How To Prepare For The FBI Special Agents Test – A Helpful Guide
The FBI has a distinct recruitment process compared to most other organizations. The FBI phase test is the first phase you will encounter after submitting your application. Failure to perform well on this test will stop you from continuing the recruitment process.
According to the FBI, only 30 percent of candidates manage to pass the FBI test. Not only is it critical to pass the exam, but it is also critical to do well on the exam. Your score will be saved in your file and used to determine whether or not you are a qualified candidate.
Let’s make sure you know what to expect on the FBI Special Agent test. This article will provide critical information about the test and some FBI preparation tips and tricks.
Table of Contents
FBI Special Agent Prerequisites
It takes patience and persistence to become an FBI agent because the process is lengthy.
There are specific requirements that must be met before your application is accepted, which include:
- US citizenship
- Must be at least 23 years old
- Valid drivers license
- No criminal record, drug use, or poor financial history
- At least a bachelor’s degree and work experience
Needed Characteristics and Experience
Beyond the application requirements, the FBI hires based on current operating requirements and vital capabilities such as:
- Intelligence experience
- Law enforcement experience
- Military experience
- Physical science experience
- Language Proficiency
- Financial skills
- Engineering skills
Specific degree programs offer separate admission pathways, such as computer science or languages. The varied approach allows for those who have a BA or BSc in any area and those who come from other law enforcement or investigative backgrounds.
Phases of the FBI Test
The FBI tests have two separate Phases: one and two.
Several well-known global companies have worked with PSI Services, a well-established test publisher that administers over 30 million examinations per year in 160 countries for a variety of prominent organizations.
A total of five evaluations are administered in person at a PSI assessment center in a single session during the first phase.
The assessments take about three hours to complete, which include:
- Logic-based reasoning
- Figural reasoning
- Personality assessment
- Preferences and interests
- Situational judgment
If applicants are successful in Phase 1, they receive an invitation to go in person for a meeting. Following that, each candidate’s test results, data from the meet and greet, and traits that align with the FBI key competencies are evaluated.
Then the candidate will be able to go onto Phase two.
To prepare for Phase 1, visit Job Test Prep to obtain practice tests.
Phase 2 has two sections:
- Written test
- In-person structured interview
The written test, administered at a PSI testing center, evaluates the applicant’s ability to analyze data and create reports.
It is important to note that around 95% of those who apply for FBI positions are unsuccessful. The exams used in the recruitment process guarantee that only the very best candidates are selected to go to the FBI Academy for the rest of their training.
What Is on the FBI Test Phase 1?
Applicants who have been accepted to take part in the Phase I tests will receive an email from the PSI Services team in which they will be asked to select a test day, time, and place.
PSI staff members who are present in the test center administer the evaluations.
This is a computer-based test, and each section is designed to assess a different aspect of aptitude, ranging from critical thinking to reasoning.
There are 11 questions in this portion of the test. During the exam, candidates face a paragraph or a few words containing information, and they must determine what inferences they can draw to achieve an inferential conclusion. The answers are multiple-choice questions.
The most effective technique to deal with logic-based questions is to read each one and evaluate all of the provided material before seeking a conclusion.
Make sure that you use only the material provided to answer the question and that you do not draw on any past knowledge.
Candidates are evaluated on how they identify patterns in solving problems.
During this portion, you’ll receive nine questions, each of which is displayed as an incomplete image, including eight shapes, images, or drawings contained within a box with three columns and three rows.
A difficult one to solve because the photos provided can have a pattern that runs across the rows and through the columns. Because there is a time restriction to consider, you must make judgments as quickly as possible.
Finding the last picture in the box involves figuring out the sequence’s pattern.
This assessment discovers the personality characteristics that the FBI believes are important for a successful special agent.
On each screen of this test, there are five pairs of statements with a slider in between them. If you disagree with either of the statements on the screen, you must use the slider to show your level of agreement with that statement — you cannot remain in the middle, but you can express your level of agreement with any of the statements.
There are 100 statements in this part of the assessment.
This is a challenging test for applicants since it is possible that neither of the statements in the pair is anything with which you agree, yet this is quite acceptable.
It’s critical you remain as truthful as possible throughout this evaluation.
Preferences and Interests
This evaluation has a visual similarity to the personality assessment; however, instead of a slider, it has sentences and a rating scale instead.
In order to establish whether or not you possess the ideal dispositional attributes that the FBI recruitment team is seeking, this test is meant to evaluate your personal attitudes.
Use the scale to rate each statement to illustrate how much you agree with it and how relevant you believe it is to your own personal preferences, as well as how much you disagree with it.
This section contains 37 multiple-choice questions.
To prepare for the exam, visit JobTest Prep to obtain practice tests.
When you complete this section, you’ll be evaluated on your decision-making abilities, as demonstrated by your responses to real-world scenarios that candidates would meet in their usual work setting.
Each scenario will be offered with five different answer options, and you will be required to choose the solution that most accurately reflects the way you would deal with the circumstance if it were your own.
This section contains a total of 19 questions.
Try a free situational judgment test here.
Completion of Phase 1
You’ll be evaluated for suitability for the role of a special agent after you have finished the tests. Your score will be calculated and compared to a norm group to determine your suitability.
Because it does not break the score down into particular portions, it is in your best interest to practice those areas in which you are less confident before taking the exam.
If you do not achieve the required score, your application will not be considered for further consideration.
It is possible to retake the test in some conditions, it is not always possible (not less than six months later).
FBI Test Phase 2
The Phase II test is also conducted in a PSI test center in the local area.
The FBI key competencies are matched to your results from the Phase I exams, together with the information you obtained from the meet and greet, and you will receive an email invitation from PSI to schedule the first part of the Phase II test.
This first section consists of a written evaluation with a time limit.
Each candidate will be provided with clear instructions and data, after which they will be required to analyze the information in order to prepare two detailed reports.
This assessment must be well-written and comprehensive, and it must answer the short and adhere to the guidelines exactly as specified.
They are frequently based on a fictional scenario, and they must be grammatically perfect, as well as correctly written with proper spelling and punctuation because the computer application utilized in the testing facility does not have a spell-check feature.
Practicing for the Phase II test is difficult, but knowing verbal reasoning, deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, and comprehension will offer you the best chance of passing the test on the first try.
Your response must be of the highest caliber, supported by strong arguments and a well-thought-out debate. Review the information provided and keep in mind that you should be clear and succinct in your arguments. Your arguments should follow a logical pattern so that they are easy to read and understand.
The structured interview that follows the second section of the Phase II test is the final step.
This is administered by a panel of three special agents and is conducted in the form of a performance-based interview with scoring criteria that are used to assess competency.
Preparing for the FBI Test
As the test is so demanding, it is vital that you prepare well. Hands down, the most effective way to do this is to use the practice materials of a reliable job test preparation company. We highly recommend JobTest Prep, which offers prep packs with realistic practice exams based on the real thing.
You will receive:
- FBI practice tests
- Situational judgment tests
- FBI-style logic-based reasoning tests
- Figural reasoning tests
- Preferences and Interests test
- FBI personality assessment guide
- Practice questions
This will provide the framework for your preparation and mean that on the day, you will be familiar with the material. Make sure you go into the exam calm and ready.
Tests to become an FBI special agent are rigorous and tough to pass, ensuring that they recruit only the most qualified candidates.
If you are interested in pursuing a career as an FBI special agent, become intimately acquainted with the testing process and the characteristics that are evaluated at each stage. A well-thought-out plan will put you one step closer to reaching your objective.
To learn more about practice tests, visit JobTest Prep to prepare before you take the test. Good luck!
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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.