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911 Dispatcher Test Online Preparation & Tips – 2024

Assessment Test

The 911 Dispatcher assessment is a popular general assessment for states or locations that do not have a specific test of their own to use. It covers all the bases for employers and provides them with enough information to make a good hiring decision, and because it is appropriate for any dispatcher position, the chances of being asked to take this exam are high. So, if you are interested in a dispatcher position and are unsure which pre-employment test you will be asked to take, preparing for this one is a good place to start.


What Is the 911 Dispatcher Exam?

The 911 Dispatcher assessment is a test meant specifically for 911 police dispatchers. It is built to help employers understand which job-seekers and graduates will perform well under stress, have the best aptitude for oral and written communication as well as problem solving and critical thinking during emergencies, and have the appropriate skills necessary for the job.

The pre-employment exam is usually a written exam, though it typically is taken on a computer or online. It is important to know that the test varies from state to state, even if all the same basic skills are tested. Since it is one of the primary hiring and recruitment screening systems, however, it is essential to prepare for it.

The test consists of a hundred-and-fifty questions split up between eighteen sub-sections.


What to Expect on a 911 Dispatcher Test?

The test includes the same basic sections as the Criticall and ECOMM tests do, but how and what they are testing for may vary. Take a look at the sections and their descriptions below to gain a better understanding of the test and how it is set up.

  • Memory Test: this assessment tests the applicant’s memory power and ability to memorize aspects crucial to the job. Memorization is a key component to the job and is stressed heavily, particularly in this test.
  • Personality Test: the personality test focuses on how individuals deal with stressful situations and people interaction in general.
  • Data Entry: this test is focused on how accurately an applicant can input entries such as caller name, location, emergency, and so on.
  • Spatial Orientation: this one tests the test-taker’s ability to locate a caller’s location and to know the location of the closest emergency responder in order to get the caller help as fast as possible.
  • Reading Comprehension: this test is like most reading comprehension tests but specifically focuses on whether or not the applicant can properly and quickly read and understand data entries and notes.
  • Attention to Accuracy: this assessment evaluates focus-orientation skills and quick responses to emergency situations in the applicant.
  • Deductive Reasoning: this test measures deductive reasoning skills to ensure that the applicants being screened can make decisions quickly and accurately as required for an emergency situation.

The test also includes assessments of the applicant’s listening, prioritizing, and multi-tasking skills. These may be tested separately or along with everything else. Also included, sometimes, as its own portion is a typing test to check speed and accuracy in entering data. If it isn’t required separately, it may be tested along with one of the other areas, such as in the Data Entry exam.


How to Prepare for a 911 Dispatcher Test?

In any test, half the battle is being prepared. The 911 Dispatcher Test is no different. Although it is often more generalized to cover a wider variety of topics in order to ensure suitability for the role, the test is not any easier for it.

911 police dispatchers must have a high level of care and stress-tolerance in order to perform well. An individual who snaps under pressure, cannot perform their duties quickly and correctly, or simply is unable to do what is required needs to be weeded out of the process as quickly as possible to avoid an incorrect choice in hiring.

Of course, you do not want to be the individual they remove from the hiring pool, so what can you do to give yourself the best chance? Review the following tips and recommendations for practicing and preparing to help you prepare properly.


911 Dispatcher Tests Types

Each 911 dispatcher department in the US makes recruitments throughout the year. These departments can be under the jurisdiction of the city or State and have similar requirements for all recruits. During the hiring process an assessment test is common. For 911 dispatcher recruits the following are the most common assessments given:


911 Dispatcher Preparation Tips

The first thing you can do is practice. Never underestimate how much use you can get from going through online practice tests to hone the individual skills tested. Doing so can drastically affect your score, particularly in areas where you are weak.

While practicing, identify areas where you are struggling. These are the areas you should target for additional attention. If necessary, have someone practice it with you to ensure that you are not missing things.

The other goal you should have when practicing is to improve your speed and accuracy. Every second counts in an emergency situation and, of course, mistakes cost you those seconds. So make a habit now of working quickly but accurately. This is tested heavily, and no matter what you know, you will not do well if you do not have this nailed down.

Before the test, it is recommended that you practice working with a map and take the time to memorize any rules for dispatch that you may be provided with beforehand. If you are wondering what will be required for this section of the test and have not been given the information, calling your local police station and asking for a 911 police dispatcher test guide is often a good way to find out what those rules are in time to memorize them for the test. This saves you some time trying to recall or refer back to the list.

The listening, prioritizing, and multi-tasking sections of the test can prove difficult for some applicants. If this is the situation for you as you are preparing or practicing, try to get some additional practice by listening to simulated 911 calls, role-playing with family members, and making sure you can recall whatever you have heard in the simulations. This often improves scores by quite a bit for those who have difficulty in these areas.



The battery of tests required for 911 police dispatchers is extensive. It has to be in order to give the employer reasonable assurance that the candidate they have hired will be able to perform properly. If the individual cannot do so, it not only wastes resources but may also cost lives.

This means that as the individuals taking the test prepare, they must spend more time and effort in the preparation and practicing stages to ensure a good score. The higher the score, the more likely they are to be considered for the position.

As one of those candidates, you should not feel as if the process is impossible. It may be long and difficult, but in the long-run, the practice will pay off, and you will be able to perform more confidently and accurately on the assessment itself. So take the time to get ready for the test and then walk in knowing that you are prepared and are going to ace the test.