Test Your Tour Guide Skills for NYC

New York City tour guides — and guides across the country — face tough testing to become a licensed or certified guide. In fact, the tests are getting tougher with time.

Below are examples of how the Big Apple's test has changed over the years. The old test was written in 1988 and has been used ever since. The new one just went into effect this June.

See for yourself how the New York City tour guide test has changed by trying these sample questions, provided by the city's Department of Consumer Affairs:

Sample questions from the previous tour guide test:

1. The Throgs Neck Bridge connects which two boroughs:

a) Staten Island and Manhattan

b) Brooklyn and Manhattan

c) Queens and the Bronx

d) Queens and Brooklyn


2. The river east of Manhattan is the ________ River; the river west of Manhattan is the ____________ River:

a) Hudson, East

b) East; West

c) Cayuga; West

d) East; Hudson


3. Which team did Lou Gehrig play for?

a) The Brooklyn Dodgers

b) The New York Jets

c) The New York Giants

d) The New York Yankees


4. Tickets cost this much for Shakespeare in the Park:

(a) $1

(b) $5

(c) $10

(d) $0


Sample questions from the new, revised test:

1. Which train will take you from the Native American caves of Inwood in Manhattan to the ocean beaches of the Rockaways in Queens?

(a) IND "E" Train

(b) IND "A" Train

(c) BMT "R" Train

(d) IRT "9" Train


2. Considered to be Britain's "last romantic poet," Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) was a conundrum as a writer. He was a Welsh poet who could neither read nor write in Welsh. Having become an intrinsic part of the bohemian scene of Greenwich Village, Dylan Thomas lived only to the age of 39. The end came after a binge of almost monumental proportions. He said: "I've had 18 straight whiskies. I think that's the record." Then he collapsed. At which noted Greenwich Village watering hole did this take place?

(a) The Lion's Head

(b) Chumley's

(c) The White Horse

(d) The Corner Bistro

(e) The Village Vanguard


3. In the mid-20th century, there was a street nicknamed "Swedish Broadway." When the former Washington Market area was demolished to construct the World Trade Center, the Middle Eastern community was forced to move. With the convenience of the South Ferry, the Middle Eastern community logically moved across the water to "Swedish Broadway." Today, there is not one Swedish or Scandinavian business left on the street. In fact, Sahadi's, on this thoroughfare, is the largest importer of Middle Eastern foods in the United States. What street was formerly "Swedish Broadway" and is today the center of the Middle Eastern markets?

(a) Stuyvesant Street in St. George, Staten Island

(b) Montague Street, Brooklyn Heights

(c) Bay Street in Stapleton, Staten Island

(d) Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn


4. George Herman "Babe" Ruth was professional baseball's first great slugger and the most celebrated athlete of his time. "Babe" Ruth earned his nickname during 1914 spring training, when teammates on the minor league Baltimore Orioles referred to him as owner Jack Dunn's new "babe." As a "leftie" or a "southpaw" pitcher, Babe Ruth debuted with the Red Sox, winning 89 games in six years while setting the World Series record for consecutive scoreless innings. "The Sultan of Swat" converted to the outfield fulltime after his sale to a New York team in 1920. He then led New York to seven American League pennants and four World Series titles. He finished with 714 home runs, leading the league 12 times, including a remarkable 60 "round trippers" just in 1927 alone. What baseball stadium in New York City is often referred to as the "House that Ruth Built?"

(a) Shea Stadium

(b) Giants Stadium

(c) Madison Square Garden

(d) Yankee Stadium



Old test samples: 1.C; 2.D; 3. D; 4. D

New test samples: 1. B; 2. C; 3. D; 4. D