Police SEARCH Ability: Verbal & Numerical Reasoning Aptitude Test Preparation – 2021

Solving Aptitude Tests

Many UK police forces use the Police SEARCH Assessment Centre to evaluate candidates. For example, the College of Policing, which oversees many police officers in England and Wales, uses it. The assessment works to determine if candidates have the right personal traits, skills, and aptitudes to succeed as officers.

The assessment centre includes four components:

  • Interview
  • Numerical Ability Test
  • Verbal Ability Test
  • Interactive Exercises

In addition to completing the assessment centre, you will need to demonstrate your written English abilities. Each police force can decide whether to administer written exercises or to require a written English qualification.

Other steps in the hiring process include a second interview with senior officers, a medical exam, and a physical ability test.


What Are the SEARCH Verbal & Numerical Reasoning Aptitude Tests?

The SEARCH Assessment Centre includes two aptitude tests that cover verbal and numerical abilities.

You will take each test in a room with other candidates. Note that your behaviour throughout the assessment process, including the aptitude tests, reflects on your suitability for police work. Be professional and carefully listen when receiving instruction.


Verbal Ability Test

For the verbal ability test, you will have 30 minutes to answer 28 multiple-choice questions. The goal is to measure your ability to understand and analyse written information.

There are two sections. For section A, you will read about different situations. You then have to determine whether a statement about the situation is true, false, or if it is not possible to say. You will need to think logically and pay attention to details.

Section B measures reading comprehension. You will read different passages and answer questions about them. The questions in section B each have four possible answers.


Numerical Ability Test

The numerical ability test comprises 21 multiple-choice questions and takes 23 minutes. It covers the following mathematical functions:

  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Averages
  • Percentages
  • Ratios

Some questions require you to understand and interpret information from a graph or chart. You will then use the skills listed above to determine your answers based on the information in the graph or chart.

You may use a calculator for this test section, and the centre will provide one for you. You cannot use your own calculator.


How to Prepare for the SEARCH Verbal & Numerical Tests?

The best way to prepare for the aptitude tests is with online practice assessments. There are practice tests that prepare you specifically for SEARCH, but other tests based on verbal and numerical reasoning may also be useful.

Look for timed practice tests, or time yourself, as the actual exams have a time limit. This way, you can practice your time management skills. For the numerical ability test, practice working with a calculator to make the best use of it within the allowed timeframe.

A quality practice assessment will include explanations for each answer so you can learn from any questions you miss.

If you don’t get the score you want on your practice tests, don’t be discouraged. Instead, take some time to understand the questions you missed and any skills you need to work on a bit more, and then try again. Once you get a good score during practice, you’ll feel confident and ready on test day.

Competition is fierce for open positions with police forces in the UK. There are often 40 candidates for each one open position. Doing well on your SEARCH Assessment Centre is a crucial step in the application process, and a good score will help you stand out.