Visualization and Spatial Orientation Study Guide for McGraw-Hill's Police Officer Exam (page 2)
Visualization is the ability to observe and use information. Typically, law enforcement exams will test this ability by providing an original person or item to be studied and then providing a group of similar items or people. You must choose which of the four similar items or people matches the original picture. The match of the original will have been changed in some manner, such as putting a topper on a pick-up, or painting a vehicle, or putting a hat and glasses on a face. You need to see through the disguise.
An effective technique for approaching this type of question is to focus on those details that will not change. You may assume that the disguised features have not been changed by surgery or major reconstruction. For example, a short- bed pick-up may be disguised by changing the paint or adding a topper, but it will never turn into a long-bed pick-up. Similarly, a woman's face may get glasses, but the shape of the woman's features will not change.
In the following drawings of a suspect and four similar individuals, it is possible to quickly determine which of the four similar individuals is most likely to be the suspect. Focus on the shape of the eyes, mouth, and nose. Eyebrows, hairstyles, jewelry, and clothing will change to confuse you. One feature, such as the eyes, may be the same in all the drawings, but at least one of the main three facial features will differ in the drawings.
Which of the four drawings on the right most closely matches the suspect on the left?
The answer is D. The face of person D is the only one that has the same nose and mouth.
This ability area involves understanding one's own location in relation to the surrounding area. It involves understanding the space one is in or is about to enter. It could be the interior of a building, an open area, a street network, or a city. Questions testing this ability often use a full-page map of an area and then ask a series of questions requiring you to be aware of a direction of travel and also of limitations on travel, such as traffic rules or large furniture. Some exams provide these maps in advance and require that you memorize them, in the same way that all law enforcement officers must memorize the geographic areas of their patrol. When responding to a spatial orientation question, begin by determining which direction is north, south, east, and west. Then, look for identifying characteristics such as street names and buildings. Finally, note any impediments to travel such as one-way streets or dead ends.
These types of questions are multiple-choice questions and usually come in two different forms. The first form places you at point A and asks how to reach point B by the shortest route without violating traffic regulations. You then choose which of the four routes provided is the shortest and does not violate any laws.
You are at the intersection of 5th and Main when you receive a call to an emergency at 3rd and Central. Which of the following is the shortest route you can take without violating any traffic laws?
(A) One block north on Main Street to 3rd Street, then one block east to Central Ave
(B) One block east on 5th Street to Central Avenue, then one block north to 3rd Street (C) Two blocks north on Main Street to 1st Street, then one block east to Central, then one block south to 3rd Street
(D) Two blocks north on Main Street to 1st Street, then two blocks east to Oak Street, then one block south to 3rd Street, then one block west to Central
The correct answer is C. Notice the N at the top of the map, which indicates the direction North. Then notice that several of the streets only permit oneway travel. Finally, notice that the south end of Oak Street is blocked off due to the Arena entrance and exit. The second form of spatial orientation question places you at point A, provides driving directions, and asks you to identify which of four destination points is correct.
You are driving north through the intersection of 5th and Main when you begin following a suspicious vehicle. You travel two blocks north, then one block east, then one block south where you initiate a traffic stop. You notify dispatch that you are located at:
(A) 1st and Oak
(B) Central and 3rd
(C) Central and 5th
(D) 5th and Oak
The correct answer is B. Use your finger to trace out the directions on the map if you find yourself getting lost in the details.
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