Law Enforcement Entrance Test

Most police departments, federal and state agencies have a written entrance exam that you must pass in order to be hired. Some departments give their exam on a regular scheduled basis while others may only give it once every year or two years. You usually have to register to take the exam but some cities allow you to "walk-in" and take the test. In some cases, you may have to pay a small fee of around $25 to take the exam. Generally speaking, the higher you score on the test the sooner you will get an interview.

Most exams are between 75 - 150 multiple-choice questions. The exam usually consists of several parts and each section of the test may be timed. The entire exam will take about three to four hours to complete. The exams vary depending on what type of job you are applying for. Federal exams ask more judgement type questions. State and county exams focus more on traffic maps and patrol tactics. Exams for a city police officer usually will ask a lot of general knowledge questions.

In addition to the written exam, some departments also give applicants a video test. You will watch a video of a law enforcement related scenario. As the police officers start to deal with a subject, the video will pause asking you what you would do. You will then be presented with multiple choice answers that will appear on the screen. The scenarios are usually designed to test your judgement and reasoning abilities.

Listed below are some links to various types of sample tests. Even though you may not be applying with these departments, you should visit these sites and take the sample tests to get a better understanding of the type of exam you may be taking when applying for a job.

Federal Law Enforcement

Federal Law Enforcement

State Law Enforcement

State Police

New Jersey
State Police

Rhode Island
State Police

County Law Enforcement

Los Angeles, CA

Reno, NV

San Diego, CA

City Law Enforcement

Denver, CO

New York, NY

Portland, OR