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Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) Exam Online Preparation – 2023

Solving Aptitude Tests

The PAPD exam is the written test of the Port Authority Police Department uses to assess candidates during the hiring process. The PAPD covers the Port Authority area of New York and New Jersey, including several transit centers and the World Trade Center. Positions with the PAPD are highly sought-after, and competition is fierce for available openings. Passing the PAPD exam is a crucial step in the hiring process.

Because of the sheer number of applicants for police officer positions in the PAPD, a percentage of applicants are chosen at random by lottery to take the exam. Filling out an application is not a guarantee that you will be called to take the exam. Those who are not chosen for the current round of testing can re-apply later for another chance.

Candidates who pass the exam may progress to the next steps of the process. First, there is a physical performance test, which ensures you are in good enough physical shape to perform the duties of the job. If you pass the physical assessment, the next step consists of background and medical checks and a psychological evaluation. Candidates who pass these steps successfully continue to a 26-week training program at the Port Authority Police Academy in Jersey City.


What Is the PAPD Exam?

The exam comprises 70 multiple-choice questions that you use a computer to answer. Candidates are usually at the testing center for about three hours, including registration, taking the exam, and checking out. There is a $20 fee.

To be eligible for the exam, you should be at least 19 years of age and have either a high-school diploma or GED. You do not need to have previous experience with law enforcement.

The exam covers ten skills or aptitudes, each of which is necessary to succeed as a police officer.


This section is based on identifying an object, group of objects, or a pattern from a different angle or perspective. There may be changes to the object or pattern that make it more challenging to identify. Some questions may require you to notice very subtle changes between two or more items.

Spatial Orientation

Spatial orientation requires you to understand how two or more objects are physically located in relation to each other. For example, you may need to view a map of routes between two locations and determine which route would be fastest. Or, you may view an image of a building layout and answer questions about getting from one room to another.

Inductive Reasoning

This section requires you to come up with a general conclusion based on pieces of information, such as a set of witness statements.

Deductive Reasoning

In deductive reasoning, you can reach a factual conclusion based on the information provided. The questions often feature a series of statements you must use to determine logically if an additional statement is true or false.

Mathematical Reasoning

The Math test section measures your knowledge of essential math functions such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The question format is typically word problems that relate to scenarios police officers face on the job.

Verbal/Written Comprehension

The verbal test section assesses your skill at reading written information and understanding it. You will read various texts and answer questions based on the information they contain.

Written Expression

Written expression questions determine your ability to use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation in your writing.


This section is testing your memory and requires you to view an image or document for a brief time and then answer questions about the item without referring back to it. The questions may relate to visual cues or written details that you should remember.

Problem Sensitivity

In this section, you will read about a scenario and identify potential problems. For example, there might be a set of witness statements where the problem is that the witnesses have given conflicting information.

Information Ordering

You will be asked to place information in the correct order. You may need to order a sequence of numbers, letters, or symbols. Or, you might need to place statements such as steps of a procedure in the most logical order.


How to Prepare for the PAPD Exam?

You may feel overwhelmed when you think about preparing for the PAPD exam, especially since there are so many different subjects included in the exam. However, there are practice tests that can help you prepare for each of the subjects, so you feel confident on test day. These practice tests will also help you understand the different question formats and avoid confusion during the actual test.

Since applicants are selected at random to take the exam, not everyone gets a chance right away. Therefore, if you are selected, it is wise to give yourself the best opportunity you can to succeed. Give yourself enough time to practice and to study any subjects you struggle with when taking a practice test.

Even if you apply and do not get a chance to take the exam the first time around, it’s never too early to begin preparing. You can start studying and practicing now so that you’ll be ready for the next round of testing.