Correctional Officer Exam

Apr 20th, 2020
correctional officer test

What are correctional officers?

Correctional officers are responsible for the supervision and safety and security of prisoners in jail. They are also known as detention officers or detention deputies. This is both a challenging and rewarding career option.

Here, we review more about how to become a correctional officer, whilst also detailing more about the correctional officer exam – how to pass it, and how to land your dream job.

How to become a correctional officer?

Applicants who wish to become a qualified correctional officer must first take the correctional officer exam. This exam is very important. It has been specifically designed to establish whether you are suitable for the role. Remember: the career of a correctional officer is no small thing. Statistics show that correctional officers have the highest rate of occupational hazard compared to any other profession.

Given these stakes, rigorous testing methods have been introduced. Before you even plan on entering the exam hall, it’s vital that you learn more about the test and what is expected of each applicant. The more you know about the exam, the better prepared you will be.

How Applicants are Tested

Each state has their own testing requirements. If you want to learn more about your own state’s requirements, take a few moments to visit their website or contact your department direct.

That said, there are two kinds of tests:

  • Computer-based tests
  • Written exams

Applicants will be asked to sit either one of these two kinds of correctional officer exam. Each exam is composed of MCQ – or multiple-choice questions – with just one correct answer. You will be given either an answer booklet to document your answers or, alternatively, you will submit your answers electronically during the computer-based version.

Irrespective of the kind of correctional officer exam you will be asked to take, the standard and expected pass score is 70 percent. Of course, given that competition for places is currently high, only the very best applicants will make it through to the next round. Therefore, rather than considering 70 percent as your target, you should instead intend to score as high as you possibly can. Put simply: the greater the score you achieve, the higher the chance that you will be selected to train as a correctional officer. Those selected to advance to the next stage of the hiring process are contacted based on their score. It is not random selection.

Applicants are highly recommended to take REACT video practice tests. These are situational judgement scenario videos where you will learn the critical thinking skills needed to become an effective correctional officer. You will be asked questions about how you would react to a teamwork or situation involving offenders.

Tips to Pass the Correctional Officer Exam

As with anything, the key to success is long-term preparation.

Applicants will be tested along the following broad subject areas:

  • Logical reasoning and analysis
  • Teamwork and interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills – both written and verbal
  • Numerical skills
  • Reading comprehension analysis
  • Observational awareness and judgment

Remember – correctional officers face the highest level of occupational hazard, often of course due to the risks that prisoners pose. The very best officers are those who understand human behavior, how to diffuse escalation, and how to intelligently manage a problem – often one that erupts at short notice. You must consider how your actions affect not only you, but also other inmates who may also end up the victims of abuse from other inmates.

To prepare for the correctional officer exam, it’s essential that you gather all necessary study resources. If you don’t have all study materials to hand, you may overlook an important topic or fail to adequately study other topics. With enough preparation for your state-specific requirements, there is no reason why you cannot ace the exam. What matters is that you maximize your study in the coming weeks and months to land the correctional officer job position you seek to join.

Joining the correctional officer force in the United States is an enormous honor. Pass your correctional officer exam and go one step closer toward achieving that goal.

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