Contemplating a career with North America’s leading distributor of shipping, packing, and industrial supplies? Hoping to ace the Uline assessment test but need some guidance?

Well, you’re in luck! This helpful guide has everything you need to know about how to prepare for the Uline assessment including study guides and practice tests.

Specifically this guide will cover:

  • What is on the Uline assessment test
  • The format of assessments
  • Preparation and study tips
  • Whether Uline assessments are hard
  • Common mistakes to avoid
  • The interview itself
  • Some frequently asked questions.

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s jump right in!

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Uline Assessment Test

What Is On The Uline Assessment Test?

As you will see, going through the questions, you are expected to jump through a mix of verbal, numerical, and abstract reasoning questions with some general knowledge questions thrown into the mix and do each of those in 14 seconds or less.

To ace the Uline Wonderlic test , it is essential that you get to practice in each of those areas before doing the assessments. The test results will give Uline a picture of your critical thinking, deductive reasoning, problem-solving skills, and cognitive abilities.

Verbal Reasoning

You can expect to be tested on your vocabulary and on your ability to recognize which words have the same or different meanings.

To get an idea of verbal reasoning questions, try the following free sample verbal reasoning questions.

Numerical Reasoning

In this section, you can expect your mathematical abilities to be challenged, for example, in the following question.

Try doing it quickly!

Ruth manages a large computer company. On regular days she works ten hours. On days with board meetings, she works twelve hours, and before major deliveries, she works sixteen hours. Every week she works for five days. During the past week, she worked 62 hours.

If she didn’t have board meetings during the past week, how many days did she have major deliveries during the past week?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

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Abstract Reasoning

For many, the abstract reasoning questions will be the most challenging. The test assesses your logic and your ability to draw conclusions.

Try your hand at the following questions:

If the first two statements are true, is the final statement true?

  1. Asian cows produce more milk than American cows.
  2. European cows produce more milk than American cows.
  3. American cows produce the smallest amount of milk among all other cows.
  • Yes
  • No
  • Cannot Say

General Knowledge

You can expect questions along the lines of:

  • How many states are in the USA?
  • What states border Oklahoma?

Test yourself with questions on the sample papers. If there are gaps in your knowledge, you may need to brush up, especially on US geography.

The Personality Test

The personality test is the company’s way of assessing if you have the personal traits that would make you a good fit for the role and for the company culture.

There are some things you need to bear in mind before doing the personality test. It is your workplace personality that is being tested, not your downtime one.

Read up on the company’s values.

A visit to their website will help with that. For example, they describe themselves as a company filled with passion, striving every day to do their best. They like employing people who are willing to take on new challenges. That is the type of personality you have to present in the test.

The Wonderlic Personality Test

This takes one and a half hours to do and has 150 multiple-choice questions. Your answers will show your personal characteristics and how reliable you are.

The major challenge with tests of this type is applicants assuming, incorrectly, that you can’t prepare for them. You will learn while working on your sample papers that you can adjust your answers to present the desired personality profile.

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Try playing with the following question.

Read the statement and select the response that best applies to you.

I’m not one to be concerned about things.
Strongly Disagree/Disagree/Neutral/Agree/Strongly Agree

To get an idea of how you can adjust your replies, select each answer in turn, then decide what type of personality you are presenting as.

For example, the answer Strongly Agree can present you as somebody who is laid back. A company that likes people who strive for excellence may not be very impressed with that response.

The Motivational Test

This assesses just how driven to succeed you will be in your chosen role. Try the following sample question.

The following statements will appear after the question:

To what degree do the following statements describe you?

Rank Them from 1 Strongly Disagree to 7 Strongly Agree.

1. Urgent deadlines make me work efficiently.
2. I always seek to be closer to people.
3. In order to be sure about something I have done, I have to get different opinions.
4. I’m interested in a job in which I can acquire new knowledge and skills.

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Role Related Tests

With such a varied list of roles to fill, Uline may also require you to do tests specifically related to the position you have applied for.

You may need to prepare for Clerical Aptitude, Customer Service, or Administrative tests, among others.

Job Test Prep can supply you with prep packs for all of those roles.

What Is The Format Of The Assessments?

Positive woman working on laptop and writing in notebook

Uline uses Wonderlic pre-employment assessments. The best known of these is the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability test, also called the Wonderlic Personnel test. This test requires good analytical skills as well as good time management.

The test is only 12 minutes long but within that time you have to answer 50 questions. The questions are multiple-choice and, when done in the comfort of having time at your disposal, are not extremely challenging.

However, you will be doing each question in 14 seconds, something even the most experienced test candidates find demanding.

You will be tested on English via verbal reasoning questions, math in mathematical reasoning, and logic through abstract reasoning, as well as answering general knowledge questions.

To get a feel for the Wonderlic test, use the following link for a free sample list of Wonderlic questions. To get an idea of how you might perform, set a timer for 12 minutes and attempt to answer all the questions within that time.

How Do I Prepare?

When faced with pre-employment assessments, your best course of action is to use the services of a pre-employment test preparation company.

For this, we recommend using Job Test Prep. Using them will give you access to their 30 years of experience in preparing applicants for job tests.

They will provide you with a test prep pack for the specific job you have applied for.

In your test prep pack, you will get the following:

  • Information about the format of the tests
  • Practice tests modeled on the real ones
  • A method of checking your scores as you work through the tests
  • Detailed explanations for questions and answers

To get an idea of the types of tests they give you, try your hand at the following free sample personality test.

Job Test Prep will supply you with personality tests modeled on the specific one for the role you are testing for.

Study Tips For Uline Assessments


Use your sample papers as the backbone of your preparation. This will allow you to:

  • Become familiar with the style of questioning
  • Discover areas that may need a further brush-up
  • Train yourself to work within the time limitations
  • Hone your answering skills

Are The Uline Assessments Hard?

The assessments are designed to determine your suitability for the role you are interested in.

Like all pre-employment assessments, they are demanding. Not alone are they looking at your individual abilities but also seeking to hire the people who are the best for the job.

Essentially, how you perform in the assessments is important, but how many other applicants you outshine is what will determine if you get the job. The key to getting there is to do your preparation.

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Common Mistakes to Avoid

Worried about what could go wrong? Afraid that you might miss something important? Never fear! Below I’ve listed the most common Uline assessment mistakes so you can take the test in peace.

1. Lack of Preparation: Study! Study! Study! We simply can’t say it enough.

The Uline assessment will have many questions and exercises that you can easily get an advantage on by simply taking practice tests and reading study guides.

By not preparing properly, your likelihood of achieving a lower grade is greatly increased.

However, good news! By reading this guide, you’ve already taken a step towards successful preparation!

2. Time Mismanagement: The most common mistake in any Uline assessment is when participants fail to answer all the questions in the time allotted.

Therefore, it is important to think about how much time you can afford to spend on each question.

A great way to do this is by taking multiple practice assessments prior to the day of the test.

You could also get into the habit of moving on from questions if you’re unsure. It is much better to return to a difficult question later if you have time rather than to try and solve it right then and there.

3. Skipping Instructions: Carefully read all instructions! We would even suggest reading each question two to three times so that you properly understand the guidelines for a section before you even attempt it.

4. Overthinking: Try not to get stuck on questions by overthinking them.

Cognitive ability tests require fast and precise responses so it’s important not to overanalyze questions. Believe in yourself, trust your instincts, and move on to a question that you might have a better understanding of.

5. Panicking: Stay calm! If you find yourself getting worked up, don’t feel upset if you need to pause and take a deep breath!

Even though you might sacrifice time spent on a future question, you will help yourself to settle and get ready for the rest of the test.

6. Ignoring Practice Tests: The most valuable resource to prepare for Uline assessments is, of course, taking Uline assessments.

Thankfully, you can easily jump online and find a plethora of sample questions and exercises to familiarize yourself with the test.

If you don’t have the time, even having a look at the test’s structure and format is extremely valuable.

The Interview

Getting an invitation to an interview means you have succeeded in the online tests and is a cause for celebration. But it also means you have further work to do.

You can expect a competency-based interview, so it is advisable to look at the role you applied for again and brush up on possible questions about how you would carry out the related tasks. Interviewers will also be looking at how you will fit in with the company’s culture and ambitions.

Being well-prepared for these types of questions will put you in a position to make a favorable impression.

And finally…

Doing your preparation for the assessments and interview puts you in a position to get that job. Go in there and give it your best shot!

If your ambition is to work for Uline, you will find all the resources you need to ace the pre-employment tests here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you improve your score on the Wonderlic test?

Some simple ways you can improve your score on the Wonderlic test include regular practice, time management, and reviewing your basic math and grammar prior to the day of the test.

It is also important to stay calm and read all the instructions to not make mistakes.

What is a good score for the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test?

A good score on the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test would be above the average of 20.

However, it is important to note that some jobs may require higher scores due to the demands of the position.We advise researching the job you wish to do and what constitutes a good score for that position.

What study materials are available to prepare for the Uline assessment?

Multiple study resources are available to prepare for the Uline assessment. The most helpful materials include official Wonderlic practice tests, preparation books, study groups, tutors, and plenty of online resources such as guides and sample questions.

Written by Elizabeth O Mahony

Does the STAAR Test matter? Of course it does. It can determine whether a child progresses to the next grade at school or is kept behind.

The test may have consequences for further academic progression. It can even have career consequences down the line. And most importantly of all, it can and will have consequences for a student’s self-worth and motivation.

In fact, the STAAR Test has consequences in all of those areas.

Can STAAR Results Affect Academic Progression?

Yes. There are three chances to take the STAAR exam, so if a student fails once or even twice, they may still be able to enter the next grade.

If a child is underperforming or fails the STAAR exam once, a student is often placed on an accelerated course of instruction. The student may be placed in a different teacher’s classroom or given extra tutoring during the following academic year or the summer holidays.

If a student fails the STAAR twice, a grade placement committee is put in place to handle the decision-making in all of this.

Students who fail the STAAR two times in high school have to prove themselves to a committee of educators who will then decide if the student should be awarded the high school diploma. Failure to satisfy the committee can see a student missing out on getting that all-important diploma.

There is a big emphasis on getting students to pass the STAAR. This in itself tells us how important the examination is.

What Is The Significance Of The STAAR Test?

Girl in White Long Sleeve Shirt Writing

The test is important because of the role it plays in a student’s education. It decides if a student can progress further or if a student needs to spend extra time studying for it.

But it is also significant on a personal level. All students, no matter how nonchalant they appear to be about academic progress, do worry about being on the same level as their peers.

And being realistic, none of us enjoy being seen as failures in our efforts to make progress.

For that reason, even the most relaxed student needs to get through the testing process. And the parent or responsible adult in the student’s life is equally anxious to see them succeed.

Using online STAAR practice resources allows both parent and student to better understand the format of the tests.

What Is The STAAR Test?

The STAAR test is an acronym for the State of Texas Assessment for Academic Readiness. The full title gives an idea of the test’s significance.

Essentially it is testing if a student is ready in terms of learning to progress to the next educational level. For the high school student, it is testing if the student is ready to advance to college, university, or even into the workforce.

Failing a STAAR test can mean a student having to repeat a year. This will see them falling behind their friends and that, more importantly, can leave the student with damaged self-confidence.

For example, state law insists a student should have to redo the year if they fail Math and or reading in the 3rd, 5th, and 8th grades.

High school students who fail the STAAR test may fail to get a high school diploma.

What Is Tested In The STAAR?

Teacher teaching students in classroom

All students are tested in Math and reading.

Writing, science, and social studies are tested as follows:

  • Writing 4th grade and 7th grade
  • Science 5th grade and 8th grade
  • Social Studies 8th grade

High school students are tested on:

  • Algebra 1
  • Biology
  • English 1
  • English 11
  • US History

The Format Of The Tests

Grades 3-8 use paper and pencil to do their tests, with the tests coming in multiple-choice formats. The test time is limited to 4 hours.

High school students experience a more challenging type of test. At this level, the test is called STAAR EOC or end-of-course test.

English 1 and English 11 are five-hour tests with Algebra 1, Biology, and US History exams, each lasting for 4 hours.

All of the tests are multiple-choice.

Is The STAAR Hard?

The test is doable for the average student as it is testing material covered during that year’s schooling. However, for many students, events outside of their schooling can affect their progress during any given year.

There may be unsettling family events, bereavements, or ill health, which impact the student’s ability to do the work. And there may also be in-school factors which, if they pass unnoticed, can severely affect a child’s learning ability.

The most challenging aspect of school exams for the student is that they take place during the most vulnerable times in a young person’s life.

While parents and teachers are advising on the importance of doing the work, students are dealing with their personal concerns.

And Algebra is certainly no consolation if you and your friends have had a serious row or if the dream boy/girl in another grade refuses to acknowledge your existence.

What Help Is Available To The Student?

Black boy Using laptop

Schools do everything they can to ensure their pupils get through the STAAR. But sometimes, a student or a parent will need to take action themselves.

To do this effectively, it is advisable to get accurate information about the assessment. Test preparation companies can help with this.

We recommend using TestPrep-Online. With 30 years’ experience in helping students ace their tests, they will provide you with a test prep pack containing:

  • Detailed information on the test for the student’s specific grade
  • Sample tests papers modeled on the real tests
  • A method of checking scores as the student works through the papers
  • Detailed explanations of questions and answers

Using the papers, the student will:

  • Become familiar with the method of questioning
  • Learn to work within the time allowed for the test
  • Be able to monitor their progress from test to test
  • Develop confidence in their own abilities

How Is The STAAR Scored?

STAAR scores are either a pass or a fail.

A report will state that the student showed Satisfactory Academic Performance, meaning they have passed the test, or Unsatisfactory Academic Performance if they failed the test.

Students with a Satisfactory Academic Performance rating are free to move to the next level when they have completed other tests that their school district may demand.

However, in an ideal world, the student will pass the test and be free to continue with life as normal. And that requires preparation.

But what happens when the STAAR results present other issues that may prove even more challenging than the issue of going on to the next academic grade?

Failing the test may indicate that:

  • The student is finding the testing situation challenging
  • The student is unhappy

Tips To Prepare For The STAAR

For effective preparation, students will find the following steps helpful:

  1. Begin the preparation as soon as possible. Delaying it will see you cramming mercilessly in the run-up to the test.
  2. Keep on top of schoolwork, as this is the material that will be tested.
  3. Try to work in short bursts of time, followed by breaks. This will help you retain material more easily.
  4. Make revision part of a weekly routine. When a topic has been covered in school, revisit it a week or two later and again a month or so later. This will give you a better chance of remembering the material.
  5. Develop habits that will improve academic performance. For example, reading, English, and writing feature strongly in the STAAR. Making reading part of everyday life will help greatly with this. Make a point of attempting one Math question a day, and make sure you understand how to use formulas and math rules. For science, social studies, and US history, develop a habit of attempting questions regularly.

Use The Sample Papers

Using sample papers will ensure that you, the student, are:

  • Working on relevant material
  • Becoming familiar with the format and timing of the tests
  • Quickly identifying areas you are having difficulty with

Working on sample papers will also increase your chances of remembering material. We learn more quickly by “doing” than we do by merely reading a text.

Take Care Of Yourself

Tests are stressful. Get adequate sleep, exercise, and nutrition. Your brain will thank you by working better.

Doing The STAAR

Girls wearing school uniform holding books

Your approach to doing the test is as important as your approach to your preparation. Your performance on the day is what matters now.

Ensure you approach the test:

  1. Well-rested and clear-headed. Resist any temptation to engage in late-night study marathons.
  2. Go in there with the confidence of knowing you have done the work and deserve to ace this.
  3. You can expect to be nervous, most people are. Have some stress-busting techniques to fall back on before tests. Try deep breathing or whatever works for you.

And a final word of warning! If you are doing more than one test, avoid post-mortems between tests. You cannot change your test once it is submitted. Focus instead on the one(s) that lie ahead

If you are facing the STAAR test, you will find all the resources you need to prepare for it here.

Missing the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness test (STAAR) can have serious repercussions, both for the student who was due to take the test and for the adult overseeing their school-going years.

However, occasionally emergencies arise, and it is unavoidable that a student misses the STAAR Test. If you are in this situation, don’t worry. There is more than one opportunity to take the STAAR.

We will go through exactly what will happen if a student misses the STAAR Test and what you can do about it.

What Does Missing The STAAR Test Impact?

The test is mandatory and decides if the student is ready to proceed to the next grade level. Failing the STAAR test or not doing it at all can mean that the student, if at one of the lower levels, will have to spend another year at the level they have just completed.

This can seriously impact the student’s life:

  1. They see their peers progressing to the next grade while they have to remain at a lower grade.
  2. Incoming students may be younger than them.
  3. They have to begin making new friends in a grade where relationships have already been established.

For the older student in grades 9-12, the repercussions can be even more serious. Not succeeding on the STAAR test can see them missing out on graduating and getting that essential high school diploma.

For the parent of students at the younger levels:

  1. Life has to be put on hold for a year.
  2. They have the added burden of ensuring the student manages to exit that grade next time round.

For parents who have high school students in their families, it can well mean having to look again at career options open to the student as well as assessing why this has occurred.

What Can Be Done If a Student Misses The STAAR Test?

Man in Yellow Crew Neck T-shirt While Using Tablet

Dealing with the problem involves looking at a number of factors:

  1. Why did the student miss the test?
  2. Can the student take the test on another date?
  3. How can you, the adult, help them with this?

If a Student Was Ill Or There Was An Emergency

If the student misses a test because of illness, then you don’t really have a problem. Illness and legitimate emergency are not a respecter of a person’s exam situation.

High Schools offer students an alternative two days when they can do the exam after the original date. Contact your high school for more information about this.

If a Student Fails The STAAR

For the child who has failed a test, there are other dates available to them to resit it.

There are three different days to do every STAAR test for the student at High School level, meaning that a student who fails a test has the option of retaking it on one of the following dates.

Those dates are also available to the student who actually misses taking the exam. If the student in High School has failed to attend the test, they can simply go ahead and attend on one of those later dates.

However, if the child is in Grades 3-8, they have to do the test on the Friday of the testing week. This is their final opportunity to pass the test, and not attending on that Friday will see them having to repeat a year.

If a Student Didn’t Show Up For The Test

Mother Helping her Daughter with Homework

If illness is not the reason, you may have to dig deeper to find the answer. Questions to ask may be:

  1. Was the student afraid of failing the test?
  2. Does the student have a genuine phobia of tests?
  3. Had the student not worked towards passing the test?

Answering those questions should uncover what you have to do next.

  • Lack Of Preparation

If you answer “Yes” to the third question and discover the student did not work towards the test, you are faced with the challenge of helping them ace the test.

In that situation, there is help available. There are companies that provide resources and practice materials for students who need help with their tests. Using their services will help the student prepare for a retake.

  • Fear Of Test-Taking

If the answer to questions 1 or 2 is “Yes,” then you have a different challenge on your hands.

Fear of failure is a very common human reaction to challenges, and if it prevents the child from taking an exam, it needs to be nipped in the bud.

Otherwise, it will blight every challenge life presents the student with. And as every adult knows, there are challenges greater than exams.

There are some things that might help the child get over this fear. Perhaps you could remind them that the greatest failure is not the failure to ace an exam, but actually the failure to do it.

If somebody is afraid of failing, then the actual success does not lie in the exam results but in mustering up the courage to get in there and do the test.

However, if the student has an exam phobia, then that has to be dealt with a little differently.

A phobia is a very real fear that has to be conquered. You can compare the student’s exam phobia to the very real phobia people have about spiders.

Rationally we know that spiders do not want to harm us. For many, the only way to conquer this phobia is to take a spider in hand and realize their harmless nature for themselves.

Encourage your child to confront exam papers. You can get sample test papers online and work on them with the child.

When the child reaches the higher grades, these fears and phobias should have become a thing of the past.

But if they haven’t, then you may be dealing with another problem parents of students have to confront.

  • They Don’t Want To Take It

What if your child decides the world of study and exams is not for them? This problem, too, is surmountable. A lot of people are late bloomers academically.

When they arrive at maturity, they may well decide they would have fared better had they done their academic work while still at school.

But there are options. The one-time student can opt to work for an HSE (High School Equivalency) diploma that will bring many of the benefits the High School diploma they failed to get would have brought them.

It will mean having to work towards an exam while probably already working a job. But knowing the rewards that come with having that diploma will give them the motivation they need. And the resources they need to meet the challenge of doing an HSE are readily available.

About The STAAR

In an ideal world, all parents would know what precisely the STAAR is.

But in that ideal world, they would also know how to prevent the common cold or how to save their children from getting scrapes and bruises.

And as all parents will agree, there is no ideal world in the life of parenting school-going children. And especially when they are more often than not unwilling to discuss what happens when the school door closes behind them.

But to help them, you need to be armed with as much knowledge as you can possibly get about the STAAR and all that goes with it.

The Staar test is administered at certain points of a child’s schooling to ensure they are making progress necessary for the grade level they are about to enter.

The system works as follows:

Basically, the grade 3 child will have to do tests on Reading and Math. However, when the child reaches higher grades, the pressure to pass the tests becomes more intense.

For example, grades 5 and 8 have to pass their Reading and Math assessments if they are to advance to the next grade.

The intensity increases when the child reaches High School. To graduate and get that diploma, they absolutely have to do and pass Algebra, English 1, English 2, US History, and Biology.

Is The STAAR Hard?

Students Sitting in the Classroom

The STAAR is a test on material students have already covered in school and, as such, should pose little difficulty.

However, if the student hasn’t put in the work to study, they may perform badly on the test.

Other factors can also impact their performance in the test. There may have been disruptions to their work routine, or they may be one of those students who find doing exams overly stressful.

How Do I Get The Student’s Results?

All students receive a STAAR report card giving their results and information on where they fit in in the overall percentile. Sometimes the report can be confusing. For example, “Approaches the grade level” means that they have pressed the test.

Other comments on the report card will give you an idea of how well they are doing. You may be told they reached Masters Grade Level or Meets Grade Level. The one you do not want to see is “Did not meet grade level.”


Missing the STAAR test is not the end of the world. It does present its own problems, and resolving the difficulties it creates can be challenging for the student but even more so for the adult responsible for guiding them.

For the adult carrying that responsibility, you are not alone. There are many more people facing the challenge, and there are people out there who can help you deal with it.

Is it your ambition to work as a police officer with the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD)? If so then you need to be prepared for a challenging recruitment process.

If you are an aspiring Port Authority police officer, you are in the company of a great many others whose ambition is to provide police protection at all of the agency’s facilities.

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Considering that the agency’s facilities include five airports, four bi-state bridges, two tunnels, a major bus terminal, a rail system, and New York and New Jersey seaports, you may imagine there is enough work to go around for all applicants.

However, when you take into account how important ensuring the safe functioning of those facilities is and the many people who wish to wear the PAPD (Port Authority Police Department) badge, you will get a picture of the level of competition for those jobs.

If you are wondering exactly what the Port Authority Exam entails and how to prepare, read on.

What Is the Port Authority Exam?

The Port Authority use pre-employment assessments and background checks followed by interviews to ensure they are getting the best candidates from a stream of job applicants.

When you apply for one of these jobs, your application will be followed up by a screening test, an assessment that will assess your cognitive skills.

You have to ace this test before you can advance further in the recruitment process.

Having aced this test, you may then be given a temporary job offer. But the offer remains temporary until you have passed health and medical tests, as well as psychological tests and, of course, the all-important background checks.

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How Do I Prepare for PAPD Assessments?

Good pre-employment test preparation involves finding out the format of the tests and practicing on test papers similar to the real ones.

For this, we recommend using Job Test Prep, a leader in the field of preparing applicants for the recruitment

process. Using their services, you will receive a test prep pack containing:

  • Accurate information about the tests
  • Sample test papers modeled on the real assessments for you to practice on
  • A scoring system to check your results and monitor your progress as you do the tests
  • Detailed explanations for questions and answers
  • Helpful videos and study guides

For an example of the tests they give, check out this free sample Police Mathematics Test.

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Format of the Port Authority Police Test

Sea Port

The test assesses the 10 aptitudes that are necessary to work with the Port Authority. A scan of the following list will show that all of the aptitudes being tested are essential for good police work.

  1. Visualization: As you might expect, being able to quickly get a clear picture of an object or scene is necessary for police officers carrying out their duties.
  2. Memorization: The memorization test assesses how capable you are of committing facts to memory and then restating them. You can expect to be presented with a picture and given a few moments to absorb what you see before having to recount what was in the picture.
  3. Spatial Orientation: This test assesses your sense of direction. You can expect to be asked to find the longest or shortest route between two points on a map. Sample papers will help you hone your skills in this area.
  4. Inductive Reasoning: Here, you will be given a test to assess your problem-solving skills. You can expect a series of non-verbal and non-numerical tests where you have to find the patterns at work in a series of images or shapes. To make a headstart on your preparation for the exam, try the following free sample inductive reasoning test.
  5. Deductive Reasoning: The deductive reasoning test assesses your logical thinking skills. It also measures your alertness, speed, and accuracy while taking the test. If you would like to test your logical reasoning skills, click here.
  6. Mathematical Reasoning: Being able to work with numbers is essential if you want to work with the PAPD, so a revision of the Math you have studied to date will be helpful. But for a more organized and focused approach, work on sample papers. Test your mathematical reasoning abilities here.
  7. Written Expression: The PD have to assure themselves that their recruits can be relied upon to express themselves clearly and accurately when furnishing reports or taking statements. They will test your use of spelling, punctuation, and grammar. You probably have many of these skills already. However, working on sample papers will clarify areas you may need to improve on.
  8. English Comprehension: Here, you will have to read a passage, extract central points and then draw conclusions from the information received. The test is not particularly challenging, but living in a world where regular reading happens rarely, it is an area the vast majority of job applicants need to brush up on. Get a headstart on your own preparation with the following verbal reasoning test.
  9. Problem Sensitivity: You will be presented with a number of scenarios related to a police officer’s work. They could, for example, be statements taken from imaginary witnesses or criminals. These scenarios contain errors or mistakes. Your task will be to discover those errors.
  10. Information Ordering: This test checks how good you are at putting facts and information into a logical order. You could be asked to put sentences in order in a paragraph or to organize shapes in a specific pattern.

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Why Those Sections?

Having read the list, and if you are not already employed by a police force, you may be wondering what the purpose of the various tests is.

But reading through them with the work of a police officer, and especially that of a police officer working for the Port Authority, in mind, you will quickly realize that all of these aptitudes are relevant to the work involved in the role. And for an aspiring police officer with the PAPD, the assessments need to be prepared for.

Preparing for the assessments does not just mean working through information picked up in the course of your training. It means learning to marry that information to very specific questions on the assessments.

How Do I Prepare for the Port Authority Police Exam?

Police Officer

As can be seen from the list, the tests are comprehensive and ensure the new PAPD officer has the aptitudes needed for the job.
This leaves you, the applicant, with quite a lot of preparation to do. To remain focused on the task ahead, keep the following points in mind:

  1. Begin your preparation as soon as you can. You do not need the stress of cramming directly before the test.
  2. Preparing for assessments can be stressful, even for the most hardened students. Doing an assessment that can change the course of your career is even more stressful. Take care of your physical and mental health while in preparation mode. Your brain will work better as a result.
  3. Acknowledge that even though you are familiar with sections of the test, you do need to revise them.

Consider the competition you will be up against. In these particular tests, the question is not how good you are.It is how many prove themselves better than you.

Your task when doing the tests will be to outshine that competition.

Use Your Sample Papers

Use your sample papers to ensure:

  1. That all of your preparation is focused on the task ahead
  2. You become familiar with the style of questioning
  3. You learn how to work within the time allowed for the tests
  4. You can monitor your progress by using the scoring system
  5. You quickly identify any mistakes you are making
  6. You become aware of areas that are causing you difficulty and can devote more time to them
  7.  You know what to expect when the real assessments come around.

Are the Port Authority Assessments Hard?

The assessments are hard for a number of reasons.

  1. The Port Authority needs to employ the best people they possibly can for what are very demanding positions.
  2. Secondly, because of the attractiveness of the job, they receive a large number of applications for advertised positions. The assessment tests help them to reduce this number to the people who will advance further in the recruitment process.

The tests themselves assess if you have the aptitudes necessary to do the work, and some of those tests may be different from tests you have previously done.

The tests also are timed, demanding that you answer questions within a strict time frame.

If you want to be one of the applicants selected to advance further, you need to start preparing for the assessments immediately after you apply for the job.

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Doing the Tests

Men in Gray Suits Taking an Exam

Approach the tests with the confidence that comes with knowing you have done the work.

If you become nervous when doing assessments, and a great many candidates do, have some stress-busting techniques you can fall back on. Try deep breathing, stretching exercises, or a walk in the fresh air before you take the test.

And finally, go in there. You know you deserve this. Give it your best shot!

If your ambition is to be a Port Authority Police Officer, you will find all the resources you need to prepare for the assessments here.

Related Study Guides

When you hear the term “culture fit,” you might imagine moving to a new country. You might worry about adapting, blending in, liking the society you are about to immerse yourself in, or even the locals liking you back.

However, “culture fit” applies to life in our home countries as well, and nowhere more so than in the job market.

When applying for a job, it is vital that you have the workplace skills needed for the position you are seeking. A prospective employer will naturally check up on that.

But in a world of larger workplaces, being a good fit for a position is not just about being able to do the job.

It is also about how you fit in with the company’s beliefs and values. For a workplace to run smoothly, it is necessary that employees share the company values and behave in accordance with them while employed there.

And to ensure that future employees understand and follow their values systems, companies apply pre-employment testing, usually in the form of personality tests during the recruitment process.

And for the employee who wants to get the job, thorough preparation is essential in the same way it would be if you were planning a trip to another continent.

Preparation is best done by using the services of a job test preparation company.

How to Understand Company Culture?

colleagues working in office

The first step in your preparation is to find out as much as you can about the culture of the company you are applying to. A look at their website might reveal some key points about the people they like to employ.

If, for example, you visit the Amazon website, you will discover that their driving force is delivering good customer service, both in the goods they retail, but also in how they treat their customers.

To ensure Amazon lives up to its promises, the company has created a work culture where diversity and inclusion play an important part.

They place a high value on teamwork and employ people capable of rising to the challenge in workplace situations. They examine job applicants’ teamwork skills and their willingness to put the customer first.

Applicants seeking employment at Amazon and at a range of other companies need to be prepared for culture fit testing.

How Can I Prepare for Culture Fit Assessments?

Having found out about your selected company’s culture, your next step is to find out what assessments you will have to do to prove you are a good fit.

However, searching for guidance on your own can be time-consuming. You are not always guaranteed you will find accurate information.

Instead, we recommend using the services of Job Test Prep, a company with thirty years of experience in helping applicants ace pre-employment testing.

You will find out about the format of the assessments and get the preparation resources you need.

All of the material you need comes in a test prep pack containing:

  • Detailed information about the tests you have to do
  • Sample test papers modeled on the real exams to practice on
  • A system to check your scores as you do the sample papers
  • Videos and guides to help you do the real tests successfully

To get an idea of the type of tests they give you, try your hand at this free sample personality test.

What Assessments Are Used to Test Culture Fit?

Assessment Centre

The company will inform you about the means by which you will be tested. This may include one or more of the following:

  • Personality testing
  • Situational Judgment Testing (SJT)
  • Interviews

If you are asked to do one or all three of these, you will need to keep what you know about the company’s culture at the forefront of your mind when being tested.

Personality Testing

For many, the term personality testing can be a bit of a misnomer. It brings to mind, “Am I a nice person to be around?”

That question, however, is only relevant to your downtime personality.
In pre-employment testing, it applies to your workplace personality and how you are likely to behave when employed by the company. When doing the test bear this factor in mind.

To get an idea of how personality testing works, read the following question.

Select one answer to illustrate your response to the following statement.

I’m not one to be concerned about things.

Strongly Disagree/ Disagree/ Neutral/ Agree /Strongly Agree

Now try playing around with the answer. Select each answer in turn, then sit back and consider what the answer is saying about you.

If you are a relaxed, easy-going person in your downtime, you may have selected “Strongly Agree”. However, if you are applying for a job as a police officer, the same answer will paint you as somebody who is not going to be concerned when witnessing a crime being committed or seeing a citizen in distress.

Try doing the question again, this time imagining you are being tested for your ideal job. This is how you will approach the questions in your pre-employment personality test.
To put what you have read into practice, try your hand at the following free sample personality test.

Situational Judgment Testing

The title Situational Judgment Test is almost self-explanatory.

The test looks at how you would behave in work-related scenarios. It is assessing if you are able to judge a situation and deal with it appropriately. More importantly, it is assessing if you could deal with the situation in the way the company wants employees to deal with it.

Again do your research on the company’s values before undertaking the test. Bear in mind that where employers are concerned, employees represent the company when dealing with clients.

Your SJT answers are not just saying something about you, they are also telling the employer how you would represent the company if you worked for them.

Try doing the following question. Note this is a question from an SJT for a customer service position. When doing the question, imagine you have applied for a customer service position with a large retailer akin to Amazon.

As you did with the above personality test, try selecting each of the answers and decide what picture the answers give of you and also of the company.

A customer calls the customer service line. He says that since he had to wait so long, he is now in a hurry and doesn’t have much time to speak. Which of the following is the most important response from the representative?

A. Apologizing for the long wait.

B. Suggesting a better time for the customer to call when the line is less busy so that he can talk without the pressure of time.

C. Proceeding at the usual pace in order to thoroughly solve the customer’s problem.

D. Adjusting his conduct to the customer’s need by showing desire to complete the task quickly and effectively.

Test yourself further with this free sample SJT, this time for a supervisory position.


Interviews naturally assess your competency skills. But don’t forget you are also giving an idea of your personality when doing an interview. In fact, questions asked in interviews are often taken from personality and SJT tests. When working on sample SJTs and personality tests, you are, in effect, preparing for your interview as well.

Preparation materials will give you interview guides, but there is also a lot of groundwork you can do yourself.

Review any positions you may have previously held and find examples of instances where you showed the traits the company you are interviewing for might be looking for.

For example, you may be interviewing for a customer service position with a retail company. Can you remember a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer and how you handled the situation?

Or perhaps you are interviewing for the position of a law enforcement officer. Have you ever experienced an incident where you had to calm down a tense situation? How did you deal with it?

Remember that not all scenarios may be work-related. If this is your first job interview, do not be afraid to draw on experiences you may have had at school or college. What matters is that the scenario recalled reflects favorably on you.

Are the assessments Hard?

Young troubled woman using laptop at home

All recruitment assessments are hard.
You have to show that you have the skills and qualities the prospective employer wants in the workplace.

Employers realize that the best way to conduct their business is to hire the best candidates available to them, meaning that you have to outshine the other applicants in your search for that job.

But with solid preparation, you can do it.

Tips to Prepare for Culture Tests

Use your sample papers as the backbone of your preparation. This will ensure:

  • You are becoming familiar with the style of questioning
  • You are learning to work within the time limits imposed in the tests
  • You can monitor your progress from test to test

And Finally…

Approach the tests with the confidence that comes with having done the work and knowing you deserve to ace this!

If you have upcoming tests to assess if you are a good fit for a company’s culture, you will find all the resources you need to help you here.

Related Readings

Being a train driver may be your ambition but getting a job driving those trains demands you go through a challenging recruitment process.

For every train driver vacancy, there are 300 applications. This means you have a wide field of competitors to rise above to get your coveted job.

But on a more positive note, someone has to get the job.

And it could just be you if you put in practice for the recruitment process.

Read ahead to find out more about how to become a train driver, the pre-employment assessments, and the online resources you need to make your ambition a reality.


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Process to Become a Train Driver

If you’ve always considered the idea of commandeering a train, here are the steps you will need to take:

  • Earn a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Gain a job in the railroad industry
  • Take train driver training
  • Apply for a job as a train driver and pass the assessment tests
  • Get certified

What Skills Do I Need?

Before you can land a job as a train driver, your prospective employer will check if you have:

  • A strong awareness of safety in the workplace
  • The ability to concentrate for long periods of time
  • The ability to react quickly in an emergency situation


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What Are the Train Driver Assessments?

professional driver sitting cockpit operating high speed train

The assessments check if you have the skills necessary to be a train driver. To determine if you have those capabilities and the ability to fit seamlessly into the company structure you will be asked to do a range of psychometric tests. The tests come in two rounds.

In the first stage, you will have to do the following:

  • A train driver mechanical comprehension test
  • A fault-finding test where you will be asked to identify faults in the rail network and suggest ways of resolving
  • them
    A range of psychometric tests

Psychometric Tests

1. Numerical Reasoning Test

The numerical reasoning test assesses your ability to understand the information presented to you in numerical format. You will be asked to work on a table of numbers or a chart. The following free numerical reasoning test will give you an idea of what to expect.

2. Logical Reasoning

The logical reasoning test assesses your problem-solving ability. The test is non-verbal. You are presented with a series of shapes and patterns and have to do a multiple-choice question deciding which shape follows the pattern logically.

You can expect something along the lines of the following question.

Study the sequence of images in the top row. Then decide which image in the bottom row is the best fit for the square labeled with a question mark.


Try to figure out why this particular answer is the correct one.

If you are new to this type of testing, working on sample papers will help you hone your skills and arrive at answers quickly.


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3. Verbal Comprehension

The verbal comprehension test assesses your ability to understand written information.

You will be given written passages followed by statements. You will have to decide in the light of the information in the passage whether a statement is 1 True, 2 False, or 3 Cannot Say due to insufficient information in the passage.

You may also be asked to complete sentences. Test your verbal comprehension with this free sample verbal reasoning test.

4. A personality Test

Will this be your first time doing a personality test?

If so, try your hand at this free sample personality test. You may wonder what the personality test is all about, but it is simply assessing what your workplace behavior is likely to be.

Most companies have a mental image of their ideal employee. Find out if the company you applied to might have such a preference or try to get your own mental image of the ideal train driver personality.

In your answers, try to replicate this personality as closely as you can. When doing the test, the company is interested in your workplace, not downtime personality, and personality is judged by behavior.

5. A Situational Judgment Test SJT

The SJT examines how you are likely to behave in certain workplace scenarios. You will be presented with a scenario and asked to select the answer that would best describe your likely response to the situation.

The following free Situational Judgment Test should be a good place to start your practice. As with the personality test, try to imagine how the company might want you to behave if you worked for them.


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Testing Round Two

Having passed through this round of assessments, you will be invited to attend a train assessment center for the second round of testing.

Here you can expect to do:

  1. Further psychometric testing.
  2. Rules and Procedures tests.
  3. A Safe Concentration and Attention test. This may be a SCAT test or a Group Bourdon test.
  4. A Reaction and Coordination test. Having the ability to react quickly to situations is obviously essential for a train driver. A computer-based test will judge how quickly you can push buttons when an object appears on the screen.
  5. An Interview. The interview can last for up to an hour and will focus on your skills and competencies. This will be your opportunity to impress the employer in a face-to-face situation. Brush up on your information about the company and the role in advance.

How Can I Prepare for the Train Driver Test?

Free Man With Hand on Temple Looking at Laptop

It is advisable to use the services of a job test preparation company when preparing for pre-employment testing.

For this, we recommend using Job Test Prep, a company with thirty years of experience in preparing applicants for the challenges of those assessments. They have organized a range of materials for aspiring train drivers.

They will give you a test prep pack covering all the train driver assessments, tests, and interviews. Your pack contains:

  • Accurate information on the testing system.
  • Helpful study guides
  • Sample test papers modeled on the real tests for you to practice on
  • A scoring system where you can check your results after completing a test
  • An interview preparation guide

To get an idea of the type of test they give you, check out the following free sample mechanical reasoning test.


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Doing Your Preparation

For an organized approach to your preparation, try taking the following steps:

  • Begin your preparation as early as you can. These tests are demanding, and you don’t need the stress of a last-minute scramble to finish everything.
  • Work to a timetable. Try to work in 50-minute blocks of time followed by a 10-minute break.
  • Try to keep the day before the tests free for last-minute reviews and to get some rest.

Use your sample papers in every preparation session. This will ensure:

  • You are working on papers similar to the real tests at all times
  • You are able to monitor your progress and identify areas that you are finding difficult. You may need to devote
  • more time to those areas.
  • You are becoming familiar with the style of questioning
  • You are learning to work within the time limitations of the tests
  • Are the train driver assessments hard?

In short answer, Yes.

Not alone are you in competition with all the other applicants, but you are being tested by a company who are acutely aware of its responsibilities to the traveling public. They realize that the only way to ensure they meet those responsibilities is to hire the best people for the job.

And they also want to hire people who are a good fit for the company structure. That places the onus on you to prove that you are ideally suited to the role.

Another issue to be aware of is you are only allowed to do the tests twice. If you do not perform well on those two occasions, you will not be allowed to do them again.

Given all of those factors, good preparation is essential if you want to ace the tests.


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And Finally…

When the time to do the assessments arrives, you will be able to approach the tests with the confidence that comes with knowing you have done the work.

You will know that there won’t be anything unexpected in the assessments and will be able to give them your best shot! If you are applying for a train driver job, click here for the resources you need to ace the assessments.

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If you are a people person and like engaging with others, then a job in customer service may be ideal for you. And if looking for a job where you will be dealing directly with people, you will have a wide range of workplaces to apply to.

Generally, we think of customer service jobs as existing in retail, helping customers do their shopping or working at the check-out desk. But the range of customer service jobs is much wider than that.

Working as a bank teller, an air hostess, serving customers in a restaurant, or working as a tour guide, the range of jobs where you will be dealing directly with the public is wide-ranging.

And the skills you will need are equally wide-ranging. So is the list of assessments you may have to take when applying for one of those jobs.

Customer Service Assessments 



What Are Customer Service Assessments?

Customer service assessments assess your people skills and decide if you have the personal qualities necessary for dealing with customers in the workplace.

They are also a prospective employer’s way of finding the job applicants who will be best suited to the role. 

In the early stages of the pre-employment process, the employer asks applicants to take the assessments allowing them to make an informed decision as to who should progress further in the recruitment process.

If you are a student planning on working in customer service, you can also do the National Retail Federation NRF aptitude tests as a starting point. 

Passing their aptitude tests will entitle you to a credential that proves useful when applying for customer service jobs.

Are the Assessments Hard?

Pre-employment assessments are generally hard, but not in the way an academic assessment may be hard. 

Factors that make them hard include:

  • A style of questioning that is new to you
  • The severe time restrictions on the tests
  • The number of people who are in competition for the jobs
  • The fact that employers select the highest scorers on the tests means that it is not simply about how good your answers are but about how many applicants you can outshine 

What Are Customer Service Assessments Like?

You can be asked to take any of a wide range of assessments, but generally you will have to do:

  • Situational Judgment Tests (SJT)
  • Personality Profiling Assessments

You may be asked to do the assessments online or in a paper and pencil format.

During both tests, you will be assessed on how you are likely to behave when dealing with clients in a customer service situation.

For example, you may be very well qualified to work as a bank teller in terms of handling money. 

But from the bank’s perspective, you also need to be very good at dealing with customers when explaining the workings of the system to them or when tricky situations arise.

Bear in mind that prospective employers are very aware of the damage an unsuitable employee will do to a company’s ability to retain customers.

When doing the tests, you need to keep the customer at the forefront of your mind. Thorough preparation will help you get into that mindset.

Format of the Customer Service Assessments

Situational Judgment Tests

The SJT asks you to consider a scenario that might arise if you are working for the company. 

Imagine, for example, that you are in a situation where a customer is complaining about a product they bought from the company. In the test, you are given four options from which you have to choose your response. 

The response you select will tell the employer if you are capable of dealing with a situation like that if working for the company.

Example question:

Consider the following question. What, in your opinion, is the best course of action? 

A customer calls the customer service line. He says that since he had to wait so long, he is now in a hurry and doesn’t have much time to speak. Which of the following is the most important response from the representative?

A. Apologizing for the long wait.

B. Suggesting a better time for the customer to call when the line is less busy so that he can talk without pressure of time.

C. Proceeding at the usual pace in order to thoroughly solve the customer’s problem.

D. Adjusting his conduct to the customer’s need by showing desire to complete the task quickly and effectively.

 Note: D is the correct answer, but on assessment day you will have to come up with the answer quickly. Practicing on sample papers and putting yourself in the customer’s shoes will teach you how to accurately select the correct answer.

In the real assessment, you will have to do approximately eight of these in thirty minutes.

What personal qualities is the customer service SJT assessing?

The customer service SJT is looking at your competencies and skills and if you have the ability to deal with people in what may be tense situations. The test will assess: 

  • Your communication skills 
  • How flexible you are 
  • How good your negotiation skills are 
  • If you have the ability to read a situation and make a judgment

Personality Profiling

Many people react with horror when they hear they are going to have a personality test. Their reaction usually is that they cannot change their personality and, therefore, there is nothing they can do to prepare.

However, a personality test is not a test of your downtime personality but a test of your workplace one. And personality is judged by behavior. 

In the personality test, you will be asked to respond to statements in a series of multiple choice questions asking you to describe yourself or what you would do in specific situations. 

Example questions:

You can expect questions along the lines of the following:

On a scale of 1-5, indicate the extent to which you agree with the following

“It is better to be polite and rule-obedient rather than carefree”

Now decide how you would answer the following statement

“I would have to be very sick to miss a day at work”

You can 1) Agree 2) Neither agree nor disagree 3) Disagree

To get a better understanding of how personality testing works, try giving each of the three answers in turn. Then sit back and decide what each answer is saying about you.

How Do I Prepare for the Assessments?

Accessing preparation resources is your answer to acing the tests.

You need to find out the format of the particular tests you will be doing and equip yourself with accurate preparation materials. 

Your best course of action is to use the services of a reliable job test preparation agency. For this, we recommend using Job Test Prep, a leader in the field of preparing candidates for pre-employment testing. 

With thirty years of experience in the field, they will give you accurate information on the format of the assessments and supply you with test preparation materials. Your material arrives in a test prep pack which includes:

  • Sample test papers modeled on the real assessments
  • A useful scoring system allowing you to check your scores after every test you do
  • Detailed explanations for questions and answers
  • Helpful notes and study guides.

To get an idea of the type of tests they give you, try your hand at the following free sample Situational Judgment Test.

Research the Company

Learn as much as you can about the company you have applied to before taking the tests. Many companies have an ideal personality type in mind for the type of candidate who will be a good fit for the role.

If at all possible, try to find out the type of person the company wants in the workplace. A trawl through their website may give you that information, or you or someone known to you may have dealt with the company. 

If possible, replicate that ideal personality in your answering. In the case of the above question, try to decide what type of person would be employed at the company you are applying to.

With practice on personality tests, you will learn how to adjust the answers to produce the ideal persona in personality profiling.

What Qualities Are Needed to Get a Customer Service Job?

The following skills are all necessary for this role:

  • Co-operativeness
  • Assertiveness
  • A positive attitude
  • The ability to multi-task

You also need to be committed to delivering quality service to the customer.

And bear in mind that very often in this position, you will be poised between the employer and the customer. They may often have conflicting demands, so problem-solving ability will be another very useful quality.

Above all, you have to show you are patient.

Example question:

Try the following question, assessing what each individual answer may be saying about you.

For example, if you “strongly agree” that you usually let others do the talking could that present you as a passive individual? On the other hand, if you “strongly disagree,” could you be overly aggressive?

Play with the question. Decide how you need to present yourself, then find the most suitable answer.

Assessment Preparation Tips

For effective preparation, try taking the following steps :

  • Work to a timetable.
  • Ensure you leave the day before the assessments free to get some rest before the real tests.
  • Divide study periods into 60-minute sessions: 50 minutes to work and 10 minutes break time.
  • Use your sample papers in every study session, and make sure you monitor your progress.
  • Get adequate rest and nutrition. Exam preparation is stressful. By taking care of your well-being, you will work better in your preparation sessions as well as in the real tests.

Approach the Tests…

Well-prepared, well-rested, and confident that you have done the work to win that customer service position!

If you want to prepare for customer service pre-employment tests, click here for all the resources you need.

Travel used to be as simple as booking a flight, jumping aboard, and waiting for take-off. But then 9/11, with all its terrifying ramifications, happened, and the traveling public had to adjust to a range of security checks while governments attempted to control terrorism.

Possibly the only positive result of all of that was the increase in the number of jobs available in security and especially in the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Take the Transport Security Administration Practice Test to improve your score.

The TSA, like many other security organizations, has been increasing the number of employees on its roster in the ongoing efforts to make flying safe again.

So if your ambition is a job making the skies safer or even just your local airport, then you may want to apply to the organization and become a transportation security officer (TSO).

But before you do, you need to know what are the expectations of that job title as well as make sure you meet its minimum qualifications and pass the application process. One of the things that you need to pass is a background check — we will cover exactly what it involves.

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What Is the TSA Hiring Process?


The TSA hiring process is long and demanding. From your initial application, which is done online, it can take up to a year or longer before you receive a final job offer and go to TSA Academy training.

Between the application and the job offer, you will undergo various assessments such as a medical evaluation, psychological examination, and background investigation. These are all part of the hiring process, designed to test your capability to do all job-related functions and accomplish them in a professional manner.

Your online application is followed by:

  • A computer-based test (TSA CBT)
  • A job offer contingent on you passing security checks
  • Credit check
  • Airport Assessment
  • Medical, physical, and drugs checks
  • A background check

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As such, before undergoing the hiring process, make sure you can meet the minimum qualifications:

  • You are 18 years or older. 
  • You have a high school diploma, a GED, or a certificate of equivalent education. 
  • You can pass a federal drug screening. 
  • You do not have delinquent debt and you can pass a credit check.
  • You are available to work shifts at odd hours and you are willing for occasional overtime.

What Is a Background Check?

The background checks will examine anything you may have done along the way that would preclude you from working in a high-level security position.

Criminal convictions in your past life may result in your disqualification from being a transportation security officer. The same applies to any evidence of drug taking or to any questionable associations you may have had with undesirables.

Naturally, when an organization is involved in ensuring security in uncertain times, it is paramount it should be able to trust the people working for it. However, there may be a little leeway if any misdemeanor you committed is from the distant past.

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What Do the Background Checks Look At?

Acing the above tests will see you getting a conditional job offer.

That offer depends on passing a medical evaluation and background checks. You must have worked on your physical well to pass the medical test. The medical evaluation as well as the other assessments can be demanding.

Your best course of action is to skim over your history and determine if there is anything that can prevent you from failing the application process.

You will be checked on the following issues, some of which could see your efforts to join the Transportation Security Administration become wasted. These usually pertain to certain criminal convictions.

  • A transportation security incident that caused loss of life or serious damage.
  • Any incident connected with the use of explosives.
  • Involvement with groups engaging in racketeering or financial corruption.
  • Money laundering and identity fraud.

Other offenses may delay your employment for a number of years:

  • Unlawful possession of weapons.
  • Giving or taking bribes.
  • Being an illegal immigrant will result in you being banned for 5-7 years.
  • Any conviction for the use or sale of drugs could seriously impact your employment opportunities. You can expect a drug test as part of the recruitment process and during your employment with the TSA.
  • Sex-related and other violent crimes could also see you being disbarred.

If you have outstanding warrants for any of the above, you will also not be considered in the TSO hiring process. Of course, you can appeal the TSA’s decision, but don’t expect to be very successful.

Even when you have passed all of the security checks, you will still have to go through checks when boarding flights to carry out your work.

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Other Tests You Have to Ace to Become a TSA Officer


Young Boy using laptop

The CBT is an online computer-based test. The test is taken at an assessment center and takes approximately 2.5 hours. 

The assessment is divided into two sections:

  • TSA X-Ray test. This is an assessment of how competent you are in the use of radiology. Called an X-Ray Object Recognition Skills Test, you will have to study and answer questions based on 100 images.
  • English Test. This is made up of 50-60 questions that test your language proficiency. 

X-Ray Test

In the X-Ray testyou will be given 100 images of luggage that has already been X-Rayed and will have to identify objects in the images.

This is considered the hardest part of the exercise. You are allowed 15 seconds to look at the luggage and identify forbidden goods such as weapons or drugs. Or you may be asked to identify the everyday objects people bring with them on their travels.

When the test is done in color, it is even more difficult as you will find yourself working through an array of colors and some objects may have more than one color. And you will have to learn that the darker the color, the denser the object is likely to be.

Expect questions along the following lines: Can you identify a weapon in the X-Ray image below?

In questions like this, the goods in the luggage may be presented at unusual angles and it is only by working with similar images that you will train your brain to identify objects quickly.

You can also expect questions like Is there a grenade in this bag?

As you can see from these two questions, you will need to know forbidden objects like harmful or dangerous weapons before undertaking this test.

This leaves you with two options, a trawl through your local gun store, which may or may not stock everything a terrorist might want to carry, or the more practical option of working on the sample papers in your test prep pack.

Working on the sample papers, you are guaranteed that:

  • You are working on papers modeled on the real test.
  • Everything you do in your preparation is relevant.
  • You will familiarize yourself with the test questions.
  • You are training yourself to work within the time limitations of the test
  • You can monitor your progress by checking your scores on each practice test you do.

And most importantly, you will become familiar with the types of goods forbidden on flights.

But you may also need to identify other objects the law-abiding traveler carries in their luggage. Your test prep pack will carry images of everything from babies’ bottles to scissors.

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The English Assessment

Your test prep pack prepares you for the English assessment in the same manner as it prepares you for the Object Recognition Test.

In the English assessment, you can expect 50-60 multiple-choice questions, all testing your English proficiency. You will be tested on:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Vocabulary
  • Written Communication Test

Reading Comprehension 

In the reading comprehension test, you will be given short passages followed by multiple-choice questions. 

You have approximately 90 seconds to answer each question. Work through the material quickly while at the same time showing attention to detail and the ability to extract relevant information quickly.

The content of the test is not especially difficult, but if reading is not one of your favorite activities, you will need to practice these exercises to hone your answering skills and to put yourself in a position to arrive at the correct answers. When working on reading comprehension exams, try reading the questions before you read the passage. This should enable you to spot answers more readily.

Try doing the following sample question in 90 seconds.

It’s little wonder Russians are toasting oil. These are boom times. Global oil prices have increased tenfold since 1998, and Russia has pulled ahead of Saudi Arabia as the world’s top crude oil producer. The Kremlin’s budget now overflows with funds for new schools, roads, and national defense projects, and Moscow’s nouveau rich are plunking down millions of dollars for mansion-scale “dachas.”

The Russians now produce crude oil because ___________.

a) they just found it

b) prices are down

c) prices are up

d) there is a growing demand

Bear in mind that you can only use the material contained in the paragraph.

The Vocabulary Test 

This test assesses if your vocabulary is broad enough for the role you have applied for. Your spelling ability will also be assessed here.

You will be given a word and have to choose words with the same meaning or the opposite meaning from the list that comes with it. They may also want you to look at words that sound the same but have different meanings. 

Think along the lines of “There, their, they’re” or “Meet, meat,” all things you studied during your education. You may need to revise them again and do sample test papers to ensure you can do them under time pressure.

The Written Communication Test 

The written communication test sees if your ability to express yourself and communicate is at a satisfactory level. This section is a fill-in-the-blank style test. You will be given sentences with blanks and pairs of words from which you have to select the correct word to fill in the blank.

To practice, you can check this test prep pack for sample tests .

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Are the Assessments Hard to Pass?

The Computer Based Tests are demanding in the same way that other pre-employment assessments are. 

The employer, in this case, the airport authorities and the government, seeks to employ the best of the applicants. As with any other secure government job, you can expect to be in contention with a great many other applicants for your coveted job.

Remember that you do not just have to pass all the tests to become a transportation security officer, outshine other candidates. And, of course, you have to be physically healthy. The Airport Assessment will see you attending an interview as well as taking a color vision test. A color vision test checks if you can distinguish between colors.

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How Do I Prepare for the Assessments and Background Checks?

If you are worried about the background check and want to do well in the tests, get prepared. As the CBT is the first assessment you have to do, this is where you should start with your preparation.

Visit the TSA website to get detailed information to know if they are hiring candidates for TSO positions and what are the minimum requirements to become one. That information will show you that the hiring process can be demanding and it will require you to do the work to survive the entire process and start a TSA career.

However, Job Test Prep has put together a test prep pack that covers all you need to ace the assessments and understand the checks. Coming complete with:

  • Helpful information about the assessments
  • Sample test papers modeled on the real tests
  • Detailed explanations for questions and answers
  • A method of checking your scores as you do the test.

The test prep pack gives you everything you need to face the tests with confidence. Using it, you will learn about the format of the tests and the style of questioning that lies ahead.

To get an idea of the types of sample papers they give, try a free sample verbal reasoning test.

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Preparation Tips

It is important you know how to manage your time and organize your schedule so that you will ace your the CBT. Here are some tips:

  • Create a time table.
  • Ensure the day before the test is free to get a rest before the test. 2.5 hours doing a test is mentally and physically challenging, and you need to be fresh.
  • Use your sample papers in all your preparation sessions.
  • Pay attention to any mistakes you are making and deal with them immediately.

While preparing for the test, take care of your health. This will ensure you perform at your optimum when doing the test. And don’t forget you will need to be physically fit for the health checks when you get through the computer testing.

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Take the First Step to a Rewarding Career

The first step to a rewarding and well-paying career in the TSA is having a clean record and a satisfactory score in your CBT. Doing the work and using your test prep pack will see you on your way to getting a new job and making life safer for the traveling public!

If a role with the TSA is your ambition, you will find all the resources you need to ace the pre-employment process here. 

Does the security of working a government job in Illinois appeal to you? If so, you may be interested in applying for one of their open positions.

If your application shows you are eligible for the job, you can expect an invitation to take the civil service examination. This is the main obstacle that stands in the way of starting a career in the civil service, so don’t underestimate its importance. The test can be tricky and competition is tough, but with the right preparation, there is no reason you can’t pass.

Take the Illinois Civil Service Practice Test to improve your score.

To find out more about the Illinois Civil Service Examination and the resources you need to prepare for it, continue reading.

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What is the Illinois Civil Service Examination?

The Illinois Civil Service tests are tests given to candidates applying to work in the Civil Service in Illinois. They are the civil service’s way of narrowing down the number of applications they receive for any post. Getting a high result in the examination increases your chances of getting that coveted job.

Because of the wide variety of jobs in the civil service, there are many different tests, all focusing on specific job roles. However, you can expect to be tested on some or all of the following:

  • English
  • Math
  • Logic/Critical thinking skills
  • Clerical skills
  • Personal Skills, i.e., personality tests
  • Professional skills that apply to the particular role you have applied for

How can I prepare for the Illinois Civil Service Examination?

Preparing for any job test can be demanding. You need to find accurate information about the test as well as reliable preparation materials.

For this, we recommend using the services of Job Test Prep, a company with many years of experience preparing applicants for pre-employment testing.

They will provide you with accurate information about the testing process and supply you with the resources that will help you ace the test.

When you get a test prep pack from them, you will receive:

  • Sample test papers modeled on the real test
  • A means of checking your scores as you complete the sample tests
  • Detailed explanations of questions and answers

For an idea of the types of tests they give you, try your hand at the following free sample civil service test.

As there is such a wide range of civil service tests, you need to clarify which tests you will be doing before starting preparing.

If you need to do a number of tests, Job Test Prep can supply you with all-inclusive prep packs that hold everything you need for the assessments.

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What is the format of the Illinois Civil Service Test?

The tests are administered by computer and are in the format of multiple-choice questions.

The time allowed for the tests ranges from 90 minutes to 2-4 hours, depending on the complexity of the test.

You may receive tests in English, math, logic/critical thinking skills, clerical skills, personality, and role-specific professional skills.

Personality test

The personality tests that are given for many roles can be daunting for many candidates. You can expect to get a straightforward personality test or a Situational Judgement Test (SJT).

The purpose of the personality test is to decide if you are a good fit for the workplace, if you are a team player, or even if you have the ability to prioritize tasks.
You can expect questions along the following lines;

Example question

On a scale of 1-7, to what extent do you agree with the following statement?

I lose my temper quickly but regain composure quickly too.

Situational Judgement Test

The SJT looks at your personality as well but in a slightly different way.
You are presented with a scenario that might arise in the workplace. In a multiple-choice question, you are asked how you would respond to it.

In each of these assessments working on sample tests will show you how to tweak your answering and present the persona you could see working in a civil service role.

Factors you need to remember when doing the personality test:

  1. You are not presenting your free time personality but rather the personality you would present at work.
  2. Personality is judged by behavior.
  3. You present the behavior in the test that an ideal employee would present.

If, for example, you were asked how you would respond if you saw a colleague struggling with a task, would you select 1 Report him to a supervisor 2 Take your coffee break 3 Smile behind your hand 4 Offer to show him an easier way of doing the task?

Try the following free tests to get a headstart on your preparation for this type of testing.

To get an idea of the type of testing you may face, try your hand at some of the following free civil service sample tests: a Civil Service Clerical Test or a Logical Inductive Test. These tests can be classified as job-focused tests as they decide if you have the skills needed for a particular role.

Study and preparation tips

You need to take an organized approach to your preparation.

To get the most out of the work you will be doing, try the following pointers:

Work to a timetable: Ensure you can leave the day before the test free for last-minute reviews and to rest in preparation for the assessment.
Use proven study techniques: Limit each study session to 50 minutes, followed by a 10-minute break.
Get adequate sleep, nutrition, and fresh air: Your brain will work better as a result.

Use your sample papers

Your sample papers should be the center of every preparation session. This ensures that:

  • You are becoming familiar with the real tests each time you do a sample test
  • You can hone your answering skills from test to test
  • You can monitor your progress as you work through the tests
  • Areas you are having difficulty with become obvious very quickly and you can work at improving on them
  • You learn to do the tests within the time allowed.

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Doing the Illinois Civil Service Test

Your approach to the real tests should be as organized as the work you put into preparing for them.

You need to approach the tests:

  • Well-rested and clear-headed. An all-night study session before the assessments will sabotage the efforts you have made to do well in the tests. A good night’s sleep will work in your favor.
  • With the confidence of knowing you have done the work and can do this.

If you have a civil service examination coming up for the Illinois civil service, you will find all the resources you need to prepare for it here.

Recommended Reading

Have you applied for a job with AECOM? If so, you will need to prepare for a demanding recruitment process, pre-employment testing, and a day at an assessment centre, or part of a day doing technical assessments at an office.

AECOM is a trusted infrastructure consulting firm with global recognition delivering projects from the planning stage to overseeing their construction. It will have a great many other applicants like yourself coveting the job you have applied for.

Take the AECOM Practice Test to improve your score.

To get that job, thorough preparation is required.

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How do I prepare for the AECOM Assessments?

The best approach to preparation for pre-employment testing is to use the services of a job test preparation company.

For this, we recommend using the services of Job Test Prep, leaders in preparing candidates for all aspects of the recruitment process.

Using their services, you are guaranteed accurate information about the process and the resources you need for preparation.

They can provide you with a test prep pack containing sample test papers modelled on the real tests, a means of checking your scores as you do the papers, and detailed explanations of questions and answers.

Working on the sample papers, you will become familiar with the tests before doing the actual exam and ensure that nothing on the real test will take you by surprise. You also learn to do the tests within the restricted time limit imposed.

To get a feel for the types of tests you will take, try your hand at a free sample test here.

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What format does the testing take?

The process begins with an online application and submission of your CV. Bear in mind that you are allowed to apply for three teams in your application, so consider your options carefully.

Following this, you will be asked to do a phone interview and online reasoning tests.

If you get successfully through these stages, you will be invited to an assessment centre to engage in group exercises followed by an interview with an AECOM partner.

Your AECOM test prep pack will provide you with the resources to prepare for all of these stages.

Online Reasoning Tests

AECOM states they are looking for employees with a solid technical grounding in their field. It also looks for people with the ability to analyse information and make informed decisions based on that information.

Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs)

The SJT will present you with a number of scenarios you are likely to encounter if working with them. In these scenarios, you will be expected to decide on the least and the most likely action to take.

Your answers will give the recruiter an indication if you will be a suitable company employee.

Practicing SJTs will enable you to pinpoint the answers that are most likely to align with AECOM’s values. U

Numerical Reasoning

For some positions, you may be asked to do an online numerical reasoning test. Try the following free sample numerical reasoning test and see how you score.

You can expect to do an AECOM personality test at the assessment centre.

In personality testing, the company will be looking at your teamwork skills, your communication abilities, your ability to prioritise tasks, and your willingness to challenge and ask questions.

Given the part AECOM plays in putting forward modern approaches to infrastructure, it is not surprising that the company also likes its employees to be confident, creative, and innovative.

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AECOM Assessment Centre

AECOM looks for disruptors and innovators to join them in their mission to deliver a better world. Take this statement as your guide on how you should behave on your visit to the assessment centre and remember that a day at the assessment centre is a two-way process.

What happens at the AECOM Assessment Centre?

You will be getting a feel for the company. Company assessors will also be studying you. They will check if you have the qualities necessary in an AECOM employee.

At the assessment centre, you will do technical assessments with the team you are being considered for.

These tests will depend on the roles you have applied for. You can get all-inclusive test prep packs covering a range of tests. You may also need to complete verbal reasoning tests, mechanical reasoning tests, and logical reasoning assessments.

Example question:

Try your skills at the following logical reasoning question.

If there are no dancers that aren’t slim and no singers that aren’t dancers, then which statements are always true?

  1. There is not one slim person that isn’t a dancer
  2. All singers are slim
  3. Anybody slim is also a singer
  4. None of the above


The tricky part here is that the question is phrased negatively. This means that we, first of all, need to identify the nature of each group. Then, we establish the relationship between the groups. You can draw a diagram to analyze the relationship among the groups. Then, you will find that the only true statement is that all singers are slim.

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Preparing for Assessment Day testing

You can get all-inclusive test prep packs covering a range of assessments from Job Test Prep. This means that whatever you apply for, you can breathe a sigh of relief that it will be covered.

Personality testing may also apply to some roles. Bear in mind that the company will be looking at a candidate’s abilities to deal with information and make informed decisions, and their teamwork skills as much as their technical know-how.

Try your hand at a free sample general ability test here.

And discover the type of personality you present here in this free sample test.

After completing both exercises, look at your answers and assess if you could do better by tweaking some of your answers.

Working on sample tests will hone your skills in delivering the answers that will help you ace the assessments.

Aside from personality tests, you might need to take part in group exercises. These activities will check your ability to work with members of a team. Remember, group exercises can be challenging.

You need to:

  • Show what you are capable of
  • Avoid being too dominant or too passive
  • Show you are a good listener as well as a good talker
  • Show respect for others’ opinions while getting your point across clearly and logically

Final Interview

Prior to the assessment day, the company will tell you to prepare for your interview. Gather all the information you can about them. They like to see enthusiastic interviewees and advise applicants to ask questions at the interview.

You can expect competency-based questions from the interviewer, but the interview will also focus on how suited to the company’s culture and value system you are.

Showing a good understanding of how the company approaches its projects is essential if you are to ace the interview. Being self-confident is high on the company’s values, so be prepared to actively participate in the interview.

And remember, they want employees who are ready to make a difference.

If you have an AECOM assessment in the offing, you will find all the resources you need to ace it here.

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Written by Elizabeth O Mahony