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What's Included

  • Preparation for reading comprehension, basic math, spatial reasoning, and mechanical aptitude tests
  • 18 reading comprehension practice tests to improve your written understanding abilities
  • 10 verbal tests and drills to improve your written expression abilities
  • 10 information ordering tests, to improve your ability to recognize and follow rules
  • 4 spatial orientation practice tests to improve your map reading and analyzing skills
  • 7 number facility practice tests that cover useful basic math topics
  • 7 mathematical reasoning tests that test your ability to use basic math to solve numerical word problems
  • 15 mechanical aptitude tests that cover various mechanical subjects
  • 12 visualization tests that test your spatial and diagrammatic reasoning skills
  • 4 thorough study guides for different topics


Curious about the employment possibilities at the MTA and want to give yourself the best chance of success on your NYC MTA pre-employment test and interview? The MTA only hires new employees every few years, and without fail thousands of applicants compete for each open position. To get ahead of the crowd, you need to achieve a high score on your MTA pre-employment tests. Get the information that you need on the application process for jobs at the MTA and take our online MTA aptitude tests to start on your path to success today. 

What is the Hiring Process at the MTA?

1. Apply

You must apply online for most jobs at the MTA. Do do this, you need an e-mail address. Make sure that your e-mail address is professional- an e-mail that includes simply your first and last name is best. You need to fill out all of the application pages and give details on your educational background, contact information, and past job experience. You will also need to attach a copy of your resume. Once you have found a job that you want to apply to, you can select the job and add it to your Job Basket. Make sure that you fit the requirements for the job that you want, and then click on Apply for Jobs in my Job Basket to complete your application.

2. Take a pre-employment test

Most jobs at the MTA require a pre-employment test. Successful candidates will be contacted for an interview at any point following the MTA assessment, even years later. Below you can find details on two of the most common MTA tests: the MTA Conductor Exam and the BOSS (Bus Operator Selection Survey) as well as tips on how to prepare.

3. Drug test & medical exam

All candidates must pass a drug test and a medical exam (physical) to get hired.

4. Interview

This is the last step of the application process, and only candidates who achieved a high score on their pre-employment test will be asked to complete an interview. For your interview, you should arrive ten minutes early and dress professionally. You may find it helpful to practice with a friend ahead of time so that you will feel confident and prepared for your interview. 

What Is the MTA Conductor Exam?

The MTA Conductor Exam is a pre-employment tests that all applicants for subway conductor jobs at the MTA must take. A passing grade is 70% and higher. The test includes questions on the following topics and more:

  • Understanding and using written and verbal information
  • Displaying good judgment and decision-making skills in emergency situations
  • Interacting positively with members of the public
  • Showing knowledge of the major points of interest in New York City
  • Understanding military time

Top Tips for Preparing for Your MTA Conductor Exam 

  1. For the reading comprehension section, try to read a range of written materials such as newspapers, books, and magazines. While reading, ask yourself what the main point of the passage is, what is the author's point of view, and what are the different opinions shown in the piece. 
  2. Learn military time: Learn how to read a 24-hour clock.
  3. Brush up on the major points of interest in New York City by studying a travel guide. We recommend doing this even if you are a native New Yorker.

What Are the Next Steps after the MTA Conductor Exam?

After you have finished the test, you will receive a letter in the mail that contains your list number. It may take from a month to one year for you to receive your list number, so be patient. The higher your score, the more likely it is that you will be called for an interview. That is why it is so important that you practice for your test. Exams are usually given only once every four years, so don't miss out on your chance to get hired as a conductor for the MTA.

How Can I Become an MTA Bus Operator?

There are a few steps involved in getting hired as a bus operator at the MTA. First, you must pass a personality test called the BOSS (Bus Operator Selection Survey). This is a test that includes around two hundred questions and is designed to determine if you have the right qualities to be a bus operator. While the test is long, there are many questions that ask you essentially the same thing. Second, you must pass a drug test and a medical examination.

How Long Is the Hiring Process to Be an MTA Bus Operator?

It can take up to a year to be contacted by the MTA after you receive your list number. However, it may take up to three years if you passed the BOSS test, but didn't score high enough to be a preferred candidate. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the difference between a train conductor and a train operator? 

A train conductor is more of a customer service agentthey are in charge of opening and closing the train doors, making announcements, and helping customers. The train operator is the worker who drives the train and is responsible for all aspects of operating the train. 

Who is eligible to be a train operator?

To be a train operator, you must have a valid New York State driver's license, a high school diploma (or its equivalent), and one year of work experience. (Conductors only need to have a high school diploma or its equivalent.)

Can I review my application before submitting it?

Yes, you can review your application before submitting, and it is highly recommended that you check your application and resume for spelling errors before hitting send.

I took my test and still haven't heard back. What should I do?

It can take several months for you to receive your letter from the MTA. Try to be patient.

How can I find the answers to my test?

There are answer keys for all of the MTA exams on the MTA's website.

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