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The Police Officer Entry-Level Exam (PO-EL) Online Preparation, Free Practice Questions & Helpful Tips – 2024

Aptitude Employment Tests Prep

What Is the Police Officer Entry-Level Exam (PO-EL)?

The Police Officer Entry-Level Exam (PO-EL) is a test provided by the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) used by police departments to assess whether candidates can learn and perform the duties required of officers.

The PO-EL is a written and timed exam, so you’ll want to be sure and prepare for the test in advance.


What Is the PO-EL’s Format?

There are three versions of the PO-EL, each with several tests. Each department will choose which version and test best suit their needs and decide the passing score.


PO-EL 100 and 200 Series

The 100 and 200 Series tests are multiple-choice, and you’ll have 1 hour and 45 minutes to answer 100 questions. Additionally, these exams begin with a Test Information Packet (TIP) section containing material that you will have 25 minutes to study.

The TIP consists of two sections:

  • Observe and Remember Details
  • Learn and Apply Police Information

After the TIP, you’ll answer multiple-choice questions, including vocabulary, reading comprehension, and problem-solving.

The difference between these is that the 200 Series includes a non-cognitive section that uses a police interest questionnaire to examine personality traits.


PO-EL 300 Series

The PO-EL 300 Series is a video-based test. There are 100 questions, and you’ll have three hours to complete the exam. The test consists of four main sections:

  • Roll Call Briefing: This 15-minute section will consist of a shift briefing video that you must observe. After the video, you’ll need to answer questions about what you saw.
  • Training: The training section will last 15 minutes, and you’ll need to answer questions about a short training session.
  • Situational Judgement Test: The situational judgement section is 1 hour and 50 minutes long and consists of several police incident videos. You’ll need to observe and respond with what action you would take in the situation.
  • Multiple-Choice Questions: The last 40 minutes of this test will consist of multiple-choice questions assessing your problem-solving skills, learning ability, and reading comprehension.


What Are the Sections of the PO-EL Assessment?

Below are the number of questions in each section that you’ll encounter for the various test versions:

PO-EL Tests


What Each PO-EL Section Contains?

Here is what you can expect from each of these sections:

  • Ability to Learn and Apply Police Information (TIP): In this section, you will learn information such as police policies and procedures and apply those to answer questions.
  • Ability to Observe and Remember Details (TIP): This section will provide you with work-related details you’ll need to memorize, such as a wanted poster, to answer questions.
  • Vocabulary: This section will assess your knowledge of words you may find in the police industry.
  • Reading Comprehension: Here, you will need to read through the given text and deduce solutions based on the information.
  • Ability to Follow Directions: Officers must be able to follow directions; therefore, this section will assess that ability.
  • Ability to Problem Solve and Use Logic: Test-takers must take the given information and make accurate deductions based on the written rules.
  • Ability to Use Situational Judgement: You’ll receive various situations and need to respond with what your actions would be in that scenario.
  • Police Interest Questionnaire: This is a personality test to ensure you are a good fit for the police force.
  • Ability to Observe and Remember Details (VID): This portion will consist of a video you must watch and answer questions afterward.


Free PO-EL’s Test Sample Questions

Here are a few examples of questions you may encounter on the PO-EL exam:

Question 1:

Find the answer that completes the sentence correctly:

The ______ is currently being ________.

  1. victim, investigates
  2. suspect, investigates
  3. suspect, investigated
  4. victim, investigations


Question 2:

Choose the statement that most accurately expresses the facts presented in the officer notes.

Officer Notes: At about 1 pm on October 3, 2021, I met with Ms. Anita Brown at 113 Sterling Street, Pickin’ Fresh Grocery Story, regarding an accident.

  1. Responding to a call at Pickin’ Fresh. I saw the victim in the parking lot. She identified herself as Anita Brown.
  2. I got to 113 Sterling Street at 1pm at met with Anita Brown who reported an accident.
  3. I responded to a call at 1pm at the Pickin’ Fresh Grocery Store located at 113 Sterling Street. I met a woman in the parking lot who identified herself as Ms. Anita Brown. She said that she is reporting an accident.
  4. An accident occurred at 113 Sterling Street. Anita Brown is the victim.


Question 3:

An officer is MOST likely to call and ask for backup in which of these following situations:

  1. An elderly woman has been pushed down by a teenager who ran away.
  2. There is a call regarding an active shooter at a grocery store.
  3. A single mother reports a car theft that occurred this morning.
  4. A call came in regarding a minor traffic accident.


Question 4:

Select the correct order for these sentences to form a paragraph:

  1. We also enjoyed an apple pie that my brother made.
  2. Ben came over for dinner last night.
  3. There was so much food, I sent him home with leftovers.
  4. He brought mac and cheese to go with the BBQ sandwiches that I prepared.


  1. 2, 4, 1, 3
  2. 4, 1, 3, 2
  3. 1, 2, 3, 4
  4. 2, 4, 3, 1



  1. C
  2. C
  3. B
  4. A


How to Prepare for the Police Officer Entry-Level Exam (PO-EL)?

The best way to prepare for the PO-EL is to use study guides and practice tests. These guides will give you tips on how to do well, and the practice exams will let you work through similar problems, so you know what to expect on the actual test.

Studying for the PO-EL will significantly increase your chances of doing well on the exam. Be sure to check with your local precinct to find out what test you will be taking so you can tailor your study plan accordingly.