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Probation Officer Exam Preparation 2024

Probation Officer Exam Preparation

Being a civil servant, as the name suggests, is a job of service to your fellow people and your country. Being a probation officer offers nothing short of that. The job offers the opportunity to serve in a capacity, which aids in crime fighting and the criminal rehabilitation effort. A good wage, great benefits and assisting in the development of your country, sounds like a solid job for any job seeker!

What Is The Role of a Probation Officer?

Probation officers serve as part of the process to prevent criminal activity. Probation officers are known to work with offenders on probation or those that have been recently released from prison. There are different types of probation officers, which include:

  • Community Supervision Officers – Assesses the offender ensuring that he/she is not a risk to the community in which they are based.
  • Pre-trial Officers – Assesses the offender to determine if it is safe to reintroduce them to the community prior to the trial date.
  • Parole Officers – Monitors recently released offenders for a predefined period of time with the aim of preventing them from committing crimes.
  • Correctional Treatment Specialists/Case Managers – Provides counselling for offenders and devises rehabilitation plans for the offender to adopt post-parole.

It is generally expected that a probation officer does the following:

  • Provides resources to aid in the reintegration process.
  • Conducts home visits to assess the offender’s environment.
  • Meets with the offender’s family and friends.
  • Monitors offenders and tracks their progress.
  • Writes and maintains reports on the offender.

What Steps do I Take to Become a Probation Officer?

The hiring process is rather straightforward. Probation officers need to meet a few minimum requirements, which usually include being college graduates, holding either a Bachelors’ or a Masters’ degree in criminal justice, behavioral science or social work. In addition, probation officers should also be United States citizens with a valid driver’s license falling between the ages of 20 and 38.

Having met the above requirements, the prospect can submit an application at the United States Courts website. Once the application is approved, the candidate will be notified to move forward to the next stage of the application process, which includes the Probation Officer Exam, a psychometric assessment, a medical check, and a criminal record/background check.

Only after being successful in the exams will the candidate be able to move on to the training process. Training may include basic firearms training as well as classroom instruction outlining details about the job. In some States, new probation officers have to undergo a one year period as a trainee before becoming fully confirmed as a probation officer.

What is the Probation Officer Exam

The Probation Officer Exam is a pre-employment screening measure that assesses a prospective candidate’s aptitude for a variety of relevant skill sets.  The test is administered differently in each state. For example, a few of the WorkKeys assessments, including Applied Mathematics, Locating Information and Reading for Information assessments are administered in Georgia, while other states administer the PSI Probation Officer Test.

All the tests generally contain similar material testing areas such as:

  • Problem Solving
  • Probation Concepts
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Record Keeping

The passing score is 70%.

How to Pass the Probation Officer Exam?

Only persons who pass the Probation Officer Exam will be considered eligible, which means obtaining the 70% pass mark is necessary. In order to do this, one must simply prepare and practice in any way they can.  Preparation can take any of the following forms:

  • Read the official exam notice – this gives the candidate some idea of the length of the exam, what to expect, and what assessment centers offer the exam.
  • Utilize official study guides.
  • Access practice tests on the various civil service websites – preferably tests which provide both practice questions and answers.
  • Search for exam tips online.
  • Talk to current probation officers to get an idea of what to expect on the exams.

Test dates for NYC Correction Officer Exam are March 2024, so be sure to register on time.


Anyone should be honored to become a probation officer.  In order to get there, however, the Probation Officer Exam is one of the hurdles candidates need to clear. Remain focused, keep your eye on the prize and prepare. With proper preparation, you will undoubtedly make it through the hiring process.