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9.2 General Instructions for the Administration of the Police Officer Examination

Manual: Examination Procedures

Subsection: Administering Police Officer Examinations

The Police Officer examination is a three-stage process. Each stage of the examination must be passed in order to continue and successfully complete this examination. The examination components and the recommended order of delivery are described below. In all instances, the Oral Board component must be the final stage of the examination process. Strict adherence to the ethical guidelines for assessors and test monitors should be followed. (See Section 9.5 of the Examination Procedures Manual.)

Stage 1.     Physical Fitness Test (PFT)

The Physical Fitness Test (PFT) is a screen-out element. Applicants must pass ALL four components of the PFT, which includes the Sit and Reach, Bench Press, Sit-ups, and 1.5 Mile Run, in order to successfully complete this stage of the examination.

Information booklets should be distributed to Applicants for the PFT prior to the administration of the PFT. These information booklets should be collected before the applicant begins the test. Applicants must sign a Waiver Statement verifying their physical condition or fitness. The Human Resource office must make sure that each applicant has properly signed this statement prior to administering this portion of the examination.

Failure to pass this stage (PFT) of the examination will disqualify the applicant from proceeding to the next stage and will result in a failure to successfully complete the entire examination.

(Note: A Police Department representative should be present during the entire PFT to ensure the examination is being properly conducted. The Police Department’s representative may assist Human Resources in administering the test to the applicant, but should not participate in the remaining stages of the examination process or the Police Department’s final selection process.)

Preliminary Requirements

  1. Verify the identity of each applicant by viewing driver’s license, state identification, etc. or other issued picture identification.
  2. Collect the Police Officer Physical Fitness Test/Information to Applicants booklet. The monitor is to verify that the booklet contains a signed statement for each candidate indicating their understanding of the Physical Fitness Test. (PFT). (See final page of the booklet.)
  3. There should be a rating sheet for each applicant scheduled for testing. The name of the applicant, identification number, time and date of testing, and test location should be completed on the rating sheet for each applicant.
    • If an applicant arrives after the allowable admittance time has elapsed, you may reschedule or disqualify the applicant.
    • If an applicant refuses to present identification or presents improper identification, the applicant must be disqualified.

Examination Administration

  1. Make sure that all applicants are informed as to the order, content, and exact scoring requirements of each of the PFT components. The PFT components should be conducted in the exact order as listed below:
    • Sit and Reach
    • Bench Press
    • Sit-ups
    • 1.5 Mile Run
  2. Demonstrate and fully explain each test component.
  3. Allow 15 minutes for applicants to complete warm-up stretching exercises. Test administrators can provide supervision and assistance, but should allow applicants to individually carry out desired exercises. The necessity of a proper warm-up should be strongly emphasized.
  4. Complete the components in the order indicated. For Component 2, Bench Press, the use of a universal weight machine is recommended.
  5. All applicants are allowed THREE (3) ATTEMPTS to pass Component 1 (Sit and Reach) and ONLY ONE ATTEMPT to pass Components 2 (Bench Press), 3 (Sit-ups), and 4 (1.5 Mile Run). When an applicant fails any Component, they are to be immediately disqualified. For example, when an applicant fails Component 1, he/she does not continue to Component 2 or, if an applicant passes Component 1 and then fails Component 2, he/she does not continue to Component 3.
  6. Record the applicant's performance for each component on the rating sheet as indicated.
  7. Sign each applicant's rating sheet and indicate if the applicant passed all four components. In order to pass a component, the applicant must meet all specified requirements as listed on the Physical Fitness Test Rating Sheet.
  8. Announce or post the names of those passing the PFT. Those failing the PFT should be informed that they may contact the Human Resources office to inquire about any future test opportunities.
  9. All applicants passing the PFT should be notified when to appear at the Human Resources office to complete the next stage of the examination, the Knowledge Test for Police Officer.

(Note: If applicants will be expected to complete the Informational Supplement Form and Oral Board Supplement Form, which are components of the Oral Board, at the same time they are scheduled to take the Knowledge Test, they should be instructed to bring a copy of any college transcripts, résumé, and/or dates of education/training/employment to assist in completing those forms. Both forms will be rated and the score will be recorded on the applicant rating sheet to be utilized in the Oral Board testing stage.)

Stage 2.     Knowledge Test for Police Officer

The Knowledge Test accounts for 40% of the entire examination score. Applicants must achieve a minimum score of 70 points in order to pass this stage of the examination. Failure to pass the Knowledge Test will disqualify the applicant from proceeding to the next stage of the testing process and will result in a failure to successfully complete the examination.

Applicants should be given the suggested reading material for the Police Officer Knowledge Test at least two weeks prior to administration of this portion of the test. Employers should have the reading materials available for applicants to review in the Human Resources office or on reserve in the library. The suggested reading material is listed below:

Hacker, D. (2000 or latest version/edition). A Pocket Style Manual, 3rd Ed. St. Martin's Press.

To assist applicants in achieving a passing score for this stage of the examination, it is imperative that the suggested reading material for the examination is available. Some of the examination questions do not require any preparation at all, while others are based on the material included in the suggested reading.

Preliminary Requirements

Verify the identity of each applicant by viewing driver’s license, state identification, etc. or other issued picture identification.

  • If an applicant arrives after the allowable admittance time has elapsed, you may reschedule, allow the applicant to complete the Knowledge Test or disqualify the applicant.
  • If an applicant refuses to present identification or presents improper identification, the applicant must be disqualified.

Examination Administration

  1. Test monitors should strictly follow the Directions for the Knowledge Test when administering this examination.
  2. The Police Officer Knowledge Test consists of 59 multiple-choice questions with a two (2) hour time limit. A passing score of 70% or a minimum of 41 correct answers must be achieved in order to pass the Knowledge Test. A passing Knowledge Test score will count as 40% of the total examination score. The applicant should be encouraged to follow all directions and to complete every question in the examination. Topic areas covered in this test stage include:
    • Observation
    • Reading Comprehension
    • English Language
    • Mathematics
    • Decision Making
    • Prioritizing Work Issues
  3. Form B of the Knowledge Test is to be used for any first rewrite of this exam component, and the forms alternated with each rewrite thereafter.
  4. Upon passing the Police Officer Knowledge Test, the employer should notify the applicants when to appear at the Human Resources office to complete the Informational Supplement Form and Oral Board Supplement Form, which are components of the next stage of the examination process, the Oral Board. At the time of scheduling the completion of the Informational Supplement Form and the Oral Board Supplement Form, applicants should be also notified of the Oral Board date.

The University System office strongly recommends allowing applicants to complete the Knowledge Test, Informational Supplement Form, and Oral Board Supplement Form during the same testing session. Applicants should be instructed to bring a copy of any college transcripts, résumé, and/or dates of education/training/employment to assist in completing those Forms. Both Forms will be rated and the score will be recorded on the applicant rating sheet to be utilized in the Oral Board testing stage.

Stage 3.     Oral Board (Informational Supplement Form, Oral Board Supplement Form, Oral Resume, Interview)

The Oral Board is always the third and final stage in the Police Officer testing process. The Oral Board consists of an evaluation of the oral presentation by the applicant in response to a series of defined questions, reactions to scenarios, or other defined exercises. The Employer is required to submit the completed Request to Conduct Police Officer Oral Board Examination Form (see Form 9.2a) prior to conducting the Oral Board Examination component.

The applicants who appear before an Oral Board have successfully completed a Police Officer Physical Fitness Test and a Knowledge Test. The purpose of the Oral Board component of the examination is to further assist in rating these applicants. The Police Officer Physical Fitness Test component, Knowledge Test component, and the Oral Board component ultimately determine the applicant’s final score. Based on these scores, an employment register is established.

The Oral Board accounts for 60% of the entire examination score and consists of four elements: Informational Supplement Form, Oral Board Supplement Form, Oral Resume, and Interview. Applicants must achieve a minimum score of 70 points in order to pass this stage of the examination. Failure to pass the Oral Board will disqualify the applicant and result in a failure to successfully complete the examination.

Preliminary Requirements

The Employer is required to submit the completed Request to Conduct Police Officer Oral Board Examination Form (Form 9.2a) prior to conducting the Oral Board Examination. A review and approval of assessors and testing protocols is necessary before conducting this portion of the Police Officer examination.

Immediately before administering this exam component, verify the identity of each applicant by viewing driver’s license, state identification, etc. or other issued picture identification.

  • If an applicant arrives after the allowable admittance time has elapsed, you may reschedule or disqualify the applicant.
  • If an applicant refuses to present identification or presents improper identification, the applicant must be disqualified.

Examination Administration

  1. Informational Supplement and Oral Board Supplement – The Informational Supplement and Oral Board Supplement should be provided to those applicants who have received a passing Physical Fitness and Knowledge Test score. Applicants are encouraged to use copies of transcripts, resumes, and/or other verification of education/training/employment to assist in completing these Forms. It is suggested that these forms be completed at the same time as the Knowledge Test.

    Topics covered in the Informational Supplement include:
    • University/College Courses
    • Military and/or Police Training
    • Work Experience related to Police/Safety or Security

    Topics covered in the Oral Board Supplement include:
    • Written Communications
    • Verbal/Oral Communications
    • Decision Making
    • Demands of University Police Work

    Upon completion of the Informational Supplement and Oral Board Supplement Forms, the applicants should be given an Oral Résumé Instruction Sheet and informed of the date, time, and location of the Oral Resume and Interview.
  2. Oral Resume and Interview – Prior to the Oral Resume and Interview, an oral board interview panel of three assessors will be established/recommended by the employer and approved by the University System office. A Request to Conduct Police Officer Oral Board Examination Form, Form 9.2a) should be submitted and approved by the University System office prior to the commencement of the Oral Resume and Interview process. The interview panel will conduct the Oral Resume and Interview process. Applicants will be rated by each assessor on information provided by the applicants on the Informational Supplement, Oral Board Supplement Form, the oral résumé presentation, and on their responses to a set of (Oral Interview) questions furnished by the University System office. The final Oral Board rating is arrived at by averaging the ratings of the three assessors on each evaluation element.

Revised 7/16/2008