National Police Officer Selection Test (NPOST) Prep
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The National Police Officer Selection Test was created by Stanard & Associates as an entry-level basic skills test for law enforcement agencies. The NPOST is used by a variety of municipal, county, state and federal agencies looking for police officers. It has been mandated as the statewide entry-level test by the states of Iowa and Utah.

The NPOST exam measures basic skills in math, reading and writing. The POST is made up of four separately-timed test sections. The first three sections utilize multiple choice and true/false formats. The fourth section requires you to write out your answer in a complete sentence. 

Please note that while we do not provide an exact test simulation, our PrepPack™ is customized in a way that provides excellent comprehensive practice. Using our practice resources and study guides will significantly improve your chances of acing the test.

NPOST Section I - Mathematics

In this section of the NPOST exam you will be required to use basic arithmetic. You will be presented with word problems. You will have to read each situation and solve the problem. You are not allowed to use a calculator in this section, scratch paper will be provided.

This section consists of 20 questions and you will have 20 minutes to answer the questions.

Mathematics Sample Question 1

How much is 8% of 116?

A. 3.9

B. 61

C. 9.28

D. 11.2



We know that 10% of 116 is 11.6. This already indicates that the two feasible options are 9.28 and 11.2. However, since the question asks how much is 8% rather than 10% this means that the solution has to be lower and therefore the correct answer is 9.28.

The correct answer is 9.28


Mathematics Sample Question 2

30/50 - 14/25=?

A. 3/50

B. 1/2

C. 1/25

D. 1/5

E. 16/25



Simplify 30/50 by dividing by 2, which equals 15/25:

30/50 - 14/25 = 15/25 - 14/25 = 1/25, which means answer C is correct.


Mathematics Sample Question 3

11x + x = 44 + 100

Find x.

A. 11

B. 12

C. 13

D. 14

E. 15



11x + x = 44 + 100 / Combine like terms
12x = 144 / Divide both sides by 12 to eliminate x's coefficient
12x/12 = 144/12
x = 144/12
To ease the calculation, find two numbers composing 144, which are easier to divide by 12. For example,
144 = 120 + 24 / Divide each number by 12.
120/12 = 10
24/12 = 2
Add the results of both divisions:
x = 10 + 2

x = 12

Therefore, the correct answer is B.

  • The NPOST preparation pack includes 9 full mathematics practice tests, with solving guides for every single question. These teach you the methods to quickly and accurately solve each one, so on the day of the test you'll be fully prepared!

NPOST Section II - Reading Comprehension

This section measures reading comprehension. You will read passages relating to police duty and then answer questions based on these passages. No prior knowledge of law or law enforcement is needed to answer the questions. All the information needed to answer the questions will be provided in the passage. There are three different types of questions that will be asked in this section.

  1. True/False questions in which a statement will be given concerning a passage or sample report form. The statement will either be accurate and true based on a passage or form, or the statement will be inaccurate and false according to a passage or form.
  2. Questions in which you will be asked to choose the correct answer according to the information presented in a passage or on a sample report form.
  3. Questions in which you will be asked to choose the alternative that best completes the sentence. Answers should be based on the information in the passage or on the report form.

There are 25 questions in this section and you will have 25 minutes to answer them.

Reading Comprehension Sample Question 1

Settling a dispute over something you bought can often seem like a David vs. Goliath battle minus the sling. Legal action might be just a minor inconvenience to multinationals, but small traders or ordinary customers often find it a lengthy and costly process. Nowadays there are other expedient options such as the alternative dispute resolution system. The purpose of this system is to find a solution outside court by using a third party, such as a mediator, to negotiate between consumers and traders.

During the conciliation process, both you and the supplier will be asked to give written details of the complaint, including any evidence, and the conciliator will give an opinion on the best solution. Any decision is not binding and won't prevent you from taking court action. If you disagree with the opinion offered, you can then proceed to the arbitration stage or consider suing in court.

Joshua took part in a conciliation process. This most likely means that he is...

A. At the end stage of a negotiation process

B. Pursuing charges against a supplier

C. Involved in a dispute with a supplier

D. Prevented from taking court action



The second paragraph describes a conciliation process. We may choose to create a simple diagram that illustrates the sequence of events that occur before, during and after a conciliation process has taken place: dispute between you and a supplier → conciliation (you provide evidence and the conciliator offers solution) → If you disagree then you proceed to either legal action or arbitration. After examining the diagram, we can exclude distracter A as the correct answer- conciliation is not necessarily the end stage of a negotiation process. Distracter B is also incorrect since pursuing charges against the supplier is a possible result at the end of a conciliation process but is not part of the conciliation process itself. Distracter D is also incorrect since Joshua is not prevented from taking court action. The correct answer is: Joshua is involved in a dispute with a supplier (answer C).


Reading Comprehension Sample Question 2

Major websites have developed a new—and legal—technique to track users’ online activities, known as a ‘supercookie’, a powerful device capable of re-creating user profiles even after people delete the regular cookies and which is impossible for computer users to detect. While many companies have been criticized for selling private data online, some sites that use supercookies said supercookie tracking was inadvertent and they would cease using it. Some websites, which were notified that they had been using supercookies, announced Wednesday they would immediately investigate the technique. Knowing Web-browsing history can provide advertisers with information about people’s interests, locations and finances, Parliament has debated ways to protect consumer privacy.

Statement: There are certain privacy laws that protect the online activities of users.

A. True

B.  False

C. Cannot Say



We know that supercookies are legal, and we also know that Parliament has debated ways to protect consumer privacy. However, we cannot infer that there are any specific rules that restrict the use of information tracking technologies, nor rules that protect online user activities.

Therefore, The answer is Cannot Say.


Reading Comprehension Sample Question 3

Admired university lecturers that benefit from a good reputation among students tend to concentrate on core subjects and have a carefully planned and an inflexible developmental trajectory while their teaching methods and class requirements continuously adapt to contemporary themes. Distinguished lecturers differentiate between invulnerable resources and ephemeral themes. They blend topical substances into their long established course material but will never eliminate a focal topic due to low current relevance. Having both the experience to concentrate on the essence and the motivation to stimulate students is what make these lecturers successful.

Which of the following contradicts the content of the passage?

A. Some lecturers are appreciated by their students

B. Admired lecturers have predetermined course materials

C. Reputable lecturers incorporate current themes in their classes



In order to answer this question it is recommended to examine each distracter individually in order to decide whether it adheres to the passage or contradicts it. Statement A- adheres to the passage as the passage focuses on university lecturers 'that benefit from a good reputation amongst students'. Therefore, we can conclude that some lecturers are admired by their students. Statement B- the passage describes admired lecturers as lecturers that 'blend topical substances into their long established course material'. In other words, they have a degree of inflexibility in their course materials but they do tend to incorporate contemporary themes into their pre-planned course materials. Thus, statement B contradicts the passage. Statement C adheres to the passage as a direct result of the contradictive nature of statement B.

  •  To answer questions about the message/content of passages, the best method is to put the message of the text into your own words and then use that to answer the question.

NPOST Section III - Grammar

This section of the exam requires you to identify errors in grammar, punctuation, or spelling. There are two types of questions presented in this section.

  • The first type presents incomplete sentences and you are to choose the alternative that best completes the sentence. For these items, be sure to read carefully any material appearing before or after the item. The right answer may be dependent on this material.
  • The second type of question presents sentences that contain a spelling error and you are to choose the alternative that contains the misspelled word.

There are 20 questions in this section of the test. You will have 15 minutes to answer them.


Grammar Sample Question 1

What change should be made to the following sentence?

The President of the United States sent a letter to his wife, asking her whether their son returned from college so they could fly to Hawaii for vacation.

A. Make the first letter of "president" lowercase

B. Change "their" to "they're"

C. Change "for" to "on"

D. No correction is necessary



Answer (A) is correct because the word "president" should only be capitalized when it precedes a name, for example: President Lincoln.
Answer (B) is incorrect because in the sentence, the president is asking his wife about their son, who is not related to the reader. The sentence summarizes the letter, and does not quote from it.
Answer (C) is incorrect because "on vacation" and “for vacation” mean the same thing.


Grammar Sample Question 2

What change should be made to the following sentence?

When training for the army, one should consider not only the rigorous physical demands but also the emotional toil, should he enlist.

A. Remove the comma after "army"

B. Change "but also" to "in addition"

C. Change "he" to "one"

D. No correction is necessary



Answer (C) is correct because if the sentence starts with the word "one" as its subject pronoun, it is not logical to switch to the pronoun "he."
Answer (A) is incorrect because a comma is needed to separate the subordinate clause from the main clause.
Answer (B) is incorrect because the phrase “but also,” coupled with the phrase “not only,” is necessary for showing contrast between the rigorous physical demands and the emotional toil.


Grammar Sample Question 3

What change should be made to the following sentence?


Annoyed with the school's pedantic principal and by the prospect of rain this early in the season, the farmer has been having a terrible day.

A. Change "principal" to "principle"

B. Change "in" to "at"

C. Change "has been having" to "has had"

D. No correction is necessary



Answer (A) is incorrect because the noun "principal" means "a person with the highest authority", while the noun "principle" means "a basic truth or a fundamental law." Since the sentence adds the noun "school" and the adjective "pedantic" before the word "principal" it is understood that the sentence refers to the head of the school rather than to a fundamental truth.
Answer (B) is incorrect because "at" cannot be used as a preposition for the word "season."
Answer (C) is incorrect because both the phrase "has been having" (present perfect progressive) and the phrase "has had" (present perfect simple) have very similar meanings. The major difference is that the present perfect progressive tense emphasizes the duration of the action itself, which started in the past and still carries on to the present, and the present perfect simple tense describes an action that is completed or still influences the present and emphasizes the result of said action. In this case, the sentence emphasizes the duration of the day, and therefore no replacement is necessary.

  • The preparation pack comes with 3 grammar practice tests, 3 written expression practice tests, 2 restatement drills, 4 sentence completion drills, and 2 written communication drills- all to make sure you achieve mastery over this crucial test and pass it.

NPOST Section IV - Incident Report Writing

This section tests your writing skills. You will be provided a completed sample incident report form. You will be asked to use the information contained on the form to answer the questions. All of your answers must contain the correct information and be written in complete sentences. The sentences must be well-constructed and all words should be correctly spelled.

There are 10 questions in this section of the test and you will have 15 minutes to answer them. To receive maximum credit, answers must contain the correct information, be in complete sentences, contain no misspelled words and be grammatically correct.


Prepare for the NPOST with JobTestPrep

JobTestPrep provides test content and format to familiarize you with the exam. Preparing for the NPOST will get you one step closer to becoming a police officer. Our practice packs include practice test and study guides to prepare you for the exam.

Related Links

Stanard and Associates Exams Police Written Exam
Iowa Police Exam Civil Service Exam by State
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