As the name suggests, this role involves the enforcement of laws across the country. Peace officers can come in many forms, including police officers, customs officers, sheriffs, state troopers and probation officers.
In states such as California, aspiring peace officers must take a test called the PELLETB. This aptitude test measures writing and reading skills to determine if the candidate is ready to become a peace officer.
Standing for POST-Entry-Level Law Enforcement Test Battery, the PELLETB assessment is considered one of the most difficult police entry exams in the US.
In this article, you will learn all you need to know to prepare and succeed, so you can take one step closer towards your dream career.
What Is the PELLETB Test?
The PELLETB test is mandated by the Commission on POST – Peace Officer Standards and Training – which was established in 1959 to ensure that minimum selection and training standards are adhered to by all peace officers.
Being part of POST is voluntary for peace agencies, but those who are members must include the PELLETB test in their recruitment process.
The test was developed in 1976, as POST recognized the importance of an exam that assesses the basic language skills of candidates for entry-level law enforcement positions.
The PELLETB exam was then developed as a standardized test of the reading and writing abilities necessary to carry out a peace officer role.
The PELLETB test is one stage of the peace officer application process. It usually comes after the Physical Test, and before the Oral Interview, Background Check, and the Medical and Psychological Evaluation.
If you reach the PELLETB stage, the organization will pay for you to take the test. The test must be held by a POST-authorized agency representative, the details of which will be provided by the law enforcement agency you are applying to.
What Are the Components of the PELLETB Exam?
The whole test is approximately 2.5 hours long, with 105 questions.
It consists of three elements:
- Writing ability
- Logical reasoning
These elements are divided further into several areas.
The first part of the test assesses your basic writing ability. This section includes 45 multiple-choice questions across three different sub test areas: Clarity, Spelling and Vocabulary.
English Clarity Sub Test – 15 questions
In this section, you will be presented with two sentences. One will be written clearly and correctly, while the other will contain mistakes.
To score points in this section, you must identify the correct sentence.
Spelling Sub Test – 15 questions
You will be given a sentence with a word missing. Alongside the sentence will be four different spellings of the same word, and you must choose the correct spelling to complete the sentence.
Vocabulary Sub Test – 15 questions
This section provides you with a sentence where one word has been capitalized or underlined. You will be asked to choose from a list the word with the most accurate definition or synonym.
The test examines your reading ability through a Comprehension sub test and a CLOZE sub test.
Comprehension Sub Test – 20 questions
In this section, you will find various passages of differing lengths. You must read the text carefully and answer a series of multiple-choice questions that show you understand the content of the passage.
CLOZE Sub Test – 40 questions
The CLOZE sub test consists of a written passage where many words have been left out.
The missing words are represented by a dashed line, with the number of dashes corresponding with the number of letters in the word.
Your task is to read the passage and deduce the correct word through your understanding of context, syntax and meaning.
This section requires you to use your own vocabulary to fill in the blanks. Depending on the question, there may be more than one possible correct answer.
The reasoning ability section measures your reasoning skills through a series of multiple-choice questions.
In this area, you will answer 16 questions that each contain a sequence of numbers, letters, words or facts. You will be required to apply reasoning and analyze relationships, patterns and commonalities within the sequence.
You may be presented with a question that requires you to put information in order based on the scenario you are given.
This question involves identifying a commonality between three words and selecting the odd one out.
In this question, you may be asked to identify which number comes next in the sequence, based on the pattern that has been established.
PELLETB Practice Test Examples
Preparation is key when it comes to passing the PELLETB test. While you do not know which questions you will get on the day, you can practice answering the general sections.
Here, you’ll find some example questions and answers that provide you with an idea of what to expect.
Writing Ability Example Question
Example of a Spelling sub test question:
1. The suspect ran ______ the bank to avoid the police.
The correct answer is: a)
‘Thru’ also means ‘through’, but it is not the correct spelling.
Example of a Vocabulary sub test question:
2. The teacher’s suggestion of a new school uniform was met with censure.
What is another word for ‘censure’?
The correct answer is: b) ‘Censure’ means ‘disapproval’.
Reading Example Question
Example of a CLOZE reading test question:
1. Writing comprehensive _ _ _ _ _ _ _ has been one of the primary weaknesses of _ _ _ _ officers. Writing skills should be improved.
The correct answer is: The candidate must fill in the right words – reports and many – based on the context and the number of letters indicated by the dashes.
2. It was a dark and gloomy day when _ _ _ _ _ _ _ and lightning filled the _ _ _.
The correct answer is: The candidate must fill in the right words – thunder and sky – based on the context and the number of letters indicated by the dashes.
Reasoning Example Question
1. The victim entered the room before the suspect, and the witness was already sitting near the table.
Who was the first person in the room?
a) The suspect
b) The victim
c) The witness
d) None of the above
The correct answer is: c) The word ‘already’ indicates that the witness was the first of the three people in the room.
2. Choose the odd one out in the list below:
c) Maine Coon
d) Bichon Frise
The correct answer is: c) Rottweiler, Pitbull and Bichon Frise are all dog breeds. Maine Coon is a breed of cat.
How Is the PELLETB Scored?
Once you have taken the PELLETB test, you will receive your results around two weeks later.
The raw scores from the test are digitally analyzed and calculated to produce a T-score, with a mark of 50 being the average score.
A score below 40 is considered below average while achieving above 60 will class you as an above-average scorer. The pass mark for the PELLETB is 42, so aim to score this or higher to pass the test.
You should answer every question to give yourself the best chance of passing. There is no negative marking, so you won’t be penalized for getting answers wrong. If you are unsure of an answer, choose the one you think is most appropriate.
Once you have passed the test, your score is valid for life. You will be provided with a letter that you can submit when applying for roles in different departments.
If you are unsuccessful in passing the test, try not to feel too disheartened, as you can take it again after 30 days.
How to Prepare for the PELLETB Test
Now that you know the structure of the PELLETB test, it is relatively simple to prepare for.
You can sharpen your reading and writing skills to help with the test sections. By following these tips, you can approach test day with confidence and belief in your abilities.
Understand the Test Format and Purpose
At this point in the application process, you should know that this test is designed to assess your understanding of comprehension.
The test format is outlined above, so you should study the layout in depth, so you know what sections to expect on the test.
Knowing what each section includes can help you identify what you are already good at and where you need more practice.
This leads to the next tip.
Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses
You may be very gifted at spelling, or maybe you have an expansive vocabulary. While you should practice all sections of the test in preparation, you may find it helpful to focus more on the areas you are weakest.
If finding the odd one out isn’t something you are naturally good at, then make this an area of priority to practice. If you need help knowing how to practice, follow our next tip.
Practice Example Questions Online
There are many example questions online that follow the same format as the real PELLETB test.
Gather as many different questions as you can, and answer them to check your current level of knowledge and ability.
You can even set yourself a timer for 2.5 hours and take the test of 105 questions under exam conditions. This will give you an indication of how you work under pressure and how much time you need to spend on each section.
Read Newspapers and Practice Your Vocabulary
You may be surprised how much reading newspapers and magazines can help you prepare for the PELLETB test.
Making use of these everyday resources that feature a wide range of stories can introduce you to a whole host of new words. This will set you in good stead for the whole test, but especially the Vocabulary Sub Test.
These tips are great for preparing for the test, but there are also things you should bear in mind when you go to take the test. During the exam, make sure you remain focused and follow the guidance below.
Carefully Read the Questions and Answers
Taking a test of any kind brings all kinds of emotions to the surface. You are likely to be filled with adrenaline, as well as nerves and excitement.
This can make you want to rush through the test to get to the next question and eventually the end. However, this can cause you to make silly mistakes or even accidentally miss out on questions.
You should carefully read through the questions to make sure you understand what is asked of you. When you give each answer, read through that, too, to check you are happy that you have answered it to the best of your ability.
Try Not to Get Stuck on a Single Question
If you come across a particularly tricky question, try to not spend ages thinking it over. If the answer isn’t coming to you, move on to the next one instead of wasting time pondering.
You can come back to the question if you have time at the end, or choose whichever answer seems most appropriate.
As mentioned earlier, you won’t get marked down for giving an incorrect answer, so it is better to have a guess at an answer for a potential mark rather than leave the question blank.
Test Different Answers
For some questions, you may immediately know the only possible answer. On the other hand, there may be questions where you are trying to decide the most appropriate option. Take some time to test different answers and deduce which one best fits the question.
The PELLETB test can be difficult, but by making time for practice and preparation, you can give yourself the best chance of success.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the PELLETB test?
The PELLETB test is a standardized test that is part of the application process for peace officer roles in certain US states.
What is the PELLETB test trying to assess in a candidate?
The test aims to assess the reading and writing abilities of a candidate applying for a peace officer role.
Where can I prepare for the PELLETB test?
There are many resources available online that provide guidance on how to prepare for the PELLETB test. Taking practice exams is a great way to prepare.
Is the PELLETB test easy to pass?
The PELLETB Test can be a difficult exam, but it is certainly possible to pass, provided you do enough preparation. The pass mark for the test is 42, so this is the minimum score you should aim for.
What job options will open to me after taking the PELLETB test?
With a successful PELLETB score, there are many job options available to you. These include police officers, customs officers, sheriffs, state troopers and probation officers.
Is there an expiry date for the certificate you get after passing the PELLETB test?
The certificate you receive after passing the test is valid for life and can be submitted to different departments along with your job application.
However, it is worth bearing in mind that departments can ask you to retake the test.
What is the highest PELLETB test score?
The highest PELLETB test score is 77.8
Where can I find more example questions and answers for the PELLETB test?
There are many example questions and answers available online that you can use to practice for the PELLETB test.
How do you pass the PELLETB test?
For the best chance of passing the PELLETB test, you should practice, practice, practice. You can find a PELLETB practice test online free to help you with your studies.
How many questions are on the PELLETB test?
There are a total of 105 questions on the PELLETB test, divided into the three elements of writing ability, reading and logical reasoning.
Where can I find a study guide for the PELLETB test?
Can I retake the PELLETB test if I fail?
You can retake the PELLETB test once 30 days have passed.
You may feel nervous about taking the PELLETB test, but the most important thing to remember is that it is a huge achievement to have already made it this far in the peace officer application process. This test is just another step towards your dream career.
With this guide to the PELLETB test, you can approach the assessment feeling confident in showcasing your abilities.