The Police Test is Becoming More Difficult to Pass
Police exams are becoming increasingly more difficult to pass because law enforcement agencies are looking for the most capable officers from the candidates that apply. The test they are now using is the Police Analytical Thinking Inventory (PATI), which is very similar to the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) used to select the best law school candidates.
The questions used in each examination focus on logic and analytical reasoning, and PATI searches for those with competence in logical thinking and the ability to reason a problem through, rather than candidates that take a knee-jerk reaction to difficult situations. What police departments are looking for are police officers that are able to use their initiative without having to continually seek help with the situations they come across, and the ability to progress quickly through the ranks to a position of authority and responsibility.
There are too many trainee law enforcement officers that can handle the simple situations, but when asked to think a problem through logically are unable to do so; they frequently make the wrong decisions, creating situations that others have to sort out later.
There are many instances where these key skills are necessary in a police officer during the course of their duties. Domestic violence cases, for example, can present a particularly difficult situation for a law enforcement officer to handle. When faced with a wife displaying facial injuries and a husband with a deep cut to his head, three screaming children and the child protective service unavailable for some hours, what do you do?
Who is guilty of the assault and who had reacted in self-defense. What happens to the children? Should anybody be arrested, and if so, then whom? This kind of situation is not unusual, and requires logical and analytical thinking to come to the correct decision. Your response will determine how well you will handle yourself in such day to day situations as a police officer.
New Police Exam Formats are trying to Weed out Candidates that are NOT Good Decision Makers
Decisions are not always easy to make, but good police officers are able to make them. A law enforcement officer should be able to make the right call without having to continually seek the advice of their supervisor. Some officers can pass normal question and answer exams, and anybody can pass a multiple choice test, but when faced with an ordinary problem that requires rational thorough processes to resolve, many fold and are unable to handle them properly.
The police force does not need people that can answer simple exam questions, but law enforcement officers that can think through a problem and come up with the correct solution every time. Police officers on the job rarely come across situations requiring academic knowledge, but every day face problems that have to be solved in practical ways. It is the problem solvers and those that can put their knowledge to practical use that the police force wants: officers that can react quickly to a situation and find the right solution.
That is why PATI questions are included in the tests and examinations of so many police departments. These "Brain Buster" tests are designed to make you think, analyze, apply logic, and come up with a reasoned solution to problems that police officers come across every day. So how do you learn to become a problem solver like that? Is it possible to learn, or is it a skill that some people are born with?
What you are able to be taught, and to learn, are certain rules that you can apply to problems. If you enjoy problem solving such as puzzles and riddles, than you should find this fairly easy. There are strategies that can be learned, and applied to specific situations. Apply the rules, and the solutions should follow on logically.
If You are a Problem Solver you'll Do Well on the Entrance Exam and be an Effective Police Officer
When you are getting ready for the Police Officer Entrance Exam, you should be preparing mentally for these kinds of problems. Be aware that they might be asked, so that they don't come as surprise and panic you. There are more than just intelligence and memory of facts involved here, but a knowledge of the rules and the right strategies to use. Not all exams will include PATI type questions, but you should be prepared in case they do, because that would give you a head start over the other candidates.
If you improve your reasoning and logical thinking abilities while applying rules and strategies to logic questions, you will find police exams easier to pass, and so improve your career prospects within the police force.
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