After meeting all the requirements to become a police officer, you can take the first step toward preparing for the hiring process. There are many steps to becoming a police officer. The recruitment selection process can take anywhere from a few weeks to months. Each department has their own selection process, but these are the key steps to becoming a police officer.


Step 1: Application

In order to become a police officer you must fill out a general application about yourself. This may come before or after the police written exam. Some departments may want to see the results of the exam before the application is submitted.


Step 2: Written Exam

Each police department requires an entry-level exam. The entry-level exam is a written exam that tests basic reading and writing comprehension. Some police written exams add sections that deal with the job itself, such as map reading. Some departments will invite you to the written exam after they have looked over your application. Others will ask for the results of the exam before you even fill out an application. Prepare for the police written exam.


Step 3: Physical Ability Test

This exam will measure your ability to perform physically demanding tasks that you may encounter on the job. Some of the tasks will be timed. The tasks may include sit ups, push-ups, bench pressing and running. Each department will have their own set of requirements. This exam is sometimes immediately after the written exam. Find out how to prepare for the Physical Ability Test.


Step 4: Background

After completing and passing both the written and physical exam, some departments will then ask you to fill out a background report. This step is to make sure that nothing in your background will disqualify you from becoming a police officer. Others will have an investigator look into your background. The investigator may look into your history (civil, credit, criminal, driving, employment and military). They may also interview your co-workers, employers, neighbors, references and family members. This step may come before or after the oral board. 


Step 5: Oral Board

At this stage you will have to sit before a board composed of three or more officers of different ranks. They will ask you interview type questions and give scenarios you may encounter on the job. The purpose of the oral boards is to test how well you handle pressure along with your ability to communicate, and evaluate a situation. This step will only occur if you have passed the written exam. Learn more about preparing for the Oral Board.


Step 6: Polygraph Test

The purpose of the polygraph test, also known as a lie detector test, is to verify your truthfulness, which will be based on your background report. This test may take a few hours. This will be given to you by a trained professional examiner. This step is given toward the end of the hiring process.


Step 7: Psychological Exam

There are two parts to this step; an interview with a trained psychologist and a psychological exam. In the interview you may be asked questions about your background, current lifestyle and what your expectations are for the job. The psychological exam, also known as, the police personality test, may include a series of multiple choice exams asking you questions about yourself. The reason police departments give psychological exams is to make sure that you will be able to do the work that is required as a police officer. This exam is given toward the end of the hiring process.


Step 8: Medical Exam

This exam is given to you by a trained medical physician. During this exam the physician will make sure that you are physically fit to be a police officer. This exam may check your height, weight, vision, hearing, blood pressure, and do a chest x-ray. This exam is usually toward the end of the hiring process.


Other Steps May Include:

Interview with the Chief – This will be an interview with the Chief. This is usually one of the last steps to becoming a police officer.
Drug Test – This is sometimes done as a part of the psychological or medical exam. Some departments do it as a completely separate test.

Now that you are familiar with the steps to becoming a police officer JobTestPrep can help you move forward. Start preparing for the police written exam.


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