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Police POST Entry-Level Test Preparation – 2024

Online job tests practice

POST refers to Peace Officer Standards and Training. POST is a council or board that determines the educational requirements to become a peace officer. Each state in the U.S., except Hawaii, has its own POST or an equivalent council.

It is possible to work in law enforcement without being certified as a peace officer. However, certification usually gives you more authority and a higher level of responsibility and accountability. Peace officers typically include police, state patrol, and sheriffs. In some areas, people who work in corrections, such as probation and parole officers, are also peace officers.


What Is the POST Entry-Level Test?

POST’s duties include deciding what written exam applicants take during certification. Some states have a state-specific test, such as the MCOLES (Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards) Reading and Writing Test. Colorado applicants take the Colorado POST Certification Exam. The POST exam in California is the PELLET B (POST Entry Level Law Enforcement Test Battery). PELLET B is known as one of the most rigorous exams in the country. Other states use various standardized tests, such as the following:

  • NPOST (National Police Officer Selection Test): measures abilities including math, reading comprehension, grammar, and incident report writing
  • LEAB (Law Enforcement Aptitude Battery) by EB Jacobs: assesses written expression, written comprehension, problem sensitivity, deductive and inductive reasoning, and information ordering. Also contains Work Styles Questionnaire and Life Experience Survey
  • NDRT (Nelson Denny Reading Test): covers vocabulary and reading comprehension
  • Darany Police Exam: includes sections on observation, written communication, reading comprehension, and personal background

In some states, such as Arizona and Texas, POST allows each police department to determine which test to administer.

Aside from the written test, each POST council determines what other steps you need to complete to become certified. These steps may include assessments of your physical fitness, driving abilities, and firearm skills.


How to Prepare for the POST Entry-Level Test?

Start by determining which specific test you will need to take in your state. If there is not a standard test for the whole state, you should be able to confirm with the hiring department or agency which test they use.

Look for online study guides and practice exams to help you prepare for your test. There are often practice tests available that are based on the actual test you will take. If not, learn about the different sections on your test, such as reading comprehension, and then look for practice tests that correspond to those skills.

Achieving certification as a peace officer can be a crucial step in a career in law enforcement. Diligent preparation for your POST exam will improve your chances of success.