Top 5 Tips to Pass the 2021 Police Officer Exam!November 1st, 2020
Taking the 2020 Police Exam
Taking the 2020 police officer exam anytime soon?
If, like me, you were daunted at the prospect of taking the exam – fear not, as this is entirely normal. In fact, it would be a bit odd if you didn’t feel at least some nerves or apprehension in the lead up to the exam.
That said, nerves are a good thing – a source of motivation. To succeed at the police officer exam, candidates need to master many different subjects – from math and reading comprehension and memory, to upper body strength, endurance, and mobility. Candidates also need to hone their interview skills to answer to the grilling you can expect on the day of your oral board exam.
That’s a lot to prepare for. But there are ways to stack the odds in your favor. Remember – you are in stiff competition with thousands of applicants around the country. Only the top-scoring candidates will make it through to the next round and advance into the police academy.
“Just passing” is not an option. You must excel – and excel fast.
Here, we have put together some of the top tips to pass the 2021 police officer exam. By putting these tips into practice, you maximize the prospect of scoring high on the day of your exam.
Let’s not waste any more time and get straight to it.
#1 – Make a Plan
You may have heard the adage, “fail to prepare and you must prepare to fail”.
There’s a reason that we keep hearing it. Because it’s true.
To prepare for any exam, let alone the police officer test, candidates need to bring everything together.
Ask yourself the question, “what do I need to know / prepare for?”.
It’s not enough to cover most subjects, you must list all. We have already mentioned some of these subjects, but they include:
- Reading comprehension
- Grammar and spelling
- Incident report writing
- Logical reasoning and analysis
- Situational awareness
- Upper body strength exercises
- Cardiovascular strength
- Mobility exercises
- Oral board sample answers
- Polygraph test techniques
- Time management
Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list – but it does give you a strong idea of what you need to prepare for.
By knowing what you need to prepare, you can now begin to generate a long-term study plan. This means studying each topic and spending more time on topics which you either do not like or find difficult. To outperform the competition, this is the kind of detail that matters.
#2 – Gather Study Materials
Now that you know what to study and when to study it, you need to put together all the study materials you need.
This means police test study guides; it means learning about grammar/spelling rules and basic math. It means searching the Internet to find what free resources your local police department provides. You should also contact your local agency to learn if there are any specific requirements for their own department that may not apply to other departments. You do not want to spend time studying topics that your agency has already ruled out.
If you are already a registered member of Police Test Study Guide, you can use our premium features, too. Ultimately, the more resources you pull together, the more information you bring to the table and to your exam. Once you have gathered all study materials, you can begin to bring your study plan together and get working on it.
It may take time, even weeks or months, but this is the kind of dedication you need to make if you wish to become a police officer in the United States.
#3 – Know What You’re Getting Into
For many years you may have thought about becoming a police officer, but do you really understand what is involved?
Do you know what a typical day in the life of a police officer is like?
Have you ever spoken with law enforcement officers and asked them questions about their own experience – and even their own misconceptions when they first joined the police department?
Have you ever thought about organizing a police ride along?
This kind of detail matters.
Whilst it may not come up directly on the day of your police written or fitness exam, it is examinable on the day of your oral board exam. Remember – the interview panel is searching for the best prepared candidate. If you have taken the time to organize a ride along and really learn about your local department – how it’s organized, structured, and how it has developed/will develop in the coming years, this is invaluable preparation for the oral board test.
It demonstrates to the interview panel that you have seriously considered the position, that you understand what is involved, and that your knowledge of policing isn’t derived from watching inaccurate, even if popular TV detective shows. You need to add a layer of seriousness to your candidacy – and taking this kind of preparation goes a considerable way to impressing the oral board panel and steering your answers in the best possible direction.
#4 – Think Outside the Box
One of the most important tips to pass the 2021 police officer exam is to never limit your police officer exam preparation. Always think of creative ways to learn and improve outside of your standard study hours.
For instance, the police exam tests your memory. Don’t just hope to memorize on the day of your exam. Instead, put some effort into the task. And no, I don’t mean just sitting at the table and memorizing a list of objects. Instead, try to actively test your memory when you are out and about.
Perhaps you’re walking to your local store, for example, and you consciously choose to be more observant – identifying the smallest details that perhaps you would ordinarily overlook. This kind of detailed observance is important. During the memory part of the written exam, it is this kind of detail that gets questioned – and not the broad picture.
By “living” the exam preparation in this way, you not only improve the prospects of a higher score on the day of your exam but also your observational skills which are an absolute must for any competent police officer in the United States.
#5 – Practice, Practice Practice!
Sometimes study just isn’t enough.
And that’s where practice questions come in. The more police exam questions you practice, the better and more refined your knowledge and preparation will become. Initially, this can be demotivational. After all, at the beginning of any exam preparation, you will get more questions wrong than you do right. But you need to think long-term.
If this week you score 10 / 50 questions correct, those other 40 questions and explained answers have suddenly become gold dust. Now that you have committed that detail to memory, next week you may score 22 / 50, and perhaps 34 / 50 on Week 3. What matters is that you see a constant, if slow, trajectory of growth. That is what will sustain and motivate your study over the long-term. If you do not have access to practice questions – both for the written exam and oral board test – log-in to your Police Test Study Guide account to receive instant access.
Passing the 2020 police officer exam doesn’t need to be difficult.
With the right materials and the right approach and the right plan, you can ace the police exam to a much higher standard than you first imagined. Initially, it’s a daunting prospect, but as the study and learning begins to bear fruit, you will begin to enjoy learning about the exam and you’ll consider it for what it is – essential foundational preparation for your long-term career as a law enforcement officer.
We hope that you found these top 5 tips to pass the 2021 police officer exam helpful. Check back to our police test blog soon for more tips and tricks to help you master the exam and make it through to the police academy.