The police written test is one of the most important parts of the application process.



Reading Comprehension


Memory Recall


Observational Awareness


Spelling and


Police Vocabulary


Incident Report Writing


Math is a critical part of the police written exam.

Candidates are expected to have a thorough knowledge of the following subject areas:



Addition, subtraction, division, multiplication skills.



How to interpret fractions and how to convert to ratios.



For instance: 5:3 and how to use ratios statistically.



Understanding how to critically apply percentages.



Distance, and time – and how to work out problems between each.

Reading Comprehension

For reading comprehension questions, you will be given a paragraph and asked a variety of questions on that paragraph.

Many of the questions asked are trick questions, in the sense that you may be tempted to choose the most obvious answer, when in fact the answer is something entirely different.

Reading comprehension tests your ability to rapidly extract detail from a slab of text. You may also be asked to choose the “most correct answer”, or questions that ask you to “infer” or imply” what the paragraph means. As with math, you should practice police exam questions in the weeks leading up to your exam to maximize your result.

Observational Awareness

Police test questions on observational awareness have become more common in recent years.

Observational awareness is about using your memory. You will be shown a graphic or image of some kind, typically one that involves a crime scene. You will be shown this graphic for a stated period. After that, the image will be withdrawn, and you will be asked a series of questions about that image. To succeed, then, you need to be visually acute – identifying as many details as possible. Perhaps you believe you have a bad memory. Many people do. However, the great thing is that, like an untrained muscle, there are many strategies you can adopt to strengthen your observational awareness skills.

Spelling and Grammar

Law enforcement officers must have excellent communication skills – both orally and in the written format.

That’s why spelling and grammar forms a core part of the police test. This is one of the trickiest parts of the exam. After all, how do you know if you are fully prepared? In fact, how do you prepare? This causes a lot of confusion among candidates who end up ill-prepared for this part of the police written test.

Registered members to Police Test Study Guide have access to our spelling and grammar database, including over 400 flashcards on the must-know grammar and spelling you need to know. We have put together the most comprehensive range of resources that maximize your preparation for this part of the police exam.

Police Vocabulary

If you intend on becoming a police officer in the United States, you need to know the words and phrases associated with your career.

You need to know the difference between key legal terms. You must understand the basic vocabulary that all new officers are expected to know. If you are unsure which words to learn, we have put together those vocabulary for you – again, as flashcards that you can flick through. We’ve also included sample sentences to teach you how to properly use these words.

Police vocabulary is not just important for the police written test. It’s also important for the oral board exam where you will be expected to deliver well-phrased sentences in response to specific police case study questions.

Incident Report Writing

Every police officer needs to know how to put together an effective and accurate incident report.

Like any new skill, this takes time. It also links back to our discussion of spelling, grammar, and police vocabulary. Incident report writing is about weaving all three of these together; identifying and reporting the facts as you know them to be. If you haven’t yet practiced incident report writing, now is the time to act. You do not want to enter the police test without having practiced incident report writing. We have come across many cases where candidates over-prepare for the math or reading comprehension elements of the exam, only to ignore incident report writing and end up with a much lower mark than they should have received.

Incident report writing is an important part of your career. Prepare now, and it will yield benefits not just for the exam, but also for your future career prospects too.

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the most comprehensive and current range of police test materials that cover all aspects of the police written test:


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