The Police Officer Suitability Test for Police Officer Exam Study Guide
By now you know that becoming a police officer takes study, effort, and time. You may also have realized for the first time that the process may involve years of your life. This does not mean you will be busy every day being a police applicant, but it does mean that the time you first apply to take a police exam until you are hired by a police department may span anywhere from a few months to a few years. If you have read this far, you probably are willing to put forth the effort required to do well on the exam and wait for this rewarding career.
It might still be a wise idea to get a better idea of whether you and a police career are a good fit. To do this, take the following Police Officer Suitability Test. This is another tool in your arsenal to help you decide whether you want to invest the effort and time it will take you to pursue a career in policing. While it might appear to be the career of your dreams, possibly the job is not really for you. Maybe something else would better fit your personality and your abilities. It is better to find this out sooner rather than later.
Remember that there is no such thing as a police personality—there is not only one type of person who makes a good police officer. Despite that, it is equally true that there are some people who are not the best fit with the job. Cops are not all alike; just like some are men and some are women, some are short and some are tall, their personalities can be as different as their demographics and their sizes.
Despite all the possible differences, there do seem to be some abilities and personalities that fit policing better than others and that seem to predict who will be successful and satisfied in this varied career. Remember that these personality traits are not related to your intelligence or dedication; they are more likely to indicate more about what you like to do and how you interact with the world around you.
These suitability factors were developed from the large body of research about police and from discussions with police psychologists and applicant screeners across the country. The factors fall into five groupings; each has ten questions spaced throughout the test.
The LearningExpress Police Officer Suitability Test is not a formal psychological test. For one thing, it is not nearly long enough. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) test used in most psychological assessments has 11 times more items than you will find in this test. For another, it does not focus on your general mental health.
You should view this test as an informal guide to help you decide whether being a police officer is a job you would enjoy and that would suit you. If it turns out you decide against pursuing a career in law enforcement, this test may provide you with the chance to understand yourself better and to lead you to a career that is more in keeping with your personality. Either way, you have gained self-knowledge.
The Police Officer Suitability Test
You will need about 20 minutes to answer the following 50 questions. It's a good idea to answer all of the questions in one sitting—scoring and interpretation can be done later. For each question, consider how often the attitude or behavior applies to you. You have a choice between Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Often, and Always; write the number for your answer in the space after each question. To score your answers, see the table below. How the numbers add up will be explained later. If you try to outsmart the test or figure out the "right" answers, you won't get an accurate picture at the end. So just be honest.
Don't read the scoring sections before you answer the questions, or you will defeat the whole purpose of the exercise!
How often do the following statements sound like you? Choose only one answer for each statement.
- I like to know what's expected of me. _____
- I am willing to admit my mistakes to other people. _____
- Once I've made a decision, I stop thinking about it. _____
- I can shrug off my fears about getting physically injured. _____
- I like to know what to expect. _____
- It takes a lot to get me really angry. _____
- My first impressions of people tend to be accurate. _____
- I am aware of my stress level. _____
- I like to tell other people what to do. _____
- I enjoy working with others. _____
- I trust my instincts. _____
- I enjoy being teased. _____
- I will spend as much time as it takes to settle a disagreement. _____
- I feel comfortable in new social situations. _____
- When I disagree with a person, I let that person know about it. _____
- I'm in a good mood. _____
- I'm comfortable making quick decisions when necessary. _____
- Rules must be obeyed, even if you don't agree with them. _____
- I like to say exactly what I mean. _____
- I enjoy being with people. _____
- I stay away from doing exciting things that I know are dangerous. _____
- I don't mind when a supervisor tells me what to do. _____
- I enjoy solving puzzles. _____
- The people I know consult me about their problems. _____
- I am comfortable making my own decisions. _____
- People know where I stand on things. _____
- When I get stressed, I know how to make myself relax. _____
- I have confidence in my own judgment. _____
- I make my friends laugh. _____
- When I make a promise, I keep it. _____
- When I'm in a group, I tend to be the leader. _____
- I can deal with sudden changes in my routine. _____
- When I get into a fight, I can stop myself from losing control. _____
- I am open to new facts that might change my mind. _____
- I understand why I do the things I do. _____
- I'm good at calming people down. _____
- I can tell how a person is feeling even when he or she doesn't say anything. _____
- I can take criticism without getting upset. _____
- People follow my advice. _____
- I pay attention to people's body language. _____
- It's important for me to make a good impression. _____
- I remember to show up on time.
- When I meet new people, I try to understand them. _____
- I avoid doing things on impulse. _____
- Being respected is important to me. _____
- People see me as a calm person. _____
- It's more important for me to do a good job than to get praised for it. _____
- I make my decisions based on common sense. _____
- I prefer to keep my feelings to myself when I'm with strangers. _____
- I take responsibility for my own actions rather than blaming others. _____
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