Police Psych Test – What to Expect & How to Ace It
Asif Author

Asif, Police Exam expert at JobTestPrep.

Need any help? Can't find preparation materials for your test? Contact me at: ask_asif@jobtestprep.com

 

 What Is A Police Psychological Exam? 

A police psychological exam is essentially a personality test that is also a very important step in the police hiring process. A psych test is used by most police departments to select candidates, such as the Connecticut, NYPD, Chicago, and New Jersey, or national tests like the NPOST.  

Most law enforcement agencies use a psych test to measure a variety of job-related behaviors and personality traits, and to help them pick the best applicants for a job as police officers. 

The police personality exam questions delve into your personal preferences and behavior, and measures your personality, motivations, attitudes, and values. 

Personality tests and psychological evaluations are also used in other law enforcement positions, such as 911 dispatchers, FBI Special Agents, and more.

The police psychological exam is usually taken as the last/one of the last steps in the police recruitment process, and is the last major hurdle you must face before becoming a police officer.


Important Things To Know About The Police Psych Test:

The psychological exam police officers need to pass is comprised of short statements, each followed by a five-point scale ranging from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree”. 

  • Length: around 100 Questions
  • Duration: around 15 minutes.
  • Format: Questions on the police personality exam are standardized and formatted as either paper & pencil or computer-based.
  • Tip: Look carefully at the response order, as some tests place “strongly agree” first and other exams place it last.

By practicing for your police psychological exam prior to the actual testing date, you will become familiar with the format, questions, and answering styles found on the real test, allowing to take the test calmly and confidently.  


Police Psychological Test Questions

To get a taste of the types of statements you will be presented with on your police psychological test, let's go over a few sample questions and answers:

 

Others turn to me to lead them when making choices

Strongly Disagree
Disagree
Neutral
Agree
Strongly Agree
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

This statement measures assertiveness. 

Assertiveness is the ability to express opinions clearly and confidently and to carry out personal and professional goals in a decisive manner.

Very high scores indicate a tendency to dominance, domineering and even aggression, which can make it difficult to form working relationships with others.

Very low scores indicate a passive communication style and a tendency to avoid conflicts even at the expense of not achieving goals at work and compromising.

An average level of assertiveness is sufficient for most jobs and it is advisable to avoid significantly low scores as well as significantly high scores.

 

I like to keep everything in its place so I know just where it is

Strongly Disagree
Disagree
Neutral
Agree
Strongly Agree
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The trait of order and organization reflects how well people are able to plan, build and manage their schedules over time.

High scores characterize organized and neat people who work systematically and take their time and the things of others seriously.
This is a highly desirable trait in the world of employment, and a high score is a prominent advantage in police job selection processes.


Low scores characterize people who are not organized or neat, tend to move disorderly between different tasks, and rarely succeed in carrying out what they have planned.


The police psychological exam is how police departments decide who they can entrust with the responsibility of a badge and a gun, which is why they place such huge importance on this stage of the hiring process. Don't let this tricky test catch you unprepared.

Our police psych test PrepPack includes a unique study guide which goes over all the attributes that are examined in the test, explaining each one in depth so that you understand what is really being asked in each question. 

 

A police psych test is only part of a wider battery of tests used in the police hiring process, with cognitive ability tests a central part of how you are selected.

Click here to see how we can help you prepare for your cognitive assessment. 


What Is The Police Psychological Exam Looking For? 

The most popular type of psychological exam used by police departments is based on the Big Five Model, which uses the following traits as indicators:

  1. Extroversion – dominant, energetic, socially interactive, talkative 
  2. Agreeableness – sociable, sensitive, emotionally intelligent, friendly, kind, compassionate, cooperative, sympathetic 
  3. Emotional Stability – self-confident, ability to adjust to changing circumstances, emotionally positive 
  4. Conscientiousness – possessing integrity, dependable, thorough 
  5. Openness to Experiences – flexible, creative, possessing wide-ranging interests

Note: Conscientiousness (dependability) is considered to be the most important factor in predicting job performance in law enforcement.

 

Some police personality exams focus on a more detailed set of 15 behavioral traits:

Taking personal responsibility

Emotional resilience

Taking charge of victims, witnesses, and suspects

Teamwork

Independence

Acceptance of the views of other individuals

Desire for achievement

Self-confidence

Self-awareness

Logical analysis of situations

Consideration and sensitivity

Compliance

Stress tolerance

Desire to support and assist

Attention to detail

Other police departments expand upon the Big Five to include: 

 

Dependability 

Impulse control

General intelligence

Motivation to enter the law enforcement field

Judgement

Ability to deal with supervision

Prior drug use

Honesty & integrity

Personal bias or lack of bias

Stress tolerance

Reasonable courage

Ability to perform tedious tasks

 


Free Police Test Resources

The police psych test is only part of the evaluation process a police department will administer to decide if a candidate is right for them. A cognitive ability test is usually a very central element of the hiring process, and getting to know the test in advance can boost your chances of passing significantly.

Click on the links below to see some of JobTestPrep's leading police PrepPacks and other useful resources:


Should I Practice For My Police Psychological Exam?

Some sites claim you don't need to prepare for your police personality exam, and that there are no right or wrong answers. This however is a common misconception that could seriously jeopardize you chances of passing!

The purpose of claiming you don't need to prepare is to make you feel more at ease and willing to answer each question without too much thought. But you must remember that the purpose of the police psychological exam is to sift candidates out of the law enforcement agency hiring process, and if you arrive at your test without a good understanding of what you are facing, you could find yourself failing the test. 

This is why one of the main reasons you should practice for your police personality exam is to build familiarity with the test, and enhance your understanding of the logic behind it. 

Becoming familiar with the test format, concepts, questions, and answering styles helps to eliminate the element of surprise. 


How Can I Prepare For My Police Psychological Exam? 

We have created a specialized and accurate Police Psychological Exam PrepPack™ to ensure you have the the ability to understand what each question is really asking you. 

 

The 233 question police psych test takes into account the specifics of the law enforcement position you are aiming for, showing you where you stand in relation to the desired profile. 

This way, you can avoid common psychological assessment pitfalls such as answering differently for re-stated questions, or accumulating too many extreme answers. 

With JobTestPrep's accurate police psychological exam practice materials your understanding of the test, its theory, and the traits expected from future police officers, will be enhanced - giving you the keys to success.   


How To Answer Police Psychological Exam Questions? 

To pass your upcoming psychological assessment, there are many things you should do as well as many things you should avoid:

Do... 

  • Practice. This will allow you to get used to the questions you are sure to encounter, and improve your time management and answering speed. Practicing gives you a chance to review and become familiar with the test format, thus giving you an advantage over other applicants.  
  • Read the instructions carefully. Even if the instructions tell you there are no right or wrong answers, this is not true. Being a selection tool, the way you answer a particular question on a personality test can be detrimental to your overall profile.  
  • Think like a police officer. Each question on the police personality test is designed to evaluate a specific personality trait. Think of what might be expected of you in each of the situations being presented and answer accordingly. Preparing in advance will help you avoid police psych exam disqualifiers - those questions which you mustn't get wrong.  
  • Answer honestly. The personality tests administered to police officer hopefuls can track whether you are really truthful or not. If a trend of dishonesty is detected during the psychological evaluation, you run the risk of invalidating the entire assessment. This could quash your chances of landing the role with the police department you are applying for. In other words, consistency is key.  
  • Be decisive. Another quality is measured by the police psychological evaluation is your ability to be decisive. Stand your ground when taking this test and avoid frequent extreme and middle ground answers. 
  • Show that you are right for the job. Remember, police work entails both working in a dynamic environment and many hours performing administration tasks. Be sure to show that you are right for the job in both ways.  

Don’t… 

  • Accumulate too many extreme answers. These can be detrimental to your overall personality profile, whether they be positive or negative. Too many absolute answers (strongly agree/strongly disagree) can demonstrate a nature of inflexibility in certain areas. 
  • Panic! One of the main side effects of taking a personality test is anxiety. If you have practiced beforehand, this should not be an obstacle to your success.  
  • Become discouraged. If you don’t meet one the standard of one law enforcement agency, it doesn’t mean another one won't hire you. Just make sure that you get enough practice to understand what each of the questions is asking on the actual test and do your best! 

Police Psych Test For Employment FAQs:

Do police officers get psychological testing?

Yes. A psychological or personality test is often one of the last steps in the police recruitment process.

What is the psychological exam for police?

A psychological or personality test is often one of the last steps in the police recruitment process.

The aim of the police personality test is to measure a variety of job-related behaviors and personality traits. 

Questions on the police personality exam are standardized and formatted as either paper & pencil or computer-based.

The police personality test questions delve into your personal lifestyle, behavior, and attitudinal attributes. 

How long is a police psychological exam?

These tests consist of at least 100 questions that you will need to answer within a very short time limit.

The time limit is typically around 15 minutes. 

How do you pass a psych test?

Tips for Passing your Police Personality Exam

Practice. 
This will allow you to get used to the questions you are sure to encounter as well as improve your time management and answering speed.

Answer honestly. 
The personality tests administered to police officer hopefuls have the ability to track whether you are really being truthful or not.

Try not to accumulate too many extreme answers. 
Too many extreme answers (strongly agree/strongly disagree) can demonstrate a nature of inflexibility in certain areas. 

Don’t get discouraged. 
If you don’t meet one agency’s standard, it doesn’t mean another agency can’t hire you. Just make sure that you get enough practice to do your best!  

How do I prepare for the police psych test?

Practice to ensure you will get your law-enforcement job.

We have a preparation package for this with a study guide, question and answer analysis, practice exams, and helpful testing strategies. 

By using it you will be able to boost your understanding of the exam, learn how to answer each question properly, and know where to focus your preparation efforts. 

The police departments, law enforcement agencies, and the corresponding tests mentioned on this page are not affiliated with JobTestPrep or this website in any way.