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Police Scotland Entrance Test: Ultimate Preparation Guide

Anyone who wants to become a police officer in Scotland will need to pass the Police Scotland Entrance Test (PSET) and then the first fitness test. This article will explain everything you need to know about the test, prepare, and pass both these tests.

The fitness assessment and the standard entrance test are typically completed on the same day and in the same location. Candidates will need to complete the Standard Entrance Test for the Scottish Police Force after completing the application paper-sift stage.

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The test will be completed either at a Police Force establishment or a test administration centre. Candidates will need to pass all three of the stages to move on to the next stage of the recruitment process. So candidates must be fully prepared for these tests.

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About The Police Scotland Entrance Test

The Standard Entrance Test has recently been updated to a single exam paper consisting of three test papers; language, numeracy, and information handling. In the test, candidates must answer 57 questions in one hour (60 minutes).

The fitness test

The fitness test for the Scottish Police Force is based on the multi-stage shuttle run (MSSR). Candidates will need to complete a mile, and a half run in under 18 minutes and get to level 5.4. Even if candidates are fit and healthy, it’s still recommended that they prepare and meet the minimum requirements for passing the fitness test.

To reach Level 5.4 for the bleep test, candidates will need to run the equivalent of 5.5-mph for three and a half minutes. It’s important to remember that the recruiters will check which candidates are prepared and excel in this test.


Different Types of Questions Asked in the PSET

There are three different sections in the Standard Entrance Test. In total, 57 questions need to be answered in 60 minutes. These sections include a Language Test, Numbers Test, and an Information Handling Test.

In most cases, candidates will fail the numbers test. However, if you fail the test, candidates will be allowed to retake the test at a later time. Candidates will need to pass all three sections before moving on to the next stage of the recruitment process.

Language test questions

The Standard Entrance Test has a language that will assess candidates in understanding sentence structure, grammar, tenses, punctuation, and spelling. This section has four questions that candidates will be expected to answer.

In the grammar section, candidates will need to answer simple questions to assess their grammar skills. These questions will determine their spelling skills and tenses, use of verbs, pronouns, comparatives and superlatives, prepositions, conjunctions, and vocabulary skills.

The PSET will also assess a candidate’s comprehension skills here. In the test, candidates will be given a passage to read. They will also need to choose 12 words out of 17 to complete the sentences.

There will also be questions where candidates will need to fix four mixed up sentences. They will need to find the correct order of words for each sentence. These sentences will be complex, so staying calm and focused during this section is essential.

Police Scotland will also test a candidate’s reading comprehension skills in the language test. Here candidates will need to read several passages and ask questions based on the passage. So candidates need to pay attention to the facts presented in the passage.

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Number test questions

The number test in the Police Scotland entrance test will assess a candidate’s mathematical skills. In most cases, this is where candidates will fail the Standard Entrance Test.

There are 20 questions in this section that candidates will need to answer. The questions will involve simple mathematical calculations such as multiplying, adding, and subtracting.

The questions will also include time-based questions, adding and subtracting money, ratio questions, distance and time, percentages, and calculating speed.

If candidates struggle with mathematical concepts or haven’t practised maths recently, they will need to prepare thoroughly for this test section. It’s also important to remember that candidates won’t be allowed to use a calculator for this assessment.

An important thing to remember is that candidates need to always include symbols in their answers. For example, always have the currency symbols if they are answering a question involving money.

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Information Handling test questions

The last section of the Standard Entrance tests is the Information Handling test. This is another section where most candidates will stumble. There are plenty of reasons why these questions are complex.

In most cases, candidates won’t be familiar with the style of questions in this section. In this section of the PSET, the candidates will be given several charts and tables, and they will need to answer questions based on them.

The questions in the Information handling test are changed every six months. This change means that there will be new questions every six months. Each batch of these questions will range in how difficult they are and their style.

This change is because Police Scotland wants candidates to prepare for the PSET while also assessing how they handle unexpected information.

In the Information Handling test, candidates can expect two different types of questions; calculation questions and observation questions. For example, observation questions might include the following:

  • “What is the most likely crime for people between ages 30 to 40 to commit?”
  • “Between what times were mist crimes committed?”
  • “Which mode of transport are people most likely to use to get to the supermarket?”

In a typical situation, calculation questions will look like the following:

  • “Benefit fraud offences in April account for what percentage of total crimes committed throughout the year?”
  • “What’s the difference in the number of cars stolen by people under the age of 40 compared to those over the age of 40?”
  • “On average, how many armed robberies took place during the day in the month of June?”

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How to Prepare for the PSET?

Now that we’ve gone over the written exam, we’ll also provide some tips on preparing for the PSET. Candidates can check for information on the official website here. The website will provide all the latest information candidates need about this test.

The next thing candidates will need to do is find the necessary study guides, books and prep sites to help pass the test. Below, we’ve also listed what candidates do to prepare for the PSET.

Study Time

Candidates need to set outside time to study for the PSET. It’s essential that candidates study every day instead of cramming the evening before the test. If candidates take a balanced approach to study and preparation, they will be able to retain the information for longer.

If candidates can dedicate a particular time to preparing for the Standard Entrance Test without any distractions and disturbances, there’s a good chance they will pass this exam.

Find your strengths and weaknesses.

To properly prepare for the PSET, candidates must take an honest look at their strengths and weaknesses. If they struggle with grammar or math, they should focus on improving these skills.

Improving Skills

Once candidates have learned their strengths and weaknesses, it’s time to start improving their skills. For example, if they are skilled at reading comprehension questions or writing reports, they should also practise these skills.

On the other hand, if a candidate struggles with math, they should focus on improving their math skills while they prepare. As we all know, practice makes perfect. As candidates improve in these areas where they struggle, their confidence will improve.

Rest well before the test

No one should underestimate the importance of a good night’s rest before the Standard Entrance Test. This means that candidates shouldn’t spend all night with their noses stuck in a book.

Candidates should get plenty of exercises, take some time to relax and get some peaceful sleep. It’s recommended that candidates get at least seven hours of sleep the night before the test.

If candidates are unsure where the test venue is, they should go and check where it is. Checking the venue ahead of time will ensure that they don’t lose time looking for the venue.

On the morning of the test, candidates should eat a healthy breakfast. Their breakfast should include brain foods such as eggs, oats, salmon, etc.

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Final Thoughts

The Police Scotland is one of the largest police forces in the United Kingdom. There are approximately 23 000 police officers that work to keep Scotland safe. Candidates who are considering joining police Scotland will need to pass the Police Scotland Entrance Test (PSET) to move on to the next step of the recruitment process.

The PSET consists of three different sections that candidates will need to pass. These sections will test a candidate’s language skills, math skills, and ability to handle unexpected information.

For all of the above reasons, candidates need to prepare for the Standard Entrance Test thoroughly. They can do this by finding studying guides online, ensuring they are well-rested and have adequate study time.

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