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The Police Officer Exam, also known as a Law Enforcement Entrance Test, is a crucial step in the process of becoming a police officer. This exam assesses various skills and attributes essential for law enforcement roles.

Our online preparation pack includes practice materials for Police Officer tests, including:

  • Math: Basic Math, Numerical Reasoning and Numerical Series.
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Logical Reasoning (Inductive & Deductive)
  • Police Situational Judgement Tests
  • Personality Tests
  • Spatial Reasoning
  • Memory Tests

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Police exams often have strict time limits, so practice managing your time effectively. Try to answer the easier questions first and then go back to the harder ones.

Remember to start preparing well in advance, stay focused, and stay motivated. With the right preparation and mindset, you can increase your chances of success on the police exam.

What is the Hiring Process like for Police Officers?

Interested candidates applying to the police force must familiarize themselves with the hiring process. This can vary depending on the state, however generally the police hiring process includes the following basic steps:

  • Application and Prescreening Questionnaire: Applicants must submit an application for review and complete a series of questions to determine preliminary eligibility. Successful candidates will be contacted with next steps.
  • Pre-Employment Assessment: Applicants are required to take and pass a written exam. This is a basic aptitude test, and does not require candidates to have any prior knowledge of law enforcement.
  • Video Exam: An extension of the written exam, candidates are required to watch videos and respond accordingly to hypothetical situations.
  • Physical Fitness Test: Applicants must prove they are physically able to meet the demands of law enforcement. This includes a fitness test and may include a simulation, which tests both general endurance and strength, as well as on-the-job competency and ability to complete tasks.
  • Background Check: Applicants must pass a background check. This includes references, employment history, academic history, and any criminal records.
  • Drug Testing: Applicants must pass a drug test. They may be required to take more than one over the duration of the hiring process.
  • Psychological Testing: Successful candidates are required to pass a psychological exam to prove mental competency. This test functions as both a personality test and an evaluation of mental health.
  • Polygraph: Applicants must pass a polygraph. Questions asked will be based on their application.
  • Panel Interview: Applicants will meet with superiors in-person; this is the opportunity for the hiring panel to get to know the interviewee. Questions are related to past experiences and qualifications and also tests a candidate’s interpersonal skills.
  • Medical Exam: All candidates must pass a medical exam to determine if there are any pre-existing conditions that may make them incompatible with potential duties. This is an extension of the physical fitness test, and ensures candidates are physically able to meet the demands of the job.

Pre-Employment Assessments Required for Police Officers

Unlike pre-employment assessment for specific companies, those looking to enter law enforcement must pass several rounds of testing designed specifically with the police force in mind. This means the aptitude test may not require numerical reasoning, but instead focus more on reading comprehension and reasoning (deductive, logical, etc). Additionally, the personality test portion is administered in conjunction with a psychological exam, and the video exam requires candidates to answer situational judgement-based questions verbally, as opposed to written. It is important for candidates to have an understanding of the basic categories they will be facing beforehand.

Aptitude Test

Although law enforcement does not administer a specific aptitude test like the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test, the written exam is intended to gauge a candidate’s basic knowledge and common sense, as well as problem solving and decision-making skills. Questions may be related to such categories as:

  • Reading Comprehension and Writing Skills: Applicants must demonstrate an understanding of basic reading and language comprehension. This includes grammar, sentence structure and vocabulary, as well as the ability to draw relevant conclusions from reading word problems and passages, and the ability to write efficiently and coherently.
  • Problem Solving and Judgement Skills: A candidate must be able to answer questions and react to situations based on good judgement and possess the ability to adapt to changing situations. They must also react accordingly to difficult situations and display impulse control and a high stress tolerance. Applicants may also be assessed on skills related to behavior, particularly with regards to previous jobs and experience. It is important to assess team and individual work ethic in an applicant, and their understanding and engagement with workplace policies and procedures.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Prospective police officers must have strong communication and interpersonal skills as many situations call for the ability to interact with others in a calm, respectful way, regardless of the situation at hand. Candidates must have strong leadership skills as well, and be proficient in handling situations with good decision-making, communication, and autonomy. It is also important for potential police officers to display excellent teamwork.

Situational Judgement Test

Situational judgement tests are designed to evaluate an applicant’s reaction to potential workplace scenarios in the interest of also assessing problem-solving and decision-making skills. Candidates may encounter this type of test in the video exam portion of the police hiring process, in which videos of real-life scenarios are played, and applicants are expected to answer verbally how they would handle the situation. Hypothetical situations may refer to any area of a police officer’s line of work, including potentially dangerous or high-stress situations where candidates must display the ability to keep a calm, level head in order to achieve the best-case scenario, as well as potential everyday encounters.

Psychological Exam/Personality Test

Prospective police officers must pass a psychological exam; this also includes areas typically related to personality assessment. While it is not possible to prepare for a test gauging such psychological functions related to mental health, it is possible to prepare for a personality test. Pre-employment personality tests are designed primarily to assess a candidate’s compatibility with the prospective position. This includes cognitive ability, judgement, motives, and values based on past employment and prior experience. Personality tests are also designed to indicate a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as test their decision-making skills.

Other Areas of Assessments

The type of pre-employment assessment categories a candidate can expect depends on the type of law enforcement exam administered. There are various law enforcement exams a candidate might face, including the PELLET B test, the Frontline test, the National Criminal Justice Officer Selection Inventory (NCJOSI) exam, the Frontline test, and the Law Enforcement Aptitude Battery (LEAB) test. The PELLET B test has a primary focus in reading comprehension and writing ability, while the NCJOSI exam also evaluates deductive reasoning, memorization, reading comprehension, spatial orientation, and basic mathematics. The Frontline test is specifically designed to test judgement and human relations, as well as observation and memory regarding police-related incidents, and the LEAB test also includes deductive reasoning and reading comprehension.

StatePolice Officer Exam/Test Name
CaliforniaPOST Entry-Level Law Enforcement Test Battery (PELLETB)
New YorkLaw Enforcement Exam (LEE)
TexasTexas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) Licensing Exam
FloridaFlorida Basic Abilities Test (FBAT)
PennsylvaniaMunicipal Police Officer Education and Training Commission (MPOETC) Certification Exam
IllinoisIllinois Law Enforcement Certification Program (ILECP) Exam
MichiganMichigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) Exam
OhioOhio Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS) Exam
North CarolinaNorth Carolina Police Officer Selection Test (POST)
GeorgiaGeorgia Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Entrance Exam

How to Prepare for a Police Exam

Regardless of the type of exam a candidate is expected to take, it is important that they prepare accordingly. Many of the written tests are timed, therefore applicants should utilize practice tests to improve their ability to answer questions correctly and efficiently. Prospective police officers should also better familiarize themselves with areas they may struggle in, to improve their chances of success and their confidence going into the assessments. In the case of the video exam, it is beneficial for candidates to utilize study guides to better anticipate the types of questions and scenarios they might be shown. A candidate who has practiced and prepared for the police exams has a greater chance of acing the assessment and getting the job.

Police officer exam questions and answers

  1. Reading Comprehension:
    • After reading a short passage: “According to the passage, what was the main reason the witness called the police?”
  2. Mathematics:
    • If Officer Smith drives 30 miles in 0.5 hours, what is his average speed in miles per hour?
  3. Grammar and Writing Skills:
    • Which of the following sentences is grammatically correct? a) Their going to the store. b) They’re going to they’re cars. c) There going over there. d) They’re going over there.
  4. Memory:
    • After showing a picture of a suspect for 30 seconds: “What color was the suspect’s shirt?”
  5. Spatial Orientation:
    • If you are facing north and turn 90 degrees to your right, which direction are you now facing?
  6. Situational Judgment:
    • During a routine traffic stop, the driver becomes verbally aggressive and starts shouting insults. What is the best course of action? a) Shout back and assert dominance. b) Calmly explain the reason for the stop and ask for their documentation. c) Immediately arrest the driver for disorderly conduct. d) Ignore the driver and walk away.
  7. Information Gathering and Organization:
    • Which of the following is the most critical piece of information to obtain from a victim immediately after a hit and run accident? a) The color of the other car. b) If they recognized the other driver. c) The license plate number of the other car. d) The make and model of the other car.
  8. Vocabulary:
    • The word “perpetrator” most closely means: a) Witness b) Victim c) Officer d) Offender
  9. Logical Reasoning:
    • If all thieves are criminals, and John is a thief, then: a) John is not a criminal. b) John might be a criminal. c) John is a criminal. d) The statement provides no information about John.
  10. General Knowledge:
  • Which amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects against unreasonable searches and seizures? a) First Amendment b) Fourth Amendment c) Fifth Amendment d) Eighth Amendment