What is the CJBAT and How to Prepare for It? 

Joseph Libowsky,
former Special Agent

What is the CJBAT Exam and Why it is Important

The CJBAT, or Criminal Justice Basic Abilities Test, is an essential exam for individuals who aspire to work in the field of law enforcement in the United States. This test is specifically designed to evaluate the core skills and abilities of individuals who wish to become police officers, correctional officers, or probation officers. The CJBAT is important because it helps determine whether a candidate has the necessary skills and aptitude to perform well in a law enforcement career.

One of the main reasons the CJBAT is important is that it helps maintain a high standard of professionalism within the law enforcement community. By ensuring that all potential officers meet certain criteria, it contributes to the overall quality and effectiveness of police forces and correctional institutions. This, in turn, helps maintain public trust and promotes a safer community for everyone.

The CJBAT exam measures various essential skills, such as reading comprehension, problem-solving, memory, and writing. These skills are vital for law enforcement officers as they often deal with complex situations that require quick thinking, good judgment, and effective communication. For example, an officer must be able to read and understand laws and regulations, solve problems in high-pressure situations, and write clear reports. The CJBAT ensures that candidates possess these abilities before they can join a law enforcement agency.

Furthermore, the CJBAT is important because it helps law enforcement agencies save time and resources during the recruitment process. By using the test as a preliminary screening tool, agencies can focus on selecting the best candidates from a pool of applicants who have already demonstrated a basic level of competence. This ultimately leads to a more efficient hiring process and better use of resources.

The Police Written Exam

The CJBAT Exam Explained: Scoring, Retakes, and Test Administration

The CJBAT exam is a key test for people who want to work in law enforcement. To help you understand the exam, let’s look at its structure, how it’s scored, retake rules, and how it’s given.

The CJBAT consists of 125 questions. The questions cover topics like reading, problem-solving, memory, and writing. Test-takers get a 2 hours and 30 minutes to finish. This tests your ability to think quickly under pressure.

The exam is scored based on how many questions you answer correctly. There’s no penalty for wrong answers, so try to answer all questions. Each law enforcement agency or academy might have its own passing score. Generally, a score of 70% or higher is considered passing. A higher score might help you get selected during recruitment.

During the exam, you must follow certain rules. For example, you can’t use unauthorized materials or devices, and you must finish within the time limit. You also need to show a valid government-issued photo ID at the testing center.

The CJBAT is given by different agencies and academies, like the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) or local police academies. To sign up for the exam, contact the agency or academy that gives the test in your area.

Online testing for the CJBAT might be available, depending on the agency or academy. Some testing centers offer an online version, while others need you to take the test in person. Make sure to check with the specific agency or academy for their testing rules and requirements.

In short, the CJBAT exam is an important part of becoming a law enforcement officer. Knowing the exam structure, scoring system, and testing rules will help you prepare and do your best in your law enforcement career.

Understanding the CJBAT Exam: Test Sections and Topics

The CJBAT exam assesses a wide range of skills and abilities crucial for successful law enforcement careers. Each section focuses on a specific area of expertise. In this section, we will discuss each part of the exam and provide a sample question for each.

Written Comprehension

In this section, your ability to understand and interpret written information is tested. You’ll read passages and answer questions about what you’ve read. The questions may focus on the main idea, supporting details, or the author’s intent. This skill is crucial for law enforcement officers as they often need to analyze and comprehend complex documents.

Sample Question:

Passage: “The city council has decided to implement a new recycling program to reduce waste and promote environmental sustainability. The program will require residents to separate their recyclable materials, such as paper, plastic, and glass, before placing them in designated bins.”

Question: What is the main purpose of the new recycling program?
A. To reduce waste
B. To increase recycling profits
C. To provide additional jobs
D. To enforce strict recycling regulations

AnswerA. To reduce waste
Explanation: The passage states that the city council’s goal for implementing the new recycling program is to “reduce waste and promote environmental sustainability.” Option A best reflects this purpose.

Written Expression

This part checks how well you can write clearly and effectively. You’ll be asked about grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure, or to rewrite sentences to make them clearer. Law enforcement officers need strong writing skills to create accurate reports and communicate information to colleagues and the public.

Sample Question:

Choose the sentence that is written correctly:
A. Their going to the park after work.
B. They’re going to the park after work.
C. There going to the park after work.
D. They’are going to the park after work.

AnswerB. They’re going to the park after work.
Explanation: Option B uses the correct contraction “they’re” (short for “they are”) and is grammatically correct, with no spelling or punctuation errors. The other options contain incorrect usage of “their,” “there,” or “they’are,” making option B the correct choice.

Oral Expression

The oral expression section measures your ability to communicate effectively through speech. You may be asked to listen to spoken instructions, convey information clearly, or answer questions based on a given scenario. Good oral communication skills are essential for officers when interacting with the public and coworkers.

Sample Question:
Imagine you are a police officer and have been asked to explain the importance of community policing to a group of concerned citizens. What would you say?

AnswerCommunity policing is crucial because it helps build trust between law enforcement and the community, which leads to increased cooperation and a safer neighborhood for everyone. By engaging with residents and addressing their concerns, we can work together to prevent crime and improve the overall quality of life in our community.
Explanation: This response highlights the key benefits of community policing and explains its significance to the audience in a clear and concise manner. It emphasizes the importance of building trust, increasing cooperation, and working together with the community to achieve a common goal of safety and crime prevention.

Problem Sensitivity

In this section, your ability to recognize when something is wrong or when a problem may arise is assessed. You’ll be given scenarios and asked to identify potential issues or conflicts. This skill is important for officers to detect and address problems before they escalate.

Sample Question:

Which of the following situations might require immediate attention from a police officer?
A. A group of children playing in a park.
B. A pedestrian waiting at a crosswalk.
C. A heated argument between two individuals in a public space.
D. A person walking their dog on a leash.

AnswerC. A heated argument between two individuals in a public space.
Explanation: Among the given options, a heated argument between two individuals in a public space is most likely to escalate and potentially lead to a physical altercation or disturbance. A police officer’s intervention may be necessary to prevent further issues and ensure public safety. The other scenarios do not indicate any immediate problems that would require a police officer’s attention.

Inductive Reasoning

The inductive reasoning section tests your ability to identify patterns and draw conclusions from them. You may be given a set of information and asked to determine the most likely outcome or relationship between the elements. This skill helps officers make informed decisions based on the information they gather.

Sample Question:

Based on the following statements, what can be inferred about John’s favorite color?

  • John likes the color blue.
  • John likes the color green more than the color red.
  • John prefers the color blue over the color green.

A. John’s favorite color is red.
B. John’s favorite color is blue.
C. John’s favorite color is green.
D. John’s favorite color cannot be determined.

AnswerB. John’s favorite color is blue.
Explanation: The statements tell us that John likes blue and prefers it over green. We also know that he likes green more than red. By comparing his preferences, we can infer that John’s favorite color is blue, as he prefers it over the other colors mentioned.

Deductive Reasoning

Deductive reasoning assesses your ability to apply general rules or principles to specific situations. You may be given a rule or principle and asked to determine how it applies to a particular scenario. Law enforcement officers use deductive reasoning to solve problems and make decisions based on established rules.

Sample Question:

All police officers must wear a badge while on duty. Officer Johnson is on duty. What can be deduced about Officer Johnson?
A. Officer Johnson is not wearing a badge.
B. Officer Johnson is wearing a badge.
C. Officer Johnson is off duty.
D. Officer Johnson’s badge is at home.

AnswerB. Officer Johnson is wearing a badge.
Explanation: The statement tells us that all police officers must wear a badge while on duty. Since Officer Johnson is on duty, we can deduce that he must be wearing a badge, as he is following the rule that applies to all officers.

Information Ordering

The information ordering section evaluates your ability to arrange information or actions in a specific order based on given rules or criteria. You may be asked to sequence events or prioritize tasks based on certain requirements. Officers need to prioritize and organize information effectively to make accurate decisions.

Sample Question:

Arrange the following tasks in the order a police officer should perform them after arriving at a crime scene:

  • Secure the scene
  • Take witness statements
  • Collect evidence
  • Notify dispatch

A. Notify dispatch, collect evidence, take witness statements, secure the scene.
B. Secure the scene, take witness statements, collect evidence, notify dispatch.
C. Collect evidence, notify dispatch, secure the scene, take witness statements.
D. Take witness statements, notify dispatch, collect evidence, secure the scene.

AnswerB. Secure the scene, take witness statements, collect evidence, notify dispatch.
Explanation: The first task a police officer should perform after arriving at a crime scene is to secure the area to prevent contamination of evidence or further incidents. The next step is to take witness statements while the events are still fresh in their minds. The officer should then collect evidence, preserving and documenting it properly. Finally, the officer should notify dispatch of any relevant information or updates. Therefore, option B correctly arranges the tasks in the recommended order.


In this section, your ability to remember and recall details accurately is tested. You may be shown images or given descriptions, and then asked questions about what you saw or read. A good memory is important for officers when recalling details from incidents or investigations.

Spatial Orientation

Spatial orientation measures your ability to understand and work with spatial relationships, such as directions, distances, and the positions of objects. You may be asked to read maps or determine the relative positions of objects. This skill is essential for officers when navigating and understanding crime scenes or locations.

Flexibility of Closure

The flexibility of closure section tests your ability to identify or detect a known pattern or object within a larger, complex image or arrangement. You may be asked to find specific shapes or patterns in a given picture. Officers use this skill to quickly identify important information in complex situations.

By understanding the sections and topics covered in the CJBAT exam, you can better prepare yourself for the test and improve your chances of success in your law enforcement career.

CJBAT Test Prep

How to prepare for the CJBAT

Preparing for the CJBAT exam is crucial if you want to perform well and increase your chances of success. While there are several ways to prepare for the exam, using a comprehensive online course is often the most efficient and effective option.

A good CJBAT test prep course should offer insightful tutorials that explain each type of question found on the test, as well as provide hundreds of practice questions with answers and detailed explanations. The course should also be accessible from any device, such as a PC, tablet, or smartphone, and offer lifetime access for a one-time fee.
One recommended option is the CJBAT Test Prep course offered by Sgt. Godoy. This course offers all the features mentioned above, as well as personal support from Sgt. Godoy, who has extensive experience with the exam and can help you better understand the system.

Remember that the CJBAT is an important step in becoming a law enforcement or corrections officer in the state of Florida. However, it’s important to note that the exam is only valid for law enforcement agencies within Florida. If you’re also considering job openings in other states, be sure to check the hiring requirements there as well.
To learn more about the CJBAT QuickPrep Course offered by Sgt. Godoy, visit their website and take the first step towards a successful career in law enforcement.