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Police Psych Exam Online Preparation – 2024

Police Exam

What Is the Police Psych Exam?

After you’ve passed your written and physical examinations for becoming a police officer, you’ll need to take a psych exam before receiving a conditional offer of employment. The Police Psych exam is necessary to ensure that candidates are mentally fit for the position and would be able to perform the job as required.

Questions on this exam will explore different aspects of your personal life and personality, such as:

  • Past experiences
  • Behavior
  • Motivations
  • Attitudes
  • Interests
  • Preferences
  • Values

Psychological exams are standard in many fields of law enforcement; however, they are essential for police officers since they are the first responders on many scenes and must be able to work with all kinds of people in various types of situations.


Police Psychological Exam Format

The exact format of your exam will depend on the department to which you apply. However, there are generally three parts to the psychological exam:

  • Self-Evaluation: Some departments will ask you to start the exam by taking a self-evaluation survey. This consists of questions about your background, previous work experience, educational history, strengths and weaknesses, and history with ailments such as substance abuse.
  • Written Test: The next stage is the written test. This exam contains several statements that you must respond to on a scale of “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” In addition to evaluating your personality and behavioral traits, this section of the exam also assesses your consistency, integrity, and honesty as it asks the same question repeatedly in different ways. You’ll have 15 minutes to complete 100 questions on this exam.
  • In-Person Interview: You may be asked to complete an in-person interview. This face-to-face conversation will be with a psychologist who will ask several questions to determine if you are a good fit for the role. In addition to your background and personality traits, they may ask questions about your medical and psychological history and expectations for the position.


Five-Factor Analysis for the Police Psych Exam

Most police departments use the psychological exam to assess their candidates’ Big Five personality factors. The Big Five personality factors are a common way employers link personality and behavior, and how you do on the Big Five test can say a lot about how you will perform on the job.

The Big Five personality test looks at five main personality traits:

  • Emotional Stability: This trait measures how self-confident you are; it also looks at your emotional positivity and your ability to adjust to change. Police officers must have confidence in their decisions, not react out of emotions while on duty, and be able to adapt to ever-changing situations.
  • Conscientiousness: This trait looks at your integrity and dependability. This factor is often considered the most important when predicting job performance in law enforcement. Officers must conduct themselves honestly and be thorough and dependable in their work.
  • Extroversion: This factor determines how energetic, talkative, and dominant you are. Officers must interact with the public, and having a friendly, approachable, outgoing personality can be helpful in many situations.
  • Agreeableness: This trait shows how kind, compassionate, sympathetic, and cooperative you are. Officers are often thrown into touch situations and having the ability to show compassion and be kind to people is crucial.
  • Openness to Experiences: Lastly, this factor examines your ability to be flexible and creative. The role of a law enforcement officer is not always clear-cut. You must come up with your own solutions and think outside the box in many situations.


Personality Traits the Police Psych Exam Assesses

Psychological exams will assess several specific behavioral traits. These traits include:

  • Teamwork: Officers must work in a team in and out of the field to be successful in their job.
  • Self-Confidence: Officers make tough decisions and must have confidence in themselves to make the right choices.
  • Compliance: There are several rules, regulations, and policies that officers must be able to follow while in the position.
  • Desire for Achievement: Just like other companies, police departments are interested in candidates that have a desire to do well in their roles.
  • Consideration and Sensitivity: Because officers work directly with the public, they must be able to show sensitivity and compassion in delicate or difficult situations.
  • Attention to Detail: The ability to pay attention to detail is an important skill to possess as an officer to help you analyze a scene and situation.
  • Logical Analysis of Situations: Officers must be able to arrive at a scene and come to a logical conclusion about what is happening so they can react appropriately.
  • Desire to Support and Assist: The role of the officer is to assist, support, and protect the people.
  • Stress Tolerance: Law enforcement is a highly stressful job, so officers must be able to work well under pressure and tolerate large amounts of stress regularly.
  • Taking Charge of Victims, Witnesses, and Suspects: Officers are the authority on a scene and in crisis situations, so they must be able to take charge of all people.
  • Emotional Resilience: The role is not only physically demanding but emotionally draining, so officers must be able to deal with high emotional situations regularly.
  • Acceptance of the Views of Others: Because officers must work with all types of people, they must be tolerant of others’ views and opinions.
  • Taking Personal Responsibility: Officers must be able to take personal responsibility for their actions while on duty.
  • Independence: Often, officers will need to make decisions or take actions on their own, so they must have a strong sense of autonomy to be successful in this role.
  • Self-Awareness: Lastly, officers must be aware of themselves, their actions, their beliefs, strengths, and weaknesses to perform the role to the best of their ability.


Police Psych Exam Scoring

The department will consider all portions of the exam when examining your psychological test. The results are usually given in three tiers:

  • High risk or unacceptable
  • Medium risk or marginal
  • Low risk or acceptable

Once your results are in, the department will decide if you are suitable for the position and will either extend a conditional offer of employment or not.


Tips for Success

Here are a few tips for success on the police psychological exam:

  • Be honest. The most important thing you can do in this exam is answer the questions honestly. Not only should this be an accurate examination of if you can perform the role, but the questions often repeat themselves in different ways, causing you to trip up if you have to keep track of how you answered every question previously.
  • Keep the values of law enforcement in mind. While they say there are no right or wrong answers on this test, the truth is they are looking for candidates who act like police officers according to their values. Keep those in mind when testing so you can know how to best present yourself.
  • Read carefully. You should read all instructions and questions carefully to ensure that you understand how you should answer. Some psychological questions are presented in a confusing way, so read them carefully.
  • Though the test examines your behavior and personality, there is still room to prepare for the exam and increase your chances of doing well.


How to Prepare for the Police Psych Test?

The best way to prepare for the Police Psych assessment is to practice using sample tests, example questions, and study guides. Psychological exams ask questions in a specific way to understand different aspects of your behavior and personality; you will do much better during the exam if you are prepared for the types of questions you will receive.

Those who take advantage of online resources like practice tests and study guides do significantly better on the exam than their colleagues who didn’t prepare. Take the time to study, and you’ll increase your chances of becoming a law enforcement officer.