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Your Written Exam: How To Think Like A Cop

Sergeant George Gody

3. Protecting Property.

4. Maintaining Assigned Duties — Your effectiveness is compromised if an assigned duty is not maintained, regardless of a seeming misuse of skills or experience.

For example: You are assigned to a specific area during an emergency situation and ordered by your supervisor to stay at this location. But, by leaving this location you can help a seriously injured person and possibly save that person’s life. What would you do? You are justified in choosing to leave your assigned area to help the injured person, even though you are disobeying the supervisors order — provided that leaving your assigned area will not put other lives in danger. Always remember protection of life is the number one priority.

Another example: You are ordered to guard a prisoner. Another officer is assigned to write the arrest report. You are a better report writer than the other officer. If you write the report, both you and the other officer will be able to return to street patrol sooner. What would you do? Do you watch the prisoner or write the report? Answer: you watch the prisoner. Obeying an order is a higher priority than maintaining your assigned duties.

Every police officer operates as part of a team effort. This effort becomes most efficient when all participants operate under the same set of rules and the same hierarchy list. Rank and authority procedures established in the Police Hierarchy list ensure that the department operates as a whole and that individual officers make decisions within judgment parameters based on historical experience and professional consensus.

Recommended techniques for answering police judgment/situational questions:

1. Pay close attention to the information you are provided.

2. Read carefully and thoroughly. Ask yourself questions — is there anything that is a threat to life or is there anything that needs immediate attention?

3. Apply Common Sense, Police Priorities, and Police Hierarchies.

4. Don’t jump to conclusions. Don’t make assumptions. Weigh all the facts before making a decision.

5. Make your decision.

6. Review your decision — do they make sense within the framework of the three fundamentals?

7. Trust your instincts.

The majority of police departments set clear parameters for many types of situations. But, because of unforeseen situations officers face on a daily basis, these parameters cannot cover every possible type of situation. That is why law enforcement agencies test your practical judgment and common sense so intensely. It is also why it is so important to know the priority lists used by police agencies before you take the written test. You must know what they consider the order of importance before you can successfully answer police situational questions.

With careful consideration and thought, you can bring these three defining fundamentals to play in your preparation for police situational test questions. You can develop your police mindset and learn to think like a police officer.

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  • Photo_user_banned_big


    2 days ago


  • Me_grappling_pic_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Very good read. I will strive to think with this mindset before I begin my career in the LE field.

  • Badge_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Very good framework for decision making process. In preparation for the academy I'm trying to teach myself to think like a police officer so it will be second nature by the time I'm running around with my FTO.

  • Stopsign_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    This might be the best all around article on the written exam that I've ever read. I was directed to this website by a buddy and I am glad that I came here. I used the tips in this article, as well as downloaded a study guide at . The result was fantastic as I scored in the high 90's on the test.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago

    For a pionner like me it is a very interesting document. Common sense.

  • Photo_user_banned_big


    almost 4 years ago


    This is such a good article, I would like to share it with others. ... How do I get permission to do so? ... Common sense coincides with Common Law; and it's good to be educated in Common Laws of the Land. Many individuals aren't aware of the difference between Common Law (Constitutional Law) and Commercial Law (corporate statutes, regulations and codes) that often attempt to overrule an individual's "unalienable" rights. This lack of awareness causes a lot of problems in the public domain, especially around protests and demonstrations; so it seems to me, we all need to be more EDUCATED in Law, in general; and that's up to the educational system to do this, teach the differences between Laws of the Land and Laws of the Sea.

  • Greensboroskyline_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Great article. Useful information as always.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Great article, very helpful!

  • Ncapd_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Very good article, helpful in many ways.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    Good article.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Thanks for posting this useful information. This was just what I was on looking for. I'll come back to this blog for sure! I bookmarked this blog a while ago because of the useful content and I am never being disappointed.  Mouth Yeast Infections

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    The general public expects an awful lot , sometimes unreasonably so. They call you, they expect you to come & fix whatever it is they need you for. leather sofas

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    This probably one of the best written exam that I've read. I used the tips on here, as well as downloaded a police exam study guide at and the results were more than amazing. Thanks guy for this article. If anyone is schedule for the exam follow the tips here, and if you can download the study guide. Unless you are brain dead, you will pass the test.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Excellent advice, could have used this before I took the exam(which I still passed & then found out that in my state I'm too old to go through any Police Academy). I will say that I approached most Q's as if I was taking Military orders, since they are closely related and feel this did help in a few scenarios that were presented on the test. How someone thinks during certain situations really does reflect how that person was trained. How I myself respond to a certain situation(I'm a Security Guard)is totally different from my friends/family in the same instance. This article was great in pointing out that as LEO's the order of your Priority List may continually change depending upon the importance/seriousness of the situation as it unfolds before you, the people & conditions that exist and all the other elements that come together in seconds, the same seconds that as a trained LEO you'll know what to do 1st, even as a rookie. Law Enforcement more than any other job field comes under a unique microscope. Every action you do, as well as every action you do not do is taken apart and YOU are going to have to defend every little nuance of what you did/failed to do. You have split seconds to respond and because of your training, the general public is going to expect the best of you. The general public expects an awful lot , sometimes unreasonably so. They call you, they expect you to come & fix whatever it is they need you for. Their memories of the good that you do is often cloudy, but their memories of what is wrong with Cops is always crystal clear. As LE you already start out with 2 strikes in the eyes of the general public , but practicing proper proceedures at least keeps you in the game just in case a call of "Foul" comes down.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Thanks for the info! ddeangelo, check your spelling, please?

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