Police Officer Exam

The Police Officer Exam is the police academy entrance exam. This exam, required for most of the criminal justice careers available at a local or state police department, is designed to help a police department or a state agency determine if you have the strength, stamina, critical thinking skills, reading skills, and writing skills necessary to be a police officer. The format and the specific content of the police officer exam can vary greatly from state to state and department to department. However, most departments will require you to complete a written examination and a physical ability test.


The written examination typically includes a series of multiple-choice questions designed to demonstrate your knowledge of grammar and sentence structure and your ability to read a map, read and analyze passages, follow instructions and complete forms, analyze a situation and take appropriate action based on available facts, and perform other tasks. In addition, this exam may test your memorization and information recall skills and your knowledge of other subjects. The physical ability test typically requires you to demonstrate some of the skills you may use on the job such as the ability to move heavy objects (such as people); your ability to run, climb, and jump; your ability to keep your hand steady; your ability to restrain a suspect; and your ability to perform other tasks. However, some departments may also require you to complete an oral interview, a video-based examination, or other tests in addition to or instead of the written and physical ability tests included in most police officer exams.