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The Police Exam - How To Get Hired Faster

Sergeant George Godoy

When you made your decision to become a police officer, you made a decision to change your life. And when you turned in your application, you took your first step in a grueling process towards achieving your goal.

Next in the gauntlet: the police written exam.

The first hurtle. The first cold sweat in a long line of cold sweats. Now’s the time to untie the knot in your stomach and retighten your guts to prepare for the first punch of reality: you’re actually on your way to becoming a police officer.

Whether you hate tests or you ace tests to draw a bead on living your life behind a badge, you need to turn your mind into a diamond-dust whet stone and hone your wits razor-sharp. Your goal in the police written test, your first step towards your badge, is simple and single-minded: get the highest scores possible on the police exam for the highest ranking possible on the eligibility list. You don’t just want to get on the list, you want to be in the top five — better yet, you want to be the first name on the list.

How can you do this?

Like I said, simply and single-mindedly. Prepare yourself by informing yourself. Arm yourself with hard facts about the police exam, which are yours for the asking from the recruiter, the department’s HR section, or the department website. Identify your weakest areas on the test and reinforce your abilities in that area. Review spelling rules. Pick up, “The Elements of Style” by Strunk & White, and a high school level math book while you’re at it. Then find a quiet spot with no distractions — like the library, and study.

If you don’t read regularly start doing so now. Get a newspaper and read it, then read it out loud, then read it to someone else — then discuss what you’ve read and practice being a comprehensive reader. Have someone quiz you on articles, ads that were on the same page, the page number the article was on, what other articles are on the same page and anything else they can think of to test your memory and understanding.

Teach yourself to be ferociously observant, yet careful with your assumptions. Practice observing people, vehicles and places – memorize descriptions, then check what you think you saw for accuracy.

If you haven’t gone on a ride along yet, schedule one today! And when you slide inside that patrol car forget every daydream or pre-conceived idea you ever had about police officers and police work. Wipe your mind clean and focus on every action that officer makes. Your prime objective is to learn about the ‘why’ that is the basis for an officers actions, reactions, and decisions. What observations are important to their work? Ask questions, take notes – throw yourself into the experience wholeheartedly and you’ll walk away with a little piece of a badge attached.

Would you pass the Police Exam?
Find out with PoliceLink’s FREE Practice Police Exam


The written test evaluates you on several areas of common knowledge — that’s what the math, spelling and vocabulary books were for but there are other areas that test your range and use of common sense knowledge. These areas blend judgment skills, memory and observation skills and the simple ability to know left from right into complex questions that evaluate how you react and why.

And you want to react for the same ‘why’ as any police officer — right?

Take a look at the practice questions on the next page for a taste of the test to come.

Practice Questions >>


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Johnthethetrooper

    about 6 years ago

    2 Comments

    This is very useful info, Thanks!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    monandvic

    about 6 years ago

    2 Comments

    Do you have to throughly think about each question and answer on the test like this, seriously ?

  • Me_at_graduation_max50

    jadau84

    about 6 years ago

    10 Comments

    I found the information about teaching yourself observency, judgment skills, and memory skills to be the most benificial piece of information in the article. I think another good point would be to not pyche yourself out! Some people spend days, weeks, even months prepairing for this test and then come to the moment of truth and choke. I'm guilty of it myself, and I always kick my self because I, "knew that answer!" So just remeber even if you cram and quiz, you still need to find a technique to calm your nerves.

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    mohamedalwi

    about 6 years ago

    2 Comments

    good examples of testing skills

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    kbraun

    about 6 years ago

    2 Comments

    this is very helpful,it gives you the rite mind set

  • 20080705_224519_0_max50

    TS54

    about 6 years ago

    22 Comments

    i have a few quitions for u man if u will get back to me thatnks steve!

  • Gomes_in_fire_max50

    mikeS90

    about 6 years ago

    102 Comments

    This has really helped me a lot

  • Me_at_beach2_max50

    kekoa5150

    about 6 years ago

    612 Comments

    This was very helpful to know what I have to look forward to. Excellent study tips.

  • Ryan2_max50

    rbrumbaugh26

    about 6 years ago

    2 Comments

    Very helpful questions. After reviewing the 4 possible choices, I was surprised that only B was the solution to two of the questions when I thought there was other choices. Glad that I went back to pay attention.

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    colin24

    about 6 years ago

    4 Comments

    YES that really helped knowing the steps to take before taking further action!

  • Policelinkbadge_max160_max160_max50

    tommywren

    about 6 years ago

    20 Comments

    whats a good text book to i could use to prepare for the post test?

  • M_915d07caae4ca0f8a147041886a73990_max50

    street

    about 6 years ago

    4 Comments

    THANKS FOR THAT INFORMATION , I WILL USE IT WISELY..

  • Img00015_1__max50

    lakesia

    about 6 years ago

    2 Comments

    GOOD INFORMATION

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    MatthewLaird

    about 6 years ago

    2 Comments

    Please, keep the advice coming. This is golden. Thank you.

  • Photo003_max50

    chris41

    about 6 years ago

    2 Comments

    very helpful

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