MUNICIPAL POLICE SELECTION TEST CANDIDATE INFORMATION BOOKLET

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1 MUNICIPAL POLICE SELECTION TEST CANDIDATE INFORMATION BOOKLET Purpose of this Information Booklet This Candidate Information Booklet is designed to help you in preparing to take the Baltimore City Police Officer Test. The test is known as the Municipal Police Selection Test, or MPST. The MPST is a test of abilities related to police work. It is given to applicants for police jobs as one phase in the process of selecting new police officers. It is not necessary to study this booklet in order to do well on the MPST. However, the information provided here will give you a better idea of what to expect on the test, including some practice questions. It will also provide some test-taking tips designed to make you more "test-wise". What will the test be like? The MPST is designed to test your abilities in areas that are important for success as a police officer. It tests your ability to learn, remember and apply facts and information; your ability to remember names, faces and other details about people and events; your ability to use logic and reasoning to solve problems related to police work; and your interests. You do not have to study the law or police procedures to do well on the MPST. The test has four sections which are described below. MPST Section 1. Observation and Memory Police officers must be able to remember names, faces and facts in order to carry out investigations, deal with the public, recognize wanted criminals, etc. Section 1 of the MPST tests that ability. This part of the test requires you to look at a series of "Wanted" posters for a short period of time, and then answer questions about those posters. The questions will require you to remember faces, names, crimes committed, suspect descriptions and similar details. You will not be able to look back at the material you studied when you answer these questions. MPST Section 2. Learning and Applying Police Information New police officers must be able to learn a lot of new information to do their jobs properly. They have to learn patrol techniques, arrest procedures, laws, department policies, first aid, public relations, handling evidence and many other things. Section 2 of the MPST is designed to test your ability to learn and apply such information. At the start of the test you will be given a study booklet which contains information related to police work. Later in the testing session, you will be tested on how well you were able to learn what you read, and how well you can remember and apply information. MPST Section 3. Interests Research has shown that a person's interests have a lot to do with whether they are likely to be successful in police work. This section of the test is designed to find out more about your interests and preferences for a variety of activities. This part of the test is not one you can study for or practice for. Therefore, it is not included in the sample questions. 1

2 MPST Section 4. Problem Solving Police officers are very often confronted with situations and problems which they must solve using their own judgment and reasoning abilities. For example, they might have to: -- decide the best way to get people to cooperate with them; -- decide what really happened after hearing conflicting stories from witnesses; -- decide the best way to handle an emergency situation; -- make many difficult decisions (such as to arrest or not arrest someone; to stop a car or not; etc.) Section 3 of the MPST is designed to test your judgment in a variety of police-related situations. Examples of some of the types of questions used appear at the end of this booklet. General Tip TEST-TAKING TIPS Many libraries and bookstores carry books on test-taking tips. Some of them are specifically intended to give tips on taking Police Officer tests. These books can give you helpful test-taking tips and practice but please be aware that these books are general in nature and were not designed exactly for Baltimore s Police Officer test. Before the Test Besides trying the practice questions, here are some ideas for how to practice using the abilities covered by the test: Section 1. Observation and Memory You can study for this part of the test by practicing your ability to remember names, faces and facts about people. If you have something with a lot of names and faces in it, such as a page from someone's yearbook, a team picture or a magazine with pictures of people you don't know, you can try associating names with faces. Study the pictures for a short period and then see what you remember. You might also look at wanted posters in your local post office or police station, to see how many of the details of these posters you can quickly absorb and remember. Read the wanted poster, then look away and see how many of the details you can remember. Section 2. Learning and Applying Police Information Practicing your ability to read and remember facts is excellent preparation for this test. The material you use for practice does not necessarily have to be police-related. For example, select an article from a magazine or newspaper which has a lot of factual information on some topic you are not very familiar with. Read the article. Then do something else for a few minutes, to take your mind off what you have read. After this, see how much of the article you can actually remember. Get a study partner or a friend to ask you questions about the article. Section 3. Interests As stated earlier, this is not a part of the test you can study for. This part of the test attempts to find out more about your interests, and this is not something you can study for -- your interests are what they are. 2

3 Section 4. Problem Solving This section has a lot in common with many other police tests. You might be able to find problems similar to these in some other books on test-taking tips. Many bookstores and libraries carry books of this type. The practice questions at the end of this booklet are examples of problem solving questions. Now you're ready to take the test! Here are some tips to improve your performance. Immediately before the test, be sure to get a good night's sleep, and don't skip any meals on the day of the test. You are likely to perform better if you are well-rested and well-nourished. During the Test Here are some tips to help you during the test itself. 1. You will probably be nervous before the test. Remember two things: (a) the other test-takers are also nervous, so you're not alone; and (b) being a little nervous can often help you, by making you more alert and attentive. 2. It's a good idea to bring a watch to the test, so you can keep track of how much time you have without having to depend on a wall clock. 3. Try to work quickly during the test, but don't rush. There should be plenty of time for you to finish within the two hour time limit if you work efficiently. Use your time wisely... don't daydream... and don't rush. 4. One of the most common causes of mistakes on a multiple choice test is carelessness in reading the questions. Possibly the most important test-taking tip we can offer to you is to read every question carefully. Be sure you understand what is being asked before you answer. Then, read each of the choices carefully before making your final selection. 5. If you don't know an answer, take a guess. There is no penalty for guessing, so don't leave any answers blank. 6. You will be putting your answers on a separate answer sheet during the test. When you answer a question, make sure that you blacken in the correct space on the answer sheet. 7. Fill in the answer spaces on the answer sheet completely when you answer a question. Also, erase completely when you change an answer. 8. If time remains, go back and check to make sure you haven't left any answers blank, or made two answers to any question, or left stray marks on your answer sheet. This could make the difference between passing and failing. NOW TRY SOME OF THE SAMPLE ITEMS ON THE FOLLOWING PAGES. 3

4 SAMPLE QUESTIONS The questions which follow are a sample of some of the types of questions you may see on the test. None of the material in this booklet will be on the actual test, but it will give you a better idea of what to expect. These sample questions will give you an idea of what some parts of the test will be like, but not all parts can be covered here. NOTE: The actual areas of the test appear on page 1 of this booklet. 1. Town X is north of town Y. Town Z is north of Town X. Town W is South of Town Y. Given these facts, which of the following statements is definitely true? (A) Town X is the farthest North of these towns. N (B) Town W is the farthest North of these towns. (C) Town Y is South of Town Z. W E (D) Town W is West of Town X. S 2. Four witnesses saw a pickpocket who has gotten away. Each witness gave a different description of the pickpocket. The four descriptions appear below. Which one is probably right? (A) He wore blue slacks and a red shirt. (B) He wore black slacks and a red shirt. (C) He wore blue slacks and an orange shirt. (D) He wore blue slacks and a red jacket. 3. Jackson is wanted by the police. An eyewitness description of Jackson is available. Which ONE of the following parts of this description is likely to be most useful in identifying him? (A) He had bad breath. (B) He had a cigar. (C) He was wearing suspenders. (D) He weighed about 250 pounds. 4. Parker has been picked up by the police five times. Jenson has been picked up fewer times than Parker but more times than Wade. Bertram has been picked up twice, which is fewer times than Wade. How many times has Wade been picked up? (A) Five times. (B) Four times. (C) Three times. (D) Two times. (E) One time. 4

5 5. The police have surrounded a suspect's house. Officer Barker is covering the front door. Officer Miller is at the side door. Officer Abbott is covering the cellar door. Officer Jackson is covering the fire escape. Sergeant Daley is stationed at the end of the driveway. If Daley switches places with Barker and Barker then switches places with Miller, where is Miller? (A) At the end of the driveway. (B) At the front door. (C) At the side door. (D) At the fire escape. (E) At the cellar entrance. 6 Assume that Officer John Baker was on patrol. He saw two men standing on the sidewalk. Their names were Al and Bob. Both were wearing what appeared to be gang jackets, and Al appeared to be badly injured. Al was moaning, had severe facial cuts and was bleeding. Bob told officer Baker that his friend Al got beat up by two rival gang members. Bob told Officer Baker that the two rival gang members ran into an abandoned building across the street. Officer Baker called for backup. He then watched the entrance to the abandoned building to make sure the men did not flee the scene. When several more officers arrived, they entered the building, found the two men, and brought them out of the building for questioning about the assault. What mistake, if any, did Officer Baker make? (A) He should have gone into the building immediately when he found out the rival gang members were there. (B) He should have first called for the rival gang members to come out of the building for questioning before taking any of the other actions. (C) He should not have been doing so much to help Al and Bob, who are gang members. (D) He should have also summoned medical attention for Al. (E) He made no errors. All of his actions were correct and in the correct order. THE ANSWERS TO THE SAMPLE QUESTIONS ARE ON THE NEXT PAGE. 5

6 SAMPLE QUESTIONS: ANSWERS AND EXPLANATIONS 1 C If you chart out the answers as shown below, it is much easier to evaluate the choices to see which one is correct. Write Town Z down first, then place Town X so that Town Z is north of it, etc. 2 A Note that three of the witnesses said the man had blue slacks, three of them said his top garment (a shirt or jacket) was red, and three said he was wearing a shirt rather than a jacket. This makes A the most likely description. 3 D Three of the four things listed can be easily changed. It will be harder for the man to change his 250 pound weight in a short period of time. 4 C Charting this one out makes it much easier to get the correct answer. By charting, it becomes obvious that Parker has been picked up the most, followed by Jensen, then Wade, then Bertram. The question told us that Parker had been picked up five times and Bertram twice. Since Jensen and Wade are between Parker and Bertram, they must have been picked up three and four times respectively. 5 A Try charting this one too, just as we did with questions one and three. Show where each officer was positioned at the start of the question, and then cross out the original positions and replace them with the new positions. Note that Barker s position will have to be updated twice. 6 D This question does not just test logic, but good judgment and common sense. In an emergency where there are injuries, getting medical help for victims is always an important step. Question 1 charted out: Town Z N Town X Town Y W E Town W S Question 4 charted out: Parker picked up 5 times Jensen: fewer than Parker but more than Wade Wade: More than Bertram Bertram: picked up 2 times less than Wade 6

7 SAMPLE VOCABULARY The Practice Test you just took should give you a fairly good idea of the level of vocabulary you can expect to see on the test. Some other examples of words that may appear on the test are listed below. If you do not know the meanings of some of these words, check them out before the test! The list below is not all-inclusive, it is merely an example of the level of vocabulary you are likely to see. agility alias amendment anticipate antihistamines article assignment authoritative authorize boundary calculation characteristic circumstances collision complexion concentration consultant conversation coordination declaration determine diagram efficiency entertain environment equipment especially establish experiment facilitate fatality forgery fraud generally guidance homogeneous identity incident independent individual infer influence instruction intensity intersection interstate intoxicated isolation issuance judgment larceny manual material mechanical occupant organized photographic possession preferable preference prestige pretense previously probable procedure prosecution prosecutor pursuit reproduction responsible satisfied scant scientific scope seldom significant situation solicitation spokesperson sufficient symbolic theorize uncooperative vehicle violation voluntarily 7

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