1. Ask yourself:

What exactly is the question asking?

What are the key words and phrases
that will lead me to the correct answer?

What problems need to be solved?

Can I break the questions down into
segments and make it easier to answer?

2. Reword the question to make it
easier to understand.

Paint a picture in your mind. Exchange
abstract words with concrete words. For
instance, you may want to substitute the
concrete word, powder, for the abstract
word, talc. Why powder? Concrete words
like powder can be easily visualized.
Abstract words like talc are harder to
paint in a mental picture and therefore
more difficult to deal with. This technique
makes the information easier to picture in
your mind and helps to jog your memory.

3. Think about each question and

Don't rely on impulse. If you see a
question or an answer that instantly
looks correct, be careful. Don't react to
your first impression. Read and think
through each question and answer. Many
times test makers will set traps by
putting in familiar sounding answers that
are incorrect. This will catch people off
guard who are in a hurry and jump to

Evaluate your answer by asking yourself
if the answer completely addresses the
question. Don't let the examiner trick you
into choosing the right answer to a
wrong question.

4. Don't panic because the right
answer doesn't jump out at you.

The right answer is probably camouflaged
by words that are different than the ones
you have in mind. They also may be
different than the ones in the study
material. You expect certain words and
phrases in the correct answer but the
examiner throws you a curve by
rewording the answer -- a situation that
often causes test panic.

Look for the correct answer by:

Rearranging the words in the answers, or
Putting the answers into your own words.

5. Use common sense and general

Use common sense by keeping an open
mind when attacking the questions. Look
at the question from different angles.
Rely on your problem solving ability.
Treat each question as a new problem
that you must solve.

6. Don't search for hidden meanings.

Searching for hidden meanings by trying
to read between the lines will get you into
trouble. In most cases test makers don't
intend to play cat and mouse games with
you. Their intent is to see if you know
your stuff.

Making an educated guess.

When you don't know an answer, always
guess. Never leave questions
unanswered unless you are penalized for
wrong answers. If there's no penalty,
always guess. On a multiple choice
question that provides four possible
answers, you have a 25 percent chance
of guessing the correct answer even with
a completely wild guess. This beats zero
percent when you don't answer at all.
by George M. Godoy
The Police Officer Exam
Tips for Success
You are about to find out the major
reason why some people are very good
test takers and why their test scores
consistently exceed their actual
knowledge of the test subject -- superior
test takers reason out the answers to
difficult questions.

Good test takers don't give up on
questions when they don't know the
answers. They look for clues in the
questions that lead them to probable
answers. They use a systematic
technique called educated guessing.
That's right educated guessing.

They don't throw mud on the wall to see
what sticks. There is no shot in the dark
guessing. I'm talking about a systematic
technique for guessing -- a formula for
weeding out the bad answers and coming
up with the probable right answer.

Let me set one thing straight, good test
takers do study the material as hard or
harder than everyone else. However,
what makes them excel is their ability to
reason out correct answers when they
don't know the answers to the questions.

When confronted with difficult questions,
search for test taker clues, then use
these educated guessing techniques.
Sergeant George Godoy (Ret.) is a 22
year police veteran.  During his police
career, Sergeant Godoy served for 5
years as a police recruitment specialist
where he personally tested over 1,000
potential police recruits.

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Copyright © 2021  Barry M. Baker  
Police Exam
Becoming a Police Officer
An Insider's Guide to a Career
in Law Enforcement
There are Five
Indispensable Truths
for a Successful Police
Recommended reading for
those of you thinking
about becoming a Police
Accurate crime reporting is
so important on so many
levels.  It all begins with
you and your preliminary
police report.
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