School Bus Endorsement Test: What You Need to Know
According to federal regulation, a school bus endorsement, or S-endorsement, is needed for anyone who operates a school bus with passengers. Mechanics who may need to drive an empty bus from time to time are exempt. To earn this endorsement, you need to pass the school bus endorsement test. Here's what you need to know about the School Bus Endorsement Test.
What's On the Test
Below are the topics that are covered in the written tests. Many school bus practice tests cover these topics, so using these tests to prepare should be helpful, and will increase your chances of passing on the first try. Here's what's tested:
- Loading and unloading children, including the safe operation of stop signal devices, external mirror systems, flashing lights, and other warning and passenger safety devices.
- Emergency exits and procedures for safely evacuating passengers in an emergency.
- State and Federal laws and regulations related to safely traversing highway rail grade crossings.
Who Needs the Test
Obviously, this test is for anyone who operates a school bus (with passengers) when on the job.This would include public and private school employees transporting students from home to school, school to home, and school-sponsored events. A school bus permit is no longer enough. Therefore, the endorsement is required for most school bus drivers. It is recommended that those who need the endorsement prepare for the best with school bus practice tests.
What You Need for the Test
First, you need to have a commercial driver's license. You can't apply for the S-endorsement and the commercial driver's license at the same time since the school bus endorsement has a skill test of its own. You need to have the commercial license first. Some states may require a background check prior to giving the endorsement.
Earning the S-endorsement is much more than passing the test. There is also a skills, or road test, that needs to be passed as well. The definition of 'school bus' actually differs from state to state, so it's best to check with your employer whether or not you need the endorsement and/or the specific vehicles that you'll need to learn how to operate.