START Practice Test

Frequently Asked Questions

Which browsers are supported?

Currently only Google Chrome and Firefox are supported. There are known issues with Internet Explorer and Safari. Other browsers are untested at this time. Practice tests do not run on mobile devices.

How much does the START Practice Test cost?

The cost of a password for the online START Practice Test is $23.85. (WA State residents will be charged sales tax)

The passwords you are given are good for taking the START Practice Test twice. There is only one version of the START Practice Test.

What is my username and password to access the practice test?

A receipt with two logins was sent to the email you used when you purchased the practice test. Be sure to check your spam/bulk folder, as some email clients have strict filters. If you are unable to locate the email receipt containing your practice test usernames and passwords, please contact Support.

What are my system requirements?

The faster your connection, the better playback will be. A DSL line or cable internet connection is best and the video portions of the test should play well. To see if the practice test will work on your system. Click here to play the Sample Question. If the video takes a long time to download or stops frequently while playing, consider finding a computer with a faster connection perhaps at a public library or internet café.

Determining internet speed is your responsibility. Ergometrics does not give refunds for bandwidth issues.

The most important test for your system is to play the Sample Question. If that plays well over your system, so that you can see and hear the small details and the buffering time (the time it takes the video to download before it will play) is not too long, then you can be assured of completing the test. Click here to play the Sample Question.

What if the Sample Question played well but the practice test crashed?

If you become disconnected during the test, reboot and log back on with your username and password. The test will pick up where you left off.

Click here to contact support.

Support hours are Monday through Friday from 6 am to 5 pm Pacific Time. We will address your problem as soon as possible. New practice test logins will be issued if the situation is not able to be resolved. Refunds will not be given.

How long will the practice test take?

On a fast connection, the practice test takes 30 to 45 minutes to complete. You can start and stop at will; the test will log back on at the place you stopped.

You are purchasing two passwords that will allow you to take the START Practice Test twice. After you complete the practice test, you will be given your score. After the second time, your passwords will be de-activated. You will get to play through twice.

If your system crashes during the practice test, reboot and log back on with your username and password. You will restart the test where you left off.

Why do I only get 10 seconds to answer?

In the START Practice Test, the video plays, then the narrator reads the written, multiple-choice answers. After the reading of the answers, you will have 10 seconds to choose an answer. In designing and giving video-based tests like START to tens of thousands of people, Ergometrics has found that 10 seconds is long enough for an applicant to make a choice.

If you are not sure of the answer, go ahead and guess. There is no penalty for guessing.

Test Information

START Video-Based Human Relations Test

Candidates are asked to use common sense and make quick judgments about how to handle various situations related to working with people. Each item of the test portrays a realistic scenario in vivid detail. All answers can be readily derived without prior transit experience or training. START tests for nothing more than what is usually described as common sense. On the job, you will have to make many important decisions on a daily basis. No two situations you face will be the same. You will have to decide what you want to achieve. You will have to weigh the pros and cons of various things that you could do.

This is a video-based test specifically designed for transit operators. You will watch a video segment, then choose the best course of action in a multiple-choice format. After you choose the best course of action, you will be asked to choose what would be the worst answer to the situation.

ErgoMechanical Animated Aptitude Test

Mechanical aptitude is measured by troubleshooting an animated brick factory. You will watch a video segment, then choose the best course of action in a multiple-choice format. This new portion of the test addresses:

  • Analytical problem solving, adapting and improvising.
  • Working with complex systems and sequences.
  • Understanding the physical world.
  • Anticipating predictable occurrences.

START Reading Test

This test is designed specifically for transit operators, a job requiring on-going study of difficult and technical materials. This will be an online version of a paper and pencil test. There will be several paragraphs of information with every 7th to 9th word left blank. You must choose the correct word to complete the sentence from the multiple-choice answers given.

START Driving Test

Driving aptitude is measured by simulating driving on city streets. You will watch a video segment, then choose the best course of action on two levels; the speed and direction to take.

What if I don't have transit experience?

This is a test of your judgment. No prior experience is necessary to answer the questions. Your own common sense is always your best guide.

What if I do have transit experience?

Some candidates may have prior experience in transit or may have taken college level courses in emergency services. Experience may help you on this test. But be careful! Sometimes candidates with experience will read too much into a situation and start thinking "what if" or perhaps think about similar situations in which they participated. Also, an experienced candidate may be trying to apply departmental policies and procedures, with which they are familiar to this test. Since this is only a test of common sense and not policy, this kind of thinking can lead to poor decisions. Remember, most questions are asking about the first thing you should do or how to initially approach a problem. We are not asking about longer term solutions or follow-up on the incident. Since this is a test designed for those without prior experience, there are not going to be any "tricky" questions that only an experienced candidate would know how to answer.

This practice test should be just as valuable to you.

Who will see my practice test scores?

No potential employer or testing agency will ever see your START Practice Test score. Your score on this practice test will be retained by Ergometrics in a secure database. The practice test scores are retained for the purposes of test validation research. Only Ergometrics' employees who need the information to perform a specific research-related task will have access to the practice test scores. The only party outside of Ergometrics who will see your score is you at the end of the test. For more information, Click Here to see our Privacy Policy.

What transit departments are testing applicants with START?

More transit departments are using START every week. Contact the personnel department of the agency you are applying to for information on what test they currently are using. Visit our website at to view a list of current departments using START.