2024 MTA Police Exam: Get Practice & Guides
Shir Enzer

Shir, Civil Service Assessments Expert at JobTestPrep.

Have a question? Contact me at: ask_the_team@jobtestprep.com

What is the MTA Police Exam? 

The MTA Police Exam is an aptitude test which is taken during the process of applying to a position of police officer in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The MTA police test aims to measure the cognitive capabilities that police officer candidates possess, especially those that correlate directly with what is needed in daily police work in MTA. 

The MTA police exam test is timed, and the questions can be very challenging - a dangerous combo that without proper preparation can easily mean you find yourself missing out on the job. This is why accurate prep is key. 

What Type of Questions Does the MTA Police Exam Include?

  1. Memorization – The memory section of the test is considered to be the most difficult part of the entire exam. You will have 10 minutes to carefully study the details of a photo. You may not take notes; and once the viewing time has elapsed, you may not look back at the picture. Expect the questions to cover the smallest and most remote aspects of the photo.
  2. Spatial Orientation – Not only does this part of the assessment evaluate your relative (left-right) and absolute (north-south) directional skills, but it also requires a degree of reading comprehension, attention to detail, and problem-solving. Many questions in this section will provide you with a map and ask you to find the fastest route between two places. Other questions may be presented in the form of a written scenario where you need to determine the last known direction or location of a person or object.
  3. Written Comprehension –  A written comprehension test determines your ability to read and understand written information. In this section, you are presented with several passages pertaining to police work (e.g. a sample crime report). After each passage, you will be asked a series of questions regarding details from the text.
  4. Written Expression – In this section, you are tasked with restating information from a document (e.g. an incident report) so that it can be easily understood while retaining its original meaning. Having strong grammar and writing skills is a must when completing this section.
  5. Information Ordering – This section involves sequencing rules or actions. The questions can include letters, numbers, pictures, words, procedures, sentences, and mathematical/logical operations to be placed in order.
  6. Inductive Reasoning – The assessment measures the ability to implement a rule in a new scenario. Offence classifications are presented, and the task is to identify the crime committed within a specific scenario. Some items will involve witness statements, requiring you to indicate the statement that is most likely to be accurate or inaccurate.
  7. Visualization – This skill measures your ability to identify an object after it has been superficially altered or re-positioned. You will encounter diagrams, geometric shapes, floor plans, and pictures of human faces.
  8. Deductive Reasoning – This section involves applying a rule to specific problems in the most logical way. This test section involves tables, picture matching, and lists of detailed information.
  9. Problem Sensitivity – In this section of the test, you are evaluated on your ability to identify issues in a variety of police-related scenarios. Examples include spotting a problematic testimony, identifying an incongruency with procedures, or suspicious information at a crime scene.  

MTA Police Exam Sample 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 free police practice test!

Feel Like You're Not Ready Yet?

Our MTA Police Exam Prep Course includes dozens of practice questions and study guides which will ensure your success on the actual test!

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.

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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