Scotland Police Assessment Centre & Standard Entrance Test (SET) Preparation – 2021

Job Assessment Tests

Police officers in Scotland enjoy rewarding careers and the opportunity to help others. Police work is mentally and physically challenging. To ensure job candidates are up to the task, the Police Scotland organisation includes several steps in its hiring process. These steps include a cognitive assessment called the Standard Entrance Test.


Application Process

The first step of the recruitment process is to ensure you meet the basic eligibility requirements. For example, you must be at least 18 and have resided in the UK for at least three years before applying. If you meet the requirements, you can complete the four required forms:

  1. Application: the application covers basic information such as your education, previous employment, and any relevant training.
  2. Vetting form: the vetting form allows Police Scotland to complete their vetting process, which includes a financial check.
  3. Equality and Diversity form: this form helps ensure that Police Scotland complies with the Equality Act 2010. The information you provide is not shared with anyone involved in the selection process.
  4. Posting preferences questionnaire.

If your application is accepted, you can move on to the Standard Entrance Test (SET), which is described in detail below. You will also need to complete a physical fitness examination.


Initial Interview

The interview takes place after you pass the SET and fitness exam. Two members of the police force recruiting team typically conduct the interview. The questions relate to the Scotland Police core competencies, which include the following:

  • Personal effectiveness
  • Personal awareness
  • Respect for diversity
  • Teamwork
  • Service delivery
  • Job knowledge
  • Communication


SET Assessment Centre

The assessment centre takes place during one day. It comprises three practical exercises and a second interview. All of these tasks relate to the core competencies.

You will complete the practical exercises as part of a group. They might include cognitive tasks such as working together to solve a problem. Some of the activities involve physical tasks.


What Is the Police Scotland Standard Entrance Test?

There are three components to the Standard Entrance Test (SET). Each one takes 30 minutes to complete.

Language Test

This test takes comprises four sections. The goal is to measure skills such as English grammar and reading comprehension.

The first section is multiple-choice. It includes 12 sentences with one word missing, and you must identify the best option to complete the sentence.

The second section features a passage with 12 words missing. You must select the most appropriate words from a provided list to fill in the blanks. The words you choose need to make sense within each sentence and in the context of the whole passage.

For the third section, you will need to place words or groups of words in order to form a logical sentence. There are four total sentences.

Section four focuses on reading comprehension. You will read two passages and answer six questions about each.

Number Test

The numbers paper assesses your mathematical abilities. You are allowed to use a calculator.

There are two question formats. For all the questions, you must write out your answer. Be sure to respond as completely as possible. For example, if the answer is 8 km or 30%, you will need to include “km” or the % symbol for full marks.

For the first eight questions, you will need to complete simple calculations. Skills you will need include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

The next 12 questions are more complex word problems. You will need to perform tasks such as determining ratios or calculating speed, distance, and time.

Information Handling Test

This test requires you to interpret information from a graph, chart, or table. There are four sections made up of six questions each. You will need to write out your answers.

For some of the questions, you need to view the provided visual aid, such as a graph, and write down the information it contains. These questions measure your attention to detail and your ability to interpret data. Other questions might require basic calculations based on the visual aid, such as percentages or ratios.


How to Prepare for the Police Scotland Standard Entrance Test?

You do not need prior experience or knowledge of law enforcement to pass the SET.

The Scotland Police have three different tests that rotate every six months. Knowing this, it can feel impossible to prepare, since you never know which version you will take. However, even if you don’t know the exact questions you will face, you can still practice and increase your chances of success.

Online practice tests relevant to the three SET subtests are one of the most effective ways to prepare. Look for practice assessments specifically designed to prepare you for this test. They will help you understand the format of the different sections and know what to expect. The SET contains some unique types of questions that you may not have encountered before, and it’s helpful to be prepared.

Although you do not need to know the core competencies to pass the SET, understanding them will help throughout the hiring process. Reflecting on these competencies will also help you ensure that police work is the right fit for your personal traits.

The SET is not an easy test. Approximately 60% of people pass it on average. That’s why it’s so vital to give yourself a chance to prepare properly. If you don’t pass, don’t get discouraged; you can automatically resit the exam up to three times.