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9.3 General Instructions for the Administration of the Police Corporal, Police Sergeant, and Police Lieutenant Examinations

Manual: Examination Procedures

Subsection: Administering Police Officer Examinations

The examinations for Police Corporal, Police Sergeant, and Police Lieutenant are each a two-stage process. Each stage of the examination must be passed in order to continue and successfully complete this examination. The examination components and the 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 (see Section 9.6 of the Examination Manual) should be followed.

Stage 1: Knowledge Test for Police Corporal, Police Sergeant, and Police Lieutenant

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 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). A Pocket Style Manual, 3rd Ed. St. Martin's Press. (Latest Edition – 2003)
  • Iannone, N. F. & Iannone, M. P. (2001). Supervision of Police Personnel. (6th Ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. (Police Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant)
  • Illinois Vehicle Code (2000 Ed.). Charlottesville, VA, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc. (Police Corporal and Sergeant)
  • Leonard, C. (2000). Criminal Law and Procedures for Illinois Police 2000. Stipes Publishing, LLC, Champaign, IL. (Police Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant)
  • O'Hara, Charles E., & O'Hara, Gregory L. (1994). Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation, 6th Ed. Charles C. Thomas Pub. Ltd. (Police Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant)
  • Purpura, Phillip P. (1997). Criminal Justice: An Introduction. Butterworth-Heinemann. (Police Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant)

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. The Police Corporal Knowledge Test consists of 60 multiple-choice questions with a two (2) hour time limit. A passing score of 70% or a minimum of 42 correct answers must be achieved in order to pass the Knowledge Test. A passing Knowledge Test will count as 40% of the total examination score. Applicants should be encouraged to follow all directions and to complete every question in the examination. Topic areas covered in this test stage include:
    • Illinois Vehicle Code
    • Police Functions
    • English Language
    • Verbal Reasoning
    • Decision Making and Prioritizing
    • Management

    Test monitors should strictly follow the directions for the Knowledge Test when administering this examination.

  2. The Police Sergeant Knowledge Test consists of 74 multiple-choice questions with a two (2) hour time limit. A passing score of 70% or a minimum of 52 correct answers must be achieved in order to pass the Knowledge Test. A passing Knowledge Test will count as 40% of the total examination score. Applicants should be encouraged to follow all directions and to complete every question in the examination. Topic areas covered in this test stage include:
    • Illinois Vehicle Code
    • Police Functions
    • English Language
    • Verbal Reasoning
    • Decision Making and Prioritizing
    • Management
    • Mathematics

    Test monitors should strictly follow the directions for the Knowledge Test when administering this examination.

  3. The Police Lieutenant Knowledge Test consists of 62 multiple-choice questions with a two (2) hour time limit. A passing score of 70% or a minimum of 43 correct answers must be achieved in order to pass the Knowledge Test. A passing Knowledge Test will count as 40% of the total examination score. Applicants should be encouraged to follow all directions and to complete every question in the examination. Topic areas covered in this test stage include:
    • Police Functions
    • English Language
    • Verbal Reasoning
    • Management
    • Mathematics

    Test monitors should strictly follow the directions for the Knowledge Test when administering this examination.

    If applicants pass the Knowledge Test for the Police Corporal, Police Sergeant, and/or Police Lieutenant, they should complete the Oral Board Scheduling Statement, and the Test Administrator should complete all of the information on the Rating Sheet for Stage 1. The Rating Sheet and the Oral Board Scheduling Statement, along with other testing materials used, should then be forwarded to the University System office.

    If applicants fail the Knowledge Test for the Police Corporal, Police Sergeant, and/or Police Lieutenant, the Test Administrator should complete the information on the Rating Sheet for Stage 1, issue the failing score to the applicants, and then send all testing materials to the University System office.

Stage 2: Elongated Oral Board (EOB)

The EOB is always the second and final stage in the examination process for the Police Corporal, Police Sergeant, and Police Lieutenant classifications. The EOB 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.

Only applicants who have successfully completed a Knowledge Test for the Police Corporal, Police Sergeant, and/or Police Lieutenant classifications will be allowed to proceed and take the EOB for that classification. The purpose of the EOB component of the examination is to further assist in rating these applicants. The Knowledge Test component and the EOB component ultimately determine the applicant’s final score. The employment register for each classification is subsequently established based on the final test scores.

The EOB accounts for 60% of the entire examination score and consists of simulation exercises that include group activities, in-basket, and fact-finding tasks. Applicants must achieve a minimum score of 70 points in order to pass this stage of the examination. Failure to pass the EOB will disqualify the applicant and result in a failure to successfully complete the examination.

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 or disqualify the applicant.
  • If an applicant refuses to present identification or presents improper identification, the applicant must be disqualified.

Examination Administration

The University System office will coordinate and schedule assessors for each Elongated Oral Board (EOB) examination. The University System office will approve or deny requests to conduct an emergency EOB. Selection of assessors will be monitored closely and every effort will be made to rotate assessor assignments for each EOB.

University System office representatives will monitor/conduct the EOB. A panel of three assessors will be selected by the University System office to conduct the EOB examination process. Applicants will be rated by each assessor on information provided by the applicants during the oral presentations and responses to the various exercises. The final EOB applicant rating is arrived at by averaging the ratings of the three assessors on each evaluation element.

  1. The Police Corporal EOB consists of 6 exercises with a four (4) hour and 35 minute time limit. A passing score of 70% must be achieved in order to pass the EOB. A passing EOB score will count as 60% of the total examination score. EOB topic areas include:
    • Situational Video Discussion
    • Problem Analysis
    • In-Basket
    • Fact Finding
    • What If?
    • Oral Résumé - Common topics discussed during the Oral Résumé:
    • Personal Data
    • Education
    • Law enforcement training/experience or military training
    • Honors/special awards in the area of law enforcement
    • Law enforcement specialty skills
    • Community service
    • Other Achievements
  2. The Police Sergeant EOB consists of 6 exercises with a six (6) hour time limit. A passing score of 70% must be achieved in order to pass the EOB. A passing EOB score will count as 60% of the total examination score. EOB topic areas include:
    • Situational Video Discussion
    • Problem Analysis
    • In-Basket
    • Fact Finding
    • Oral Résumé
    • What If?
    • Group Exercise
    • Oral Résumé - Common topics discussed during the:
    • Personal Data
    • Education
    • Law enforcement or military training
    • Honors/special awards in the area of law enforcement
    • Law enforcement specialty skills
    • Community service
  3. The Police Lieutenant EOB consists of 6 exercises with a six (6) hour time limit. A passing score of 70% must be achieved in order to pass the EOB. A passing EOB score will count as 60% of the total examination score. EOB topic areas include:
    • Group Exercise - Leadership
    • Problem Analysis
    • In-Basket
    • Fact Finding
    • Group Exercise - Management

    There are separate instruments provided to the Oral Board assessors to assist with scoring each EOB examination. These include: Assessors Instructions, Applicant Handouts, Assessor Forms (Observation Guidelines for each dimension), Final Assessor Composite Report and Evaluation Sheet for Oral Examining Procedures.

Incomplete Examinations

A Police Corporal, Police Sergeant, or Police Lieutenant examination will be determined as ‘Incomplete’ when an applicant has failed to complete an EOB within one year of the satisfactory completion of the requisite Knowledge Test examination.

Special Instructions

Any applicant failing to appear to complete a scheduled EOB portion of the examination will be given a failing score for the entire examination. This will include receiving a failing score for both the Knowledge Test and the EOB portions of the examination.

An applicant may cancel the EOB three (3) working days prior to the scheduled examination without penalty. The applicant should contact the University System office and his or her Human Resources office in writing immediately if he or she does not plan to proceed to Step 2 (EOB) of the examination on the assigned date. Failure to appropriately cancel an EOB will result in the applicant not being allowed to complete this examination (Knowledge Test and EOB) for one year from the date of the scheduled EOB.

An applicant may also cancel at anytime without penalty if an emergency situation arises. For promotional applicants, an emergency cancellation must be verified by the applicant's Police Chief. Original Entry applicants must cancel by contacting the Human Resources office where they are completing the examination and by contacting the University System office in writing. An emergency is defined as, but not limited to, a death or serious illness/injury within the applicant's family, natural or declared disaster, called for emergency military duty, etc., volatile situation/unrest at the place of employment, or a declared emergency from the employing department Police Chief or high ranking university/agency official.


Revised 7/16/2008