Municipal Police Written Exam

What sort of things can I expect to find on this test?

Some of my research has unearthed scenarios which seem to gauge your common sense. For example:

*You and Officer Whatsit arrive to a residence at 12.34a. A woman wielding a broken bottle approaches you. Do you A) call for back-up, B) Disable the woman with super-awesome approved police moves, C) something else, or D) Something entirely different.
I’m interested in the basic exam make-up. Is it all multiple choice? And are most questions in this sort of format? Is the average layperson expected to know police procedure? Would it be beneficial to find a study guide or is it really just to gauge rationalization abilities, common sense and composure?

I don’t have a date yet, but I think I’ll be taking the exam in three weeks or so.

Thanks in advance!

It depends. In New Jersey there is a civil service exam. When I took it, it had nothing to do with police work. It was more of an IQ test (or something, I don’t know what the hell it was testing) and a personality profile. There were classes that were quite helpful when it came to taking the test. There are also study guides. The town I am working for isn’t civil service. They gave what is called a chief’s test. It is also a standardized test but one with questions similar to what you say in the OP. There is no way to study for it and no study guide because there was no way to know ahead of time what the test was going to be. I found that having common sense and good reading comprehension was enough to do well. I can’t remember too many particulars, it was a long time ago. It was all multiple choice. For some of it they would state a scenerio and then ask questions. Another part they would have a police report and then ask questions about the report.

Thanks, Loach. Massachusetts gives a civil service exam as well, but not Rhode Island. So I’ll assume it’s that same scenario format.

Wish I could be more specific. It was something like 12 years ago. I know I didn’t study but I did well on it. I got hired so I know I didn’t tank. For us it was just the first step in the process. We had a fitness test and an interview. Then for those that made it that far there was a background check which included interviews with your references. Then I was hired conditionally but had to pass a psych test and medical physical. The whole process took over a year.

What did the psych test consist of? Was it a written examination à la the MMPI, or did you have to sit down with the shrink and talk about your sex life, or both?

My experience was the same as Loach’s. An entry level test shouldn’t have anything to do with police work, because you aren’t trained in that yet. It will probably consist of reading comprehension, grammar and spelling, just to test basic intelligence.

My psych was the MMPI, plus a short interview with the psychologist.

Apparently, you didn’t quite get what Loach said:

It’s clear that some PD’s expect applicants to be able to figure these things out.

Thats right. The statewide civil service test was not police specific (and it was complete bullshit for a few reasons). The test I was given by the department that eventually hired me was very police specific. I had to summon up all the knowledge I gained from hours of watching Law & Order.

The psych test seemed to be a standard test. Probably the MMPI but I don’t remember. It had questions like, “Would you rather go to the dentist or pop a friends blister.” We also had to draw a couple of pictures and talk to a shrink. Apparently I’m not crazy.