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2022 Police Officer Exam l What to Expect?

January 2nd, 2022 2022 police officer exam

Syllabus Changes Compared to Previous Years

Are you planning to take the 2022 police officer exam?

Whilst the 2022 exam has some notable differences compared to previous years, there are also some important similarities, too. Here, we provide all the details you need to know to prepare for the weeks and months ahead.

The core feature of all police officer exams is, of course, the written test.

The written test is different depending on which branch of law enforcement you wish to enlist:

  • Police officer
  • Correctional officer
  • State trooper
  • Highway patrol officer

The key focus for the 2022 police test is on observation and memory skills, written communication skills, and numeracy skills. Candidates will also be tested on the physical fitness test and oral board exam. Below, we go into more detail about how the focus has shifted, and how you need to adjust your exam preparation.

Observation and Memory Skills

Though the written test is largely similar for 2022, there have been important moves in recent years toward expanding the set of skills tested for aspiring officers. For instance, more than ever candidates are being asked to undertake short-term memory and observation tests.

Whilst these two tests were already widely tested among many police departments throughout the country, they have since been expanded to more departments – with a greater emphasis on these skills in tandem with the police written exam.

If you are planning on taking the 2022 police officer exam, it’s important that you improve short-term memory and practice observation tests as part of your written exam preparation.

Written Communication

Written communication, too, features heavily for 2022 police tests.

Given the ever-expanding role that communication plays among police officers; and given how competition for places in law enforcement remains high, the standard for excellent written communication among candidates has increased. Because of this, law enforcement departments are placing a greater emphasis on both written communication and reading comprehension.

Written communication is a diverse subject, including topics such as:

  • Accuracy in the correct and appropriate use of grammar.
  • Immaculate spelling throughout the written test.
  • Ability to identify incorrect use of vocabulary.
  • Logical reasoning skills to work out the meaning of words / phrases.

In this sense, excellent written communication skills are more than just memorizing a dictionary. The focus has shifted toward communication skills that are practical to the role of law enforcement officer. You will be presented with paragraphs and asked to extract the precise meaning of the paragraph, or a word or phrase within the context of that paragraph.

Attention-to-detail skills will also be tested and, given the short timeframe assigned to answer these police exam questions, only the very best candidates will make it through.

Long-term preparation is essential to perform well at these subjects of the 2022 police officer exam. Many police departments, such as Scottsdale Police Department, require candidates to achieve at least 70 percent – and this is just to pass; it doesn’t mean that you will be selected to proceed with the application process.

Numeracy Skills

In the recent past, only the largest law enforcement departments in the United States tested numeracy skills to a sufficient degree. Yes, math was tested – but this was somewhat limited. Now, things are beginning to change – with both large and small police departments testing candidate’s knowledge of both arithmetic and math skills to a far greater extent than before.

Arithmetic refers to word problems that include numbers. To solve the problem, candidates must use a combination of addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication. Math as a subject involves more complex manipulations and asks candidates to think from a more conceptual perspective. Both arithmetic and math are tested to a greater degree on the 2022 police test. The best way to prepare for both arithmetic and math is to follow these five rules:

  • Understand the step-by-step process of each math operation.
  • Never memorize methods to solve problems; you’ll get caught out.
  • Never rush.
  • Only use relevant information in the question to find the answer. Avoid using all details, as some may be thrown in to distract you.
  • Double check your answer at the end.

The best way to put these five rules into practice is by taking as many police test questions as possible. The more questions you practice, the more gaps in your knowledge base get plugged – and the more you begin to learn about the process behind each question, and how never to repeat the same mistake again.

Fitness and Oral Board Exams

Both the physical abilities test and oral board exam are largely the same for the police officer test in 2022. The fitness exam is law enforcement department-specific, so it’s vital that you consult the department to learn more about the requirements and tests expected for 2022.

Candidates can expect the same question-style format for the oral board exam as in recent years. This typically involves a combination of direct and dynamic police interview questions.

Direct questions are, as the name suggests, straightforward questions that seek to identify a specific answer. For instance, you may be asked whether you have taken drugs before or why you left a particular job.

Dynamic, situational questions are more complex. For these questions, you will be presented with a scenario and asked to comment how you would react. Based on your answer, the panel will quickly change the scenario and ask for further justifications on how you would react next. This can continue for over 5 questions, and it’s important to be mentally prepared and to avoid panicking or rushing through your responses. Always stay calm, articulate, professional, and be willing to offer a detailed justification of why your course of action is the most appropriate course of action to take.

This can take practice but, with time, the skills will develop.

Take Home Message

The 2022 police officer exam may seem daunting, but it’s largely in-line with recent years. Here, we have reviewed the key focus points that should guide your study. It’s imperative that you do not over-focus on one study topic more than another.

Consistency is key.

That’s why a long-term study plan is essential. An effective plan guides candidates through this entire process, without spending too much or too little time on any one subject area.

With the right approach, mentality for success, and dedication – there is no reason why you cannot exceed your expectations for any of the three tests above and score high on exam day.

Found this helpful? Study and prepare for the 2022 police officer exam with our online, self-paced course – tailored to the needs and demands of the 2022 police test, guaranteeing your exam success.


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