California Correctional Officer Exam (CDCR) Practice [2022]

The CDCR correction officer practice pack was created by our experienced psychologists, based on thorough research and after getting feedback from hundreds of candidates. 

What is the Correctional Officer Exam?

The Correctional Officer Exam is the first test you'll be required to take when submitting an application to become a Corrections Officer. The written examination assesses a variety of skills required for the role:

  • Written Comprehension/ English Skills- Questions that assess written expression and reading comprehension. That is, your ability to understand verbal information and use correct grammatical structure to express ideas in a clear and precise way. This ability is important, for example, when frequently writing and reading incident reports. 
  • Math Skills– Questions that involve basic arithmetic calculations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and word problems. This includes scheduling questions, in which you'll be asked to make basic calculations on presented time schedules. 
  • Situational Judgment and Rules-  Questions that assess your decision-making and the ability to act appropriately in different scenarios. specifically, on some questions, you will receive a preceding description of rules so that you'll have to choose the appropriate response accordingly. 

The California Corrections Officer written test also called the CDCR written exam has 53 multiple-choice questions, that must be solved in an hour and 45 minutes. To pass this test, candidates must score 70% or higher on the examination results. Otherwise, failing the CDCR written examination delays your application for at least 3 months. 

Can you use a calculator on the correctional officer test?

You will not be allowed to use a calculator on the CDCR written test. When entering the written examination room (in case you take it face to face), you'll be asked to put aside any personal belongings. For that reason, it is important to sharpen basic mathematical skills (mainly subtraction and addition) expected to be performed without a calculator.  

Learn more about Civil Service Tests at our main Civil Service exam page

CDCR Written Exam Questions

As mentioned, there are various types of questions on the CDCR Written Exam:

  • Sequencing: This section will ask you to sequence sentences to form the most logical paragraph.
    For example: 

    1. Therefore, before traveling make sure you are registered for travel with the US Department of State.
    2. The responsibility of the department includes issuing US passports as well as supporting American business abroad.
    3. While abroad, citizens can find help and such services at the local US Embassy or consulate.
    4. The US Department of State provides services for US citizens traveling abroad.

    Select the sequence that represents the most appropriate and logical ordering of the sentences above:

    a. 2-4-1-3
    b. 2-3-4-1
    c. 4-2-1-3
    d. 4-2-3-1

    View Answer:

    The correct answer is d (4-2-3-1)

    The first step when answering this question is to read all of the sentences once through and see if you can easily identify the introduction, conclusion, and supporting sentences.

    If you look closely at the answer choices, "therefore" indicates a concluding thought, so it should be at the end of the paragraph. Also, since sentence 3 starts with "while", it implies elaborating on the introduced idea. That leaves us with two options for the opening- 2 and 4. Sentence two is a support sentence, because it provides detailed information, while sentence 4 is an introduction sentence since it describes the main subject, services of the US department of state, more generally.

    When solving such questions, remember- a great paragraph introduces the idea (introduction sentences) then has 2-3 supporting the idea (supporting sentences) and summarizes the information given (closing sentence).

The written exam sample question above is taken from our full preparation pack. Start practicing to get practice questions with answers and tips for many more types of questions on the test. 

  • Schedules: In these questions, you will be shown various schedules and be asked to draw a conclusion based on the given time schedules.
  • Document Reading: as a corrections officer, you will come across many work forms on a daily basis. To assess your ability to interpret and apply the information found in various documents you will be presented with several types of forms. Your task in each instance is to select the paragraph that describes the form information most accurately, clearly, and completely.
  • Identifying Differences: These questions involve your ability to differentiate between objects, people, events and statements. You will be presented with a picture followed by one or more copies of the original. You will need to identify the differences between the original and each of the offshoots. Another type of item involves identifying the difference between two statements that describe an incident.
  • Following Rules: Within the CDCR test, you will find a set of rules followed by a scenario. You will need to apply the rules to answer the questions concerning the scenario. Similar items present a set of rules followed by a completed form. Answer the questions involving the form by applying the rules.
  • Grammar/Spelling: For these questions, you will need to read a passage and be able to identify if there is a spelling or grammatical error
  • Mathematics: These may be either word problems that involve topics such as distance, time, and money, or number drills. All Mathematical questions on the written test require basic mathematics such as subtraction and addition. 
  • Situational Judgment: You will be presented with a passage. Select the most effective/least effective action to take in alleviating a specific problem contained within the passage.

Who is required to take the CDCR Written Test?

The California Corrections Written exam is administered to applicants for the following positions: Correctional Officer (CO), Youth Correctional Officer (YCO) and Youth Correctional Counselor (YCC). 

Preparing for the CDCR Written Exam

You can thoroughly prepare for the CDCR pre-employment test by taking California correctional officer practice tests containing accessible answers and solving strategies. JobTestPrep's customized CDCR practice pack offers a wide range of practice materials.

Please keep in mind that certain sections from the actual test will not appear on the practice CDCR exams we provide. The sections that we do not offer include identifying differences between pictures, choosing the correct description of a given scenario, and answering questions about how to fill out forms. Although we do not provide such questions directly, our CA corrections officers preparation sharpens language and math skills closely related to your ability to answer these questions as well.  


Other CDCR Facilities
Avenal State Prison California City Correctional Facility California Correctional Center California Correctional Institution
California Health Care Facility California Institution for Men California Institution for Women California Medical Facility
California Men’s Colony California Rehabilitation Center Calipatria State Prison Centinela State Prison
Central California Women’s Facility Chuckawalla Valley State Prison Correctional Training Facility California State Prison, Corcoran
California State Prison, Los Angeles County California State Prison, Sacramento California State Prison, Solano Deuel Vocational Institution
Folsom State Prison High Desert State Prison Ironwood State Prison Kern Valley State Prison
Mule Creek State Prison North Kern State Prison Pelican Bay State Prison Pleasant Valley State Prison
Richard J Donovan Correctional Facility Salinas Valley State Prison San Quentin State Prison Sierra Conservation Center
Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Valley State Prison Wasco State Prison -
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