UP Test


Scope Dope
Jun 26, 2008
High Desert TRACON
Just thought I'd join in on these forums now, since I've booked my flight to Omaha after receiving the offer to join a testing session in a couple weeks. I'll check back on here when I get back to provide some feedback on the day since I can't really find any information online as to what is expected there.

Unless anyone out there has any info as to what is on this test. I'm also curious as to when an interview happens if I pass the test.


The Silver Bullet
Jul 28, 2009
Ft. Worth, Texas!
ya its a common sense test... make sure you pay attention, but dont "nuke" it!

usually the interview happens the same day as the test, you should go in a nice suit and dressed to impress for sure! If it doesn't happen the same day, just bring an extra shirt (pref a different color.) if you interview the next day. They are going to have you fill out some paperwork you've already done... DO NOT LIE on it, and you better not have done any drugs in the past 6 months cause they're going to do a hair follical test.

Do what I told you to do in the PM i sent you too, make sure that your knowledge of what i told you to tell them gives the interviewers a hard-on! you'll get the job if you make nice! Good luck bro!

oh ya! make sure that you explain how ATC and TD are similar, what skills are similar etc... they'll eat it up!


Jul 11, 2009
Olathe, KS
I'm also schedule to take the test in Omaha next week so I also wanted to join the forum. I see the test is common sense and downloaded some of the practice questions from the website. I’m looking for any other information on the test. Appreciate any feedback.


Scope Dope
Jun 26, 2008
High Desert TRACON
Ok so here goes,
This is my second time attempting to post this (long story, stuckmic died while posting the first one).

So basically if you get invited to a testing session for Union Pacific it is exactly that. No interviews are done on the testing day, so really no need to dress up in a suit and tie in my opinion. Unless you try to get some face time with someone, you really won't interact with any of the hiring people during this.

I parked in a parking structure to the immediate west of the UP headquarters building, and got to the room a solid 20 minutes early. Up the stairs you will run into a table with someone marking off names and telling you where to go. The room was packed, about 60+ test takers by the time I got there, and a few straggled in afterwards. The room was awkwardly silent and I don't know if it was just me, but I felt the tension of nobody really wanting to talk to the competition.

At the scheduled start time, a few people will start talking... first about the company and how UP has great benfits yada, yada. Then about the training program, and then the dispatch manager turned on the "bad cop" routine for about 15 minutes. He talked at length about how the 2 top reasons for failure in the career are stress and lifestyle. Basically he went on to say how a new dispatcher will ultimately have no life for a few years on the "extra board". You are on call mostly 24/7 and have 1 hour to be at work when called. If you miss 2 of these you are fired.

So then on we progress and the test taking begins. The test is mostly as described on the UP site below, but in my opinion 10x harder. I was not expecting the level of detail that was encountered. For example, one table listed 4 training courses that someone could take, with 2 stipulations for each course (sentence long explanations). Then a paragraph about an employees background was given and you had to figure out which of the courses they had to take. It did take some reading and cross-checking to do, not as easy as their examples by any means. Here's the link to their examples:

UP: Practice Test Questions

After that first business reasoning test, there was a 5 minute logic test that I got 1/2 way through. I don't know if anyone there actually finished it, it had like 30 questions on it.

Then there was the personality tests, 2 of them. While they didn't actually measure any aptitude, they wanted to test what type of person you are. I think they were pretty close to what you come up with if you Google "personality tests". One was 240 some odd questions long.

And that was it.. you turn in your scan-trons (really no computers?), and have a merry day. I was off to catch my flight home and sulk about how crappy I did. I really don't understand why they couldn't have issued these things online, it's not like you can cheat on these tests.

Well, after all was said and done, I got an email saying I didn't qualify. I suppose someone else will get the job that is better at interpreting management and business theories, and probably not 1 of the 3-4 ex-military controllers that raised their hands when they asked how many were in the room. But who knows, best of luck to anyone that made it past that.

Ironically enough, the very next email in my inbox was from CSX offering me an interview. They actually give you the test online as part of your application and it was far more mathematical and logic based, none of this business garbage. Sadly the interview was today in Chicago and I wasn't able to attend with only 5 days notice.

Hope this helps someone in the future!


Senior Analyst
Feb 18, 2009
Amherst, OH
Dang, went through all that, only for them to tell you "Thanks, but no thanks" lol. I would say that's a sh*tty deal, but that's basically what I did when I got picked OTS to take the AT-SAT. Drove 5hrs to Harrisburg, PA, only to bomb the test...haha

Where was this located?


Curtis E. Carr
Jun 24, 2008
In a van down by the river.
Sounds like UP hasn't changed. Be thankful you didn't get it, unless it was just a temporary gig. Stick with BNSF, CSX or NS. It's a shame you couldn't make it to CSX. I think the CSX test online is a preliminary test. You have two tests and an interview the same day.

It is interesting how they threaten you with extra board reporting, when it is pretty easy to get your name off for a day if you need it. Just like anything else, they don't like you abusing it, but if you need a certain day off it is possible to get it.


Junior Member
Jun 23, 2009
Chicago, IL
Sadly the interview was today in Chicago and I wasn't able to attend with only 5 days notice.
I was there. Interesting session. They basically tell you all the reasons you dont want the job. No one left though. All 13 people stayed for the 2 positions that were open (job posting said 3, changed to 2 at the interview).

No tests were taken, as it is all done online, and then they block off quick 20 minute blocks for everyone to interview, on a first come first serve basis. Glad I was there an hour early.

There were 5 veterans there, 4 of which were controllers, one a pilot. I was the only one from Chicago, everyone else had flew or drove in, from all over the place. VA, UT, OH....

I don't know the outcome of the interviews yet, nothing has updated. They said you'd get a phone call if you were hired, and an email if you were put into the hiring pool or not. I've gotten neither, which I guess is good news, but I was hoping I'd know by now.

Apparently CSX only does these hiring sessions once per year, and the pool is used to hire throughout the remainder of the year as required. We'll see what happens.

Status has updated to "Eligible for hire. You have been placed in a pool of qualified candidates."

So, thats something.
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Senior Member
Jun 22, 2011
Anyone on here going through the UP Train Dispatcher Hiring that closed on Feb 4th?

I went to the initial hiring session on Feb 11th and it is just like RadarContact said, word for word.

Last night I got emailed and said I passed and to come back for a formal interview first week of March.

But I still applied for the OTS bid, this would be a great job while I play the wait game if selected or waiting for the next bids for the FAA.


Trusted Member
Nov 27, 2008
Dispatching sucks. That is what I've done for the past 3 years for a different class 1 railroad. Pays good though.