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# Police Officer Test Preparation: The Ability Areas of the Written Exam (page 4)

By McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Apr 21, 2010

#### Verbal or Written Expression

This ability area encompasses several different question formats. Each question format is geared toward assessing your ability to use language and includes knowledge of vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure.

#### Problem Sensitivity

This ability area is designed to assess your skill at recognizing when a problem exists. Although questions in this ability area do not require you to solve the problem, they are aimed at determining if you can sort through the information to find clues that suggest a problem exists. Clues may include flawed written information, a faulty eyewitness description, or an error in a procedure. Two types of questions-questions about following a procedure or directions and questions about eyewitness descriptions-are used to assess this ability. Both involve the presentation of a large amount of information.

#### Mathematics

Mathematics may be included on an exam as its own section, or it may be part of the deductive reasoning section of the exam. Regardless of where it is placed within the exam, law enforcement exams that test your ability to perform mathematical processes generally limit the questions to problems involving basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. These questions will be in numerical format and presented as word problems involving mathematical situations that a law enforcement officer is likely to encounter.

#### Deductive Reasoning

Deductive reasoning is the ability to apply general rules to a specific situation. The three most common types of questions involving the use of deductive reasoning are applying verbal rules/procedures, applying quantitative rules, and interpreting laws.

#### Inductive Reasoning

Inductive reasoning is the ability to reason from the specific to the general. For example, a police officer must often look at a specific situation, rule, or concept and see the similarities to a group of other situations or concepts. For this reason, law enforcement tests seek to assess your ability to find a rule or concept that applies to a specific fact pattern.

#### Information Ordering

This ability area requires you to apply rules to a factual situation in order to determine the correct or best order to resolve that situation.