National Police Officer Selection Test (NPOST) Prep
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What Is The NPOST Exam?

The NPOST exam is used by Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana and Utah police departments and law enforcement agencies, among others.

The test is administered to would-be police officers, deputy sheriffs, and corrections officers to find out if they have the necessary skills for their roles. It measures basic skills in math, reading and grammar, as well as having a notorious writing test. The four sections are:

  1. Mathematics (20 questions, 20 minutes)
  2. Reading Comprehension (25 questions, 25 minutes)
  3. Grammar (20 questions, 15 minutes)
  4. Police Report Writing (10 questions, 15 minutes)

The POST is made up of four separately-timed test sections, the first three sections of which utilize multiple choice and true/false formats, with the fourth section requiring you to write out your answers in complete sentences. 

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, but scratch paper will be provided.

This section consists of 20 questions with a 20-minute duration- that's 1 minute per question, on average.

Mathematics Sample Question 1

How much is 8% of 116?

A. 3.9
B. 61
C. 9.28
D. 11.2
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer


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
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer


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
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer


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 the 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
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer


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
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer


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. Both the experience to concentrate on the essence and the motivation to stimulate students to 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
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer


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.

  •  Tip: 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 any misspelled word. There are two types of questions presented in this section:

  • The first type presents incomplete sentences and asks you 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. Wrong answers may include poor grammar and/or a misspelled word.
  • The second type of question presents sentences that contain a spelling error and you are to choose the alternative that best addresses the error.

There are 20 questions in this section of the test, which you will have 15 minutes to answer.


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
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer


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
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer


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
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer


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 - Police Report Writing

This section tests your writing skills.

  • You will be provided with 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 spelt.

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.

 Incident Report Sample Question

On Monday the 22nd of June officers Walt Elaine Cooper and Corby Lemon were on patrol between 11:00 PM and 2:00 AM in district 9203. At 12:47 AM, around Adams St., they found a van parked in an empty parking lot next to a public park. Upon approaching the vehicle officer Cooper noticed the windows were steamy and a smell of marijuana was evident in the air. In the vehicle were two teenagers; Alex Roland of 76 Meadow Lane, 17 years of age, and Dane Sherman of 90 Sunny Road, 16 years of age. Officer Cooper knocked on the window a few times, and only after a while, Mr. Roland who was in the driver’s seat rolled it down. Mr Sherman appeared to be asleep still. Officer Cooper asked Mr Roland for his license and registration papers and while Mr Roland was looking for them a smoking pipe fell out of his jacket. Officer Cooper asked him to step out of the vehicle and proceeded to conduct a body check. Officer Cooper found two bags of marijuana 10g each on Mr Roland’s person. Mr Roland admitted to buying the drugs and using them together with Mr Sherman. Officer Cooper read Mr Roland his Miranda rights, handcuffed him and had him sit on the ground while he conducted a search of the car, where he found rolling paper and a lighter. At that time officer, Lemon was trying to wake Mr Sherman up and asked him to step out of the vehicle himself. No drugs were found on Mr Sherman’s person but he was incoherent when interrogated. When asked where they got the drugs from, Mr Roland claimed to have bought them earlier that day at approximately 7:00 PM from an unidentified dealer on a street corner not too far from the park. Officer Lemon read Mr Sherman his Miranda rights while officer Cooper handcuffed him as well.
Both teenagers were brought in for further interrogation and to provide more details as to the identity of the dealer. They were interrogated during the day and held up overnight. At 10:30 AM the next morning Mr Roland was released on bail into the custody of his father, Mr Jack Roland, a local bar owner. At 12:45 PM Mr Sherman was released on bail into the custody of his mother Mrs. Iris Sherman, a social worker. Soon thereafter a date was set for both teenagers to be trialled.
On the 21st of July case, 34567 was closed when Mr Roland was charged with possession and use and ordered to serve 3 months of community service. On the same date case, 39485 was closed as well when Mr Sherman was charged with use and was ordered one month of community service. Both cases were put into the teenagers’ permanent records and classified as misdemeanours.

Which of the following is described as coherent?

A. Mr. Jack Roland
B. Mr. Sherman
C. Officer Lemon
D. None of the above
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is B.
"No drugs were found on Mr. Sherman’s person but he was incoherent when interrogated."


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