Becoming a police officer requires a serious preparation for the job. Candidates need to pass a series of tests to prove that they have what it takes to perform the duties of being a police officer.
There is always a written test, and it will vary depending upon the state and the hiring agency. There are some states like Florida, for example, which have developed a Basic Abilities Test, which is administered throughout the state in order to determine the eligibility of the applicants to enter a basic recruit program.
It is worth noting that there is no national standard for police officer selection tests that is valid through the entire country. So, even though some tests carry the adjective “National,” you need to know, which particular states and agencies use them.
One of the prominent police officer exams is the Frontline Test. The National Testing Network (NTN) web site is one of the places to visit if you want to take the test. Below, you can find some useful information as to what to expect on the exam and how you can prepare for it.
What is the Frontline Police Exam?
The US Frontline National Practice Test is a police officer exam used by several states and agencies to determine whether the applicants meet the criteria for successful job candidates. It is a video-based testing system that checks the critical skills required for the position of a police officer.
It is necessary to pass the Frontline Test in order to continue with the rest of the hiring process. The main skills and competencies that are covered in the exam include:
- Human interaction
- Unbiased attitude and law enforcement
- Ability to respond properly to provocation
- Dealing with authority
- Work in cooperation
Note that you do not need any prior law enforcement experience in order to be able to answer the questions included in the test. The aim is to choose the right police officers who will be sensitive to the situation and take proper care of the community they will work for while appropriately protecting their own safety.
What does the Frontline test contain?
The Frontline Test is divided into three sections: video-based human relations test, reading test, and incident observation and report writing test. It includes a total of 4 components, each section containing one and the writing section including two. The duration of the test is 2 hours and 20 minutes in total and each section is separately timed. This means that you have a specific time frame to finish each component and then you are no longer allowed to work on it.
- The Frontline National Situational Judgment and Human Relations Video Test contains about 50 scenarios encountered by police officers while doing their job. You have 10 seconds to choose which of the options provided is the best course of action for each situation. The overall duration of the section is 90 minutes. The candidate is not required to have previous knowledge in the field of law enforcement but simply understand and remember what is stated in the video. The basic abilities tested are public relations, teamwork, ability to enforce law, judgment, common sense, and decision making.
- The Frontline National Reading Test checks the ability of aspiring police officers to understand written text as part of their everyday tasks. It is a multiple-choice test. Certain words are left blank in the text and you need to select the one that best fits the blank. The time limit for this section is 15 minutes and it is based on typical training materials.
- Frontline National Incident Observation and Report Writing Test is also a video-based test, which includes two components. The first one is watching a given situation and then writing a report based on the information provided in the visualized scenario. The time frame for completing this part is 21 minutes. The second component is a multiple-choice test containing 15 questions that need to be completed in 10 minutes. The aim of this section is to check the basic writing skills of applicants since report writing is one of the important tasks for a law enforcement officer.
It is important to note, that some of the sections are video-based, which is one of the differences between the Frontline test and the other type of police officer exams administered throughout the country.
Which agencies use the Frontline Test?
The number of police departments that use the Frontline Test as part of their hiring process is growing. Utah Highway Patrol and Washington Metro PD are just two examples. Be prepared to take the test if you are browsing job openings for the following states;
- North Dakota
It is still a good idea to check specifically with the police department you have chosen whether they use this or any other form of written exam as part of their hiring process.
How to prepare for the Frontline Police Exam?
The best way to prepare for the Frontline Test is by purchasing a test prep course that gives you access to practice tests and tutorials. You can recognize a good prep course by the elements it contains. For the best preparation, you need to look for:
- A large number of practice tests and/or questions
- Comprehensive study guide and tutorials
- Coverage of all Frontline Test subjects
It is a bonus if you get insights from the personal experience of the course preparer as is the case with Sgt. Godoy’s Frontline National Practice Test & Study Guide.
The Frontline Test is one of the possible exams that you will need to pass in order to become a police officer. Its distinctive feature is the video-based part, where you need to answer questions based on visualizations. While this may seem a bit difficult for some, with the proper training you will be able to score high and get the dream job you want. Simply remember that it checks basic skills in order to determine the right applicants for the position and you do not need specific training or previous law enforcement experience in order to be successful on this test.