Federal Law Enforcement Written Entrance Test

Most federal law enforcement agencies have a written entrance examination that an applicant must pass in order to be considered for employment. Some agencies administer their own test and they maintain a roster of passing scores. For the majority of the federal agencies, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will administer the written entrance test. OPM and not the agencies maintains a list of the scores. When an agency is hiring, OPM will provide the agency with a list of the highest passing scores. This system is designed to prevent any nepotism. Once an agency has exhausted the list, if they continue to hire off the same test, OPM will then provide them with the lower passing scores. Therefore, the higher you score on the entrance test, the sooner you will move onto the next phase of the hiring process which is usually the oral interview.

The following information will help prepare you for the various written entrance tests. While the various exams will differ, they all test you on your reasoning abilities. The test usually has three sections: verbal skills, mathematical skills and investigative skills. The exam is usually timed. You have approximately 45 to 60 minutes to complete one section of the test consisting of 15 to 25 questions. You have plenty of time so read the questions carefully. If you get stuck on a difficult question, skip over it and move onto the remaining questions. Once you have finished answering the remaining questions go back to any questions that you skipped.

With the exception of a possible essay question to grade your writing skills, all of the questions will be multiple choice. Read the question and see if you can figure out the answer before looking at the choices. You will record your answers on an answer sheet by filling in an oval that corresponds to the correct answer. Be sure to fill in the answer space completely. If you change an answer, be sure to erase it completely.

Grading is done by counting how many questions you answered correctly. Therefore, you should answer all of the questions. If you are uncertain of the correct answer, make a selection with an educated guess.

If time permits, after finishing a section of the test go back and review your answers. Remember that your first selection is usually the correct answer. Therefore, you should not change your answer unless you know for sure that you initially selected the wrong answer. Check to see that you have answered every question. Make certain that your answers have been properly recorded.

We have included sample questions covering the three areas usually found on the test: verbal skills, investigative skills and mathematical skills. Read the sample questions and answers carefully and choose the best answer. You can then compare your answers with the correct answers.

Verbal Reasoning Sample Questions

Investigative Sample Questions

Mathematical Sample Questions