What Math Gets Tested on the Police Exam?November 15th, 2021
Math Syllabus for the Police Officer Exam
Math is one of those subjects that routinely trips people up on the police exam. But without knowing what math gets tested on the police exam, you are driving blind into the exam center.
Very few people like math; apart from, perhaps, accountants and academics. Joking aside, there are very real reasons why math is included as part of the police test.
If you are not sure what math gets tested on the police exam, we have put together this complete rapid revision study guide to help you prepare a study plan, to stick to it, and to work through the police math syllabus with ease.
Knowing what math gets tested is crucial.
Without a study plan, you will never know if you have covered the entire syllabus. And, if you haven’t done that, you may face – on the day of your exam – police math questions you’ve never seen before. That’s the last thing you want to experience. The written test is hard enough without having to deal with questions out of left field.
What Math Appears on the Police Officer Test?
There are seven core math topics that appear on the police exam. These include:
- Speed, time, and distance
- Ratios and proportion
- Areas and perimeter
- Arithmetic – addition, subtraction, division, multiplication
- Unit measurements (inches, feet etc.)
- Fractions and decimals
Most math questions are presented as word problems.
Note that word problems may contain more information than you need to solve the problem. Examiners routinely add more numbers or information to distract you. Some test-takers feel the need to use all information in the question. However, all you need to do is select the relevant details and work through the problem.
You may also be presented with a police report – for instance, concerning property valuation related to theft – and asked to perform calculations based on these figures. Again, it’s important that you understand what is being asked and how to identify and use only relevant information to answer the question.
When you get the time, don’t forget to take our sample free police math test!
Why is Math Tested Anyway?
One of the most frequent questions we get asked is: why is math even tested as part of the police officer test?
On many levels, this is an understandable concern. Policing isn’t about math, is it?
Not directly, no.
But on many levels, math – as well as the reasoning skills that come with math – are relevant to the career of a police officer. Think about it, math is involved on a daily basis, including:
- Drug seizure calculations.
- Establishing speed and distance in traffic accident investigations.
- Determining the value of property inventory.
- Completing tickets.
- Completing police reports.
There are many other examples, of course, but the point here is to show that math is relevant to your day-to-day work. Whilst it may not be an overwhelming feature of your career, you should nonetheless have the core and basic math skills needed to function effectively as a competent law enforcement officer. Clearly, officers who are better equipped at math are more capable than those who are not. And that’s why math is included as part of the police exam.
To work through math and arithmetic questions tells examiners the level of reasoning and problem-solving skills you have attained. These skills are even more important to law enforcement in the long term. Even if you are poor at math, or perhaps even dislike it, you should try to work through math problems and learn from mistakes if only for the simple reason that it will improve your problem-solving skills over the long-term. You do not develop these skills overnight. It takes time – often a long time, but the results are worth it. What’s more is that problem-solving skills are transferrable skills. They don’t just only apply to math. The logic that underpins math is the same logic you apply to other situations in life.
Is the Police Math Test Difficult?
Only if you want it to be!
By knowing what math gets tested on the police exam, you are three steps closer toward success on the exam. Earlier, we listed what subjects get tested.
Your job is to work through these topics – taking as many police practice test questions as possible along the way. The more police exam questions you practice, the more you can learn from your mistakes – plugging any gaps in your knowledge. This also helps to improve logic and reasoning skills.
By doing this, you can breeze through the police officer exam – attain the highest possible score, and sleep that much easier!
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