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Police Memory Test | Master Observational Skills!

September 17th, 2022 police memory test preparation

What is the police memory test?

The police memory test is one part of the wider written exam – the exam that covers topics such as math, reading comprehension, spelling/grammar, police vocabulary, and cloze test analysis.

During the exam, candidates are asked multiple-choice questions based on a photo or image that depicts a real-life-like officer scenario. That graphic will show details – such as an armed robbery or the site of a car crash – and you are expected to memorize as many details as possible.

Many of the questions asked during the police memory test focus on the finest details. You need to capture as many facts as possible, retain them in your memory stores, and answer questions based on memory recall alone.

Candidates are not permitted to review the photo at any time. Furthermore, the test is made that much more difficult because you will only be allowed to answer questions after a few minutes of reviewing the photo.

It’s very important, therefore, that you train your memory in the weeks and months leading up to the police test.

Why is our memory tested?

At the most fundamental level, police officers are fact-gatherers. Facts are evidence and evidence that leads to convictions.

As a law enforcement officer, it will be incumbent upon you to have sharp observational skills. You must be able to both assess and memorize your surroundings – at least as accurately as possible. Of course, no police department expects officers to become the World Memory Champion.

But officers are expected to demonstrate a reasonable grasp of observational assessment. That is the purpose of the observational exam – to establish and compare your memory performance with that of rival officers.

To beat the competition, then, you must prepare well in advance.

How to Prepare for the Memory Test

As with all parts of the police officer exam, it takes practice – often lots of it – to excel at any topic.

One of the best ways to prepare is to appreciate the professional role this subject will play in your future career as an officer. After all, the better you train now, the more equipped you are to perform as an officer. The more relevant you find the exam, the easier you will find it to study and prepare in advance. Once you grasp this fundamental reality, then you can move on to learn about the best methods to memorize facts and details about our surroundings.

Become Aware of Surroundings

First, become acutely aware of your surroundings. To date, you probably pass day-to-day without really thinking about your surroundings. Yes, you know where the bank is, or where a house can be found – but did you spot the time on the clock above the bank or the number on the house?

These are the kinds of finer details that you will be tested on. As you move about, day to day, train your mind to focus on these finer details. You don’t even need to memorize these details.

Just have a frame of thought that allows you to identify these details. The more you train your mind to be more specific in how you analyze an environment, the easier it will become to memorize that environment in future.

Invent Memory Associations

One of the easiest ways to prepare for the observational part of the police exam is to come up with clever and even insane associations.

Let’s take a few examples. Imagine that the examiner presents the test photo to you. You notice the number 77 on the door of a house. Instead of 77, think of two ducks. Alternatively, think of 77 embedded against the roulette machine (as 7 is linked to “luck”). It doesn’t matter how crazy the association is; the point is, that the more out-of-the-ordinary these associations, the easier it becomes to memorize them.

Perhaps one half of a wall contains red. This isn’t “red anymore”, it’s blood.

Maybe you see a tall man in a business suit. This isn’t a “tall man in a business suit” anymore; it’s Donald Trump.

If there are 4 men standing together, it isn’t that. No, it’s a music band – perhaps The Beetles.

Instead of the banal and boring and forgettable “red”, “man in a business suit” and “4 men standing together”, we have now manufactured – out of the thinnest air – Donald Trump in the same photo as The Beetles near a red wall (Trump’s Mexico Wall). This is far, far more memorable. If in 6-months from now, you were asked to recall the same details on the photo, you are considerably more likely to recall all three facts in the more insane version compared to the forgettable version that is presented on the photo.

And it doesn’t stop there, either! You can do the same with every other detail on the exam picture. Of course, as with any memory technique, it takes time to master. That’s why long-term preparation for the police officer exam is essential. One week, try to learn 5 details about a specific photo; the next week – 7, and the next – 10.

We recommend training your memory up to 25 facts.

Master Observational Awareness

Of course, you might ask – how do you remember the 25 facts?

It’s a good question.

And there are very powerful ways in which you can harness your memory to reach these heights. These methods are easy to learn, incredibly effective, and ensure that you recall greater than 92% of facts for any given scenario setting.

Many people struggle with their memory. But memory is the same as any other “muscle” in the body. It takes time to train and there are no rapid solutions. You can make things easier, though – in fact, much easier – by training in the correct manner.

The more effective your training methods, the faster your memory converts short-term memories into long-term memories. It also enhances your observational assessment and awareness – an essential skill for every law enforcement officer in the United States.

If you are already a registered member of Police Test Study Guide, you already have access to learning features for the police memory test and every other feature of the written test. If you haven’t yet registered, take a few minutes to register now.


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