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Can You Beat The Police Psychological Exam?

April 9, 2009

There’s a really short answer to this question – no! This is interesting because there are actually some people who think they are able to beat, or call it fake it if you want, a psychological test. If it were only that easy, you’d see a lot of unsuitable police officers on the streets.

The psychological tests that cops take are designed to weed out those who will not be “stable” enough to handle the high stresses of the job. Those particular traits that make a cop undesirable include – hostility, the potential for drug or alcohol abuse, psychoses, paranoia, lack of impulse control etc. These are not things that can be successfully faked no matter how much you might try to “rig” the test. In fact, trying to rig the test is something the psychologists spot right away and you’d get bounced on that faux pas alone.

So, we know what a police force doesn’t want in terms of recruit traits, but what do they want? Police forces are looking for cops that are highly effective in what they do personally, are assertive without being dominantly overbearing, have the innate potential for upward mobility, are self confident, appreciate themselves for who and what they are and have a drive to achieve their personal goals.

Don’t get too worried about this kind of testing, as there is really nothing you are able to do to either avoid it or skew the results. You are who you are, and if you made it this far, chances are you will make it to graduation day. Just bear in mind the things that you learn about how to handle people, be consistent and fair in dealing with them, serve your community to the best of your ability and represent the uniform in a manner that brings credit to the force.

Ultimately that is what policing is about, not just keeping peace and order, but demonstrating to the community that you are one of them and not something with seven heads because you’re a police officer. It’s time the perceptions about the police were dusted off and taken out of the dark ages. Since you are the next wave of officers, this task falls to you.

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