What is the Police Written Exam and How to Prepare for It?

Joseph Libowsky,
former Special Agent

Preparing for the Written Exam

Preparing for the Police Written Exam

The police written exam is one of many steps in the police testing process, and the importance of preparation is often underestimated. Although the specific exam may vary by agency, written tests typically cover similar material. A passing score generally is 70% or above. If you get a higher score, it will give you an advantage when you enter the next stages of the selection process. To score your best results, invest some time and money in proper preparation now.

Why Police Departments Require Written Exams

Police Departments Require Written Exams

The purpose of the police written exam is to determine if an applicant possesses the foundational skills necessary to perform the work of a police officer. In some ways, it is similar to college entrance exams, like the ACT or SAT. Police written exams test applicants for knowledge and skills at the 12th grade level, in subjects such as math, reading, spelling, and grammar. This is important because a police officer needs these skills on the job. For example, an individual who spells so poorly that their writing becomes illegible would not be a good police officer – otherwise, how would they write police reports?

Topics Covered in the Police Written Exam

As previously mentioned, the content and length of the police written exam may vary across the country. The test may be developed/provided by your state’s Peace Officer Standards & Training (POST) Board, the department you are applying to, or a third party. Regardless, the tests generally address similar subjects.

Some of the topics the police written exam will likely include are:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Spelling and grammar
  • Writing
  • Math
  • Observation and memorization
  • Logical reasoning and judgment
  • Directional orientation
The Police Written Exam

While you should have covered some of these subjects in school – math, reading, etc. – other sections may be newer to you. That is why it is essential to practice!

Questions may be framed in any format: multiple choice, true/false, fill in the blank, open-ended, etc. You may also have to write an essay on a given topic.

Consider reaching out to the police department you are applying to for a study guide. You may be able to find more details on your specific test.

  Start Practicing Today for the Police Written Exam

Best Test Prep for the Police Written Exam

Police Written Test Prep

The online course PoliceExam911 Prep Course, developed by Sgt. Godoy, is one of America’s leading online test preparation courses for the police written exam. The course is mobile-friendly and provides unlimited use.

PoliceExam911 Prep Course offers:

  • Strategies for maximizing your written test score
  • Video-based tutorials on each test topic – PoliceExam911 Prep Course breaks the topics down into 13 different sections!
  • Hundreds of practice questions with detailed explanations
  • 20 sub-set courses on the most common test formats used by law enforcement agencies (e.g., PELLETB, CJBAT, Frontline, NPOST, NCJOSI, LAPD, NYPD, etc.)
  • Bonus courses: Mastering the Psych Exam, Mastering the Polygraph Exam, Mastering the Oral Interview, and Surviving the Background Investigation
Police Exam Preparation

The Police Test Bundle from Job TestPrep offers:

  • 3 Full Police Test Simulations
  • 7 Numerical Reasoning Tests
  • 15 Reading Comprehension & Writing Skills Practice Tests
  • 10 Memory Tests – Text & Pictures
  • 4 Reasoning Skills Practice Tests
  • 3 Problem Solving Drills
  • 3 Spatial Orientation Drills
  • Bonus: Police Psych Test Prep – Full Simulation & Study Guides