How To Study For Police Exam

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How To Study For Police Exam

15 Practical Tips on How to Pass the Police Written Exam in 2021

Find out the basic

Police Testing Basics

You need to find out what exactly the written test will contain so that you can prepare properly for it. Even though the structure of the written test is more or less the same, each state and individual agency have some specifications. Therefore, the best source of information is the department you are applying for. Usually they prepare some guides or study kits with sample tests that you can use. The best thing, however, is to find a prep package that you can download for free or buy at a reasonable price in order to prepare properly. Police Exam 911 is one such option. Or you can choose video lessons or practical guides. The idea is to know the basics so that you are not surprised at the actual day of the exam. We put together a Free Mini-Course to help you Pass the Police Exam.

Understand the overall test process

Police Testing Process

It is important to know why law enforcement agencies have such a complicated selection process and how important the written test is. It is one of the ways to separate the candidates. Usually those who get 80% will move on for the next steps of the selection process but those who pass with 90% or more face better chances.

The written exam tests the general knowledge and basic skills of the applicants. Skills, that you are not going to develop from this point on in the police academy. Therefore, the better the results, the better the impression a candidate makes. Find out about the top rated prep course PoliceExam911.

Check with peers

Talking with Peers

One of the best ways of finding reliable information is to check with someone who has already done it. Do you know a person who has sit the police written test recently? Ideally in the same state or department but in any other will also do. Then you can also check the social media and find relevant groups or discussions, which you can join. Learning from the mistakes and experiences of others is a clever way to avoid some mistakes of your own.

Prepare for the written test

Preparing for Police Written Exam

Now that you are familiar with structure of the police written exam, you have to start preparing for it. As we have already mentioned, your first source of information should be the department you are applying with. They will provide you with the details as to what type of test they use – many states use the National Police Officer Selection Test (NPOST). Some police agencies will use tests developed by third-party companies or develop their own tests. This information is of paramount importance for your prep process.

The next thing to do is to find relevant test prep books, guides and sites that can help you ace the exam. There are also plenty of free prep materials so make good use of them too.

Schedule your study time

Study Time

Once you have found the relevant prep materials, it is time to study. We suggest that you distribute your study time evenly every day instead of cramming before the test. Thus, the knowledge will remain stronger and your reading and writing skills will improve significantly. It is up to you to find the right study schedule. The best thing is if you can devote a certain period only to test prep free of any other destruction and disturbance. It is important, however, to pass every element of the exam. Learn more strategies from the PoliceExam911 Prep Course.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses

Identify Strengths and Weaknesses

As part of your written test prep you need to identify your strengths and weaknesses. This will be very important in terms of studying properly for the exam. Be honest with yourself – it is OK if you are poor in spelling or grammar or you miss some basic math knowledge and skills. Once you admit your weakness and identify them properly, you will have the chance to focus on these parts of the exam and improve your knowledge significantly. This might mean, that you need to reschedule your study routine. Be as flexible as possible and look for help if needed.

Improve your strongest skills

Improving Skills

Identifying your strengths and weaknesses is not only to find what you are bad at but also to focus on what you are good at. If you are good at writing reports or in reading comprehension then it is worth spending sometime on that too. As we all know practice makes perfect. So instead of struggling with say math, you can focus on these parts of the test where you can score the highest result and compensate for the rest. Besides, knowing that you are good at some of the written test components will make you feel confident in your overall abilities. And being calm and confident at the test day is only a plus for any candidate.

Rest well prior to the written test

Well Rested

The day and the night before the test are very important. We have already advised you against cramming, so ideally you are not going to spend it bent over the books. Go for a walk, meet with your friends and have a good night rest. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep, so that you don’t feel tired during the exam. Have a healthy breakfast in the morning prior to the test. Include “brain food” – proteins are good for stimulating brain activity.

If you are not familiar with the venue of the test, you should go and check it so that you don’t lose time on the next day trying to figure out where you should go.

Manage your time properly at the test

Managing Test Time

It is mandatory to arrive on time for your written test or you will be disqualified. It is good to show up early and take your seat.

You are aware that each section of the test is timed and therefore you need to observe it strictly. Distribute your time the way you have practiced at home – a few minutes to read the instructions carefully, time to complete the task and time to spare in order to check it.

Make sure to bring a watch with you since no mobile devices are allowed at the test.

Always leave some time at the end of each section to check if you have answered all your questions, correct occasional mistakes and make sure that all looks OK. Learn more about PoliceExam911 Prep Course.

Check your answers

Checking Answers

It is very important to check your answers before moving to the next section of the written test. You need time to review the task and ensure that you have done it properly. If you have decided to skip a question because you were unsure of its answer, double check that you have left this question blank on your answer sheet and put the right answers below it. Imagine what it will be if you have omitted question number 10, for example, and then instead of answering 11 you put an answer to 10. All the answers below will be wrong. And even if you spot it before the time for the section ends, it will be a great effort to correct them all. Therefore, the best advice is to keep an eye on the watch but not to be too hectic in filling in the answers.

How to Pass the Police Exam

You will have to take some version of a police exam as part of the application process for a job as a peace officer. Because there is a lot of competition for these police jobs, you will want to score highly on the exam. Keep reading to get tips for passing your police exam and learn where to find study materials, practice tests and more.

Know Your City or State’s Exam Requirements

Not all jurisdictions require the same police exam, so the first step to earning a passing score is to understand what exam your state or city requires. Many police departments use the National Police Officer Selection Test (POST) or the National Criminal Justice Officer Selection Inventory (NCJOSI). Other departments have their own exam. You can typically find out what exam is required online, through a city government or state highway patrol office website, or by contacting a police academy in your jurisdiction.

Find Out What Will Be On Your Police Exam

Generally, police exams are designed to test a variety of basic skills in such areas as grammar, writing, vocabulary, reading comprehension and math. You may also be required to show your ability to make decisions based on your judgment and reasoning skills.

The questions themselves might consist of multiple-choice, true/false and fill-in-the blank formats. Some tests also include a writing section that requires you to write an incident report or a video portion during which you will have to watch several scenarios and select the appropriate response to each.

You will not necessarily need law enforcement training or knowledge to pass these exams, but you will need a good understanding of the skills mentioned above.

Take Practice Tests

POST sample questions and practice tests are available for a small fee from the company that creates the exam. If your state has its own exam, it might offer practice tests online as well. You can also find a number of websites that offer free practice questions similar to those found on the actual tests.

You will have a time limit on each section of your police exam. Therefore, it is important to practice taking the exam under these conditions. Most likely, your score will not decrease if you select an incorrect answer. You will need to practice time management in order to ensure you select an answer for every question, even if it’s only your best guess.

Find Additional Study Resources

You can sign up for study courses online that include review material, general study tips and strategies for answering questions that will require you to exhibit reasoning and judgment. You can also find print study materials and books.

Because you will need to be proficient in reading, writing, grammar and math, Study.com offers many resources that can help you prepare for the police exam. You can use the following lessons to refresh your general knowledge on each of these topics and take quizzes to track your progress:

  • How to Write Incident Reports
  • Vocabulary Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Grammar
  • Mathematics

Utilize General Test-Taking Strategies

Feeling your best on test day will, of course, help you do well on the police exam. It’s important to go into the exam well rested, well fed and relaxed.

On test day, be sure to listen to the instructions given to you by your exam administrator. If you are unsure about any of the directions, ask for clarification. Also, be sure you are clear about the time limit for the exam. For time management purposes, it may be helpful to note the start and stop time for each section.

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