Civil Service Police Records Clerk/Technician Exam – Ultimate Preparation Guide

Last Updated on May 12, 2022

The police collect very valuable and sensitive information in the course of their work. Therefore, the person who manages that information has an important role to play in the operation of the nation’s law enforcement.

Working as a police records clerk, you can expect to be involved in the processing and maintaining of that information, a job that requires writing skills, computer skills, and good people skills.

If it is your ambition to be that person, prepare yourself to work through a demanding recruitment process that begins with the Police Records Clerk/Technician Exam.

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What is the police records clerk/technician exam?

The police records clerk exam is a pre-employment exam to test if applicants have the skills required for the job. Applicants are tested on their clerical and organizational skills, their attention to detail, and their ability to deal with colleagues and members of the general public.

When called upon to do the police records clerk/technician exam, you can expect to be tested on your abilities in the following areas:

  1. Clerical operations with letters and numbers. You can expect your attention to detail to come under scrutiny here. You will be required to analyze data focusing on the letters and numbers used.
  2. Name and number checking. Comparing different sets of information, you will have to search for differences between the sets, something that will again show if you have the ability to pay attention to detail.
  3. Office record keeping. Expect to have to read records in tables and graphs and show you have the ability to work with those types of records.

Is the police records clerk/technician exam hard?

Given the nature of the work carried out by a police records clerk, the exam is hard and one that requires a lot of preparation.

The test is the police service’s way of finding the people who have the skills and attention to detail to work accurately with the information that might well become significant in criminal or civil proceedings.

Getting job applicants to do the tests before they are called to interview ensures they are working through a pool of the most capable people when the interviews begin.

The job security and benefits offered by this job attract a lot of applicants and increase the competition for postings, another factor that adds to the difficulty of the exam.

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How can I prepare for the Police Records Clerk/Technician exam?

Preparation is essential if you want to progress through the recruitment process to land this job.

To avoid a time-consuming search for information about the test, we recommend you use the services of Job Test Prep, a recognized leader in job test preparation. They will provide you with accurate information on the test as well as preparation resources. You will get a test prep pack from them, which will guide your preparation.

In the prep pack you will find:

  • Sample tests mirrored on the real exam
  • Detailed explanations for questions
  • A means to check your scores as you work from test to test

To get a feel for the tests you can get, try your skills on this free sample test for a civil service job.

What format does the Civil Service Police Records exam take?

You can expect to be tested in the three areas outlined above. But looking at a job description of the work required from a records clerk/technician will give you an idea of the areas you will need to be competent in.

Not alone will you have to have skills in maintaining records but you will need writing skills when called upon to write reports or compile statistics. Written communication skills will be needed when you are expected to create logs or reports.

Skills in using Microsoft office suite or other forms of software are necessary for this work. One such job description asserts the need to be able to type at least 35 words per minute.

You will also need to show your understanding of the workings of a police station.

Given the wide array of material you need to be familiar with, you can expect to get the following in your test prep pack:

  • Clerical tests – Your office skills are vital for accurate police records work.
  • Checking tests – Attention to detail is essential if you are to work maintaining and presenting records of police investigations, crimes or anything that disrupts the safe running of society.
  • English usage tests – Prepare to work on your grammar in this one. You can also expect questions testing the range of your vocabulary.
  • Reading comprehension tests – Here you are given passages to read and multiple-choice questions to answer. Remember, your answers must be based on the material you are given, so don’t include any outside ideas in your answering.

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Practice Checking Test question

Expect questions along the following lines:

Are the values in the highlighted row identical between the two tables?

A) Yes
B) No

Study guides and tutorials to help you navigate the tests are a key part of test prep packs.

Preparing for the exam

Having familiarized yourself with the tests you will be obliged to take, it is time to put a study routine in place.

Try the following steps for effective preparation:

  • Equip yourself with a test prep pack.
  • Designate a place that you can call your own for the duration of your preparation.
  • Work to a timetable.
  • Follow proven study guidelines. Work in blocks of no more than 50 minutes followed by a 10-minute break.
  • This allows you to use your brain to its full capacity.
  • Follow every day’s study with 10 minutes revision of the day’s work to improve your retention of material.

Using your sample tests

The sample tests should play a central part in every preparation session.

This will ensure:

  1. You are becoming familiar with the style of questioning in every session. By test day you will know what precisely you are facing.
  2. You hone your skills with every test you do.
  3. You train yourself to do questions within the time allowed.
  4. You can check your scores after every test, check what areas might need more of your time and monitor your progress as you work through the tests.

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Doing the exam

When the tests arrive, you have the confidence of knowing you have done the work for this. A few simple steps prior to the tests will enable you to capitalize on that work:

  • On the day prior to the test, apart from some last-minute reviews, take a free day.
  • Ensure you get a good night’s sleep before the tests. You will need to be well rested and clear-headed.
  • If you tend to become stressed when doing exams, recognize this happens to a lot of people. Have some stress-busting techniques, deep breathing, gentle stretching to fall back on.
    And finally, get in there and give it all you’ve got!

If you have been asked to do the police records clerk/technician exam, you will find all the resources you need to prepare at Job Test Prep.

Written by Elizabeth O Mahony

With 25+ years’ experience as a teacher and state examinations corrector, Elizabeth now writes for the education and careers industry. Her experience preparing students for examinations and running an academy for supplementary education give her invaluable insights into what it takes for job seekers and graduates to succeed in assessments.

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