How to Prepare for Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) Exam?
Is it your ambition to work as a police officer with the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD)? If so then you need to be prepared for a challenging recruitment process.
If you are an aspiring Port Authority police officer, you are in the company of a great many others whose ambition is to provide police protection at all of the agency’s facilities.
Considering that the agency’s facilities include five airports, four bi-state bridges, two tunnels, a major bus terminal, a rail system, and New York and New Jersey seaports, you may imagine there is enough work to go around for all applicants.
However, when you take into account how important ensuring the safe functioning of those facilities is and the many people who wish to wear the PAPD (Port Authority Police Department) badge, you will get a picture of the level of competition for those jobs.
If you are wondering exactly what the Port Authority Exam entails and how to prepare, read on.
Table of Contents
What Is the Port Authority Exam?
The Port Authority use pre-employment assessments and background checks followed by interviews to ensure they are getting the best candidates from a stream of job applicants.
When you apply for one of these jobs, your application will be followed up by a screening test, an assessment that will assess your cognitive skills.
You have to ace this test before you can advance further in the recruitment process.
Having aced this test, you may then be given a temporary job offer. But the offer remains temporary until you have passed health and medical tests, as well as psychological tests and, of course, the all-important background checks.
How Do I Prepare for PAPD Assessments?
Good pre-employment test preparation involves finding out the format of the tests and practicing on test papers similar to the real ones.
For this, we recommend using Job Test Prep, a leader in the field of preparing applicants for the recruitment
process. Using their services, you will receive a test prep pack containing:
- Accurate information about the tests
- Sample test papers modeled on the real assessments for you to practice on
- A scoring system to check your results and monitor your progress as you do the tests
- Detailed explanations for questions and answers
- Helpful videos and study guides
For an example of the tests they give, check out this free sample Police Mathematics Test.
Format of the Port Authority Police Test
The test assesses the 10 aptitudes that are necessary to work with the Port Authority. A scan of the following list will show that all of the aptitudes being tested are essential for good police work.
- Visualization: As you might expect, being able to quickly get a clear picture of an object or scene is necessary for police officers carrying out their duties.
- Memorization: The memorization test assesses how capable you are of committing facts to memory and then restating them. You can expect to be presented with a picture and given a few moments to absorb what you see before having to recount what was in the picture.
- Spatial Orientation: This test assesses your sense of direction. You can expect to be asked to find the longest or shortest route between two points on a map. Sample papers will help you hone your skills in this area.
- Inductive Reasoning: Here, you will be given a test to assess your problem-solving skills. You can expect a series of non-verbal and non-numerical tests where you have to find the patterns at work in a series of images or shapes. To make a headstart on your preparation for the exam, try the following free sample inductive reasoning test.
- Deductive Reasoning: The deductive reasoning test assesses your logical thinking skills. It also measures your alertness, speed, and accuracy while taking the test. If you would like to test your logical reasoning skills, click here.
- Mathematical Reasoning: Being able to work with numbers is essential if you want to work with the PAPD, so a revision of the Math you have studied to date will be helpful. But for a more organized and focused approach, work on sample papers. Test your mathematical reasoning abilities here.
- Written Expression: The PD have to assure themselves that their recruits can be relied upon to express themselves clearly and accurately when furnishing reports or taking statements. They will test your use of spelling, punctuation, and grammar. You probably have many of these skills already. However, working on sample papers will clarify areas you may need to improve on.
- English Comprehension: Here, you will have to read a passage, extract central points and then draw conclusions from the information received. The test is not particularly challenging, but living in a world where regular reading happens rarely, it is an area the vast majority of job applicants need to brush up on. Get a headstart on your own preparation with the following verbal reasoning test.
- Problem Sensitivity: You will be presented with a number of scenarios related to a police officer’s work. They could, for example, be statements taken from imaginary witnesses or criminals. These scenarios contain errors or mistakes. Your task will be to discover those errors.
- Information Ordering: This test checks how good you are at putting facts and information into a logical order. You could be asked to put sentences in order in a paragraph or to organize shapes in a specific pattern.
Why Those Sections?
Having read the list, and if you are not already employed by a police force, you may be wondering what the purpose of the various tests is.
But reading through them with the work of a police officer, and especially that of a police officer working for the Port Authority, in mind, you will quickly realize that all of these aptitudes are relevant to the work involved in the role. And for an aspiring police officer with the PAPD, the assessments need to be prepared for.
Preparing for the assessments does not just mean working through information picked up in the course of your training. It means learning to marry that information to very specific questions on the assessments.
How Do I Prepare for the Port Authority Police Exam?
As can be seen from the list, the tests are comprehensive and ensure the new PAPD officer has the aptitudes needed for the job.
This leaves you, the applicant, with quite a lot of preparation to do. To remain focused on the task ahead, keep the following points in mind:
- Begin your preparation as soon as you can. You do not need the stress of cramming directly before the test.
- Preparing for assessments can be stressful, even for the most hardened students. Doing an assessment that can change the course of your career is even more stressful. Take care of your physical and mental health while in preparation mode. Your brain will work better as a result.
- Acknowledge that even though you are familiar with sections of the test, you do need to revise them.
Consider the competition you will be up against. In these particular tests, the question is not how good you are.It is how many prove themselves better than you.
Your task when doing the tests will be to outshine that competition.
Use Your Sample Papers
Use your sample papers to ensure:
- That all of your preparation is focused on the task ahead
- You become familiar with the style of questioning
- You learn how to work within the time allowed for the tests
- You can monitor your progress by using the scoring system
- You quickly identify any mistakes you are making
- You become aware of areas that are causing you difficulty and can devote more time to them
- You know what to expect when the real assessments come around.
Are the Port Authority Assessments Hard?
The assessments are hard for a number of reasons.
- The Port Authority needs to employ the best people they possibly can for what are very demanding positions.
- Secondly, because of the attractiveness of the job, they receive a large number of applications for advertised positions. The assessment tests help them to reduce this number to the people who will advance further in the recruitment process.
The tests themselves assess if you have the aptitudes necessary to do the work, and some of those tests may be different from tests you have previously done.
The tests also are timed, demanding that you answer questions within a strict time frame.
If you want to be one of the applicants selected to advance further, you need to start preparing for the assessments immediately after you apply for the job.
Doing the Tests
Approach the tests with the confidence that comes with knowing you have done the work.
If you become nervous when doing assessments, and a great many candidates do, have some stress-busting techniques you can fall back on. Try deep breathing, stretching exercises, or a walk in the fresh air before you take the test.
And finally, go in there. You know you deserve this. Give it your best shot!
If your ambition is to be a Port Authority Police Officer, you will find all the resources you need to prepare for the assessments here.
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.
Related Study Guides
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.