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NYC School Safety Agent Exam in 2023

NYC School Safety Agent Exam in 2023

Updated March 16, 2023

By Fi Phillips
Fi Phillips

A school safety agent ensures the safety of students, school staff and visitors across New York City public school sites.

You must pass the NYC School Safety Agent Exam to work as a school safety agent and maintain that qualification throughout your employment.

However, the exam is only one element of the hiring and training process to work as a school safety agent.

Further requirements include:

  • A four-year high school diploma or equivalent
  • You are at least 21 years old
  • You pass a medical and psychological assessment, a physical test, a drug test and a background check
  • Sufficient English language standards to understand others and be understood
  • US citizenship
  • New York City residency

The exam may be available throughout the year, depending on the level of demand for school safety agents.

The registration fee for the exam is $49. Fingerprinting carries a cost of $75.

The popularity of school safety agent jobs means a high exam score is generally seen as a necessity to gain employment.

Therefore, the NYC School Safety Agent Exam is considered one of the harder US employment tests.

What Does a School Safety Agent Earn?

The current salary for a School Safety Agent begins at approximately $33,000, increasing after seven years to approximately $46,000 at current standards.

Employment benefits include:

  • Paid medical and dental plans
  • Paid holiday and sick leave
  • Retirement benefits including 6SO–25 pension plan, 457 deferred compensation plan and a 401K plan
  • Overtime pay and night-shift pay differential

Career advancement to Supervisor of School Security carries a salary of approximately $65,000 at current standards.

What Are the Main Duties of a School Safety Agent?

The purpose of a school safety agent is to maintain the safety of all individuals who are authorized to be present on the school site.

Their main duties include:

  • Communicating with students, school staff, visitors and persons who do not have permission to be on-site
  • Patrolling the school site to ensure security, assess risks and recognize infiltration
  • Provide information to authorized visitors to the site
  • Accost and remove unauthorized persons from the school site
  • Assist injured or ill individuals
  • Call and communicate with the police and other emergency services
  • Respond to altercations between students, school staff, visitors and unauthorized persons
  • Maintain records and create reports

The NYC School Safety Agent Exam includes sections that assess candidates for the correct skills to carry out the above duties.

For example, communication skills and the ability to identify problems.

What Are the Sections of the NYC School Safety Agent Exam?

There are nine sections to the exam, each of which assesses the type of skills you will need to effectively work as a school safety agent through a series of multiple-choice questions.

Written Comprehension

This section assesses your understanding of the English language through a series of comprehension questions that ask you to read a passage and then express your comprehension.

Written Expression

This section assesses how well you can express a clear message through a series of multiple-choice questions.

Generally, these questions will ask you to finish an incomplete sentence.

Both the ‘Written Comprehension’ and the ‘Written Expression’ sections assess the skills that a school safety agent requires to interrogate written evidence and reports, respond and produce written communications, such as incident reports.


The questions in this section test your memory skills.

Each question will present you with items to be memorized, such as pictures, words, numbers or patterns.

Possessing good memory skills is important for a school safety agent to quickly familiarise themselves with faces or a site layout or to recall a car number plate or the details of an incident.

Problem Sensitivity

This section assesses your ability to foresee and notice problems and also how effectively you can reach a solution.

A series of multiple-choice questions present you with a problem scenario relevant to a school site and your duties as a school safety agent and ask you to choose the most appropriate response.

As a school safety agent, problem sensitivity can help you to assess how a problem might occur, how it might develop and how it can be alleviated before it escalates.

Deductive Reasoning

These questions in this section test how well you can draw logical conclusions from the information you encounter, for example, witness statements.

Each question will:

  • Present you with a state or NYC legal policy
  • Ask you to apply that policy to a situation
  • Ask you to deduce what the correct response is in that situation

As a school safety agent, you will continually be asked to apply points of law to the situations you encounter and decide on the best, lawful course of action.

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Inductive Reasoning

Inductive reasoning asks that you consider a selection of items, be those images, witness statements or mathematical charts, to draw a conclusion or find a common factor or pattern.

In the role of school safety agent, examining disparate pieces of evidence can help you piece together a developing pattern of behavior or build a bigger picture.

Information Ordering

The questions in this section assess whether you can recognize and follow a sorting rule.

You will be asked to put several items in the correct order.

This may be a numerical order, an alphabetical order or some other logical pattern.

This skill may be used in the role of a school safety agent to order information regarding an incident or number of incidents.

Spatial Orientation

This section assesses your spatial awareness.

For example, where you are in relation to another item or how well you can identify where you are in a building or on a school site.

As a school safety agent, this skill can make it easier to escort students safely off the school site in the case of an emergency or find the quickest route to follow when in pursuit of an unauthorized person.


This section tests how well you can picture something in your mind, whether that is recalling the location of certain items in the past or recognizing an item when it is in an unfamiliar location or broken.

The questions in this section ask you to identify objects after they have been moved, rotated or altered in some way.

NYC School Safety Agent Exam
NYC School Safety Agent Exam

How to Prepare for the Exam in 2023

To pass the NYC School Safety Agent Exam, you will require a score of at least 70%.

However, additionally, your score will be compared to the scores of other candidates.

The high standards needed to pass the exam and obtain a high score means it is paramount that you prepare fully in the run-up to the exam.

Step 1. Take Practice Papers

The main benefit of using practice exam papers is the chance to familiarise yourself with the format of the questions.

You already know that what the different sections will entail and that the questions will be multiple-choice.

However, nothing can replace the experience of answering the exact kind of questions you will face in the real exam.

You can source practice papers from:

The JobTestPrep practice paper pricing is based on a subscription fee for one week, one month or three months, ranging from $79 for one week to $99 for three months.

Knowing what you will face on the day can go a long way to reducing your pre-test anxiety.

Step 2. Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Practice papers are not only helpful in building familiarity with the exam format; they can also show you where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

For example, your strengths may lie in your eye for detail, meaning that memorization, information ordering and problem sensitivity are relatively easy for you.

Expressing yourself in writing may be more difficult for you and a skill that needs to be improved, however.

In the run-up to the exam, find ways to improve your weaker areas through activities in addition to practice papers.

Step 3. Understand What Is Being Tested and Why

Do your research into what role those skills play in the school safety agent job.

You might want to consider the following skills as a starting point:

  • Communication – Verbal and written
  • Problem-solving
  • Memory skills

On the Day

Once the day of the exam arrives, improve your chance of a successful score by following these tips.

Look After Yourself

Do your best to get a good night’s sleep before the exam.

Eat a healthy, nutritional meal; however, do not overeat.

Make sure you drink plenty of water to guard against dehydration.

Arrive Early and Prepared

The NYC School Safety Agent Exam is held at a DCAS Computer-based Testing & Applications Center.

Once the limited seating is filled, no one else will be admitted.

To guarantee your seat, arrive early and make yourself known as soon as possible.

Take with you one current item of ID that bears your signature and your photo.

This could be:

  • State issued driver license
  • City or State issued ID card
  • US Government-issued passport
  • US Government issued military ID card
  • Student ID with photo

You will not be allowed to take any electronic item onto the test site, including mobile phones, calculators, earbuds or smartwatches.

If you use an electronic device on the test site, your exam entry will be disqualified, and you will not be allowed to apply for any type of civil service exam for up to five years.

You may not be accompanied onto the test site by anyone else.

If you have parental or caring responsibilities, you must arrange for cover while you take the exam.

Similarly, nobody may wait for you on the test site.

Read the Questions Carefully

Guard against unnecessary mistakes by reading each question carefully.

This will ensure that you know what the question is asking instead of assuming you know how to answer.

If you do not know the answer to a question, you can leave the question unanswered for now, move on to the next question, and come back later.

Alternatively, make your best guess, but do bear in mind why you are being asked this question and what skill it might relate to.

What Next?

Once you have complete the NYC School Safety Agent Exam, you must leave the test site.

Failure to do this, or re-entering the test site once you have left, will generally result in your exam entry being disqualified.

If you pass the NYC School Safety Agent Exam, your name will be placed on an eligible list in the final score order.

You will be notified of your exam score and list number by email.

The top scorers on the list will be considered first. This list remains in place for four years.

Should you be placed on the list and meet all other eligibility conditions, you will be considered for a position as a school safety agent once your name is reached on the list.

Frequently Asked Questions

To work as a school safety agent you must pass the NYC School Safety Agent exam.

Further requirements include a four-year high school diploma (or GED), a medical and psych evaluation, physical fitness test, drug screen and a background check.

You must also be a US citizen that is at least 21 years old with an acceptable level of spoken English. To be eligible, you must also be resident in one of the five boroughs of New York City.

To work as a school safety agent you must pass the NYC School Safety Agent exam. Further requirements include a four-year high school diploma (or GED), a medical and psych evaluation, physical fitness test, drug screen and a background check.

You must also be a US citizen that is at least 21 years old with an acceptable level of spoken English. To be eligible you must also be resident in one of the five boroughs of New York City.

Current starting salary is around $33,000 which should rise after seven years of successful employment to around $46,000.

Further benefits include medical and dental plans, paid vacation and sick leave, 401k plan and retirement benefits.

School safety agents are expected to be available to work during holidays, nights and weekends but are entitled to be paid additional amounts for overtime and night shift differential.

Yes. You can find online practice papers at various websites, including JobTestPrep.

Here, you can select a subscription for a week, one month or three months.

Pricing varies, starting at $79 for a week’s subscription, $89 for a month and $99 for three months. The practice papers include answers and study guides as well as the practice tests themselves.

The registration fee is $49 per applicant. There is a further charge of $75 for fingerprinting.

If you are a veteran or already a part of certain public assistance programs you may be able to get a fee waiver.

There are nine sections to the test that cover a range of skills including comprehension and reasoning. The test is in a multiple-choice format, so it is possible that if you select an answer at random from the available options and get really lucky, you could achieve the 70% required to pass the exam.

This is, however, very unlikely and it also means that you are trying to obtain a highly responsible job through dishonest means.

The best way to make sure you pass the test is to practice and prepare for it.

The prep pack on the JobTestPrep website has a 4.9-star rating and contains 58 practice tests covering all nine sections of the exam, in addition to two comprehensive study guides that give tips on how to maximize your thinking and memory skills.

If you prefer having a physical book to read, you can buy study guides online or from bookstores such as the Momotrix School Safety Agent Exam Secrets Guide.

You can practice the exam online at various websites. Some of these sites will require you to pay a subscription.

They will give you access to tests, answers and tips to help you to prepare for the real thing.

It is also possible to purchase study guides for School Safety Agent exams on Amazon or Google Books. You can also pick up a study guide at Walmart.

Final Thoughts

The NYC School Safety Agent Exam is renowned as a difficult test with its necessary high score and the number of candidates who regularly apply for the post of School Safety Agent.

However, with the use of practice papers, carrying out research into the role, and strengthening your weaker skills, you can improve your chances of success.