Passing the Police Test First-Time Around

The reading comprehension test is one of the core elements of the police written exam. For many candidates, though, this can prove to be one of the most challenging elements; an aspect that they’re unsure how best to prepare for.

Are you supposed to read more?

Should you be familiar with police terms and vocabulary?

How can we prepare for the exam?

These are just some of the most common questions we receive. Nor should these questions come as any great surprise. After all, there is no one fixed syllabus for the reading comprehension test. But while there is no fixed syllabus, this doesn’t mean you can’t prepare properly.

What is the reading comprehension test?

The police written test is subdivided into two main components – the reading comprehension test and a test that examines your vocabulary.

That being said, both elements of the exam are very much interlinked.

During your timed exam, you’ll be presented with a comprehension passage. This passage will, of course, have a policing theme. You’ll be expected to read the passage and, from there, answer questions on your understanding of that passage.

In this sense, the reading comprehension exam tests your ability to understand written material; to dissect and logically understand what’s going on, and how to extract relevant information to answer each question. In other words, the reading comprehension exam is about testing your ability to find the evidence.

How to prepare for the exam

So, how can you best prepare for the exam?

First and foremost, learn policing vocabulary. You are very likely going to be presented with a policing-themed passage that has terms and vocabulary that you don’t understand. To understand the questions asked of you, you need to understand the passage in its entirety. This means becoming familiar with relevant policing vocabulary and terms.

Aren’t sure which terms to learn? We have collected all the terms you’re expected to know. We even have quizzes that test your knowledge. Check them out today.

With these policing terms in your armoury, the next step involves knowing how to approach the reading passage.

We recommend following this 5-step approach:

First – read the passage at least twice. However, don’t rush! Don’t compromise your understanding of the passage by hurrying through. While the exam is timed, you should also time how long it takes you to read a standard passage.

Second – with your preliminary understanding of the passage to hand, read through each question.

Third – return to the passage and re-read the passage a third time.

Fourth – Begin to answer each question in turn. Be careful to read the question correctly. Words such as ‘not’ have a transformative impact on the meaning of sentences. Try not to “relate” terms too much. If you see a matching word from the question in the passage, don’t assume you’ve suddenly found the correct answer. Always refer to textual context.

Fifth – If you can’t answer a question, don’t panic. Keep going with the questions you do know and return to that question later. If you find you still don’t know, try an educated guess. Don’t leave an answer blank with no reasoning behind it.

What next?

Want to test your knowledge of the reading comprehension test?

We’ve created an excellent database of police-themed passages; helping you test your knowledge of both vocabulary and reading comprehension. Check it out; it has helped thousands of candidates throughout the United States pass their police test.

In the meantime, best of luck with your reading comprehension test.

Police Test Guide is the leading online resource that has helped thousands of students pass their police test – a comprehensive program that deals with each aspect of the police exam, helping you both prepare and pass the test.