Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Correctional officers must have the necessary knowledge, skills and training before they get assigned responsibilities. Many departments use written and video examinations to evaluate if a candidate is prepared for duty. Video examinations present different situations and scenarios like those a candidate would confront on the job. After watching vignettes, the candidate must answer how he would resolve the situation depicted.
Learn the rules for scoring the exam. Ascertain if the video test includes multiple choice or free response answers. Determine if wrong answers (if the test is multiple choice) deduct points to determine whether you should guess for questions for which you do not know the answer. Determine if the test is timed, and get familiar with the testing conditions under which it will be administered. This will help you mentally prepare yourself for the exam.
Answer questions by indicating what you would do in the situation, not what you think the officer in the video actually did or should do. The video test to assess your aptitude for the job, not your knowledge of the law or of law enforcement procedure. Avoid over-thinking scenarios or imagining details not presented in the video; rely on your initial, gut response. The test has questions that persons with have no prior correction officer experience or training can readily answer.
Use common sense. The test measures your ability to identify the basic conflicts and issues presented and to determine appropriate action. Be aware of four subject matters: safety and security, effective working relationship, report writing and rules, and regulations. These are the subject matters upon which test questions measure your ability. When answering how to appropriately respond to a situation, consider these basic matters.
To prepare for the video test, take a practice run. Depending on where you have registered to take the exam, the test administrator may provide you with a sample test. Otherwise, download a sample video exam online (see resources). Simulate actual test-day conditions to complete the exam.
Audrey Farley began writing professionally in 2007. She has been featured in various issues of "The Mountain Echo" and "The Messenger." Farley has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Richmond and a Master of Arts in English literature from Virginia Commonwealth University. She teaches English composition at a community college.