How to pass the law enforcement written exam

Taking the law enforcement written exam is one of the first steps toward becoming a member of a police force.  The initial exam is part of the screening process that police departments use to find out if the applicant has the cognitive skills for a career as a law enforcement officer.  While the exam varies according to the location of the law enforcement agency, the test is usually comprised of questions that measure reading comprehension, math, spelling, grammar, problem solving and memorization.


Some departments use a basic civil service test and will be happy to give you information about the basics of the law enforcement written exam, so it’s always a good idea to ask. Ask them for a recommendation for a good study guide. Get as much information as you can, as this will give you the best idea of the areas you need to study to prepare for the test. Because passing the exam is imperative if you’re going to proceed toward your career goal in law enforcement, it’s important to study for it as much as you’re able.  Just because you got good grades in high school or college, don’t assume you’re going to ace the law enforcement written exam.


Most departments use a law enforcement written exam that has multiple choice answers because they’re the easiest to grade, but the test can also require essays, true or false and fill in the blank answers. Many websites and books will give you sample tests you can use as study guides. Using these will give you a good idea of your strengths and weaknesses and help you target areas you need to review. If you have trouble with spelling or math, for instance, there are many tutorial sites online that can help you. 


Don’t wait until the last minute to start studying.  Cramming for the law enforcement written exam isn’t the best way to get a good score. Set aside a time every day to study and have all of the necessary materials organized and ready to avoid wasting time. Quiz yourself on answers or have a friend or relative help you. Studying in increments over a several weeks achieves the best result. The more you study and review, the calmer you’ll be on testing day and the better you’ll score on the test.


Make sure you get a good night’s sleep on the night before the law enforcement written exam. Eat a well balanced meal beforehand to avoid the energy crash that comes with hunger or a consuming a sugar-laden meal. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the testing site. Latecomers can be denied access to the test, which means that you’ll have to wait until the next time the test is administered, which could be months away.


Be sure to read the questions on the law enforcement written exam carefully so you fully understand how to answer.  If the answer sheet is a scan-type in which you mark the correct answer with a pencil, make sure you erase fully if you change your answer, so the scanner is able to read it properly.  If you don’t know an answer, leave it and come back to later.  The correct answer may come to you or might be indicated by another test question.


Lastly, go over the test questions and your answers before you hand it in to ensure you’ve completed it to the best of your ability.  With this kind of attention to detail, plus a focused effort of studying, you shouldn’t have a problem passing the law enforcement written exam.

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