If you're interested in a career in law enforcement or criminal justice, then you may be considering the option of becoming a correctional officer. As a correctional officer, you'll work firsthand with those going through the criminal justice system, helping to prepare them for a second chance in the real world.
The nice thing about working as a correctional officer, as opposed to many other careers in law enforcement, is that you generally don't need more than a high school diploma or GED to be eligible. On the other hand, corrections facilities don't hire just anybody for the job; they require all applicants to be screened. A big part of the screening process is the pre-employment correction officer test, which will determine whether or not an applicant is able to continue in the hiring process. There are local criminal justice schools with programs to help you pass the test.
What To Expect From The Exam
The correctional officer pre-employment test is a multiple-choice exam that may be either written or electronic (depending on your testing facility). The test itself is divided into three main areas: general knowledge, basic skills, and career-specific questions.
For most correctional facilities, you'll need to score a minimum of a 70 percent on the exam in order to be passed into the next phase of the hiring process. In some departments, the higher your score, the more likely it will be that you will get hired.
Examples Of Test Questions
So, what are some examples of the types of questions you can expect to see on a correctional officer pre-employment test? For the general knowledge section, you'll likely see some questions in the areas of basic math, reasoning, and even grammar. Once you move into the basic skills portion, you'll be asked more relevant questions to your career, such as:
- What information should be included in an incident report?
- What protocol should be followed in the event of a bomb threat?
- What is the proper sequence of the chain of command?
Finally, once you get into the career-specific questions, your knowledge of state and local laws will be tested.
How To Best Prepare
One of the best ways to prepare for the correctional officer pre-employment test is to find a local criminal justice college or take an online program. Even if you don't pursue a degree in criminal justice, having some basic courses under your belt will definitely help you with the test.
Furthermore, there are all kinds of great online resources like our ever growing set of practice tests. These can be a great way for you to get an idea of where you stand and what areas you may need to work a little more on before your test day.
With Some Prep, You’ve Got This
Preparing for the test can be a stressful time for any hopeful correctional officer. However, by taking the time to understand the test and how to prepare, you'll have the best chances of success when it comes time for your big day.