BNSF Assessments

Prepare for the BNSF recruitment process with tailor-made practice materials.

Getting A Job At BNSF

Established in 1955 and as the largest freight rail network in North America, BNSF employs over 40,000 employees as part of its network.

There are a variety of careers on offer with BNSF for both enrolled and graduate level and experienced candidates. The company prides itself on its focus on developing employees' careers. Getting a job with the company requires candidates to be dedicated to their role, develop their career at BNSF, and demonstrate their commitment to a career with the company.

BNSF Core Values

BNSF is a company that has three clear values:

  • Diversity
  • Safety
  • People

These values underpin the work of BNSF and its people. Diversity and inclusion are a high priority for the company, and they pride themselves on creating a working culture where all employees can thrive. Recruiting the right people and having a clear safety vision for its employees also ensures the ongoing success of the BNSF railroad network.

Types Of Roles

Due to the size and scale of the network that BNSF operates, there are several roles across the company.

These roles cover areas such as:

  • Train crew
  • Sales
  • Human resources
  • Finance
  • Administrative and clerical roles
  • IT
  • Field operations
  • Mechanical and electrical based roles such as engineering
  • Dispatchers

Roles are available across North America for both those at university and candidates who have prior work experience. BNSF also has a dedicated route for ex-military personnel.

BNSF Application Process

The hiring process at BNSF consists of three stages:

  • Online application
  • Psychometric tests
  • Interview

As part of the hiring process, candidates may also be required to complete a set of pre-employment qualification assessments, including a drugs test, hearing test, physical examination, and medical history questionnaire.

All vacancies at BNSF are advertised on their website. Vacancies are updated daily - candidates can choose to be notified of vacancies as they arise.

BNSF Online Application

Candidates search for their preferred vacancy on the BNSF website and apply directly to their chosen vacancy by creating an account on the BNSF dedicated careers portal.

From there, candidates can then upload their resume and complete any additional application questions.

BNSF Psychometric Tests

BNSF Aon Hewitt G.A.T.E

Aon Hewitt G.A.T.E. administers the psychometric tests at BNSF. These tests are timed tests that assess a candidate's basic numeracy, reading, and literacy skills. All questions are multiple-choice based.

BNSF Numeracy Test

The numeracy test focuses on a candidate's math skills and ability to solve problems using basic math concepts such as multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction.

Literacy, reading, and communication skills are also assessed. The test includes short passages of text that candidates need to read, understand, and then answer on.

BNSF also includes additional assessments as part of its recruitment process for some roles, such as personality assessments and specialist ability tests.

BNSF Personality Assessment

The personality assessment is focused on identifying a candidate's characteristics and traits. Scenario-based questions are asked as part of the assessment, with candidates rating statements according to how they would act in a particular situation. The results from a personality assessment provide an insight into the candidate's values and motivations when in the workplace.

BNSF Situational Judgment Test

The BNSF situational judgment test focuses on a candidate's behavioral preferences in workplace situations. The assessment takes the form of a series of scenarios encountered when working on the job.

Candidates then need to select from the list of statements the one that best describes how they would react.

When completing a situational judgment test, it is essential to go with your gut feeling and not second guess yourself or what you think the recruiter wants to see.

BNSF Mechanical Reasoning Test

Candidates who are applying for mechanical-based roles will be asked to complete the mechanical reasoning test. This aptitude test assesses a candidate's knowledge and understanding of mechanical concepts and principles such as circuits, voltages, springs, pulleys, or motion.

The test is a timed multiple-choice test that requires candidates to work quickly but accurately. Refreshing your knowledge of mechanical concepts is essential before sitting this test.

BNSF Spatial Reasoning Test

The BNSF spatial reasoning test assesses a candidate's ability to visualize objects in different dimensions and reach logical conclusions based on their gained information.

This test is often included in the assessment process for dispatcher roles.

The test is a timed test. Candidates need to recognize patterns, look at mirror images of shapes, match patterns, and visualize shapes in 2D or 3D, then answer the multiple-choice questions that follow.

BNSF Verbal Reasoning Test

The verbal reasoning test is essentially a test of reading comprehension and critical reasoning.

Information is presented in the form of passages of text. Candidates need to read and understand the information then answer the questions that follow.

Questions are given with a series of multiple-choice statements, with candidates selecting whether they believe the statement to be false, true, or cannot say based on the information they have read.

The test is timed, and those taking the test need to ensure that they do not skim read the information given but take the time to read, understand and analyze the information before answering the questions.

BNSF Abstract Reasoning Test

The BNSF abstract reasoning test is similar to a spatial reasoning test. This test assesses a candidate's ability to problem solve and to evaluate information critically.

This test is often used as part of the recruitment process for engineering roles at BNSF, where solving problems based on non-verbal information is a crucial part of the role.

The questions consist of a series of patterns of shapes. Candidates need to determine the relationship between this information, then answer the multiple-choice questions that follow.

This test is a timed test, where candidates need to work quickly but accurately.

Numerical Reasoning Test

Some roles at BNSF require candidates to complete a specific numerical reasoning test. This test assesses a candidate's numerical ability and how well they can work with numerical information. Information is presented in the form of graphs, tables, or charts.

Candidates then need to use their understanding of mathematical concepts and principles to calculate which of the multiple-choice answers is correct.

The timed nature of this test adds extra pressure. Candidates need to work quickly, but accurately making sure that they are not only aware of math concepts such as fractions, percentages, and ratios but they can use these concepts to calculate the correct answer.

BNSF Interview

Candidates who are successful at the screening tests are invited to attend a final interview. The interview is generally a 1:1 interview that can vary in duration or format depending on the role. Some interviews may be face-to-face; others can be shorter virtual interviews.

Questions are related to the role and also the values of BNSF as an organization.

If applying for specialist roles such as those in mechanical or electrical engineering, technical questions may be asked as part of the interview process.

Familiarising yourself with the BNSF values, especially around safety and the skills you have as relevant to the role, are all essential parts of preparing for the interview to perform at your best.

Top Tips To Getting Hired At BNSF

There are many things that candidates can do to ensure that they perform at their best through each stage of the BNSF recruitment process and increase their chances of getting hired.

Research The Company

Ensure that you research BNSF as a company and are clear on its values and mission. Being able to explain to the interviewer why you are interested in a role at BNSF and incorporate why the values of BNSF align with your own helps demonstrate your commitment to a career with the network.

Practice Tests

No matter which tests you are invited to sit, it is essential to practice these tests. Ensure you practice the tests under timed conditions to experience the pressure you will face when sitting the actual test.

Practicing the test means you are familiar with the format and the style of questioning as well as helping you identify any principles or concepts that you need to refresh your memory on.

Be Yourself

It is essential to be yourself throughout the recruitment process. Ensure that you highlight the key skills that you have as relevant to the role. When completing the personality test and the situational judgment test, answer the questions honestly and don't try and second guess what you think the recruiter might want to hear.

Be Honest And Open

Many roles at BNSF require candidates to complete an additional set of pre-employment screening tests. Ensure that you are honest and open when completing these tests. Doing so will save you time and show the recruiter that you demonstrate integrity.

Sample BNSF Assessments question Test your knowledge!

Score: /5

If a switch operator changes the track right before a train arrives, causing a two-minute delay, which of the following will best help ensure this does not happen again?

  • Increasing the number of operators controlling the track switches.
  • Switching to an automated track control system.
  • Adjusting the train's schedule to avoid potential switch operations.
  • Issuing a directive that no changes should be made to tracks during peak hours.

If a cargo train relies on a hydraulic system to release its couplers and the temperature drops significantly, what is the most likely effect on the hydraulic fluid and system functionality?

  • The fluid will expand, causing potential damage to the system.
  • The fluid will thicken, possibly making the system slower or unresponsive.
  • There will be no effect; hydraulic systems are not affected by temperature.
  • The fluid will become less viscous, likely causing leaks in the system.

During a staff meeting, a supervisor outlines a new safety protocol. Which of the following is the most critical aspect to understand?

  • The history of safety procedures at the company.
  • The specific actions required under the new safety protocol.
  • The names of the committee members who developed the protocol.
  • The statistical likelihood of accidents without the safety protocol.

Which of the following best completes the pattern: J8, L11, N14, ___?

  • P17
  • P18
  • Q17
  • R20

A report shows that last year, a railway company delivered 10 million tons of freight over 5 million miles. This year, it delivered 15 million tons over 8 million miles. What is the average number of tons delivered per mile this year?

  • 1.875 tons/mile
  • 2.0 tons/mile
  • 1.5 tons/mile
  • 2.5 tons/mile

Build your confidence today

Try one of our BNSF tests for FREE.

With Psychometric Tests, I was able to prepare for the interview process efficiently, clearly and at my own pace.

Pav used Psychometric Tests to ace the interview process at the Civil Service


BNSF Assessments Tips

Get Familiar with the Formats

Every test feels a bit less daunting once you know what to expect. For the BNSF exams, that means getting comfy with the nitty-gritty of the test formats. Hop onto Psychometric Tests for a deep dive into the types of questions you might bump into. It's like getting a sneak peek of the exam before the big day!

Mirror the Testing Environment

Practicing in a space that feels similar to the actual test setting can work wonders. Try to mimic the conditions under which you'll be taking the BNSF exams – quiet, uninterrupted, and timed. It's like a dress rehearsal for your brain - so when you're in the hot seat for real, it's all smooth sailing!

Sleep Well and Eat Right

Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep and a healthy meal before test day. It's not just about cramming in facts. Your brain needs to be in tip-top shape to tackle those tricky BNSF exam questions, and that means being well-rested and fueled.

Fine-Tune Your Time Management

Those practice tests on Psychometric Tests aren't just for show. They're your secret weapon for nailing down how fast you sail through those questions. Use them to get your timing down pat – because when it comes to the BNSF exams, every second counts!

Boost Confidence with Repetition

Ever heard that practice makes perfect? It’s true. The more you work through practice exams for BNSF, the more you'll feel like an exam-taking superhero. Head to Psychometric Tests, take those practice tests until they're a walk in the park, and walk into your BNSF exam with confidence!

Level up

Choose the package that works for you.


Pay Annually
Pay Monthly
  • 30 Numerical reasoning tests
  • 30 Verbal reasoning tests
  • 30 Diagrammatic reasoning tests
  • 30 Situational judgement tests
  • 41 Employer packages
  • 22 Publisher packages
  • Dashboard performance tracking
  • Full solutions and explanations
  • Tips, tricks, guides and resources

  • Access to free tests
  • Basic performance tracking
  • Full solutions and explanations
  • Tips and resources

BNSF Assessments FAQs

How long does it take to get hired at BNSF?

The duration of the recruitment and selection process at BNSF varies according to the role applied for. Candidates are made aware of a change in application status by email.

Does BNSF pay well?

BNSF offers all employees a competitive salary, varying according to the role, level, and experience.

In addition, the company offers a range of benefits to employees, including:

Life assurance.

Wellness benefits: including access to wellness screenings, wellness challenges, and routine vaccinations.

Medical and prescription drug coverage (after one month of employment).

Dental and vision cover (after one year of employment).

Life assurance and accident insurance: provided at no extra cost to BSF employees.

Retirement plans are offered to employees after one year of employment with the company.

What Is It Like To Work At BNSF?

BNSF is an organization that values employees' commitment to learning and developing their careers, offering access to learning opportunities through reimbursement of tuition fees for job-related university programs.

The organization also focuses on creating a community where employees can be themselves and value the diversity and talent that all its employees bring to create an inclusive culture.