Arm yourself with hard facts about the test-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 a 30-days to improve your
vocabulary book at the library-and a high school
level math book while you're at it. Then find a quiet
spot with no distractions-like the library, you're
already there, right? 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
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 squad
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 officer
reactions, actions 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.
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
Take a look at the practice questions below for a
taste of the test to come.
Use good judgment and common sense, as well as
the information provided in the question, to answer
the following questions.
1. Officer Bettis has arrived at the scene of a family
disturbance. Two other officers are in the front yard
of the residence, fighting with family members.
Officer Bettis pulls out his departmentally approved
nightstick and runs up to help one of the officers. A
woman steps up and swings a broken beer bottle at
Officer Bettis's head. What should he do next?
A. Try to snatch the beer bottle out of her hand
and hope he doesn't get cut.
B. Strike her in a departmentally approved target
area so she will drop the bottle.
C. Immediately call for more backup.
D. Dodge her blows and continue on to help the
officer being attacked.
The correct answer is B. Police officers are required
to subdue combative suspects as quickly and safely
as possible. If Officer Bettis is in a situation where
the nightstick is an approved weapon and he or
other officers are in physical danger, he should use
his nightstick. The situation does not change
because the attacker is female. No other option is
safe or feasible.
Officers who use pepper spray to disperse a crowd
should do the following:
1. Warn other officers that pepper spray is about to
2. Order the crowd to disperse.
3. Take a position upwind of the crowd.
4. Direct the spray into the crowd while continuing
to order them to disperse.
5. Provide first aid to anyone who is overcome by
2. Officers Brady, Dion, and Rodriguez are called to
the scene of a large fight in front of Omar's Grill.
When they arrive, they see around 15 adult males
bunched up in the parking lot punching each other.
Officer Dion pulls out his canister of pepper spray.
What should he do next?
A. Order the crowd to stop fighting.
B. Warn the other two officers that he's about to
spray the crowd.
C. Warn the crowd that he has pepper spray.
D. Stand downwind of the crowd before spraying.
The correct answer is B. According to step 1 in the
procedure, the officer should warn the other officers
before he takes further action. The officer does
want the crowd to stop fighting and will order them
to do so, but choice A is step 2. Choice C is not
listed as a step, and choice D is not a good answer
because the officer will always want to be upwind of
pepper spray, not downwind.
3. Officers Perez and Navarro arrive at City Hall to
find a mob rocking Mayor Dickson's car back and
forth in the street. Officer Navarro shouts to Officer
Perez that he is going to use his pepper spray.
What should he do next?
A. Stand downwind of the crowd.
B. Shout to the crowd to disperse.
C. Warn the crowd that pepper spray is about to be
D. Stand upwind of the crowd before using the
The correct answer is B. The officer has already
taken step 1, having warned his partner that he is
about to use the spray. Step 2 is to order the
crowd to disperse.
So, how did you do? Did any of the answers
surprise you? Did you learn anything?
Practice questions are extremely useful in your
preparation for the written test, not only for
becoming accustomed to a police mind set, but also
for becoming accustomed to reading a situation
carefully and completely in order to make the best
decision for action.
What you face in the written test is an evaluation of
your approach to life and your ability to repeatedly
and consistently handle critical incidents within
highly regulated parameters. You are being
evaluated on dependability of effort and thought,
adaptability of action, reliability of reaction and
durability of decision-making. You are being tested
to find out if you possess the unique combination
of components that will allow you not only to
withstand the rigors of police work, but to thrive
and excel as a police officer.
Take a stand for your dream. Make a pledge to
succeed. Arm yourself for victory.
This is about your life. This is about your decision
to make your dream a reality. You can win through
this challenge because you are well-prepared,
primed for pursuit and your sights are firmly fixed
on your target-the top of the eligibility list and first
shot at the door to your dream.
|Police Officer Jobs
How To Get Hired Faster
|Sergeant George Godoy (Ret.) is a 22 year police
veteran. During his police career, Sergeant Godoy
served for 5 years as a police recruitment specialist
where he personally tested over 1,000 potential
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|Copyright © 2018 Barry M. Baker
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
Next in the gauntlet: the police written test.
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 re-tighten 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 written
test, your first step towards your badge, is simple
and single-minded: get the highest scores possible
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 we said, simply and single-mindedly. Prepare
yourself by informing yourself.