Commonly Asked Police Exam Questions

If you want a career in law enforcement, there are a series of exams that you must pass. One of those exams that you must pass is the pre-employment police entrance exam. Once you pass the police exam, the next hurdle is typically the oral board interview.

Since the police exam will determine if you move on to the next phase of the hiring process, I’m going to discuss the police exam first, and then later I’ll discuss the oral board interview.

What is the police entrance exam anyway?

The Law enforcement entrance exam is mainly comprised of several  judgment questions, math, reading comprehension, and directional map reading. Today, I’m going to discuss the judgment & reasoning section of the exam.

The purpose of the judgment questions is to measure your range and use of common sense knowledge. This part of the test blends judgment skills, memory and observation skills, and the simple ability to know left from right into complex questions that evaluate how you’ll react to a particular situation and why.

Take a look at some sample questions below to give yourself an idea of what to expect on your next police written exam.

You must use good common sense and judgment as well as the information provided to answer the following questions.

1. Officer Barton has arrived at the scene of a family disturbance. Two other officers are in the front yard of the residence fighting with family members. Officer Barton pulls out his departmentally approved baton and runs up to help one of the officers. A woman steps up and swings a broken beer bottle at Officer Barton’s head. What should he do next?

A. Try to snatch the beer bottle out of her hand and hope he doesn’t get cut.

B. Strike her in a departmentally approved target area so she will drop the bottle.

C. Immediately call for more backup.

D. Dodge her blows and continue on to help the officer being attacked.


The correct answer is B. Police officers are required to subdue combative suspects as quickly and safely as possible. If Officer Barton is in a situation where the baton is an approved weapon and he or other officers are in physical danger, he should use his baton. The situation does not change because the attacker is female. No other option is safe or feasible.

2. Officers Brady, Dion, and Rodriguez are called to the scene of a large fight in front of Omar’s Grill. When they arrive, they see around 15 adult males bunched up in the parking lot punching each other. Officer Dion pulls out his canister of pepper spray. What should he do next?

A. Order the crowd to stop fighting.

B. Warn the other two officers that he’s about to spray the crowd.

C. Warn the crowd that he has pepper spray.

D. Stand downwind of the crowd before spraying.


The correct answer is B. According to step 1 in the procedure, the officer should warn the other officers before he takes further action. The officer does want the crowd to stop fighting and will order them to do so, but choice A is step 2. Choice C is not listed as a step, and choice D is not a good answer because the officer will always want to be upwind of pepper spray, not downwind.

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