Tested: the census test (plus where to take it today in BK)

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Last week, one helpful reader gave us a heads up that the 2010 census was struggling to hire qualified census takers and provided information on how to sign up for the required exam. This authentically broke writer wasted no time in calling the number provided in that post. The friendly woman who picked up the phone gave me an appointment to take the test at Metropolitan Pool, not far from my apartment in Williamsburg. Here’s how it went down:

On test day, only four other people were there. The test process itself was surprisingly un-nightmarish. I filled out a short job application before starting and the test administrator graded the exams on the spot. I even kind of enjoyed the mildly challenging questions meant to evaluate my ability to read maps, put names and dates in order, and do simple arithmetic.

Though I scored well, I couldn’t feel too optimistic after the examiner explained that veterans and those who speak a second language will be given preference over monolingual civilians like me. Where I live could also determine whether or not I have a near-future with the Census Bureau. Still, they say demand is high.

If you decide to take the test, consider going over the practice test online, but don’t sweat it. If you have the skills to pass the seventh grade, the half-hour multiple-choice exam will probably make you feel smarter. Not a bad fringe benefit for anyone duking it out in this super-competitive job market.

If you want to apply, our census tipster sent us this list of today’s testing locations (Tues. March 9):

1 p.m.
Dr. White Community Center – 200 Gold St.
7 p.m.
Goodwill Cornerstone Community Center – 228 York St.

Red Hook
6 p.m., Red Hook Library – 7 Wolcott St. 11231

Borough Park
Noon & 3 p.m.
Borough Park Library – 1265 43rd St.

Boerum Hill
Noon, Bethel Baptist Church – 265 Bergen St.


  1. I noted last time but I took the test about a week ago on a Saturday afternoon and was hired the following Monday. Not sure what I did right but it went fairly smoothly.

    There were 7 folks taking the test with me in the basement of the Walt Whitman Library in Fort Greene.

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