What to think about before taking the PQE...

There are no right or wrong answers to the questions. You will be asked to elicit the information needed to evaluate your qualifications for each of the factors listed above. Each candidate's response will be unique to that candidate, based on his or her life experiences. Prior to your PQE, you may want to spend some time reviewing the many events and incidents that make up your personal history and that have helped make you who you are today. Which of these many experiences have prepared you for the position of Police Officer?

Read the essay questions and make sure that you answer the questions that are asked. Re-read your answers and look for careless errors. You will be taking this test with paper and pencil. You won't be able to rely on spell-check. It's not enough that you know how to write or have created excellent written papers in the past - you have to demonstrate your skill on the day of the test.

 

Candidates are not successful in the PQE for numerous reasons, including the following:

  • Using poor examples that fail to showcase their abilities
  • Failure to provide enough details that would make the essays clear and easier to understand
  • Failure to stay on topic (i.e. rambling, too much detail, or irrelevant information)
  • Failure to provide all information asked for in the essay questions (i.e. did not completely answer the questions)
  • Lacks adequate written communication skills (i.e. English usage, grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.)
  • Failure to write legibly
  • If you feel that you may need improvement in your written communication skills, we encourage you to take steps to improve in this area. You may want to consider taking a college course in business English and/or essay writing.
  • Tips for the test day
  • Read the question carefully and answer the question as it is asked.
  • When you write your essays, consider a thoughtful answer to the question before you begin writing.
  • Think about problems you have confronted in the past and how you approached them. Why did you do what you did? Would you do it again?
  • Officers must be able to assume different responsibilities at appropriate times and as circumstances change, often during a single work shift or even during a single event. Plan to talk about your past behavior and how it has prepared you to adapt to this behavioral flexibility.
  • Save time to review your essays and correct any careless grammatical or spelling errors you can find. It's not enough to know proper grammar and how to spell - you have to demonstrate your knowledge on test day. Don't be overconfident - check your work.


If you feel that you may need improvement in your written communication skills, we encourage you to take steps to improve in this area. You may want to consider taking a college course in business English and/or essay writing. Below are some courses offered through the Los Angeles Community College District that may interest you.*

Course Name

Course Number

Description

Business English

Business 31 (or CAOT 31)

Knowledge of English grammar and punctuation rules; practice in writing sentences and paragraphs

College Reading Skills

English 20

Techniques to improve reading skills and to write clear, coherent compositions

 College Reading and Composition

English 101

Develops proficiency in college-level reading and writing through the practice of critical thinking and well-developed logical expository writing