What Is the Pellet B Test (PELLETB)?
The Post Entry Level Law Enforcement Test Battery, also known as the PELLETB, is an aptitude exam that assesses skills vital to police offers, such as reading, writing, and logical skills. If you are looking to become a law enforcement officer in the state of California, you will need to do well on this test before you can continue the recruitment process.
The topic areas listed above are represented as sections in the exam:
- Logical Reasoning (9 questions)
- Writing Ability (45 questions)
- Reading Ability (68 questions)
These topic areas are then broken down even further into sub-sections that evaluate specific skills within that topic area.
|– Logical Reasoning
– English Clarity
– Reading Comprehension
You will have two and a half hours to complete the test. The exam is a written test, administered in only the paper and pencil format, and the questions are all multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank.
To register for the PELLETB exam, you will need to contact the law enforcement agency you are applying to. They will be able to give you more information about testing dates and locations.
What Are the PELLETB Test Sections?
- Logical Reasoning Test
- English Clarity Test
- Vocabulary Test
- Spelling Test
- Reading Comprehension Test
Logical Reasoning Section
The first section of the exam is Logical Reasoning. This section consists of 9 multiple-choice questions that will assess your ability to analyze information and come to logical conclusions.
The questions in this section are all multiple choice and may be presented as word problems, groups of information, or ordered series of facts, numbers, or letters. You will need to identify the pattern or relationship between what is presented and use that information to determine the correct answer.
Logical Reasoning Tips
Here are a few tips to help you complete the Logical Reasoning section:
- Read the answer choices before attempting to answer the question. Sometimes, you can use the answer choices to help you identify the pattern. For example, you may notice that a specific answer choice is double the last number, and you can use that realization to see if that pattern holds for the rest of the sequence.
- Read each question carefully. This tip is essential for questions regarding ordering information. It is easy to get parts of the text confused, leading you to the incorrect answer. Read each sentence carefully and ensure you understand it before moving to the following sentence.
- When in doubt, use the process of elimination. If you have no idea what the correct answer is, you may at least be able to figure out which choices are not right. Eliminate as many options as you can before making an educated guess and moving on to the next question.
English Clarity Subtest
The English Clarity subtest is the topic area in the Writing Ability section. Here, you will answer sentence structure, grammar, and clarity questions. You will receive two sentences, and you’ll have to decide which sentence is most clear and correct.
The questions in this section will focus on common errors, such as:
- Misplaced modifiers
- Unclear sentences
- Incorrect word use
- Sentence fragments
- Run on sentences
- Obvious grammar issues
Studying for this section can significantly increase your score. Ahead of your test date, be sure to review basic grammar and sentence structure rules to help you identify clear writing.
English Clarity Subtest Tips
Here are some tips for the English Clarity section:
- Read each statement as if you were speaking it. If you spoke this sentence out loud to a friend, would they understand what you are saying? The statement could be written more clearly if the answer is no.
- Read each sentence individually. Some statements may be composed of more than one sentence. In these cases, read each sentence individually to see if they make complete sense on their own and that they communicate the intent of the statement effectively.
- Think about the context. The statement that is written most clearly will not need external context to be understood. Do you know the subject, any actions, and the intent of sentence(s) from the statement?
The next part of the Writing Ability section is Vocabulary. These questions in this test will consist of a sentence with an underlined word, and you must determine which answer choice would be the best alternative.
The words included in this section are common words that you’ll likely encounter in a law enforcement career, so you’ll want to study standard terms ahead of time to do well on this test. The best way to gain exposure to these words is by reading, writing, and using online resources to identify common terms used in law enforcement.
Vocabulary Subtest Tips
Here are a few tips to help you successfully complete the Vocabulary section:
- Use context clues. If you are unsure of a word’s definition, you can try using context clues in the sentence to determine the meaning.
- Read carefully. You should also read each word carefully as there may be subtle differences that you will want to pay attention to. Words may be spelled slightly differently, or minor differences may change the definition entirely.
- Use the process of elimination on tricky words. If you are unsure of what the underlined word means, read through the answer choices and see if you are familiar with any of those words. You may be able to eliminate words that you know are incorrect.
The last subsection in the Writing Ability exam portion is Spelling. Similar to the Vocabulary section, the Spelling section is a multiple-choice exam that will test your knowledge of common words in law enforcement.
Each question will present a sentence with an omitted word, and you must choose the correctly spelled word from the provided answer choices.
Spelling tests can be challenging to study for; however, familiarity with common police terms and phrases can help.
Spelling Subtest Tips
Here are a few tips to help you succeed in the Spelling section:
- Remember your spelling rules. Remember to use standard spelling rules such as “i before e except after c.” While some of these rules do not apply to every word, they may help guide you in the right direction.
- Look at the root of the word. Looking for the heart of the term may also help you identify the correct answer. Being aware of the root word and how to spell it can help you determine how to spell the variation of the word in question.
- Pay attention to the plural. Several plural rules depend on the root of the word. Selecting the correct rules is crucial to determining the correct spelling.
Reading Comprehension Subtest
The first part of the Reading Ability Section is the Reading Comprehension subtest. This exam consists of various passages and 28 multiple-choice questions about the information. These questions will assess your ability to read written text, understand the information presented, and apply that information.
Law enforcement officers have often presented information in written reports and procedures, so this skill is essential to performing well on the job.
Reading Comprehension Subtest Tips
Here are some tips to help you do well in the Reading Comprehension section:
- Read everything carefully. The text passages presented in this section will have a lot of information to comb through. Be sure you read the text carefully to retain all the information. You’ll also want to carefully read each question and answer choice to ensure you answer correctly.
- Read the questions before reading the passage. Reading the questions before the text is a great way to ensure you look for the correct information. This can also allow you to skim the passage, only looking for the essential details.
- Avoid using prior knowledge. The text will present all the information needed to answer these questions. Be sure to stick to the facts provided and not try to draw from any background knowledge you may have.
- Do not spend too much time on one question. Remember that the test is timed, so you do not want to spend too much time on a single question. If you are unsure of the correct answer, use context clues to make the best-educated guess and move on to the next question.
The last section in the Pellet B exam is the CLOZE test. Test-takers will answer 40 items while reading through various text passages. The first and last sentences are complete in these passages, but the remaining text has several omitted words. The applicant will need to use context clues and their own vocabulary to fill in each omitted word.
In some cases, more than one word may be correct. Points will be given if the word chosen is both grammatically and syntactically correct.
It is important to note that you will not be provided with a word bank to choose from. You must come up with all of the omitted words on your own.
CLOZE Subtest Tips
Here are a few tips to help you be successful in this section:
- Pay attention to the dashes. Each omitted word will be shown as a blank made up of smaller dashed lines. The number of dashes represents the number of letters in the omitted word, so pay attention to the dashes to help you figure out how long the word should be.
- Do not overthink it. Most of the words will be easy to decipher when using context clues, most of which are common words.
- Skip it and come back. If you do get stuck on a specific word, skip over that blank and come back to it after reading the rest of the passage. Reading the rest of the text will likely give you more clues about what that word should be.
- Reread the sentence. After filling in the blank, re-read the sentence with your chosen word to ensure it makes sense with the rest of the text.
PELLETB Test Scoring
After you have completed the Pellet B test, your raw score will be transformed into a T-score. A T-score is a standardized score to easily compare your score with other test takers. The T-scores fall on a standardized bell curve which means that “average” scores will receive a T-score of 50. Therefore, if you receive a score of around 50, you will know that you did as well as everyone else on the test.
However, to do well on the exam and move to the next level of the recruitment process, you will need to score above average. In general, if you score a 60 or above, you are considered above average and have done well compared to the other applicants who took the test.
Those who score higher on the exam are more likely to be successful in the academy, so you will want to do your best to get as high of a score as possible.
If you are not satisfied with your score, you may retake the test. Keep in mind that you must wait at least 30 days from your original test date before you can retake the test.
The score you receive on the exam has no expiration date, so if you do well, you get to keep and use that score indefinitely. Therefore, if you apply to a new department or agency that requires a Pellet B score, you will not have to retake the exam.
How to Prepare for the Pellet B Test?
Because the PELLETB exam is an aptitude test, there is no way to effectively cram for the material. The best way to prepare for the test is to study using practice tests, courses, and other training materials over an extended period. The more time you give yourself to study, the more prepared you will be.
Practice tests are an excellent resource for language tests such as the Pellet B. They allow you to practice the different question types and will give you explanations for the correct answer. This way, you are prepared for what to expect on the exam and can practice your timing for the test.
Additionally, exposure to law enforcement terms is crucial to success on several exam parts. Taking several practice tests will expose you to more words, increasing your likelihood of doing well in those sections.
Those who give themselves adequate time to prepare for the Pellet B exam do better on the test. Therefore, if you want to significantly increase your chances of success, use all the online resources available to you.