Select Page

Canadian Police Exam Preparation & Sample Questions – 2023

Aptitude Tests Preparation

Police officers enjoy dynamic, rewarding careers that allow them to serve their communities. In Canada, most police officers work for municipal, provincial, or federal agencies. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, one of the most well-known police detachments, work on the federal level.

There is typically fierce competition for open police positions. To narrow down the pool to the most promising candidates, most agencies follow thorough recruiting procedures. One or more written exams are often part of the process.


Canadian Police Hiring Process

The hiring process varies depending on the police service you want to join, but there are some common steps. The entire process can take at least four months and up to one year.


Before you begin the application process, ensure you meet the minimum standards. These include the following:

  • At least 18 or 19 years old as determined by the police service or province
  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • High school graduate
  • Valid, unrestricted driver’s license
  • CPR and Standard First Aid certified
  • No unpardoned criminal convictions or criminal charges


The first step of the process is to find an opening you would like to apply for and submit an application. Police-specific job boards can help you locate postings in your province. Some openings, including those with the RCMP, are posted on the Government of Canada’s website.

Written Examination

The written examination varies by agency. With any exam, the goal is to determine whether you have the cognitive abilities to succeed at the job. There is more information about the written exam below.

Physical Abilities Testing

There are three standard physical ability tests that you may need to complete: the POPAT (Peace Officers Physical Abilities Test), PARE (Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation), and PREP (Physical Readiness Evaluation for Police). Each test measures whether your fitness level will meet the demands of police work. The tasks involved include running, climbing stairs, dragging objects, navigating obstacles, pushing, and pulling. You will need to perform these tasks within a specified timeframe.


You will need to complete an interview with a panel of three to five people. There may be additional interviews, such as a one-on-one interview with a member of management. You can expect typical interview questions, such as your greatest strengths and weaknesses. There will also be questions more specific to police work, such as whether you have ever committed a crime or taken drugs.

Polygraph Exam

During a polygraph (lie detector) exam, you will answer questions about your background and the information you supplied on your application.

Psychological Testing

The psychological examination part of the process may consist of a written personality test, an in-person evaluation with a trained professional, or both. The purpose is to confirm that you can handle the stressful aspects of the job and that your personality is suitable for police work.

Medical examination

The medical examination will determine whether you are medically healthy enough to become a police officer. Your hearing and vision will usually be tested. Note that it’s typically acceptable if you need glasses or contact lenses as long as your corrected vision meets the minimum requirements.

Background investigation

An experienced police officer completes the background review. The officer will ask you questions to confirm your background and speak to people who know you. They may talk to your friends, family, neighbors, employers, colleagues, landlords, and others.

Selection and Training

If the police service you have applied with determines that you are a suitable candidate, the next step is to begin training. With the RCMP and other agencies, you will start training as a cadet or recruit.


What Is the Canadian Police Exam?

There is not a standard exam to become a police officer in Canada. Instead, there are different testing processes to join the RCMP or a particular province’s police force.

The RCMP is present in each province, along with provincial and municipal police services. Some provinces, including British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario, have a standard assessment process. In the other provinces, the assessment depends on the particular police detachment.

  • In British Columbia, most agencies require candidates to take the Intake Exam. It includes the following sections: memory and observation, reading comprehension and critical thinking, summary skills, and writing and editing.
  • Provincial police officers in Alberta take two exams: the APCAT (Alberta Police Cognitive Ability Test) and the ACT (Alberta Communication Test). The APCAT covers five topics: problem analysis, written communication, judgement, observation skills, and memory recall. The ACT measures your writing skills, including vocabulary, spelling, and grammar.
  • The provincial police service in Ontario also requires two exams: The PATI (Police Analytical Thinking Inventory) and the WCT (Written Communication Test). The PATI covers deductive, inductive, and quantitative reasoning. The WCT assesses a variety of skills related to writing.

The most common format for these tests is multiple choice and true or false, but you may come across questions that require you to answer in complete sentences or paragraphs.


How to Prepare for the Canadian Police Exam

The exact steps you take to prepare depend on which particular exam you need to take. However, there are strategies that will be of use regardless of the specific test. If you can, confirm ahead of time which test you’ll take.

You usually don’t need prior knowledge of law enforcement to pass an entry-level police test. Familiarizing yourself with the characteristics police detachments look for in a candidate will help throughout the hiring process.

Online practice tests are an excellent way to ensure you have the knowledge you need and to feel confident on test day. There are practice tests designed to help you get ready for many of the exams aspiring police officers need to take. Look for a timed test, as it is very likely your actual assessment will be timed.

A high score on your exam will bring you one step closer to a new and exciting career. If you give yourself the opportunity to study and practice, you’ll be much more likely to succeed. Good luck!


Free Sample Questions for Practice

  1. Which sentence is grammatically correct?
    1. Officer Johnson asked the woman to describe the break-in at their apartment.
    2. Officer Johnson asked the women to describe the break-in at their apartment.
    3. Officer Johnson asked the women to describe the break-in at they’re apartment.
    4. Officer Johnson asked the woman to describe the break-in at they’re apartment.
  2. Which word is the best fit for the blank space in this sentence?

    Mrs. Garcia was ______ after witnessing the armed robbery.

    1. Dapper
    2. Dismal
    3. Disturbed
    4. Dark
  3. Your unit responded to the following number of incidents during each weekday last week: 7 on Monday, 4 on Tuesday, 5 on Wednesday, 2 on Thursday, and 6 on Friday. What was the average number of incidents each day?
    1. 4.8
    2. 5
    3. 5.2
    4. 5.8
  4. You are asked to deliver pamphlets on drug abuse to four local high schools. There should be 1 pamphlet per 15 students. The schools have the following numbers of students: School A, 250 students. School B, 1000 students. School C, 725 students. School D, 425 students. How many pamphlets should you bring?
    1. 150
    2. 160
    3. 170
    4. 180
  5. Officer Winston’s squad car gets an average of 22 miles per gallon. The tank holds 19 gallons. If the tank is precisely one-half full, how many miles will Officer Winston be able to drive before the tank is empty?
    1. 209
    2. 214
    3. 274
    4. 306
  6. Choose the most correct statement based on the following passage:On Tuesday, November 4, I met with Thompson’s Floral shop owner Mr. Thompson regarding a vandalism incident. Two front windows had been broken, but there was no evidence of theft. The incident occurred overnight while the shop was closed.
    1. Money was stolen from Mr. Thompson’s shop but no goods were missing.
    2. Thompson is the primary suspect in the vandalism.
    3. Thompson was in the shop when the incident occurred.
    4. The damage consisted of two broken windows.
  7. Officers Smith and Vargas were called to a possible domestic dispute at a woman’s apartment. A neighbor reported that the woman had been arguing loudly with her teenaged daughter, and there were banging noises. When the officers arrived, the woman said that she had been fighting with her daughter because she had not completed her homework. Officer Vargas noticed that the daughter had a bruise on her cheek and asked about it. The daughter seemed nervous and did not answer for a moment, then said that she had fallen while riding her bike earlier that day.Based on the information provided, what is the possible problem in this scenario?
    1. It is not believable that the mother and daughter would fight over homework.
    2. The fact that the mother did not comment on the daughter’s injury.
    3. The fact that the daughter had the bruise and seemed nervous when asked about it.
    4. The fact that a neighbor reported the dispute, not either of the parties involved.
  8. Each of the following statements is true:
    • Jackson left Ray’s Pub at 10:34 on Friday night.
    • 74% of people who left Ray’s Pub after 9 pm on Friday were intoxicated.
    • Jackson drove himself home.

    Based on the above statements, is the following true or false: Mr. Jackson was intoxicated when he drove home on Friday night.

    1. True
    2. False
    3. Not enough information to answer
  9. Each of the following statements is true:
    • Singh was home between 5 pm and 10 pm on Monday night.
    • A break-in occurred at Mrs. Singh’s home at 8:37 pm on Monday.
    • Singh did not hear anything during the break-in.
    • Singh called police after realizing the front door was open and some items were missing.

    Based on the above statements, which of the following statements is also true?

    1. Singh was home during the break-in.
    2. Singh was not home during the break-in.
    3. Singh was involved in the theft.
    4. Singh did not call police until after 10 pm.
  10. What is the most logical order of the following steps when responding to a reported crime?
    1. Arrive at the scene of the crime.
    2. Fill out paperwork to record the case.
    3. Detain witnesses for questioning.
    4. Make arrests or issue citations as appropriate based on witnesses’ reports and other evidence from the crime scene.
    5. Question witnesses and collect evidence.
    1. 1, 5, 4, 3, 2
    2. 3, 1, 5, 2, 4
    3. 1, 4, 3, 5, 2
    4. 1, 3, 5, 4, 2


Answer Key

  1. B
  2. C
  3. A
  4. B
  5. A
  6. D
  7. C
  8. C
  9. A
  10. D