2023 MTA Police Exam: Get Practice & Guides
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Asif, Police Exam expert at JobTestPrep.

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What is the MTA Police Exam? 

The MTA police exam assesses future police officers' cognitive abilities, personality traits, and work attitudes using the NCJOSI II test. It consists of 200 questions divided into two sections, with a time limit of two and a half hours. 

The two sections of the test complement each other and give the police department a deeper understanding of your qualities as a potential police officer. The first section of the test is essentially a psychometric test that includes 80 questions covering 10 cognitive fields.

The second section of the test includes 120 questions composed of both personality test and situational judgment test questions, which together provide a broad picture of your personal attributes. 

MTA Police Officer Test Cognitive Section

  1. Deductive Reasoning – A common element in police aptitude tests, deductive reasoning essentially means applying a rule to a specific situation. You can expect to be presented with laws and policies followed by a specific scenario, and your job will be to determine whether or how the law is applicable.  
  2. Flexibility of Closure – In this section candidates must identify a relevant pattern within a larger, often cluttered pattern. This is relevant in many aspects of police work, such as identifying a face in a crowd, or spotting an important piece of evidence at a crime scene. 
  3. Inductive Reasoning – Another core element of police aptitude tests where candidates must identify a pattern connecting several seemingly unrelated details. This ability is crucial in many aspects of police work, such as identifying serial offenders or identifying a crime trend. In the test you may be presented with information regarding crime, and asked to decide how to focus your efforts.  
  4. Information Gathering – Also know as information ordering sometimes, this refers to the ability to logically sequence information. In the test you will be shown a jumbled sequence of sentences that in the right order form a guideline or law, and asked to correct the order. 
  5. Problem Sensitivity – Police officers are relied upon to act in the most appropriate manner and adapt to many situations. In this section you will be presented with a typical policework scenario, and asked to select the best course of action. 
  6. Selective Attention – This measures the ability to concentrate despite many distractions. This cognitive ability is essential when following subjects in a large crowd or searching for a license plate in traffic. In the test, candidates must locate specific information in a complex line of numbers, letters, or symbols. 
  7. Spatial Orientation – Being able to navigate efficiently in the streets or within structures is vital to perform effective policework. In the NCJOSI candidates must read maps or layouts and identify the most direct route from one point to another.
  8. Verbal Comprehension – This ability is at the basis of your work as a police officer, and is required for everything from reading and understanding state laws, rules and regulations, reports, and more. In the test, candidates must read the information provided and answer sometimes complex questions that require quick and accurate analysis. 
  9. Verbal Expression – This section tests grammar, vocabulary, spelling and word ordering – all crucial elements of the ability to communicate information in written reports, emails, and other forms of written communication. In the test candidates are presented with incomplete sentences and must identify missing words or misspelled words in order to form a proper sentence. 
  10. Visualization – This cognitive ability is one of the core elements of aptitude tests. It involves identifying an object after it has undergone changes. In the test, an original image is presented, and then four options that have undergone changes – one of which is the matching the original. Candidates must identify which one, by mentally rotating, adding or removing elements, or any other steps required to reach the original. 


MTA Police Officer Test Behavioral Section 

Section two of the test measures various job-related behavioral attributes that indicate how compatible a candidate is with the personality traits expected from a future MTA police officer.

In this section you will need to answer 120 questions that can be divided into two main types.

  • Situational judgement test - in these questions you are presented with scenarios that you could face as an MTA police officer, either in the field or at the police department. After reading the scenario, you will need to select one answer which you believe is the best way to react (imagining you are already a sworn police officer)
  • Personality test - these questions measure personality traits, aiming to identify desirable and undesirable aspects of a candidates personality. Anxiety for example is a trait that could disqualify a police officer candidate, if it appears to be dominant in the candidate's personality

Not the police test you are looking for? Visit our general police test page for more info!

How to Become an MTA Police Officer

Getting a high score on the MTA police test isn't easy, but with the right amount of preparation and hard work, there is no reason you shouldn't succeed. 

JobTestPrep's MTA preparation pack contains accurate simulations of NCJOSI II tests, providing you with all the study resources you need to increase your speed and accuracy -  essential elements you must have to pass the test.

By practicing with our practice tests and study guides, you will gain valuable knowledge on every section of the test, elevating your skills and giving you the keys to success. 

MTA Police Exam Sample Questions

To get a glimpse of the types of questions you will face on the MTA police exam, try and solve the sample questions below. Keep in mind that in the real test, you will need to answer 200 questions!

Sample Question 1 - Reading Comprehension

Embezzlement occurs when a person illegally takes assets that have been entrusted to that person’s care. In order to be charged with embezzlement, a person must have a legal or ethical relationship with the party who owns the asset, and must have intentionally gained possession and acquired ownership through the said relationship with intent to permanently deprive its owner.

According to the definition given, which of the following is the best example of embezzlement?

Dave, who works at the register of a grocery store, takes 5$ from the register.
The protocol at the restaurant Amy works at is for waiters and waitresses to give 20% of their tips to the busboy or busgirl on duty. Amy receives a 10$ tip and keeps all of it.
While shopping at a clothing store a store employee urges Rachel to go to the dressing room and try on some of the clothes she is looking at. Rachel goes into the dressing room, puts on shirt she was looking at, and walks out of the store without paying.
Howard, the manager of a car rental service, takes one of the cars for week. 
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is A.

Dave, who works at the register, was entrusted with all of the money in the register. Dave and the owner of the store have a legal, employee – employer relationship. Since Dave gained access to the register through his employee status and intentionally took the money with intent to keep it, he is guilty of embezzlement.

Answer B: Although Amy’s actions are unethical and she may be stealing from the busboy/girl, they do not fit the definition of embezzlement. Amy and the busboy/girl do have an ethical relationship; however, she was entrusted with the money by a third party. It is only considered embezzlement when the victim is the one who initially entrusted the thief.

Answer C: The fact that Rachel was given permission to try on some clothing at a store, does not mean she was “entrusted with their care.” Furthermore, Rachel and the store owner do not have any legal or ethical relationship. She therefore may be guilty of shoplifting, but she has not committed embezzlement.

Answer D: In order for a crime to be considered embezzlement, one must take an asset, with “intent to permanently deprive its owner.” Since Howard only took the car for a week, he is not guilty of embezzlement.

Sample Question 2 - Information Gathering

The following steps should be followed when rescuing a drowning person. (These steps are not listed in the correct order.)

  1. Place your arm underneath the victim’s
  2. Get a flotation device
  3. Apply medical assistance
  4. Swim to the victim
  5. If other people are around, alert them to call for help.
  6. Place the flotation device between yourself and the victim
  7. Bring the victim to safety

The most logical order for the steps above is:

Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is A.

The first thing you should do when a person is drowning is to call for more help (step 5). Answers B and D can therefore be eliminated.

According to answer A, after calling for help you should get a flotation device (step 2) and then swim to the victim (step 4).

According to answer C, after calling for help you should swim to the victim (step 4) and then get a flotation device (step 2).

Answer A must be correct, as you must get a flotation device before swimming towards the victim.
You may also have noticed:

When someone is drowning, every second is crucial. Therefore, you should only apply medical assistance (step 3) after the victim has been safely removed from the water.

You must swim to the victim (step 4) before placing your arm underneath his (step 1), before putting the flotation device between yourself and the victim (step 6), and before bringing the victim to safety (step 7).


For more questions, check out our police practice question PDF!

MTA Police Officer Hiring Process

The hiring process to join an MTA police department consists of eight steps:

  1. Written examination - perhaps the most challenging part of the selection process, the written examination is the part of the hiring process you must prepare for more than any other. 
  2. Physical fitness test - although a physical fitness test can vary slightly from one police department to the next, they are generally very similar. Check out the New York State physical fitness test guide, or our dedicated page
  3. Panel interview - the first opportunity for the hiring police department to get to know you in person, the panel interview is your chance to present yourself and your qualities.  
  4. Background investigation, including fingerprints;
  5. Medical exam including drug test
  6. Psychological evaluation, written and oral
  7. Polygraph examination 
  8. Completion of Police Academy curriculum.

To be considered for any MTA position, you must pass each and every phase of the application process - from the written examination, through to the background investigation, all the way to finishing the police academy.

There are lucrative benefits for working with the MTA police department, meaning that every applicant class is overloaded with candidates aiming to become MTA Police Officers. The best way to distinguish yourself is to prepare for the exam in advance and be among the highest-scoring applicants.

When is the MTA Police Exam 2023?

The MTA Police Exam 2023 is scheduled to take place during the month of February. 

MTA Hiring Process Requirements

After successfully completing the written examination, candidates must complete further steps / adhere to certain requirements as part of the hiring process:

  • Valid driver's license
  • High school diploma
  • Be at least 21 years of age at the date of recruitment.
  • Good spoken English.
  • One of the following:
    • At least 60 credits with at least a 2.0 average from an accredited college.
    • Two years of active service as a sworn police officer
    • Two years active U.S military experience with an honorable discharge. 
  • Must reside in New York State, New Jersey, or Connecticut and continue to maintain residency there during their employment. 

MTA Police Officer Employment Info

The MTA Police Department is responsible for the safety and protection of individuals and property in the territory covered by the MTA. This includes the state of Connecticut, New York City, and seven New York State counties.

In passing the exam, you move one step closer to working in the MTA as a Detective or officer in the Highway Patrol, Inter-Agency Counter-Terrorism Task Force, Canine Unit (K-9), Executive Protection Unit, Communications Unit, Technology & System Development, Internal Affairs Bureau, Emergency Services Unit, or Right of Way (ROW) Task Force.

You also enjoy the following benefits:

  • Salary range from a starting salary of $44,000 to $109,978 after nine years 
  • Comprehensive insurance coverage
  • 401k plan, life insurance
  • Vacation days that carry over
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Overtime opportunities
  • Free metro card


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