CA POST Dispatcher Test Entry Level Battery: Samples & Practice
May Gilon

May, Police Dispatcher Test Expert at JobTestPrep.

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What Is the POST Dispatcher Test?

The POST Dispatcher test measures abilities that are both essential for the successful performance of dispatcher duties and necessary for candidates to possess before hiring. These abilities fall into 4 areas: verbal, reasoning, memory, and perceptual abilities.

The test, which is mainly used by agencies in California, consists of 11 short exams, ranging from 5 minutes to 15 minutes per test. The entire test battery takes between 2 to 3 hours to complete, including a short break.

Here's a breakdown of the 11 mini-tests:

Public Safety Bulletin

You are given three minutes to study a “shift bulletin.” This is then followed by a series of questions requiring you to recall the details and facts contained in the bulletin. There are 15 questions and you are given 6 minutes to complete it.

Assigning Field Units

You will read a set of rules governing the assignment of field units. The questions involve hypothetical incidences that require you to determine which field unit should be assigned for each incident. This section has 20 questions and you are given 5 minutes to complete it.

Evaluating Facts

You will read a set of rules followed by conclusive statements. You have to determine whether each statement is true or false based on the information contained in the rules. This section has 15 questions and you are given 5 minutes to complete it.

Setting Priorities

You will be given a set of rules containing priority codes. Then, you will have to determine which codes and statements match, following the set of rules. This section has 15 sets of 45 questions and you are given 10 minutes to complete them.

Reading Comprehension

There will be a short passage and then you are asked to recall details or form conclusions based off the information contained in the passage. This section has 20 questions and you are given 15 minutes to complete it.

Sentence Clarity

You will compare two versions of one idea and be asked to select the clearer version. This section has 15 questions and you are given 5 minutes to complete it.


Recalling Facts & Details

First, you will listen to an audio excerpt of a request for law enforcement services. Then, you have to answer questions based on your memory of the information contained in the audiotape. This section has 18 questions, in audio format, and you are given 9 minutes to complete it.



First, you will listen to an audiotape simulation of an emergency call. Then, you will be asked to recall details, summarize, analyze, or draw conclusions based on the information contained in the audio. This section has 25 questions, in audio format, and you are given 17 minutes to complete it.

Oral Directions

You will listen to a simulated radio call from a police officer and take notes. Then, you will use your notes to answer items pertaining to actions to be taken, sequence of tasks, details and conclusions based on the information contained in the call. This section has 17 questions, in audio format, and you are given 14 minutes to complete it.

Checking Coded Information

You will listen to an audiotape containing letter/number codes. Then, using a “Code Sheet,” you will select the answer that contains the audio code. An increase in audio speed adds to the difficulty of the exam. This section has 60 questions, in audio format, and you are given 14 minutes to complete it.

Checking & Listening

You will be asked to perform two tasks simultaneously: compare data with the information on a “Hot Sheet," identifying as many matches as possible, and record Unit Status Transmissions on a radio log, while listening to a simulated radio broadcast from several field units. Your answers will be based off of the information recorded in your Radio Log. This section has 105 questions, in audio format, and you are given 13 minutes to complete it.


POST Dispatcher Scores Explained

How is the test scored?

Your scores are interpreted in three ways: (1) the number of correct answers, (2) the number of wrong answers (2) comparing your scores to the performance of other test-takers.

  1. Each of the 11 tests receives equal weight in contributing to your total test score. Each correct answer gives you one point.
  2. Each wrong answer will subtract a fraction of a point from your total score, so there's no advantage to guessing answers at random. Leaving an item blank will not count towards or against your score.
  3. Your total score will be compared to the statewide average scores on these tests. These comparative scores are called T-Scores.

What is the passing score on the POST Dispatcher Test?

POST created a recommended passing score range for the T-Score, which is 48 to 57. That being said, this range of scores is not mandatory for all agencies, and each agency can choose its own passing scores.

What is the average score on the POST Dispatcher Test?

The average POST Dispatcher Test score is 51.4 on the T-score scale.

When will you know your scores?

All agencies that use the POST Dispatcher Test are required to provide each applicant with a T-score breakdown that includes the individual applicant’s Verbal, Reasoning, Memory, Perceptual Abilities, and total T-scores, within 30 days of the test administration.

Can you retake the POST Dispatcher Test?

You can retake the POST Dispatcher Test after a waiting period of 30 days.

Free POST Dispatcher Practice Questions

As mentioned above, the test measures four distinct categories. These four components are essential for success in the dispatcher training program and profession.

  1. Verbal Ability – Tests your ability to read and listen to information while recalling facts, summarizing, analyzing, and drawing conclusions based on the information provided. Additionally, this section assesses your ability to write clearly.
  2. Reasoning – Assesses two sections: applying rules to logically address situational problems and sequencing events, objects, people, and actions pursuant to given rules.
  3. Memory – Remembering and applying information.
  4. Perceptual Skills – Assesses speed and accuracy by matching letters/numbers that are presented in both written and verbal formats. Additionally, you will be performing tasks that simultaneously use at least two information sources that are presented in written and verbal formats.

Try the following three sample questions to get a taste of the exam:

Verbal Ability Sample Question

São Paulo’s economy has done well in Brazil’s recent boom years and it is still much bigger, but Rio’s is growing faster, boosted by oil discoveries and winning its bid to host the 2016 Olympics.

Last year Rio received $7.3 billion in foreign direct investment—seven times more than the year before, and more than twice as much as São Paulo. Prime office rents in Rio are now higher than anywhere else in the Americas, north or south, according to Cushman and Wakefield, a property consultancy.

According to the passage, in the past Sao Paulo's economy used to grow:

Faster than Rio's economy
Slower than Rio's economy
At the same rate as Rio's economy
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is D.

The passage does not mention what the growth rate of both cities was in the past.
It only mentions that recently Rio's economy has been growing faster.
Therefore, (D) is the correct answer choice.


The practice package includes 40 Verbal Ability practice tests that cover the following mini tests: Evaluating Facts, Reading Comprehension, and Sentence Clarity


Reasoning Ability Sample Question

The following steps should be followed when approaching a crime scene. (These steps are not listed in the correct order.)

  1. Evaluate what kind of physical evidence may be present
  2. Capture the scene photographically
  3. Initiate a preliminary survey of the scene
  4. Prepare a narrative of the scene
  5. Conduct a detailed search of the scene
  6. Secure and protect the scene
  7. Record and collect evidence
A. 6, 1, 3, 7, 5, 2, 4
B. 3, 6, 4, 7, 5, 1, 2
C. 6, 3, 1, 2, 5, 7, 4
D. 1, 2, 6, 3, 5, 7, 4
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is C.

When approaching a crime scene, the first step is to secure and protect it (step 6). If the scene is not secured or protected, evidence may be moved or tampered with, which can strongly harm the investigation. Answers B and D can therefore be eliminated.

Step 7 instructs you to record and collect evidence. When investigating a crime scene, the location of evidence can be important and therefore evidence should only be collected after the scene has been captured photographically (step 2), and after a detailed search of the scene has been conducted (step 5). We can therefore eliminate answer A, and conclude that C is the correct answer.

You may also have noticed:

A narrative of the scene can only be prepared (step 4) after the scene and the evidence have been closely examined. This must therefore be one of the last steps.

The word “preliminary” in step 3 indicates to us that this is one of the first steps. Taking a preliminary survey should come before evaluating what kind of physical evidence may be present (step 1).


The practice package includes 17 Reasoning Ability practice tests that cover the following mini tests: Assigning Field Units, Setting Priorities, Call-Taking, Oral Directions, and Public Safety Bulletin.


Perceptual Ability Sample Question

POST Dispatcher Perceptual Ability Sample Question

The number of errors in the COPY when compared to the ORIGINAL is:

A. One
B. Two
C. Three
D. None of these
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

There's only one mistake in the first row under "Complaint #":

557522-614  |  557552-614


The practice package includes 23 Perceptual Ability practice tests that cover the following mini tests: Checking Coded Information and Checking & Listening.


Pay Attention

Do not confuse the POST Entry-Level Dispatcher Selection Test Battery with the POST Entry-Level Law Enforcement Test Battery (PELLETB) which is used as a pre-employment screening device for law enforcement personnel other than dispatchers.


What is post certification in CA?

The POST Professional Certificate Program fosters education, training, and professionalism in law enforcement.

What does the processes to become a 911 dispatcher includes?

Becoming a 911 dispatcher involves more than an interview. In fact, these professionals must often complete an extensive, pre-employment process, which may include a panel interview, a skills test, a background investigation, and a complete medical and psychological evaluation.

What is the salary of a California 911 Dispatcher?

Those who work as 911 operators in the state of California earn an excellent living serving those in their communities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average California 911 dispatcher earns $57,140 per year.

What is POST?

The Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) was established by the Legislature in 1959 to set minimum selection and training standards for California law enforcement.


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