Reasoning and cognitive ability are essential elements to working effectively in law enforcement. Situations arise in which those in law enforcement have to think quickly, solve complex problems, and use limited information to make decisions. The Law Enforcement Reasoning Test is an ability test that measures an individual’s ability to reason, problem solve, learn new concepts, understand complex relationships, and work with spatial information. It has been carefully designed to be highly relevant for law enforcement jobs (police officers, state troopers, conservation officers, etc.) that typically require a two-four year post-secondary degree. Extensive research has been invested to ensure the test is job-related and represents the type of reasoning and cognitive abilities required of employees to perform the job.
- 3 Primary Cognitive Abilities
The Law Enforcement Reasoning Test is most often used in pre-employment or selection settings to identify candidates who have the necessary reasoning skills for the job and to identify areas where current employees may benefit from training and development.
- Pre-employment Screening. The Law Enforcement Reasoning Test is a cost-effective method to screen applicants and shrink large applicant pools. A cut-off score can be used to eliminate unqualified applicants or those highly unlikely to succeed.
- Selection. The Law Enforcement Reasoning Test is used in selection to measure whether a job applicant possesses the necessary reasoning skills to succeed on the job.
- Development. Though cognitive ability overall tends to remain relatively stable throughout adulthood, it is possible to develop specific reasoning skills and the Law Enforcement Reasoning Test can help identify where potential development may be beneficial.
The structure of the Applied Reasoning Test is based on widely cited literature on the structure of cognitive ability and the items have been carefully developed to simulate the types of reasoning required in law enforcement roles (two to four year post-secondary degree). The test is broken into three untimed sections, one on each ability assessed:
- Understand job candidates or employees’ reasoning abilities
- Greater objectivity and consistency in assessing candidates
- Identify more qualified applicants
- Distinguish applicants likely to be successful on the job from those who may be less successful
- Fairness by providing the same job-relevant measures to all job candidates