information. Auto mechanics use this ability to troubleshoot problems based on case-by-case evidence, e.g., when figuring out why an engine is not starting.

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 their correct order. No outside information is to be used to order the information, only what is given on the sanitation test itself.

  • Information Ordering Sample Question

If the names Sally Draper, Cara Doyle,  Casey Dover, and Sam Donald were arranged for alphabetic filing, the position of the underlined name would be: 

A.   First
B.   Second
C.   Third
D.   Fourth
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

Here are the names rewritten for alphabetic filing (last name first):
Draper Sally, Doyle Cara, Dover Casey, Donald Sam.

And then arranged by alphabetic order:
Donald Sam, Dover Casey, Doyle Cara, Draper Sally.

The correct answer is B

Mathematical Reasoning

This skill helps you resolve problems by organizing them in a mathematical way, for example, using equations to come up with vehicle values.

Number Facility

This is your ability to perform arithmetic actions (subtracting, adding, dividing, and multiplying) quickly and accurately.

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. Mechanics may face issues with their vehicles or equipment and must be able to recognize when a challenging situation.

  • Problem Sensitivity Sample Question



A person may take down raccoons only in accordance with the following regulations:

1. Hunters must be on foot.
2. Artificial lights may be used to locate, attempt to locate, or shoot a raccoon only if the raccoon has been treed or put at bay by dogs.
3. Handguns used must be .17 or .22 caliber rimfire (including .22 magnum).

Note: a person may pursue and tree raccoons with dogs during the closed season and without a license.


Which of the following is  not  in violation of the RULE?

A.  Tom and his daughter ran after a raccoon until it climbed up a tree. While shining a flashlight on it, Tom used a .17 caliber centerfire handgun to take it down.
B.  Missy and her grandfather saw their dog cornering a raccoon in their driveway. Missy used a shotgun with No. 4 rounds to take the raccoon down.
C.  Jake and his sister pursued a raccoon with their 4X4 vehicle. After treeing the raccoon, they shot it with .17 caliber rimfire rifles.
D.  Abigail tried to find a raccoon hiding in her barn while her son shined a flashlight for her.
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

Answer (A) is incorrect because "Handguns used must be .17 or .22 caliber rimfire (including .22 magnum)." – Tom used a centerfire handgun to take out the raccoon.

Answer (C) is incorrect because "Hunters must be on foot." – Jake and his sister drove a vehicle.

Answer (D) is incorrect because "Artificial lights may be used to [attempt to locate] a raccoon only if the raccoon has been treed or put at bay by dogs." – The raccoon is neither treed nor put at bay by dogs.

The correct answer is B

Written Comprehension

This section of sanitation testing can just as well be named 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 mechanic can be physically demanding, a necessary requirement is to read and understand different kinds of written information, such as departmental messages and memos.

  • Written Comprehension Sample Question

When the only French-language teacher in the small town died, students needing tutoring in French had to call in a teacher from another town. The new teacher charged significantly more per lesson than their townsperson had, and some people were upset with the new teacher for taking advantage of her monopoly in the field of French-language tutoring to earn more money on each French lesson she gave. In fact, however, the new French-language teacher does not earn more money on each lesson than she would have before, because it costs her more for transportation from one town to the other, and therefore her expenses are higher than were those of the teacher living in town.

Which one of the following is an underlying assumption of the above argument?

A.  When one person has a monopoly on a necessary product or service, the price for the product or service goes up.
B.  When a new worker takes over a service, their rates will almost always be higher than those who began providing the service many years ago.
C.  Over time, the service of foreign-language tutoring had become more prestigious and, hence, more expensive.
D.  The price for a coveted service will go up if the provider of the service believes that will result in a greater appreciation for the service.
E.  The transportation expenses are covered solely by the teacher's fee.
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

Let's locate the main argument in the passage:


  1. The French teacher charges more than her late predecessor. The French teacher lives out of town and has transportation expenses.
  2. The transportation expenses are covered solely by the teacher's fees.

Conclusion: The French teacher is not taking advantage of her monopoly to earn more money.

Assumption E is a necessary assumption in order to arrive at the author's conclusion. The author must assume that the teacher is not receiving any other compensation for her transportation expenses apart from her fees to conclude that she is not taking advantage of her monopoly. Thus the assumption is correct.

We can double-check our answer by using the negative test:


  1. The French teacher charges more than her late predecessor.
  2. The French teacher lives out of town and has transportation expenses.
  3. The transportation expenses are NOT covered solely by the teacher's fees. OR: The teacher receives compensation for her transportation expenses regardless of her high fees.

Conclusion: The French teacher is not taking advantage of her monopoly to earn more money.

The negative test proves to us that the assumption is indeed correct because once used in its negative form, it immediately invalidates the conclusion.

The correct answer is E

Written Expression

Mechanics must be able to clearly express themselves through writing in a way that is understandable to others. For this reason, the Mechanic test includes a Written Expression section. In this section, the mechanic candidate must select one of a number of options to identify which one is more grammatically correct or more clearly worded.

  • Written Expression Sample Question

Which of the following sentences is punctuated correctly?

A.  The hamburgers are almost ready can you bring the ketchup from the refrigerator?
B.  The hamburgers are almost ready; can you bring the ketchup from the refrigerator?
C.  The hamburgers are almost ready, can you bring the ketchup from the refrigerator?
D.  The hamburgers are almost ready, can you bring, the ketchup from the refrigerator?
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

A semicolon is used to separate two related independent clauses.

Answer (A) is incorrect because, without punctuation, the two independent clauses create a run-on sentence.

Answers (C) and (D) are incorrect because using a comma to separate two independent clauses resulting in a comma splice error.

The correct answer is B

 Preparing for the New York Mechanic Exam

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