Preparing for the CBP Exam: Application Process, Tips, and What to Expect
So what is a CBP test anyway? This is an important job that keeps border posts regulated between countries.
CBP is customs and border protection. We can easily join the training program to become CBP officers.
There are rigorous and physically challenging training, assessment and examination processes that are required from applicants to pass.
All of the information we need is readily available on the website of the department of homeland security.
There is much pride within the homeland security department. The DHS CBP logo seal was created in June 2003. We can look at the CBP logo as proudly as we do the US flag.
Its symbolism represents the department’s main mission. That is to prevent attacks and to protect Americans. On the land, in the sea, and in the air.
In the center of the seal, there is an American white eagle. It has been placed in a circular blue field.
The customs and border protection program is designed only to accept the brightest and strongest candidates.
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CBP Officer Roles
Know What the Role Means
A border patrol agent is normally involved in larger-scale areas. These include off-road regions with little or no security measures in place.
A CBP officer will work mostly at ports of entry, including airports, where we would spend time checking packages and processing paperwork rather than interacting with the public.
Even though there are differences in duties, both a CBP officer and a border patrol agent are required to complete the training requirements. These include emotional maturity and personal character. They would both need to go through a background investigation as well.
To qualify for either role, we would need to obtain a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. This can be helpful as students that obtain a superior academic standard are given the prestigious title of the honor society membership.
The Application Process to Become a CBP Officer
When wanting to be a border protection officer for customs and border protection and the department of homeland security, you will need to follow the necessary steps.
These Steps Include:
1) Application process
2) Entrance exam
3) Qualifications review
4) Background investigation, medical exam, fitness test (all done together)
6) Polygraph examination
7) Random drug test
8) Valid driver’s license
CBP Officer Entrance Examination
Firstly the applicants will need to complete the CBP officer application process. There is also an online assessment questionnaire.
These will be submitted for pay grades GS-5 and/or GS-7. Qualifying candidates will get an invitation to complete the online Candidates Experience Record and then be scheduled for the CBP entrance exam at a local test center.
Those candidates that have the necessary experience in law enforcement or import and export can qualify for the GS-9 grade level test to become a CBP officer.
That being said, the CBP GS-9 has no entrance exam requirement. It is simple to find out what pay grade you fall under. This will be based on your experience and education.
Once applicants complete their application or once they have taken the entrance exam. Candidates will need to wait for up to 2 to 3 weeks for an email with a notice of results.
Candidates are evaluated according to their resume, required documents, and the CBP entrance exam.
This Exam is Made Up of Two Sections:
- The online assessment
- The proctored exam is taken at a local testing center.
The Proctored Exam is Made Up of Three Sections:
- Logical reasoning – the logical reasoning test takes 120 minutes and is written at a logical reasoning test center.
- Arithmetic reasoning test
- Writing skills test – the CBP exam will be taken at a writing skills test center.
A successful candidate will need to obtain a mark of a minimum of 70 in the tests. Once a candidate has taken the entrance exam, they will not be allowed to retake the test for six months. This is regardless of a pass or a fail.
It is highly recommended that applicants make use of study guides. It is also advised to take the CBP officer entrance practice tests. This will provide insight into what type of questions will be asked in the real test.
Border Patrol Agent Entrance Exam
The border patrol agent application and online assessment questionnaire will need to be completed. These will be given in for the pay grade GS-7.
We will then get an invitation to complete the online Candidate Experience Record. Then they will be scheduled for the BPA officer entrance exam at a local test center.
Once again, those who have law enforcement experience will be eligible for the GL-9 grade level.
We will need to wait for about 2 to 3 weeks to receive an email of Notice of Results.
We always strongly encourage officers to complete practice tests in order to be fully prepared for the real test. It is never too late to begin our journey to prepare properly for the tests.
Based on our resumes, required documents, and the BPA tests. The same procedures as stated for the CBP test will be followed. It is essential to ensure we can provide the correct answers for logical reasoning.
We are also unable to retake these tests for six months after writing. Regardless of a pass or fail result.
CBP Officer Physical Fitness Test
The border patrol agent is a demanding job. Duties are related to keeping our borders safe. There needs to be proper facilitation and smooth flow of legitimate trade. Lawful travel within the customs needs the process to be monitored.
For officers to prepare properly for this position, skills need to be developed so that duties can be carried out easily.
The work style is physically demanding, so this means that the training and assessment are intentionally rigorous.
Two Fitness Tests Need to be Completed:
1) Physical fitness test – completed at a physical fitness testing center
2) Fitness graduation standard
The requirements are the same for all officers. The border patrol fitness test does not discriminate against age, race, or gender.
There are Three Sections to be Completed:
3) 122″ step test
Each aspect needs to be completed.
Take as many preparation tests as needed to become comfortable with the desired answers. The CBP entrance exam should be taken seriously and treated like a superior academic achievement. This is important as the tests for the basis of the hiring process.
Prep tests are there to make sure that officers are prepared enough. The actual test situation is stressful. So it helps to know that we know what we are doing. There are going to be no unforeseen surprises. The more prepared we are, the less we need to be concerned with failure.
That being said, we should not be afraid of failure. If tests need to be retaken, we can use the waiting time to work on the areas where we went wrong.
Proper test preparation for arithmetic reasoning is highly advised. Page through the tests and read the questions carefully to make sure what is being asked is understood.
Make sure to check that your answers are grammatically correct. It is easy enough to practice your answers on a separate page.
That being said, when you write the actual exam, bring a scratch paper with you to work on.
CBP officer entrance examination will also require officers to complete a polygraph examination. This is easy to do as long as we are honest. Be upfront about any drug use. Or any previous illegal activity. These questions will be asked the truth will come out one way or another.
Have a look at when the practice tests were last modified. Try to work on the most recent tests available. These tips will be also helpful in the preparation of TSA test which is another security post from homeland security department.
All the needed information is readily available on social networks on the customs and border page. Use the “networks share this page” to spread the information amongst others.
This is a serious position to apply for. We need to ensure that this is a calling and what we want our lives to be dedicated to.
This job comes with long hours, physically demanding duties with mentally tiring situations. This is a prestigious job that assists in keeping the country safe. We are looked upon as a line of defense and protection.
Related Study Guide
Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.