New York State police

How to Study And Pass New York State Police (NYSP) Exam?

Last Updated on February 8, 2023

Are you considering a role in the New York police force? Defending public justice and safety is honorable. Each year, the New York State police exam eliminates thousands of unfit candidates.

The series of pre-employment tests are demanding and challenging. From physical indicators or logical reasoning, the applicant has to go through stages of interviews before officially becoming a civil servant.

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This NYS study guide will give you an idea of how you can gain your seat in the police force.

What Is Included in the NYS Police Exam?

Aside from the sets of physical tests and measurements you will take, there are several written exams to beat. Depending on the position you apply for, various tests will be provided. There are different names for these tests, which can be confusing at first.

Despite the varying names, all of these tests assess certain aspects of your skills and qualities.

Here are some of the general tests you will encounter.

1. Writing Test

The test assesses your ability to write legal documents for the department. It can include witness testimonies, depositions, internal communication, etc. While you do not need to possess legal knowledge to pass the test, you need to be grammatically accurate to present your case.

As a police officer, a huge chunk of your daily operation revolves around handling paperwork. You need sharp organizational skills and concise writing to get your message across.

2. Reading Test

A man in Black is Reading

Police officers have to read through lots of emails and documents each day. Having the skill to skim through lengthy papers and condensing a summary makes you work more efficiently. In this test, you have to complete a reading comprehension section under a tight timeframe.

You have to summarize the passage and select the correct description. The paragraphs are mostly about reports and internal communication.

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3. Situational Judgement

Candidates have to demonstrate exceptional reasoning skills in handling various situations. Most of these situations are straightforward as you do not have to be well-versed in the police protocol to take the test. However, exercising your logical reasoning is a must.

For example, you will be asked what the most appropriate way is to handle a suspect of the opposite sex, how to deal with the evidence, and how to question a witness at the scene. These situations will likely happen in the future. You should be able to handle these typical scenarios even without the police school training.

4. Mathematical and Spatial Reasoning

In the day-to-day operation, a police officer has to handle quite a few calculations. A strong numerical reasoning sense will better equip you for the position. Furthermore, spatial reasoning is required when you are out on patrol. It helps with your response rate and alert.

There will not be complicated mathematical questions or formulas as it aims to validate your basic numerical sense. This could be the easiest part if you do not struggle with calculations in particular.

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5. Abstract Visualization

In this test, you need to arrange some patterns, divide them into groups based on their characteristics, or find out the abnormality. Police officers receive regular training in piecing the puzzle with incomplete information. Abstract visualization is frequently used to connect the dots in pairing evidence.

All the figures and graphs follow a hidden pattern. It is the candidate’s responsibility to spot the pattern. Candidates should utilize their numerical deduction skills, attention to detail, and information ordering skills altogether.

How Is the NYS Police Exam Scored?


The scores you receive on the test are valid for four years. If you choose to continue the pre-employment process, you can use the same score for the duration of their validity. For each test, the passing score varies slightly around the 70% benchmark.

How to Prepare for the NYS Police Exam?

1. Get Your Exam Preparation

As useful as a detailed study guide, it will never beat practicing with a real test. Job Test Prep provides a full set of NYS police exam study guides, mock exams, and analyses to enhance your performance. There are over 1,500 questions in the database.

Job Test Prep is a reputable platform that offers top-tier exam practices for different companies. You will not get a general practice test for all positions. Experts have created specific sets of guides for each role and department so you can tackle the test you are facing.

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2. Think From a Legal Perspective

Since you want to be an officer of the law, you need to take action within the legal boundary. When tackling the situational judgment part, you need to understand the difference between personal justice and legal justice.

Select the option that makes the most sense. Regardless of how emotional a situation makes you feel, you need to choose an option according to the law. You should strictly avoid any answer that clashes with the legal field.

3. Read Some of the NYS Police Reports

Although you may not have access to the internal documents or legal filings, there are a ton of official reports released to the public that you can learn from. These reports are direct references to your work.

A lot of the questions you will encounter in the test are modified from these official reports. Reading through them gives you an advantage as you will likely run into similar questions or situations stated in these police files. You can file these reports in the department’s press releases and public archives.

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4. Give Yourself a Tighter Time Limit in the Practice Test

The duration of each test is set to give candidates the right amount of time. In some tests, especially the ones that you are not familiar with, you may struggle to complete the set on time. To give yourself a better training session, shorten the time limit so you learn to answer the questions with less time.

Do the tests repeatedly to familiarize yourself with the structure and question style. You can keep shortening the time limit as you become more fluent in answering. Instead of getting stuck in one section, you should learn to skip the questions to save time.

In addition, ensure you have a stable internet connection before you attempt the test. During the actual test, a drop in connection can accidentally mark your set as completed. It is important that you test out the speed.


Maintaining social order is a respectable American dream. The civil servants that put their lives at risk are the reason the state is functioning so well. To become an officer of the law, you have to first pass a number of tests. These tests determine your suitability for the role.

Join Job Test Prep today to download your full set of practice exams. Gain your advantage in the pre-employment exams with your exclusive study guides and exam trends.

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