Police Departments Police Test Study Guide

NYPD Police Officer Exam | How to Join NYPD!

Nov 1st, 2021
nypd police officer exam

How to Become an NYPD Police Officer

To pass the NYPD police officer exam, candidates must take the written exam offered by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services.

Passing the exam is no guarantee you will make it through to the next stage in the hiring process. There are a limited number of places who can qualify to enter the police academy and so only the very highest scoring candidates make it through.

As of 2022, there are over 37,000 active police officers in NYPD. Let’s not forget that NYPD is the largest law enforcement agency in the United States and is also one of the oldest, too – having formed in May 1845.

Joining this elite and prestigious department is challenging. However, with enough preparation there is no reason why you cannot make it through the hiring process and qualify to enter the police academy.

Below, we learn more about what specific requirements are included in the NYPD exam and how you can prepare in the weeks and months ahead to pass this widely taken and difficult exam.

NYPD Hiring Process

First, candidates must submit an application to the department, which can be found online. Candidates must be eligible to join NYPD before sending in their application form.

Eligibility criteria includes:

  • Minimum age: 21-years old (however candidates 17.5 years can take the entrance exam). The upper age limit for becoming an NYPD police officer is 35 years old.
  • Education: 60 college credits with a 2.0 GPA (minimum) from an accredited academic institution. Alternatively, 2 years of active military service in the U.S. Armed Forces will suffice.
  • Residency: candidates must be a US citizen and must live within the 5 boroughs of New York (or Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Westchester, Putnam or Orange counties) within a month of being hired by the police force.
  • Drivers license: candidates must hold a valid driver’s license.
  • Criminal background: candidates are disqualified from joining NYPD if they have a history of domestic violence; have committed a felony; or who were discharged from the US military on dishonorable grounds. Upon completing a background investigation, candidates may also be disqualified if they have demonstrated an aggressive past of violence or who have been laid off work due to inappropriate behavior.

Do consider that NYPD is not searching for new officers all year. At some points, you may notice that “there is no police officer exam being offered at this time”. It is always worth checking back regularly to ensure that you do not miss the opportunities as and when they do arise.

Once your application is submitted, reviewed, and accepted – you will be given a date and time to take the police officer exam.

NYPD Written Examination

The written test resembles the kind of style of police exam questions that appear on most other law enforcement tests in the United States. New York Police Department have even offered a free NYPD study guide which offers an excellent and useful insight into the kind of exam you can expect to sit.

In summary, the written exam covers topics such as:

  • Memory test / observational awareness
  • Reading comprehension analysis
  • Directional map reading skills
  • Deductive reasoning
  • Inductive reasoning
  • Spatial orientation
  • Written expression and communication

The exam is underpinned by the candidate’s ability to use logical reasoning. Ultimately, this is the skill that you must hone over the coming weeks and months. Nor is this a skill you can learn overnight. It requires diligence, patience, and practice – lots of it.

The more police exam questions you practice, the better. Try the free NYPD test provided by the department without recourse to any of the answers – at least until the end of the exam. Time yourself and see how you perform. This will give you a foundation on how strong you are prepared for the exam and, more importantly, identify strengths and weaknesses. The more weaknesses you can identify, the better. It means that you can re-focus and recalibrate your energy toward improving these specific niches of the police officer exam.

Job Standard Test

The JST – or Job Standard Test – is the standard physical fitness test for the New York police department exam.

Working as a police officer is physically demanding – and the department needs to ensure that you have the fitness level required to work effectively on a day-to-day basis.

Without stopping, candidates must complete the Job Standard Test in 4 minutes and 28 seconds.

There are six elements to the fitness exam – in the following order:

  • Barrier surmount – from a kneeling position, candidates must ascend a 6ft barrier after sprinting 50 feet to reach the barrier.
  • Stair climb – ascending a 6-stair climb system.
  • Physical restraint simulation – measuring how candidates perform in a simulated environment that tests their ability to handle physical force and restraint.
  • Pursuit chase – 600ft navigation around cones.
  • Victim rescue – dragging a simulated mannequin victim 35-feet who weighs 176 pounds.
  • Trigger pull – the candidate picks up an inoperable firearm and pulls the trigger 15 times with both the dominant and non-dominant hand. The exam timer will stop once the last trigger is pulled. The firearm must remain inside the nine-inch diameter ring during this phase of the test.

To complete the Job Standard Test in 4 and a half-minutes is challenging.

Candidates must be in peak physical performance to make it through to the next phase of the NYPD police officer exam.

Background, Psychological, and Medical Evaluation

The written and fitness tests are the major pillars of the NYPD exam.

However, there are other tests that must be passed. These include the:

  • Background and character investigation
  • Oral psychological assessment
  • Medical evaluation

Success at all three checks is required to make it through to the next round. Character checks may involve contacting previous employers to establish whether you were an optimum employee who could work well within a team, or whether you demonstrated poor judgment or aggression or otherwise patterns of behavior which could be deemed inappropriate.

Furthermore, candidates will also be drug and alcohol screened. NYPD have a strict drugs policy and candidates will not make it through if they have failed a drug or alcohol screening test.

NYPD Police Test Preparation

Remember what we discussed at the beginning of this article; the need to over-perform on the NYPD exam.

As the largest police department in the United States, as well as one of the best paying, competition for places within the police academy is high. Not all candidates who pass all phases of the exam will make it through to the academy. Only the best candidates can expect to be selected.

To increase the probability of getting selected, candidates should score as high as possible on the NYPD exam – and not just “pass”. If you are one of those candidates who just hopes to make it through by a whisker, you are the most likely person not to be chosen.

This situation is avoidable if you sit down and practice NYPD test prep. The more practice you put in, for all phases of the exam, the more you incrementally improve the odds of being chosen by the department. Given that competition is extremely high, this is the kind of effort that must be put in if you are to stand any serious chance of becoming a law enforcement officer for New York Police Department.

That concludes our investigation into NYPD police officer exam. Check back to our police test blog soon for more exclusive content to help you master the 2022 police officer exam and become a qualified law enforcement officer in the United States.

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