The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) of New York provides many job opportunities for those who want them. From industrious maintenance staff to eagle-eyed accountants, there is a position that is available to nearly everyone with a particular set of skills or professional background.
One of the most important positions that the MTA frequently needs more employees for is its bus operator roster.
With nearly six thousand buses servicing the American public going through its numerous routes, the Authority can never have enough competent and hardworking bus drivers to ensure that its operations go smoothly every day.
In order to have a shot at it, you will also have to take MTA Bus Operator Exam.
The MTA bus operator test is considered to be the pre-employment assessment of the Authority and is designed to make sure that the candidates meet the minimum cognitive abilities to prove that they can do their job effectively and meet the MTA standards of service.
So, if you’re one of the many hopefuls that want to join the MTA, here are a number of tips that can help you pass the MTA Bus Operator Exam.
1- Hone your cognitive skills (Part 1)
One of the first things that the MTA bus operator test wants to determine in a candidate is to know if they have good reading comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar skills.
A number of you may ask ‘what has those to do with driving a bus through New York or being a good driver?’
These skills are needed because the MTA and various agencies of New York frequently posts updates, bulletins, notices, announcements, and other written documents and materials that employees will have to understand and comprehend in order to ensure smooth operations.
An applicant’s information ordering skills will also be tested in the exam where they will have to try and create a logical sequence from four different passages or sentences.
2- Hone your cognitive skills (Part 2)
If there are common pitfalls that most applicants fall victim to, or at least not have a perfect score in, are the spatial, deductive, inductive, and logical reasoning subjects of the MTA bus operator assessment.
These questions are included in the exam because it provides a stand-in for the applicant’s ability to properly and safely bring their vehicle to the intended destination all the while taking into consideration all the possible hazards and even the positioning of other vehicles and how it may affect the bus and passengers’ safety.
This subject in the test will determine the applicant’s ability to discover what course of action should they take while on the road should their bus suffer a mechanical problem of sorts or if an accident suddenly occurs and they can no longer use their usual route.
3- Practice your memorization skills
As a bus driver, you will need to remember a lot of rules, laws, regulations, and procedures of both the MTA and New York City itself.
More often than not, you will not have the luxury of having a primer of sorts nearby to discover what to do should a certain situation arise, and as a result, the MTA bus operator test includes a short-term memory subject in the exam.
This subject will also serve as a means for the MTA to be confident that their bus operators can remember certain details about their routes, their vehicle’s registration, and mechanical part details, as well as certain landmarks to help passengers know which station or bus stop they should take in order to get to their destination.
4- You will need a bit of Situational Judgement Skills
With the MTA being a public service organization, it is inevitable that you will have to interact and even have to resolve problems with passengers or even figure out if a certain vehicle in front of the bus can cause problems for you later down the road.
This is the purpose of the problem sensitivity subject of the MTA exam.
Some of the questions will revolve around mechanical problems, while others may give focus on passenger conflict, regulation and procedure conformity, or even just a small misunderstanding between them and a coworker.
5- Double-check your records and DO NOT OMIT ANYTHING!
If you think you’re ready for the exam, either because you know you can tackle the aforementioned subjects or if you took an MTA Bus Operator practice test online, then there’s only a number of things you have to worry about: your medical, work, criminal, and driving records.
Every year, many applicants, although they passed or even got the top score in the MTA test, are turned away or disqualified due to some technicality like they forgot to provide all previous jobs of theirs and the MTA hiring managers misunderstood this as them purposefully trying to hide or omit information.
This means that once you are required to submit your work history, be as honest as possible and list down whatever employment you had, no matter how short or small, in the required period of the form.
Furthermore, the MTA, in their recent notice, explicitly stated that “failure to disclose prior convictions may result in disqualification”, so you need to treat the background investigation portion of the hiring process seriously and supply whatever information that they need.