With over one million police officers in the United States, the police force is one of the largest government organizations in the country. In addition, the demand for joining the force is constantly on the rise. If you’re considering joining the police, you’re probably not alone. So how exactly does it work? Should you just send your C.V. and wait for a call like any other job? Or, is there a unique process that police candidates should be aware of? We’ve gathered the most frequently asked questions about the process to make things easier for you.
1. Isn’t applying to the police easy? No! The police hiring process is long and highly competitive. Without knowing what to expect throughout the process, and without proper preparation and dedication, your chances of outperforming the competition and becoming a police officer are very low. One of the first things each candidate should prepare for is the entry-level police exam.
2. What is the entry-level police exam? This is an exam that all police candidates are required to take. The exam consists of two main parts: a written exam and a physical exam. The written test examines candidates’ abilities in several areas, including, but not limited to, reading comprehension, math, grammar, and spelling. Other questions on the written exam include memory questions and spatial orientation. The physical test measures candidates’ physical ability to complete police tasks. Some of the exercises candidates are required to perform include sit-ups, push-ups, runs, etc.
3. Is it the same exam in all states? Again, the answer is NO. While there are similarities between the various entry-level police exams, there are also differences. Each state appoints a committee referred to as the POST. Then, each POST has the liberty to design a unique test or to select an assessment provided by another company based on its understanding of the local police requirements. Therefore, each state, city, or local police department can choose a different application process.
4. What will be my position in the police? If you pass the entry-level police exam, the available positions vary based on the police department you’re applying to. Some of the positions include Deputy Sheriff, University Police Officer, Park Patrol Officer Trainee, etc. Other available positions include State Troopers and Highway Patrol Officers.
5. How to prepare? The preparation process is extremely important for anyone seriously considering becoming a police officer. The first step is to go to the site of the police department you are trying to join or to the State site. Gather as much information as possible about the hiring process. An important piece of information is who the test provider is. Some of the most common providers are the B-PAD Group, CWH Research, Darany & Associates, and EB Jacobs. After learning who the provider is, you can start to prepare for the specific exam you’re about to take. Use online resources for this. Even though there are free resources available online, you should take into consideration that only paid resources will fully prepare you and thus dramatically increase your chances of getting hired.
6. And what about the physical exam? Don’t neglect the physical test during your preparation process. Preparing for this part of the entry-level exam is also a multi-step process. Your first step should be to join a tailored physical fitness program. Make sure to consult with a physician before beginning any program, just to be sure you don’t have any health restrictions. This is extra important for pregnant women and people with disabilities.
Online materials are varied, and sometimes it’s hard to know which materials are specific enough to be worth your money. Our recommendation is to use JobTestPrep's resources. They are wide-ranging, include thorough answer explanations, and are as specific as they come. Get a taste by trying out JobTestPrep's free sample questions. Good luck!