Many police officer exams test candidates on their ability to read maps. As a prospective police officer, it is important for you to be able to respond to maps accurately and quickly – especially in areas with which you are unfamiliar.
The police map reading test is applied to test precisely that skill.
Reading maps is not difficult, of course. But when under the timed pressure cooker of the police test, things can become a little more challenging. That’s why time management is so important during the exam.
Time management isn’t enough though. Later, we review some tips and tricks to help you master the police map reading test. Before we review those tips, let’s first learn more about the kind of questions you can expect to be asked.
Below, we have put together a sample map. Review that map and note the orientation of the map, and always identify the compass attached to each map. This is the kind of map you can expect to encounter during the police exam.
Again, questions will not be too difficult. You can expect to be asked questions such as:
Attempt to answer all three of these questions within 1-minute. Answers to each question can be found below.
As time must be rationed among all sections of the police exam, it is imperative that candidates assign the right time per question. Otherwise, you may be left rushing toward the end of this section – and, when rushing, it is easy to overlook details you would not otherwise have missed.
We have already spent some time discussing time management. In the end, this is the most important skill to learn – not only for the map reading component of the police officer test but also for every other part of the written exam, too.
Ultimately, the map reading exam is about attention to detail; the ability to swiftly and accurately identify correct details. And this skill makes sense. All police officers must have high standards of attention to detail. It’s a skill that will apply throughout your entire career.
One of the best ways to prepare, then, is to develop these skills. And one of the many ways to achieve that is to practice map reading. Take out Google Maps (or any other online map facility), for example, and familiarize yourself with all features of the map – including orientation in different directions. Become familiar with compasses and the various directions and sub-directions therein. The more you become familiar with maps, the better you will become at reading them when a new one pops up on the day of your police exam.
Second, avoid the temptation of choosing the most obvious answer. For one of the questions above, we asked to identify which street is most likely to have the entrance to the high school. Many candidates, in a rush, will have chosen Town Avenue – as this is where High School is aligned on the map. Of course, this is wrong – and the correct answer is Park Street, where the word Entrance is placed. It is even easier to miss the word Entrance because the map has been rotated on an East-West axis. For the second question, the correct answer is north-west, and, for the third question, the correct answer is Hill Street.
Remember – you will be provided with multiple choice answers for each question on the police map reading test.
In other words, do not rush – even if a question seems, on the face of it, simple. Sometimes questions can be deceptively phrased in such a way to distract you from the actual correct answer
The police map reading test is not the most difficult part of the written exam, that’s for sure.
But don’t let that create a false sense of security. If you let your guard down, and especially if you rush through the questions, you may overlook details that you wouldn’t otherwise have done.
Apply the same strategy to the map reading exam as you would to other parts of the police exam:
In the meantime, take the time to practice more police map reading questions. The more questions you practice, the better prepared you will be for the day of your police officer exam.
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