Preparing for Your Police Officer Exams

Preparing effectively for police officer exams requires developing study skills, getting help from experts and simulating the exam situation.

Develop Study Skills

Frequently, candidates fail the police officer exam, not because they would be bad police officers, but because they suffer from exam anxiety, which undermines their ability to perform. To tackle this problem, develop study skills that will lead to success in any exam situation. Study skills include taking good notes, talking to instructors, completing all of the assigned readings and performing additional reading and studying if concepts are unclear. The article Police Exam Study Tips explains in detail how to develop study skills.

Study skills are essential because all police officers will use them again when trying for promotions within the police force. It is a good idea to develop these skills now.

Get Help Studying

Not everyone has great study skills. If this is the issue affecting your exam performance, there are ways to overcome it. First, if you are currently in college or in the police academy, join or form a study group with other students. Group study is a very effective method for improving performance while in school or preparing to write an exam. Second, you can hire a tutor who specializes in the areas in which you are experiencing difficulties, such as analyzing documents, interviewing or observation skills. Most police candidates don’t think twice about hiring a personal trainer to improve their performance on the fitness exam, but they don’t even consider the benefits of hiring a tutor for other aspects of the police hiring process.

Simulate the Exam

Exam simulations are the best way to overcome exam anxiety. To simulate the exam, you will need sample questions. You can get these either from the website of the agency you want to join or by purchasing any of the police exam study guides that are available. If the test is given on a computer, make sure you buy a police study guide that has questions either online or on a CD-ROM supplied with the book, so you can simulate the exam situation as closely as possible. Find a quiet place to take the exam and have someone time you and stop you at the end of each section. Exam simulations should be treated like fitness workouts, so that you train by studying and experience improved performance each time.

Talk to a Recruitment Officer

Recruitment officers are usually available via email or Internet chat on the recruitment website, or available in-person at a recruitment event. A recruitment officer is a wealth of information about the various aspects of the examination process and how to improve and succeed, mainly because he or she has usually gone through all this firsthand. It is his or her job to answer questions about the process, but it is your job to thoroughly review the recruitment material and ask intelligent questions.

Get Recruitment Material

It is surprising how often candidates neglect to ask for or read the free recruitment material available on the police agency’s website or at recruitment events. This material will often answer all of the prospective officer’s questions about recruitment, exams, testing and the interview process. Read through the material thoroughly and take your questions, written on this material, directly to the recruitment officer. Taking the time to make these notes will also help the recruitment officers to see which aspects of their material and information are unclear. It also demonstrates your dedication and sincerity.