Memory and Observation for Police Officer Exam Study Guide (page 2)

Updated on Jul 5, 2011


  1. a. A caution is provided only for Thomas Torellini; despite the fact that Mackey's alias is Mack the Knife, there is no indication he is armed.
  2. c. See the identifying scars or marks section for both men.
  3. b. Review the wanted by notations for each man.
  4. a. Review the ages listed: Torellini is 55, Mackey is 29.
  5. a. Choice b can be changed easily by growing hair, wearing a hat or a wig; choice c requires Torellini to be wearing a short-sleeved or sleeveless shirt when stopped; choice d is part of the description of Mackey.

These questions relied on fairly simple recall because there were only two individuals. Imagine similar questions with four names or combinations for each question, and you will have a better idea of why it is important to review the memory tips and develop a system for processing the data.

Street or Crime Scene Memorization and/or Observation

Another type of question based on a photo or drawing might be of a crime scene or street scene, or a photo of items taken from an arrested person. In some instances, the photo or drawing will be quite realistic; in others it will be a rough sketch. Do not focus on the quality of the image; rather, use the allotted time to remember as much as you can about the scene or the items. These questions may be presented as memory questions or as observation questions. If they are memorization questions, you will not be permitted to look back at the material, which will be presented to you in an identical fashion to the wanted posters. If they are observation questions, you will be permitted to keep the artwork in front of you. Even if you are permitted to keep the material available while answering the questions, you may find that time does not allow you to look back frequently, so if you do not remember large portions of what you saw, you might be unable to answer the questions fully.

The photo below is less complex than some you might be asked to review but it will provide you with a good idea of how observation questions are set up.

Street or Crime Scene Memorization and/or Observation

Use the photo to answers questions 6-8.

  1. From the photo, it is most logical to presume that the Broadway Station intersects with
    1. Highway D 18.
    2. Downing Thruway.
    3. Highway I-25.
    4. Union Station.
  2. The number of destinations other than Broadway Station that are shown in the photo is
    1. one.
    2. two.
    3. three.
    4. none.
  3. Information that could be useful to passengers is located in the photo
    1. towards the top.
    2. towards the bottom.
    3. on the viewer's left.
    4. There is no information useful to passengers.


  1. c. I-25 is prominent in the station name and is designated in the style common for the Interstate Highway System.
  2. c. Three other station names are shown: 18th and California, 30th and Downing, and Union Station.
  3. a. Station and interchange information appears overhead, at the top of the photo; choices b and c are incorrect because no information is provided in those areas; choice d is incorrect because it contradicts the correct choice a.

Tips for Memory and Observation Questions

  • Use a methodical approach to memorization.
  • Find ways to create links between your long-term memory and short-term memory.
  • For questions based on pictures, "read" the picture from top to bottom or left to right.
  • For questions based on materials you receive in advance, study the materials for a few minutes every day before the test.
  • Visualize as you read passages, forming the words into a moving picture in your mind.
  • Read the questions carefully; make sure you're answering the question that's being asked.
  • Practice your memory and observation skills in your daily routine.
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