Ultimate Guide to Acing the Entrance Exam
Asif FBI Special Agent Exam Expert

Asif, FBI Special Agent Exam expert at JobTestPrep.

Have a question? Contact me at: ask_asif@jobtestprep.com

What Is on the FBI Test?

The FBI Phase I Test, also named the FBI Special Agent Exam, is a three-hour FBI written test consisting of cognitive, behavioral, and logical reasoning tests.

It is similar to other aptitude tests, except for its long duration- but is a must if you want to get into the FBI academy in Quantico.

The test format includes right or wrong answers, multiple choice, and a personality test. 

There are 5 sections to the FBI Test. Lets check them out!


FBI Special Agent Exam Sample Questions

Situational Judgment Test

This section contains several descriptions of a specific"problem situation," followed by a list of actions that one might take in that situation. The candidate is required to rate the effectiveness of each action (from most effective to ineffective) based on his or her personal judgment. These questions measure candidates' abilities to relate effectively with others, adapt to changing environments, organize and prioritize, and evaluate information in order to make a decision. There are 19 questions in this section of the FBI test.

Question 1 - SJT

You are doing a performance evaluation for Janet, one of your team supervisors. Which of the following should you avoid doing during the review?

A. Examining her ability to manage time and resources
B. Keeping your negative feedback as general as possible
C. Asking her about her own career goals
D. Talking about how she responds to your authority as a manager
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer


The answer is B.

  • Core competency: encouraging employees’ development
  • Secondary competencies: supervising performance, effective communication

This is a question about employees’ training and development, as well as your need to supervise their performance. More specifically, the question discusses appropriate and effective ways to provide feedback. The question asks what you should avoid.

Employees’ ability to manage time and resources (response A) is relevant to their work effectiveness. Hence, it is relevant and beneficial to address this aspect of their work in their review.

Providing feedback and suggesting strategies could help them improve their work and become more efficient.

Response B implies that since receiving negative feedback could feel uncomfortable, it’s better to keep it general and thus avoid hurting the employee. However, general feedback is less effective – it’s vague, might be less coherent, and can be misunderstood easily.

Moreover, the more general the feedback is, the more room for the employee to guess what you really mean or feel your discomfort in providing this feedback. Your avoidance could make a big deal out of something that could be simpler. In short, providing clear and specific feedback is more effective.

This response is the one that should be avoided. That being said, providing negative feedback should indeed be done with sensitivity, focusing on improvements rather than pointing out errors.

This response lacks effective communication skills and could also make you seem to lack confidence.

Responses C and D could seem very personal – addressing your employee’s personal goals or discussing her relationship with you. However, before you cross out one of these options based on a hunch, try to approach each one calmly and consider it analytically. Are there any situations in which these topics could be relevant?

An employee’s career goals (response C) are a relevant topic for discussion. One of your goals as a manager is to help employees develop professionally, for both the benefit of the organization and the employee. Discussing your supervisor’s goals enables you to both establish shared goals and direct your supervisor’s development (tasks she would be assigned to, professional courses she may take, etc.) accordingly.

Your supervisor’s acceptance of authority (response D) is relevant to your ability to work together. Employees’ acceptance of authority is essential for their ability to work under management. While differences of opinion and disagreements will happen and – if discussed appropriately – could contribute additional views and ideas; however, when your supervisor refuses authority, or the relationship is rocky, work can be much more difficult.

Question 2 - SJT

Joyce supervises a team of 10 people. One of her team members, Bernard, is a careful and thorough employee. Yesterday, however, he has made a minor yet crucial error which caused a delay of 5 hours in the production process of one of the products. Joyce explained the error and its consequences relatively gently to him. Denise, a more careless employee who tends to err, got upset and said: “You are harsh on me for every little mistake and I never caused such a catastrophe!” Later on that day, Joyce spoke with Denise and explained that while it causes discomfort, she responds more strictly with her because she consistently tends to not pay attention.
What do you think about Joyce’s unequal responses to her employees’ errors?

A. Appropriate. Employees should mind how they behave and not comment on how their supervisor treats other employees.
B. Inappropriate. The employee is clearly discouraged by all the reprimands she received. It's better to cut her some slack for a while.
C. Inappropriate. Fairness requires that the severity of the response fits the severity of the damage caused by the error.
D. Appropriate. Supervisors should consider their employee's personality characteristics and past behavior when responding to it.
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer


Best response: D
Core competencies:
Secondary competencies:
flexibility and adaptability, building and maintaining relationships, encouraging employees' development, openness to criticism

In this scenario, you are told about a supervisor who is faced with criticism. You are asked to judge the supervisor’s behavior, but of course, you are actually asked about yourself. Notice that the answer choices split into two which agree with the described response and two which disagree with it. Every couple of responses differs by the rationalization of the response – this means that the reasons for the behavior are important here as well.

In response A, you send out a message that employees can’t discuss their feelings with you, that Criticism is unwanted and can’t be discussed. Whether or not Denise’s criticism is justified, you should take it seriously and check the matter. As you want to maintain a good work relationship with your employees, you want them to feel comfortable talking to you if they need.

On the other hand, when an employee does criticize you, you should check the legitimacy of their complaint. The rationalization of response B suggests that the reason for the inappropriateness of Joyce’s behavior is that Denise is feeling bad about being reprimanded. However, this is not a legitimate reason. While Joyce should make the effort to be respectful even while disciplining her employees, she shouldn’t hold back her opinion.

Response C is insufficient. The severity of the damage caused by the error is indeed an important factor in the decision how to respond to employees' error. However, when disciplining employees, just as when developing their abilities and tutoring them, supervisors should take their personal characteristics into consideration and adapt accordingly, as response D suggests. In this case, an employee who is being careless time and time again should be handled more strictly than an employee who is usually very careful and has made one mistake, which happened to be crucial. This kind of employee is likely to have realized already the magnitude of his actions and since he is already thorough, there isn’t much to teach here. A careless employee, however, has to learn to be more careful (encouraging development, discipline).

Each SJT question is meant to assess your problem-solving skills, as well as your core values & competencies. The Phase I PrepPack comes with 43 test-accurate SJT questions - and each of those comes with a fully detailed explanation including the core values and competencies the question looks for, so you can improve your performance during your actual test.

Logic-Based Reasoning

This section of the FBI test contains several passages that present a set of facts followed by a specific statement or question. Candidates must decide which of the five response choices best suits the statement.

Statements come in three varieties: "All" Statements, "No" Statements, and "Some" Statements. Knowing how these statement types interact with each other and themselves is crucial to passing this section.

This section contains 11 questions. It is highly recommended to practice for the FBI logical reasoning test before taking the exam.

Question 3 - Logical Deductions

All Poverty-stricken people suffer from multiple physical illnesses. All people with multiple physical illnesses are displeased with their life.

Conclusion: People pleased with their life are not poverty-stricken.

Does the conclusion follow from the information given?

1. Conclusion follows
2. Conclusion does not follow
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer


Conclusion follows.

A = poverty-stricken people

B = people who suffer from multiple physical illnesses

C = People pleased with their life

¬C = people displeased (not pleased) with their life (¬ means "not").

According to the premises: all A -> B and all B -> ¬C. This also means all A -> ¬C.

The conclusion states all C (people pleased with their life) -> ¬A, which equals A -> ¬C. Remember the NOT Triangle: A generalizing statement (all A -> are B) is logically equivalent to the transposed negative formulation of the same statement (all not B -> not A).


As mentioned, passing this section requires you to build a basis of logic based reasoning skills.

This means understanding how different statements follow/negate/do not follow each other.

For example: "All X are Y" does not follow from "All Y are X". This means that if the second statement is true, the first one may be true, or it may not be true.

However, "Some Y are X" does follow from "All Y are X". This means that if the second statement is true, the first one must be true as well.

In addition, "No Y are X" is negated by "All Y are X". This means that if the second statement is true, the first one cannot be true.

The FBI Phase I Preparation Pack includes 2 study guides to introduce you to teach you this subject in detail, and 6 practice tests including 66 Logic-Based Reasoning Questions for you to practice, as well as 7 additional extra practice tests to help you boost your level once you finish the others.


Figural Reasoning

This section assesses your ability to use problem-solving and reasoning to identify the shape or image that logically fits the pattern. The questions will contain a sequence of shapes and patterns. There will be 9 questions in this section.

Question 4 - Figural Reasoning

Identify the missing symbol following the logical sequence of the matrix.
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer


The answer is 4.

Across the rows, each frame is the mirror image of the frame preceding it.

In order to find the answer choice, find the mirror image of the bottom-middle frame.

Alternatively, as you move across the rows and down the columns, the frames switch colors. Blue square change to white squares and vice versa.

Answer choice 4 is, therefore, the correct answer.


All the practice questions on our complete FBI Phase 1 PrepPack™ come with thorough explanations and solving tips, just like you've seen above. These will help you learn the most efficient solving techniques for each and every question.

Personality Assessment

The personality assessment measures aspects of your personality to identify those that possess traits necessary to be a successful  FBI special agent. There will be 100 statements in this section.

For each question, you will be shown a pair of statements with four options between: Agree with A/Slightly Agree with A/Slightly Agree with B/Agree with B.

I like helping others. | Agree | Slightly Agree | | Slightly Agree | Agree | I am a very organized person.


Note that this personality test is adaptive, which means your responses affect the questions that will be shown to you during the test.

The FBI Test Prep Pack includes a full section on Personality Profiling. It includes a detailed guide to the specific FBI Personality Test, full personality practice test with detailed feedback, and single trait drills to help you learn how to showcase your best qualities during the FBI personality test.

Preferences and Interests

This test gathers information about your personal attitudes toward a variety of statements. This section contains 37 questions.

What Are the Challenges to Passing the FBI Entrance Exam?

The question types on this 3-hour test are unconventional, and in some cases even tricky. They require you to stay on your toes throughout the entire exam and use sharp reasoning, fast-thinking, and strong attention to detail (just like a real FBI Special Agent). And that's before even mentioning the personality test!

The FBI Test Pass Rate

The FBI Entrance Exam has a 30% passing rate. If you fail to pass the test for the first time, you'll have a second chance to retest 90 days after your final test session. If you fail it for the second time, your application for the FBI Special Agent position will be permanently deactivated.

FBI Special Agent Hiring Process

The hiring process for FBI Special Agent roles is lengthy and may take from as little as several months to more than a year. Here's a breakdown of the process:


The first step in the hiring process for FBI special agents is submitting your online application. When filling out the form, be prepared to answer questions about specialized skills, professional experiences, and your willingness to commit to the FBI and its mission. Additionally, you must complete physical fitness evaluation, in accordance with the FBI's physical fitness requirements, as part of the initial application.

Phase I Test

Those who meet initial pre-screening and eligibility requirements are asked to take the Phase I Test. The FBI Phase I Test is a three-hour exam consisting of cognitive, behavioral, and logical reasoning tests. If you pass, you will be invited to a "Meet and Greet" interview. During the meeting, you will learn more about the Special Agent Selection System and be evaluated by a recruitment team.

Internal Review

After passing Phase I testing and completing the "Meet and Greet," you will be reviewed by an internal FBI hiring board regarding your ability to meet the current needs of the FBI.

Phase II Test and Interview

After passing this review, you will be contacted to complete Phase II, which consists of two parts—a writing task and a structured interview. Phase II Writing is a 90-minute written exam meant to test your ability to analyze data and prepare a comprehensive report. At the beginning of the exercise, you will be given a set of background materials to use. The Phase II Structured Interview is a one-hour, structured oral panel interview. This interview is designed to measure critical skills and abilities.

Conditional Job Offer and Physical Fitness Test

Once you pass the Phase II tests, you are extended a conditional job offer (CJO). Upon accepting the CJO, you will be scheduled to take the official physical fitness Test (PFT)—a rigorous physical examination administered in accordance with strict FBI protocol. CJOs are contingent upon successfully passing the PFT, physical, and background investigation.

JobTestPrep's FBI Practice Tests - Your Proven Prep to Ace the Phase 1 Test

Continue practicing with the complete FBI Entrance Exam PrepPack™ (updated for 2023) and become one of the 30% who pass the FBI test.

Prep with full-length practice tests simulating the real testing experience. Get access to exclusive resources on logical deductions, situational judgment, and a biodata inventory study guide all geared towards prepping you for your upcoming FBI exam.

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About FBI Phase 2

While the FBI Phase 1 Test evaluates your cognitive abilities, professional judgment, and personality, the FBI Phase 2 Test assesses your practical application skills. The FBI Phase 2 Test consists of a writing assessment and a structured interview. 

While the FBI Phase 1 Test evaluates your cognitive abilities, professional judgment, and personality, the FBI Phase 2 Test assesses your practical application skills. The FBI Phase 2 Test consists of a writing assessment and a structured interview.

The test consists of a 150-minute writing assessment and a 1-hour interview. you can add the phase 2 test prep when you buy FBI Phase 1 using the tick mark on the box to the right.

To learn more about the FBI Phase 2 Test, please visit our FBI Phase 2 dedicated page.





What Do Those Who Score High on the FBI Test Receive?

Receiving a high score on the FBI entrance exam may increase your chances of gaining employment with the FBI. That's because your phase 1 test score will be kept in your candidate file, and will likely carry weight on the final hiring decision.

Once you get hired, the starting salary for an FBI special agent is $47,630. The FBI provides its employees with health benefits, a thrifts savings plan, life insurance, and time off for vacation and sick leave, with an additional 10 days off for federal holidays.

How Do I Prepare for the FBI Exam?

The best way to prepare for the FBI exam is by practicing solving the same question types that are found on the real test. Moreover, it's crucial to prepare using the actual time constraints.

In our complete FBI Test Prep, you can find hundreds of practice questions similar to the ones you'll face on the real FBI Phase 1 Test. These questions are equipped with full explanations and tips, to provide you with the best preparation process.

How Many Times Can You Take the FBI Exam?

If you don't pass the FBI Phase 1 Test on your first try, you'll be eligible to retake after 90 days. Note that not all candidates will be invited for a retest. If you fail the test twice, your application will be terminated and you'll be ineligible for future consideration for the Special Agent position.

How Hard is the FBI Phase 1 Test?

The FBI Phase 1 Test, also named the FBI Test, is a tough exam, and only around 30% of test-takers manage to pass it. It lasts for 3 hours and includes various challenging questions, ranging from logic-based to behavioral questions.


How Many Candidates Fail Phase 1 FBI Test

It's estimated that around 70% of the FBI Phase 1 test-takers fail the exam every year. Some get a second chance to retake it in 90 days, but there are candidates who are ineligible for a retest and their application terminates once they fail the exam.

If you are looking for a different test, or are not sure which test is relevant for your position, check out our Civil Service practice questions or contact us, and we'll do our best to ensure you get the most accurate preparation for your upcoming exam.


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