CJBAT stands for Criminal Justice Basic Ability Test and is an exam used by Florida Department of Law Enforcement to determine who are the candidates eligible to enroll in training programs and afterwards being employed as sworn law enforcement or correctional officers. The test is administered only in the state of Florida and can be taken both in a traditional paper-and-pencil format or on a computer.
CJBAT tests a variety of skills and abilities that are necessary for a person to be successful at the position of a law enforcement or corrections officer. It is one of the two most popular tests in the state for applicants in the field of law enforcement, the other one being the FBAT (Florida Basic Abilities Test).
In order to pass the CJBAT, it is necessary to know what it contains, and to prepare properly for the questions included in the test. In the guide we have prepared, you will find details about the format of the exam along with a few tips that can help you get a higher score.
Types of CJBAT
There are two CJBAT exams that can be taken in the state of Florida. One of them is developed by I/O Solutions and the other by Morris & McDaniel. While they test the same abilities, their format differs a little, so it is good to be prepared for both of them.
- What does I/O Solutions CJBAT contain?
The CJBAT developed by I/O Solutions contains 125 questions and the applicant has two hours and 30 minutes to complete the test. All of the questions are multiple-choice questions and you need to select the right option. The test checks three basic abilities – language ability, visualization ability, and reasoning ability, and is divided into 10 section:
- Written comprehension – this section assesses your ability to read and understand written texts. As a law enforcement or correctional officer, you will need to deal with a lot of written documentation and prove that you understand them and know how to apply their stipulations in practice.
- Written expression is used to check your ability to write words and sentences that the others can understand. This is a vital ability since your job will require a lot of written reports, narratives, memos, etc.
- Oral expression proves that you can articulate words and sentences correctly so that you are understood. On the job, you will talk to colleagues, supervisors, witnesses, victims, perpetrators, inmates and you should be able to do it in an accurate manner.
- Problem sensitivity – this section tests your ability to tell if a certain situation is going to deteriorate and take precautionary measures to avoid that. This ability is vital for the job in many aspects – to judge whether a person is acting suspicious or whether a medical situation is likely to go wrong, are just a few examples.
- Inductive reasoning – your abilities in this section reveal that you can combine pieces of information in order to reach a general rule or conclusion. On the job, you will be doing investigations to check which were the laws violated and use this ability.
- Deductive reasoning measures your ability to apply rules to specific situations and problems and solve them logically. During your job, you will use it to implement policies, standards and to apply Florida Statutes, Manuals or other guidelines in specific situations.
- Information ordering – this section reveals that you can arrange pieces of information into a logical and/or consecutive order based on certain rules. The skill is applied in different areas of the job including during drills.
- Memorization aims to prove that you are a reliable witness. In this section, you will be presented with a picture and given some time to view it and answer a set of questions related to it afterwards. There is different time allocated for each question on this section. On the job, you will need this ability in order to describe a crime scene or a person in details.
- Spatial orientation means that you can tell what is your position in relation to the location of a given object or where the object is located in relation to your position. In real life situations, you need to be able to visualize where you are at the moment and where you are going and give directions, if needed, to co-workers.
- Flexibility of closure – this section checks if you are able to spot an object that is hidden among other similar objects. While on the job, you will find this useful in case you need to spot a person in a crowd of people or detect a car in the traffic, for example.
2. What does Morris & McDaniel CJBAT contain?
The CJBAT developed by Morris & McDaniel is divided into two parts and lasts a total of 2 hours and 45 minutes. In the first part of the test, you are given a booklet that you need to read and memorize as much of it as you can. Afterwards, the booklet is taken away and you proceed with the second part that contains 100 multiple-choice questions divided into nine sections. You have 2 hours to choose the right answers. The sections checking your abilities to perform the job of a law enforcement officer are almost identical as that of the I/O Solutions and are:
- Deductive reasoning checking your ability to apply general rules on specific problems
- Information ordering that assesses your ability to organize pieces of information in order following a given rule
- Inductive reasoning that assesses your ability to form general conclusions
- Memorization to show that you can answer questions after looking at a picture for a certain period of time
- Problem sensitivity, which determines your ability to predict whether a condition may go wrong and react accordingly
- Spatial orientation that assesses your ability to use a map and determine your or other object’s location and/or give directions
- Written comprehension, which shows that you are able to understand written words and sentences
- Written expression checks if you are able to write words and sentences that are understandable to others
- Flexibility of closure is a section where you need to find an object hidden among other similar objects and prove your ability to spot a particular item when needed
CJBAT passing score and validity
In order to pass the CJBAT, you need to answer as many questions as possible. The two variants of the CJBAT have a different threshold – for the version developed by I/O Solutions the passing score is 79%, while for the one developed by Morris & McDaniel it is 75%. The score can be found on the official site of Florida Department of Law Enforcement and is valid for a period of four years.
In case you fail the test the first time, you can retake it. A person is allowed 3 attempts at the CJBAT within a calendar year but six months need to pass between two identical formats of the test.
Basic test rules to comply with during the CJBAT
There are strict rules and procedures that need to be observed by all candidates during the CJBAT. Here is a list of the basic requirements:
- You need to arrive on time for the test otherwise you won’t be admitted.
- You need to carry a photo ID in order to be admitted for the test.
- Only candidates will be allowed on the testing site out of security reasons.
- Calculators, spelling aids or any other auxiliary materials are strictly forbidden during the test.
- Mobile phones and other mobile devices are not permitted during the test.
- Your personal items shall be stored in a place designated by the testing center personnel. The candidates have no access to their items during the test, nor can open their handbags or backpacks.
- You can direct your questions or concerns during the test only to the proctor or other authorized testing personnel.
- You are not allowed to leave the test site with any test materials. All test materials need to be returned prior to leaving.
Note, that you will receive instructions and detailed information about the testing procedure on the day of the test as well. Make sure not to violate the rules as otherwise you will be required to leave the test site and your test will be terminated and considered invalid.
Practical advice and basic strategies during the CJBAT
While the CJBAT is quite specific as a test, the best way to prepare for it is to have an idea what to expect. There are also some practical strategies that can help you stay calm during the exam and show your best results. Here are a few tricks that can help you pass the CJBAT with flying colors:
- Listen carefully to the instructions and ask questions in case there is something unclear. The exam administrator will provide you with detailed instructions about the testing process. Make sure that you understand them correctly and ask for clarification if necessary, prior to the start of the test.
- Keep track of your time. Note the start and the end of the test and try to distribute your time evenly between the questions.
- Read carefully each question and the possible options. Make sure that you understand what the question really means and then look for the right answer. Check all options, even if you are sure that the first answer is the correct one. Be careful of words or phrases that may be misleading such as “always”, “never”, “all” especially when mentioned in the answers.
- Try to answer as many questions as possible. Your result is based on the total number of questions you have answered correctly. Try not to leave unanswered questions. If you find a question too difficult, you may leave it for later or randomly choose an answer as the last resort. You will not be penalized for a wrong answer so you might just as well be lucky and guess the right one. A wild guess is better than no answer at all. Use the principle of elimination – eliminate the answer/s that you feel are definitely incorrect and then proceed with the rest. It is good to answer first those questions that you find the easiest.
- Try to leave a few minutes for review. It is good to finish the test before the time is up so that you can have some time to check your answers. Make sure that you have answered all questions and that you have marked them correctly on the answer sheet.
How to prepare for the CJBAT
If you want to pass the CJBAT, the best idea is to prepare properly. You can do it in several ways with the most efficient being a comprehensive online course like the one offered by Sgt Godoy. Choosing this option means that you get insightful tutorials that detail and explain each type of questions found on the test along with hundreds of practice questions. In addition to the answers, you also have access to explanations, which makes you grasp the logic of the question and apply it to the next one of the same type. You get a lifetime access to the course for a one-time fee and you can log from your PC, tablet or smartphone, whichever is easier for you. The bonus is the personal support you receive from Sgt Godoy, who knows how the system works and can get you prepared.
CJBAT is an important step to becoming a law enforcement or corrections officer in the state of Florida. It proves that you have the basic abilities to properly cope with the job and eventually grow in the career if you want to. Note, that the exam is valid only for law enforcement agencies within Florida, so if you are browsing the job openings for other states as well, make sure to check what are the hiring process requirements there.