Correctional Officer Exam - Free Practice and Study Guide (2024)
Shir Enzer

Shir, Civil Service Assessments Expert at JobTestPrep.

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Table of Contents

What Is the Correctional Officer Test?

The Correctional Officer Exam evaluates suitability for the Correction Officer role through cognitive testing. The most common test topics include Basic Math, Memory, Reading Comprehension, Applying rules and information, and Written Communication. Test time and number of questions vary from state to state but you can expect between 2.5-3 hours of exam time and between 80 - 100 questions.

Is the Correctional Officer Written Exam Hard?

The correctional officer exam is challenging primarily due to the diverse skill set it assesses.
Candidates must demonstrate proficiency in Observing and Recalling Facts, Reading Comprehension, Written Communication, Applying Rules, and Basic Numerical Reasoning. 

Each skill is vital for a correctional officer's role in maintaining order and safety within correctional facilities.

The exam requires candidates to not only have a solid foundation in each knowledge area but also the ability to apply this knowledge and think critically in various situations.

This comprehensive assessment ensures that only the most qualified candidates are selected for the demanding role of a correctional officer, making the exam a notably challenging endeavor.

Interested in knowing if you have the skills required for the position? Try the following correctional officer practice questions.

Correctional Officer Practice Test Questions: Exam Sections Introduction

Law enforcement entrance exams are typically the first step towards joining any position. Correctional Officer exams vary depending on the state – as sections are comprised of different question types, difficulty, number of questions, and time frame. Our Free Correctional Officer Practice Exam includes common sections that appear in most correctional officer tests.

We’ll begin with a short introduction and tips for each section – followed by sample questions. Later on, you can find an answer sheet with more questions for each section.

The requirements and specific application process will vary depending on the state, you can learn details with this list from the Correctional Officer official website. 

Applying Written Information

The questions include data – either written rules with scenarios, schedules, or graphs. Then, you may be required to allocate what is incorrect in the data, respond to different scenarios, or solve problems that may arise using the data. We recommend starting by reading the question – before reading the information or the answers – the question itself is a great source to better understand the information and become more focused on specific data.

Click to look at an example:

Municipal Swimming Pool Policy

• All patrons must shower before entering the pool. • No running on the pool deck. • Swimsuits are mandatory for all patrons in the pool area. • Food and beverages are not allowed in the pool area. • Inflatable floats and toys are only permitted in the shallow end.

A family of five arrives at the municipal swimming pool for a day of fun. All family members take a quick shower before entering the pool area. The parents walk onto the pool deck in appropriate swimwear, carrying a small cooler with sandwiches and water bottles. The three kids, ages 8, 12, and 15, walk to the pool's shallow end, each holding a small inflatable float.

The family was asked to leave the swimming pool area for violating a pool policy. Based ONLY on the information above, which policy was violated?
a. Showering before entering the pool.
b. No running on the pool deck.
c. Mandatory swimsuits for all patrons.
d. Food and beverages are not allowed in the pool area.
e. Inflatable floats and toys only in the shallow end.


The correct answer is D.
Let’s review the different answers:
Answer A: The family did shower before entering the pool area, as required by the policy. Therefore, this policy was not violated.
Answer B: The three kids walked to the pool's shallow end, adhering to the "No running on the pool deck" policy.
Answer C: All family members were described as wearing appropriate swimwear, so they did not violate this policy.
Answer D: The parents carried a small cooler with sandwiches and water bottles. This violates the "Food and beverages are not allowed in the pool area" policy.
Answer E: The kids took their inflatable floats to the pool's shallow end, which complies with the policy.

Written Communication

These questions measure grammatical ability – either by constructing or reconstructing sentences and paragraphs or by allocating mistakes in existing ones. In these questions – use the distractors! It may be challenging to answer grammatical questions without reference – however, when you apply provided options, the answer may be more evident, or at the very least, you can eliminate distractors, thus making an “educated guess”.

Click to look at an example:

Order the sentences below to form the MOST logical paragraph. Choose the correct order from the options below.
1. Jane heard a loud bang from the kitchen.
2. The fire alarm went off a few seconds later.
3. Jane realized the cake she was baking had exploded in the oven.
4. She immediately called the fire department.
5. The fire was finally put out by firefighters.
6. Jane then quickly grabbed the fire extinguisher.
Which of the following options represents the correct order of the above sentences?
a. 1, 2, 3, 6, 4, 5
b. 1, 3, 2, 4, 6, 5
c. 3, 1, 2, 4, 6, 5
d. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 5


The correct answer is A.
This sequence starts with Jane hearing the loud bang, followed by the fire alarm going off. Then she realizes the cake has exploded. She grabs the fire extinguisher next and calls the fire department afterward. Finally, the firefighters put out the fire. This sequence is the most logical based on the cause-and-effect relationships between the events.

California Correctional Officer Test Practice

The CDCR Written exam is an essential step towards becoming a correctional officer in California. You’ll have one hour and forty-five minutes (2 minutes per question) to answer 53 questions on Applying Rules\Information, Basic Math, and Written Communication topics (Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation). 

Our CDCR PrePack has been developed by experts to help you ace the exam with tailored sample questions, complete explanations and practice tips. Starting at $79 get full access to: 

  • 14 Written Communication tests
  • 22 Applying Information tests
  • 4 Basic Math tests
  • 5 Police Forms tests
  • 5 Police Situational Judgment tests



Basic Mathematics

Basic Math questions require performing different arithmetic operations, including decimals, percentages, word problems, and rounding our difficulty calculations to the closest answers. Since calculators are usually not permitted, you must be able to perform quick calculations using solving techniques and pen and paper. Practice is the most efficient way to improve quick math, and it is also recommended to eliminate distractors when you are unsure of the answer.

Click to look at an example:

What is the sum of the following numbers?
+ 254.10

a. 715.55
b. 725.55
c. 715.35
d. 725.35


The correct answer is A.

While you can make a full calculation, we will demonstrate how to answer the question by eliminating the answers.

Step 1: Look only at the decimals. You are looking for whether the decimal in the answer is 35 or 55. Calculate 5+7+2+1, which accumulates to 15 (or 1.5), and therefore, answers C and D can be immediately eliminated.

Step 2: You now must calculate the tens digit. Sum the ones digits – 5+6+9+4+1(from the decimals) = 25. Now sum the tens digits – 2+4+8+5+2(from the ones) = 21 (or 210), and therefore answer B can be eliminated. The correct answer is A, without the need for full calculations.

Identifying Problems

In this section, you are required to identify missing or non-matching pieces of information, which will help you further investigate and solve problems. When approaching these questions – mark down each valuable piece of information from different statements or testimonies. When comparing between different statements – the correct answer should be clear, and therefore common logic should be applied carefully until all the information is matched.


Click to look at an example

During a routine yard time, Officer F witnessed a fight break out between Inmate S and Inmate T. Officer F immediately called for backup and separated the two inmates. After ensuring that the area was secure and the involved parties were isolated, Officer F interviewed two witnesses: Inmate V and Inmate W. Their statements are provided below.

Inmate V's statement:
I saw Inmate S throw the first punch at Inmate T. It was totally unprovoked; Inmate T was just standing there. I think Inmate S has been holding a grudge against Inmate T because of an argument they had over commissary items a few days ago. Inmate S is known for having a short temper and he took it too far this time.

Inmate W's statement:
I saw the whole thing. Inmate S did throw the first punch, but what Inmate V didn't see was that Inmate T whispered something to Inmate S right before it happened. It seemed like Inmate T said something that got under Inmate S's skin. I can't say who's right or wrong, but it wasn't totally unprovoked like Inmate V is making it seem.


Based ONLY on the information provided above, determine what difference, if any, between the two witness statements may be important enough to examine further?

a. Whether Inmate S or Inmate T threw the first punch.
b. What Inmate T might have whispered to Inmate S before the fight.
c. The argument over commissary items a few days ago between Inmate S and Inmate T.
d. There was no difference that requires further examination.


The correct answer is B.

Let’s review the different answers:

Answer A: Both statements agree that Inmate S threw the first punch, so this point doesn't require further examination.

Answer B: This is the crucial difference between the two statements. Inmate V claims the attack was unprovoked, whereas Inmate W mentions that Inmate T whispered something to Inmate S that might have provoked him. This could be significant in understanding the dynamics of the incident.

Answer C: Both witnesses make note of past tension between the inmates, but this does not directly contradict any statements or raise new questions about the incident itself.

Since answer B is correct, answer D is eliminated.

Memorization and Attention to Details

These questions may either relate to memorization of written or graphical details or attention to small details – such as differences between images or missing information between forms. You must remain focused – work methodical and be conclusive – sometimes in those questions, the more we think, we lose focus and may make mistakes in questions we know the answer to.

Click to look at an example:

Compare both pictures. How many differences are there?

a. 0
b. 1
c. 2
d. 3
e. 4


The correct answer is D.

There are exactly three differences: the right kid's hat, the triangle on which the swing is set, and the cloud on the upper left side, as seen here:

Situational Judgment

Situational Judgment questions include a scenario – either related directly to correctional officers or not – and a question of different responses, where you must either choose what you would (most) or would not (least) do. These questions are different from cognitive questions – as there is no one absolute answer. However, by practicing and reading different guides, you can have a better understanding about the value expected of you when answering those questions.

Click to look at an example:

Officer L is a correctional officer at a prison facility. While conducting a routine search of a vacant cell, he finds a handwritten poem tucked under the mattress. The poem is not against any prison rules but has the potential to be emotionally triggering for certain inmates.

Which of the following options would be the LEAST appropriate action for Officer L to take concerning the poem?
a. Document the find and report it to his supervisor.
b. Leave the poem in the cell for the next inmate.
c. Dispose of the poem as it's potentially triggering.
d. Share the poem with other inmates to gauge their reaction.


The correct answer is D.

Let's review all the answers:

Answer A: Documenting the find and reporting it to the supervisor keeps the situation within professional standards and scope and allows for a collective decision to be made about how to handle the sensitive material. It is a suitable action to take, and therefore not the least appropriate.

Answer B: Leaving the poem in the cell may not be the best course of action, but it doesn't actively promote the spread of potentially emotionally triggering material. Additionally, since it doesn't break any prison rules, it could be viewed as somewhat neutral, making it more appropriate than option D.

Answer C: Disposing of the poem eliminates the risk of it becoming a source of emotional distress for other inmates. Though it may not be the most appropriate action, it's a better choice than sharing it indiscriminately, as in option D.

Answer D: Sharing the poem with other inmates is risky because it could be emotionally triggering and could lead to conflict among inmates. This makes it the least appropriate action to take in this situation.

NYS Correctional Officer Exam Prep

If you want to become a Correctional Officer in New York State, you will have to complete the written exam. The NYS Correctional Exam is a 100-question, 3.5-hour exam that covers four sections: Applying Written Information, Observing and Recalling Facts and Information, Preparing Written Material, and Understanding and Interpreting Written Information. To be considered for a correctional officer position, you must pass a written test with a score of 70% or higher.

Starting at $79 you can access our PrepPack and get full access to study with: 

  • 75 Applying Written Information practice questions.
  • 140 Observing and Recalling Facts and Information questions (as well as a full guide with memorization tips!), with 50 extra practice questions.
  • 120 Preparing Written Material questions including paragraph organization and spelling
  • More than 300 Understanding and Interpreting Written Information questions with 2 difficulty levels!


We will now proceed to our Free Correctional Officer Test – with questions and answers to deepen your understanding of the assessment ahead. We'll begin with Applying Information – Where you must understand written data like rules or schedules and respond to different questions and scenarios according to the information.
Let’s begin!


Free Correctional Officer Practice: Questions and Answers


Following Rules - Sample Questions

Following Rules Question 1


Workers over 18 are entitled to 3 types of rest breaks:

"Rest breaks at work" - If they work more than 6 hours a day, they have the right to one uninterrupted rest break of no fewer than 20 minutes during their working day (this could be a tea or lunch break). No worker shall work more than 10 hours a day, including breaks.

"Daily rest" - Workers have the right to no fewer than 11 hours between working days (e.g., if they finish work at 8 p.m., they should not start work again until 7 a.m. the following day).

Which of the following break patterns demonstrates the employer's RULE violation?

a. Alice works Tuesday through Friday from 6:00 AM to 1:00 PM. On Mondays, she works from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
b. Jacob works Monday through Friday from 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM and again from 5:10 PM to 6:00 PM. On Thursday, he also works from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM.
c. Avril works Monday through Saturday from 8:00 AM to C 3:00 PM with a one-hour nap break starting at noon. She also works Sundays from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
d. All patterns comply with the RULE.


The correct answer is A.
Alice's "daily rest" between Monday and Tuesday is violated; she only receives an 8-hour break (10:00 PM to 6:00 AM).
Answer (B) is incorrect: On Thursdays, Jacob receives a "rest break at work" of over 20 minutes (12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.). On any other day he works, his total work and time spent amounts to fewer than 6 hours, so he is not entitled to a break. His workday spans fewer than 10 hours, and he receives his "daily rest" (starts no earlier than 11:00 AM and finishes no later than 6:00 PM).
Answer (C) is incorrect: Every week from Monday through Saturday, Avril receives a "rest break at work" of over 20 minutes (an hour). Her workday spans fewer than 10 hours, and she receives her "daily rest" (starts no earlier than 8:00 AM and finishes no later than 8:00 PM).


Following Rules Question 2


When you encounter a person holding a close-range weapon with a possible intent to harm oneself or others, you must follow the procedure below:

First, draw your sidearm and shout: "Police! Drop your weapon!"

If the person does not surrender nor attempts an attack, call for backup.

If the person surrenders, approach cautiously, handcuff the person, and report in.

If the person attacks, shoot to stop the person (in the torso area).

Officer Helena encounters one Gina Gales beating a man in his late 50s with a metallic baseball bat. As soon as Helena asks Gina to drop her weapon, Gina starts to flee the scene with the bat still in hand.

What should Helena do?

a. Call for backup.
b. Pull a gun and order her to drop the bat, then make her lie on the floor and place her hands behind her back.
c. Shoot Gina's torso area.
d. Chase after Gina.


The correct answer is A.
"If the person does not surrender nor attempts an attack, call for backup." – Helena should call for backup since Gina did not surrender or attempt an attack (she elected to flee).

💡Applying Information Tip: Work your way from the question to the text. Bread down the questions to the core, then search the text for the relevant information. If you are unsure, use the distractors, as only one will provide the logical connection the questions require.
I.e., the previous question provided a scenario where there’s no attempt of attack but an escape. Since the rule provides three scenarios and responses, compare which one is relevant – saving valuable time re-reading the text.

Let’s proceed with more Applying Information questions – but this time, we’ll cover reports that require table reading skills instead of rules.


Applying Written Information / Working with Reports - Sample Questions

Observed Prison Location at 13:30-15:30:

There has recently been a problem with location prisoners. You have been asked to ensure all prisoners are in the right place at the right time.

You should use the prison timetable below to check if the prisoners are in the required locations at the required times.
You MUST take account of the notes/remarks for today.

In what observed location are prisoners in the wrong location at 13:30-15:30?
a. Chapel.
b. Library.
c. Courtroom.
d. Common Room.


The correct answer is A.
Mancini MI27 is required to report to the Probation Office at the given time. Since he is at the Chapel and at the wrong location, so Chapel is the correct answer.


Is there any other prisoner in the wrong location at 13:30-15:30?

a. Gauthier GR16
b. Pepper PR41
c. Rodgers RS06
d. Payne PE15
e. Tuffney TY24


The correct answer is E.
According to the first table, Tuffney TY24 should be in the Courtroom between 13:30 and 15:30. However, according to the second table, he is in the kitchen – and, therefore, in the wrong location.


💡Applying Information Tip: When working with tables, you should be methodical, efficient, and accurate. Since time may be of the essence, you should first understand what each table represents and then continue to the question and answers, only then returning to find the required data in the tables.
I.e., the previous question can be more easily answered by looking for each prisoner in the distractors personally instead of scanning all the prisoners. There may be more than one prisoner that applies to the question’s instructions, but only one in the answers – therefore, you should be efficient and not waste your time.


Get the Practice You Need Today


Written Communication tests require mastering many different skills, such as understanding complex grammatical rules, using appropriate punctuation, structuring sentences and paragraphs logically, choosing precise vocabulary to convey meaning accurately, and organizing thoughts in a coherent, compelling manner that engages the reader.

If you’re struggling with proper syntax, punctuation, and correct sentence structure practice will help you get better. It will help improve your vocabulary as well as allow you to work on your clarity by practicing Restatements, Information Presentation, and Paragraph Organization practice questions.

Check out the All-Inclusive Correctional Officer Written Exam Practice Prep to practice more written communication questions and the rest of the exam sections with over 80 practice tests.


Now, we will focus on Reading Comprehension and Written Communication questions that will test your ability to use appropriate punctuation and structure sentences and paragraphs logically.


Reading Comprehension Practice


Reading Comprehension Question 1

2. According to new research, we don't merely travel because we enjoy traveling; rather we travel because we need to travel. We need to distance ourselves from everything we know through experiencing a different culture. This experience helps us gain new perspectives and makes us realize that there are multiple meanings to everything.

Consider the act of leaving food on the plate: in China, this is often seen as a compliment, a signal that the host has provided enough to eat. But in America, the same act is a subtle insult, an indication that the food wasn't good enough to finish.

Such cultural contrasts mean that there are different (and equally valid) ways of interpreting the world. This in turn allows us to broaden our minds. When we get home, home is still the same. But something in our minds has been changed, and that changes everything.

Based on the text, which one of the following statements is NOT true regarding the act of leaving food on the plate?

A. It is always regarded as a compliment.

B. Some cultures view it as an insult.

C. It means there was enough food.

D. It means the food wasn't tasty.


The act of leaving food on the plate is described in the second paragraph.

In China leaving food on the plate signals that there was enough food. In America, it is an insult, indicating the food wasn't tasty.

Statement a is the only statement that is untrue, as this act is not always regarded as a compliment.

Hint: Pay attention to the cultural differences mentioned in the passage.

Reading Comprehension Question 2

3. Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products, and all other animal-derived ingredients. Many vegans also do not eat foods that are processed using animal products, such as refined white sugar and some wines. Most vegans also avoid the use of all products tested on animals, as well as animal-derived non-food products, such as leather, fur, and wool.

A vegan diet will include all types of grains, beans, legumes, vegetables, and fruits and the nearly infinite number of dishes made by combining them. Many vegan versions of familiar foods are available, so you can eat vegan hot dogs, ice cream, cheese, and vegan mayonnaise.

Although there is some debate as to whether certain foods, such as honey, fit into a vegan diet, if you are cooking for other vegans, it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid them.

Which of these words means the same as “infinite” in the second paragraph of the text?

A. Restricted.

B. Unknown.

C. Unlimited.

D. Famous.


The meaning of the word “infinite” in the context of the passage is: ”a wide variety of…”. The word that is closest in meaning to this definition is: “unlimited”.

Hint: Think about the meaning of the word “infinite” in the context of the passage.



Applying Information & Written Communication Practice


Applying Information Question 1


  1. A house, apartment, suite, or separate portion of such, occupied by a single family or a group of people living as a single family or household
  2. A complete apartment block or other multiple dwelling containing no more than four apartments, suites, or other self-contained domestic establishments.

Which of the following is not a "dwelling unit?"

A. One half of a cottage house separated from the other half accommodating a family of five.

B. An apartment shared by three college students.

C. Two suites in a four-suite building, occupied by a single family of eight.

D. A seven-room house in which a family of five resides.


The correct answer is (C).

Answer (C) describes two suites in a four-suite block. This fits neither clause (a), which only includes single suites, nor clause (b), which only includes complete multiple dwellings (not part of them).

Since you were asked which of the choices does not fit a definition, you may find it easier to eliminate the choices that do, and in that way find our answer.

Answer (A) describes a separate portion of a house, occupied by a single family. – "(a) a house […] or separate portion of such, occupied by a single family […]"

Answer (B) describes an apartment, shared by a group. – "(a) [an] apartment, occupied by […] a group of people living as a single […] household."

Answer (D) describes a house, occupied by a single family. – "(a) a house […], occupied by a single family […]"


Hint: Since you were asked which of the choices does not fit a definition, you may find it easier to eliminate the choices that do, and in that way find our answer.

Written Communication Question 1

In this sentence, there may be a problem with English grammar.
If a problem does exist, select the letter that indicates the most effective change. If no problem exists, select choice D.

The meeting needs to take place next week to ensure that the client are happy with our services.

A. Change are to is

B. Change next week to last week

C. Change our service to their service

D. No changes are necessary


Answer A is correct because client is singular, the verb must be singular too: "...ensure that the client is happy with our services."

Answer B is incorrect because this is happening in the future, not in the past.

Answer C is incorrect because that would change the meaning of the sentence.

Hint: Look for a mismatch between the subject and its verb.


Written Communication Question 2

Review the following paragraphs and reorganize them according to the correct order.

1. All managers must submit their proposed projects by next week so we can start assigning interns to each department.
2. The new interns will begin working at the beginning of next month.
3. Please remember that these projects must be completed in the next two months and fit approved project guidelines.
4. If there are any problems, please contact me immediately so I can make appropriate accommodations before the interns begin these projects.

Select the answer representing the most appropriate and effective ordering of the sentences above.
a. 4132.
b. 3412.
c. 2134.
d. 2314.


The correct answer is C.
The first thing that should be done is to read all the sentences and see if you can easily identify the introduction, supporting, or closing sentences.

Looking at the option, what sticks out first is that sentence 3 builds directly only sentence 1, so you should look at the options to see what has one followed by sentence 3, which would be A and C, meaning you can eliminate options B and D. That would leave either sentence 2 or 4 as in the introduction.

Sentence 2 talks about a beginning "will begin working", while sentence 4 seems like a concluding thought, so option C is the best-organized paragraph. Remember, a great paragraph introduces the idea (introduction sentences), then has 2-3 supporting the idea (supporting sentences), and then summarizes the information given (closing sentence).

Arranged correctly, it should read:
The new interns will begin working at the beginning of next month. All managers must submit their proposed projects by next week so we can start assigning interns to each department. Please remember that these projects must be completed in the next two months and fit approved project guidelines. If there are any problems, please contact me immediately so I can make appropriate accommodations before the interns begin these projects.

Written Communication Question 3

Which of the following sentences is grammatically correct?

a. Researchers have developed new headphones that block out extra noise while enhancing sound quality.
b. Researcher’s have developed new headphones that block out extra noise while enhancing sound quality.
c. Researchers has developed new headphones that block out extra noise while enhancing sound quality.
d. Researchers have developed new headphones that block out extra noise while enhance sound quality.


The correct answer is A.
Answer (B) is incorrect because the word "Researchers" should be plural and not possessive.
Answer (C) is incorrect because the singular verb "has" disagrees with the plural subject "Researchers."
Answer (D) is incorrect because the correct word is "enhancing" and not "enhance."

Next, we will continue with Numerical Reasoning and Basic Math Practice Questions that will require recognizing patterns and relationships and applying correct mathematical formulas and operations.


Numerical Reasoning and Basic Math Practice


Basic Math Question 1

Which of the numbers below are closest to the correct answer?
0.6 x 9.1 =

a. 9.7
b. 3.91
c. 4.7
d. 5.5


The correct answer is D.

First, forget about the decimal points and just multiply the numbers as if they were whole numbers. So, treat 0.6 as 6 and 9.1 as 91.
6 * 91 = 546
Next, we need to place the decimal in the correct spot. To determine where the decimal goes, you add the number of digits after the decimal in the original problem.
In 0.6, there is one digit after the decimal.
In 9.1, there is also one digit after the decimal.
So, there are 1 + 1 = 2 digits after the decimal.
This means you need two digits after the decimal in your answer. So, we move the decimal place to the left in our answer of 546, which gives us 5.46.
Therefore, 0.6 x 9.1 = 5.46.
Comparing this result to the options in your question, option D, 5.5, is the closest to the actual result.

Basic Math Question 2

Calculate: 1/5 - 13/100?

a. 2/50
b. 7/100
c. 1/20
d. 3/5
e. 3/40


The correct answer is B.

The lowest common denominator is 100.
1/5 - 13/100 = (1x20)/(5x20) - 13/100 = 20/100 - 13/100 = 7/100.


Numerical Reasoning Question 2

Convert 12/16 to a decimal

A. 0.67

B. 0.75

C. 1.2

D. 0.8


Simplify 12/16 by dividing by 4 = 3/4

3/4 [ (3x4)/(4x4) = 12/16 ]

3/4 = 0.75


Answer B

Hint: Think about the connection between the top and bottom numbers.

Numerical Reasoning Question 3

7. One of your fellow officers has asked you to tally up the number of cells they have searched in the last month.

How many cells have been searched?

A. 88

B. 89

C. 90

D. 91

E. 92



The correct answer is B 89

HintUse multiplication to identify the answer.


We will move on to Identifying Problems – where you must recognize mistakes or logical inconsistencies. Let’s proceed.

Identifying Problems - Sample Questions


Identifying Problems Question 1

Officer Harry interviewed four witnesses to a movie theatre parking lot shooting. They each described the suspect as follows:

Witness 1: “He was a White male in his late twenties. He was shouting obscenities in what sounded like a South African accent. He was over six feet tall, around 200 pounds, and had short, curly hair. He wore a red jacket, navy blue, or black pants and had a piercing in his left ear.”

Witness 2: “He was a White male around 6’3” and 210 pounds. He looked about thirty and was screaming in an accent. He was wearing a maroon jacket and dark blue pants.”

Witness 3: “He was a White man around 6’2”, roughly 200 pounds, and looked about 27 years old. He had short, curly dark hair and wore a jacket and dark pants. He had a crazed look in his eyes and just stood there silently shooting indiscriminately.”

Witness 4: “He was a tall, light-skinned male, about 6’4” and over 200 pounds. He was in his late twenties and had dark, short hair. He was wearing a red top and dark blue pants. He kept on screaming that he was sorry in an Australian accent.”

Given this information, there is a problem with the description given by the witness:
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4


The correct answer is C.
Witnesses 1, 2, and 4 all mentioned that the suspect had an accent, and witness 3 said that the suspect “stood there silently shooting indiscriminately.”


Witness 1 said the suspect had a South African accent, and Witness 4 said the suspect had an Australian accent. Many people are not accustomed to foreign accents and may easily misplace one accent with another. Further, South African and Australian accents sound very similar to many Americans.

Witness 1 said that the suspect was screaming obscenities, and Witness 4 said the suspect was screaming that he was sorry. These two statements do not necessarily contradict. One can scream that they are sorry while adding obscenities.

💡Identifying Problems Tip: You should use comparison abilities in this question type. If there are more than two reports/witnesses, the answer is most likely statistical, as seen in the previous question. Work methodically – starting from the question, which lets you know if you want something specific or general. Mark each piece of information (i.e., height, accent, etc.) and compare it across different reports.

Identifying Problems Question 2

While on duty, Officer C noticed Inmate L and Inmate M involved in what appeared to be a clandestine exchange of a small package. The officer immediately seized the package and questioned both inmates. Their statements are provided below:

Inmate L's statement: Inmate M handed me a small package and told me to give it to Inmate N during lunchtime. I didn't know what was in it. Inmate M told me that if I didn't deliver the package, I would face physical harm later. Inmate M claimed that Inmate O had orchestrated the whole thing and that they were merely the messengers.

Inmate M's statement: I had no choice but to pass on the package to Inmate L. Inmate O is the one who should be investigated; they created the package and told me to ensure it reached Inmate N. They said I would regret it if I didn't do it. I did not open the package or know what was inside; I was just a courier.

Based ONLY on the above information, what difference between the two statements may be significant enough to examine further?
a. Why did Inmate M hand over the package?
b. Who created the package?
c. If Inmate L knew the content of the package?
d. There was no difference that required further examination.


The correct answer is C.
Answer A is incorrect since both inmates claim they acted under threat, so there's no discrepancy here to examine further.
Answer B is incorrect since both Inmate L and Inmate M point to Inmate O as the orchestrator. No difference here.
Answer C is correct since there is a crucial difference. Inmate L claims ignorance about the package's content, while Inmate M doesn't comment on whether Inmate L knew or not. Worth investigating further.

Ace the Massachusetts Correctional Officer Exam

The Massachusetts Correctional Officer I Exam is a challenging 3-hour multiple-choice exam consists of six areas that assess your grammar and accuracy skills, as well as his ability to gather, read, understand, analyze, explain, and apply information in various correctional officer scenarios.

Our PrepPack includes a wide collection of practice questions with scenarios tailored specifically to the Correctional Officer I Exam, as well as detailed explanations with expert tips to develop an answering strategy. Get access to 40+ practice tests and 7 study guides and video tutorials.


The following section in our Correctional Officer Free Practice Test is Memorization and Attention to Detail. Focus is essential, so make sure you are ready. Let’s proceed.


Memorization and Attention to Details - Sample Questions


Attention to Detail Questions

Press the Read Text button and carefully read the text. Once you finish, press on it again to hide the text, press the Show Question button, and answer the questions below out of memory.

Read Text

On a cold January evening, at approximately 7:30 pm, the somber silence of the Westfield Correctional Facility was abruptly shattered. An unexpected incident jolted the sprawling compound situated on Bluehaven Road. Officer Susan Linton, having recently completed her routine patrol, was alerted to a commotion emanating from the D-Block of the prison.
Upon arrival, she was met by the sight of a distressed inmate, named Matthew Brinkley, as per the records of his identification (ID: 5B342-256-68-593-1). Brinkley was found slumped over his workbench in the prison's carpentry workshop, surrounded by other inmates who stood back in apprehensive silence.
In accordance with the protocols, Officer Linton swiftly took charge of the situation. Noting the gravity of Brinkley's condition, she promptly alerted the prison's medical personnel and requested immediate assistance. Meanwhile, fellow correction officer Sergeant Thomas Reid, who had been stationed at the facility since early morning, was excused from the scene, sparing him additional stress from the unfolding event.
Sergeant Reid, before leaving, shared with Officer Linton a peculiar find. A small pouch of a suspicious white powder substance was discovered in the corner of Brinkley's workshop. Officer Linton seized the evidence, placing it securely in her care for further investigation.
The medical team arrived shortly, and Brinkley was moved to the facility's infirmary. As per the initial diagnosis of the medical officer, Brinkley had experienced a severe allergic reaction, the cause of which was yet to be determined.
In the subsequent hours, an intensive search was conducted in the D-Block and the carpentry workshop. Officer Linton led the search, which resulted in the discovery of more pouches containing the same white powder in various hidden corners of the workshop.
Upon testing, the substance was identified as a potent form of homemade narcotic, frequently referred to as 'Prison White'. This disturbing discovery led to a facility-wide crackdown and an internal investigation into the narcotics' origin.
Later that evening, under the watchful eye of Officer Linton, Brinkley regained consciousness and admitted his involvement in the narcotic production following his Miranda Rights reading. This incident initiated a necessary reform in the Westfield Correctional Facility, with increased vigilance on internal activities and the introduction of more stringent regulations to curb illicit activities.
In Westfield County, this episode served as a stark reminder of the challenges within correctional facilities and the constant vigilance required to maintain safety and order.

Show Question

What medical issue did Matthew Brinkley experience according to the initial diagnosis of the medical officer?

a. A Heart attack
b. A severe allergic reaction.
c. A stroke.
d. A severe mental breakdown.


The correct answer is B.

The story explicitly mentioned that "As per the initial diagnosis of the medical officer, Brinkley had experienced a severe allergic reaction, the cause of which was yet to be determined."
This indicates that, according to the medical staff at the facility, Brinkley's symptoms were consistent with an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions can be severe and life-threatening, causing various symptoms, including difficulty breathing, skin rashes, and loss of consciousness.
The other options in the question (a heart attack, a stroke, and a severe mental breakdown) were not mentioned or suggested in the story; hence, they are not the correct answer.

Show Question

What time did the incident occur at Westfield Correctional Facility?

a. 7:30 am
b. Approximately 7:30 pm
c. Late afternoon
d. At approximately Midnight


The correct answer is B.
The text clearly states, "On a cold January evening, at approximately 7:30 pm, the somber silence of the Westfield Correctional Facility was abruptly shattered."


Memory Practice Question Part 1

Study and memorize this sign for five minutes. After five minutes press the part 2 button and answer the questions. You may not take notes during the five-minute study period.

There is a greater likelihood of remembering multiple short sequences of numbers rather than one long sequence of numbers. It is also helpful to memorize number sequences by finding patterns within them.

Memory Practice Question Part 2

1. What street is the barber shop located on?

A. Main Street.

B. Howard Avenue.

C. Rose Lane.

D. Lincoln Avenue.


The correct answer is B.
The address of the barber shop is 4643 Howard Avenue.

Click here to refer back to the sign.

Sample of Memorization Devices for this Question Set

The challenge in this information set is memorizing the numbers.

You can pretty easily remember that the name of the Barber Shop is Guy and Dan's, and you may only need to repeat to yourself that it's on Howard Avenue four or five times for it to stick.

The same holds true for remembering that it is only closed on Saturday. The prices and hours seem pretty realistic, so you may find it easier just to remember these facts rather than to create a mnemonic.

Remembering the street number, 4643, or phone number, 888-555-3634, may be more challenging.

In general, it is easier to remember multiple short sequences of numbers than one long sequence of numbers.

Instead of trying to remember 4643, focus on the numbers 46 and 43 independently.

Finding patterns within the number sequences also helps to memorize them.

We can remember the phone number for example, as three 8's, three 5's. 3-6, 3-4.

It is also helpful to find or create significance for numbers.

Perhaps you know people who are 46, 43, 36 or 34 years old, or maybe it takes you between 34-36 minutes to drive to work. It's always easier to remember something with meaning.

If you cannot make an association, fabricate one.

Here you can tell yourself that your grandma is 3,634 years old - you may be surprised how well it works!


💡Note that, similar to Police memory tests, memorization questions can relate to written text, images, voice messages, and more. Nevertheless, the skills required are the same.

How to Prepare for the New Jersey Corrections Exam

If you are applying to become a Correctional Officer in New Jersey, you will have to successfully complete the challenging LEAB Test created by EB Jacobs. It is a challenging officer candidate exams that includes three sections: The Ability Test, The Work Styles Questionnaire, and The Life Experience Survey. 

To complete these sections you will have to dominate topics such as Written Expression, Written Comprehension, Problem Sensitivity, Deductive Reasoning, Inductive Reasoning, and Information Ordering.

Our NJ Correctional Officer Exam PrepPack has been developed by experts to help you ace the test with:

  • 30+ practice tests on all of the topics.
  • 6 detailed study guides.
  • Detailed explanations with the best answering methods. 



The final question type is Situational Judgment – where you are presented with a scenario and should demonstrate values and decision-making according to what is expected of correctional officers.


Situational Judgment - Sample Questions


Situational Judgement Question 1

It's 19:00, and you respond to a noise complaint about a group of teenagers engaging in a loud basketball game at the local basketball court. It's the fourth time this week that you have received a noise complaint about this basketball court, but when you arrive, you notice it is not the same group of teenagers playing loudly earlier this week.

Which of the following options is the MOST appropriate response?

a. End the game and send them home.
b. Tell them it's the fourth time this week that you got a noise complaint about basketball games at this court and issue a citation.
c. Warn them that next time, you will issue a citation.
d. Tell them you received a complaint and ask them to keep down the noise.


The correct answer is D.

You receive a noise complaint about a group of teenagers at a local basketball court. The scenario described above emphasizes that you have received several complaints regarding this location. However, this information is, in fact, irrelevant to the situation.
What is relevant is that you haven’t yet received complaints about this specific group of teenagers. That you haven't seen them before hints that you should be tolerant. Making noise is not a dangerous crime. In fact, likely, the teenagers didn't notice they were making so much noise. Therefore, simply explaining the situation and asking them to keep down the noise (response D) is the most efficient and appropriate response.
Reprimanding and using sanctions against the teenagers due to prior noise complaints against others (response B) is unfair and places the police in a bad light. This response is too harsh and, therefore, the worst response.
Warning the teenagers (response C) or ending their game (response A) are also harsh responses for a minor offense, especially one that is probably an innocent mistake and that could end peacefully with a simple request. However, they are not as harsh and damaging as response B.


Situational Judgement Question 2

A manufacturing company recently implemented new machinery for the assembly line, which requires precise operation to ensure safety and productivity. An experienced operator, Sarah, observes that her colleague, Mark, has been struggling with the new machinery and has made several errors that could lead to product defects or safety issues.

Which of the following options would be the LEAST appropriate action for Sarah to take concerning her colleague, Mark?
a. Offer to train Mark on how to use the new machinery effectively.
b. Request that Mark be transferred to a different department.
c. Restrict Mark from operating the machinery unless supervised.
d. Show Mark the best practices for using the new machinery through a demonstration.


The correct answer is B.

Answer A: Offer to train Mark to use the new machinery effectively. This option addresses the issue directly by allowing Mark to learn and improve. While not resolving the issue immediately, it's a constructive approach that aims for long-term improvement.
Answer B: Request that Mark be transferred to a different department. This is the least appropriate action. It does not resolve the issue of Mark's mistakes or lack of knowledge of the machinery. Instead, it potentially risks another department and leaves the underlying problem unaddressed.
Answer C Restrict Mark from operating the machinery unless supervised. While this may seem drastic, it directly addresses the issue of safety and product quality. Until Mark becomes competent, this is a precautionary step to minimize mistakes.
Answer D Show Mark best practices for using the new machinery through a demonstration. This is a proactive approach to help Mark understand the correct procedures and improve. It serves both an educational and corrective function.


Correctional Officer Situational Judgment questions may include corrections officer-specific content, general law enforcement and civil service content, or other content like industrial and office scenarios. Our PrepPacks include different scenarios, with detailed explanations and guides on approaching and choosing appropriate responses.

Correctional Officer Test Prep

JobTestPrep employs a team of cognitive specialists to create the most accurate and comprehensive correctional officer written exam practice test preparation around.

Each correctional officer prep test is thoroughly researched and frequently updated to ensure that you get the most accurate and comprehensive test practice available. All the questions in the preparation include detailed answers and explanations, many of which relate directly to civil service and police work

The prep also includes 5 detailed correctional officer exam study guides that will help you grasp the theory behind the practice on basic math topics such as Formulas and Decimals and a Memory study guide that will improve your recollection strategies.

List of Correctional Officer Exams Preps by States

NYS Corrections Officer Exam Practice 

In order to qualify as a New York State corrections officer, candidates are required to complete a 3.5-hour exam comprising of 100 multiple-choice correctional officer test questions that assess their abilities in four key areas: Applying Written Information, Preparing Written Material, Observing and Recalling Facts and Information, and Understanding and Interpreting Written Information. A minimum score of 70% is necessary to pass the exam.

Click to prepare for the NYS Correction Officers exam. The page includes free NYS Correction officer exam practice test questions.

California - CDCR Written Exam Practice

Prospective candidates seeking employment with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) are required to successfully complete an examination comprising three sections: Written Comprehension, Mathematics, and Situational Judgement Test. The exam consists of 53 multiple-choice questions in total and must be completed within 1 hour and 45 minutes. 

A minimum score of 70% is mandatory to pass the test. It is pertinent to note that in the event of a failure, the applicant's application will be delayed by a minimum of 3 months.

Click to prepare for the CDCR Written Exam. The page includes a free California Correctional Officer practice test.

New Jersey Corrections Officer Written Exam Practice

There are four components of the NJ Correctional Officer written test, including a Cognitive Ability Test (which includes Written Expression and Comprehension, Problem Sensitivity, Deductive & Inductive Reasoning, and Information Ordering), a Work Style Questionnaire, and Life Experience Survey. The cognitive ability section consists of 50 multiple-choice questions with a two-hour time limit.

Click to see more information on the New Jersey Corrections Exam.

Michigan - EMPCO Corrections Test Practice 

In order to assess the qualifications of corrections officers, EMPCO uses the National Corrections Officer Selection Inventory (NCOSI). The test is computer-based and has a 1.5-hour time limit.

There are two measurement domains that are assessed in the test: Cognitive skills which include the ability to reason mathematically, reading comprehension, and written communication.

A Behavioral Orientation Test that assesses stress tolerance, interpersonal ability, team orientation, assertiveness, and integrity.

Click to see more information on the EMPCO exam. The page includes correction officer exam practice test questions.

Correctional Officer Physical Test 

There are various names and structures for the Correction Officer Physical Test.

In Michigan, it’s called the Local Corrections Officer Physical Abilities Test (LCOPAT) and focuses on strength and stamina. The test requirements are: 1. Weight Carry. 2. Stair Climb. 3. Obstacle Run. 4. Peg Board. 5. Dummy Drag. 6. Lie-down / Stand-ups.

In Washington, it’s called the Physical Ability Test and focuses on speed and basic strength. It includes: 1. Push-ups - 90 seconds. 2. Sit-ups - 90 seconds. 3. Squat Thrusts - 3 minutes.

In California, it’s called the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) and it focuses more on strength and endurance. The requirements are:

  • Run a 500-yard track.
  • Complete a mini obstacle course and a set of stairs.
  • Carry two 45-pound hand-held weights for 50 yards.
  • Carry one 45-pound weight for 75 yards.
  • Carry one 30-pound weight for 110 yards and set it down.

Due to these differences, the best way to prepare for the physical ability test is to research the requirements in the local area you have submitted the application and focus your training on these requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Good Score On The Correctional Officer Exam?

In most states, a score of 70% or higher is required for passing the correctional officer test. The higher your score, the greater your chances of successfully completing the recruitment process and landing a job in a correctional facility.

What Type of Correctional Officer Test Should I Take?

It is necessary to take a test specific to your state of residence in order to become a correctional officer. In some cases, the state may provide its own exam. Contact your local justice department for more information about the test you will be taking.

Correction Officer - Additional Practice

Choose your Correction Officer exam practice or go to our Civil Service page to learn about other job opportunities across the United States. 

You can also visit our Free Police Exam Practice page if you are interested in joining a different police officer position.




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