Nelson-Denny Reading Test Prep: Practice Tests

The Nelson-Denny Test

In the fields of law enforcement and emergency services, it is essential to have the necessary skills to carry out daily tasks such as reading reports, following written directions, and suspect descriptions./p>

The Nelson-Denny test (NDRT) is comprised of primary reading material geared to entry-level police work and academy training. It's purpose is to ensure that those hired to enforce the laws of the land possess the reading level necessary to do the job effectively.

The NDRT is currently used by numerous law enforcement agencies like: Albuquerque PD, Pennsylvania State troopers, North Carolina Wildlife Law Enforcement, and plenty more.

NDRT Time Limit

The greatest difficulty in succeeding on the NDRT is the time limitation. The entire test, consisting of approximately 128 items, is limited to 35 minutes.

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What is on the Nelson-Denny Reading Test For Law Enforcement?

Expect a multiple-choice format for each of the two main sections: vocabulary and reading comprehension.

In each section, the questions are followed by a selection of five possible answers. You are tasked with selecting the best answer to each item.

The Nelson-Denny test assessment involves the ranking of each candidate's rate of reading, vocabulary skills, and reading comprehension ability.

NDRT Score

Your score is based solely on correct responses. Since there is no penalty for wrong answers, it is to your benefit to answer every question, even guessing if necessary.

Each correct item in the vocabulary section counts as one point, whereas each right answer on the Reading Comprehension tallies as two points. The final score is the sum of the results of both parts.


Nelson-Denny Reading Section

Expect five to eight reading passages and between 36 to 38 questions. The time frame for this portion of the NDRT is 20 minutes. Each passage is approximately a half-page in length.

Two basic assessments are included in the Reading Comprehension portion of the NDRT:

  • Ability to understand the literal meaning of the written material
  • Ability to infer from the information contained in the passage.

The items require a recall of facts, analysis, summary, or conclusion based solely on the facts included in the scenario presented.

Nelson-Denny Vocabulary Section

The Vocabulary section is comprised of 80 to 100 items to be answered in 15 minutes. A word will be presented either alone or in the context of a phrase or sentence.

From the set of alternatives that follow the question, select the one response that best fits the definition of the initial word.

Vocabulary Sample Questions

Augment most nearly means:

A. Repent
B. Concise
C. Improve
D. Amplify
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

Augment means add to something, to enlarge or increase. Therefore, Amplify is closest in meaning.

Surmount most nearly means:

A. Add
B. Hill
C. Remainder
D. Overcome
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The word surmount has two meanings: (1) To be on top of something, (2) To deal with something successfully.

The word overcome is similar to the second definition and is therefore the correct answer.


How Do I Study For The Nelson Denny Test?

As you work through test sample questions, you refresh your vocabulary and gain a greater comfort level with the process of reading passages, recalling information, and drawing conclusions from the written material.

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