How to Become a Police Officer in Alberta


The Selection Process

Step 1:  Apply.
Make sure you have all the required documents and submit your application and your Personal Disclosure Form (PDF).   If you do not have all the required documentation they will not process your application.

Step 2: Pre-Interview Assessment 

Alberta Police Cognitive Abilities Test (APCAT), the Alberta Communications Test (ACT) and the Physical Fitness Evaluation are conducted during this stage. The APCAT, ACT and an autobiography are written in one day. Details on the APCAT below.  The cut score on the APCAT (84 out of 120) and the ACT (73 out of 134)

Step 3: the Alberta Physical Readiness Evaluation for Police (A-PREP).
Details on the A-PREP here


The Alberta Police Cognitive Ability Test (APCAT)

The Alberta Police Written Test assess your cognitive abilities and critical thinking abilities in different ways to make sure you are suitable for police work.

About the  APCAT:

  1. Test Format and Duration: The APCAT is a written exam that consists of 120 multiple-choice questions. You have about three hours to complete.  Help with Multiple Choice
  2. Scoring and Passing Criteria: The minimum score is 70%. You are given 1 point for each correct answer, and points are not deducted for wrong answers.
  3. Number of Attempts: There is not limit.  Wait periods between test attempts:    What to do if you fail a test
    • First Attempt:
    • Second Attempt: Three months
    • Third Attempt or more Attempts: Six months
  4. Validity: The police written test results are valid for five years.
  5. Transferability: The APCAT results are accepted by all municipal police agencies in Alberta.

Here’s What’s on the Test  (APCAT & ACT)

Alberta Police ACT Test – Alberta Communications Test

Why Spelling and Grammar & Vocabulary are Important

Effective Communication Skills Effective communication is vital for police officers in their daily duties, as they need to interact with the public, colleagues, and others. The Alberta Police ACT Test is specifically designed to assess applicants’ ability to communicate in written format, including spelling, vocabulary, and grammar. These skills are important for writing reports, memos, emails, and other written communications within the police force.

Professionalism Police officers are expected to maintain high standards of professionalism in their written communications, and proper grammar and spelling contribute to clear and accurate information dissemination.  Good grammar and spelling contribute to a positive public perception of the police force, as it demonstrates competence and professionalism.

Clarity and Precision Proper grammar and spelling help ensure that information  in reports and documents is conveyed accurately, avoiding misunderstandings and potential errors.  A good vocabulary means you can express ideas more precisely, reducing the risk of misinterpretation.

Comprehension A good vocabulary allows you to understand complex written passages more effectively.  You will be required to understand the  meaning of various terms and expressions in the ACT test’s scenarios and questions.

Decision-making The APCAT includes scenarios in the situational judgement section, that require you to analyze information and make decisions based on the given context. This is an important skill which police officers use daily.   A strong vocabulary means you can interpretation information and make informed decisions.

Alberta Police Communications Test (ACT) Practice

Spelling and Grammar

Example Questions:

Choose the correct spelling.

a) occurrence
b) ocurrence
c) occurence
d) occurrance

Answer: A – occurrence

 Choose the sentence with the correct grammar.

a. Everyone was asked to raise their hand.
b. Everyone was asked to raise our hand.
 Everyone was asked to raise her hand.

d. None of the above.

 such as neither, each, many, either, every, everyone, everybody and any should take a singular pronoun. Here we are assuming that the subjectis female, and so use “her.”  The subject could be male, in which case we would use “his,” however that is not one of the choices in this case.


Correcting Passages


Grammar and Usage



Spelling Rules



Example Questions

Choose the best definition of headstrong.

    a. Doesn’t listen
    b. Stubborn
    c. Willing
    d. To disbelieve

Answer: B
Determined to do as one pleases, and not as others want.

Choose the word that is most different in meaning.

1. a. Meager b. Bare c. Scanty d. Obtuse

Answer : D
All choices refer to a lack or scarcity except obtuse, which means, annoyingly insensitive or slow to understand.

Vocabulary Practice

Vocabulary Practice I 
Vocabulary Practice II
PSB Format Vocabulary
Meaning in Context
Antonym Practice and Tutorials
How to Prepare for a Vocabulary Test

Situational Judgement

Situational judgment is an important component of the Alberta Police Cognitive Ability Test (APCAT) because it tests your ability to make sound decisions and judgments based on the type of situations police officers commonly encounter.

This type of question is tricky and there is no way to study other than to practice as much as you can and use your best judgement.

1. Safety – Assisting victims of crime, and injured persons.
This is the first and most important duty. Assisting injured persons, includes other officers.

2. Following Instructions
In an emergency, others, who may see a larger picture that you cannot, are counting on you to follow their orders without question.

3. Protect Property
Calming disorder and protecting private and public property and calming disorder and one for key duties of a police officer.

4. Perform duties – Keep the Peace, enforce the law, maintain order.
Keeping the peace and enforcing the law are the primary duties of a police officer.

Situational Judgement Practice

Situational judgement questions give a scenario and then four options.  You are asked to choose the best response to the situation.

Example Questions:

Scenario 1
Dispatch reports a complaint of noisy and unruly teenagers hanging on the street. You proceed immediately to the area alone. You park the car nearby and observe 10 or 12 teens on the sidewalk. They do not appear to be taking drugs or drinking.

1. What should you do first?

a. Approach the group and arrest them right away.
b. Call for backup.
c. Return to the station as there are no crimes are being committed.
d. Approach and question the group alone.

Scenario 2

2. Dispatch replies that back up is on its way. You wait in the car until 2 officers arrive. What is your next course of action?

a. Approach the group with the 2 backup officers and politely inform them there has been a noise complaint.
b. With the back up officers, arrest all the teens.
c. Approach the group alone with the two backup officers still in the car, and tell the group they will have to be more quiet.
d. Divide the group into three and have each officer question one group.


1. B
The safest course of action is to call for backup.

2. A
A low key and polite approach is best.

Police Situational Judgement Practice


Logic and Reasoning

Why logic and reasoning are important

Decision-Making Skills. Police officers often encounter complicated and rapidly evolving situations that require fast analysis  of information, assessment of  risks, and well-informed decisions under pressure.

Critical Thinking. Police officers must think critically to assess situations objectively and make sense of complex information. Logical reasoning helps you approach problems methodically and draw conclusions based on the evidence.

Stress Management Logic and reasoning skills allow you to remain composed and focused during stressful situations, which is crucial for maintaining public safety and handling emergencies.

Adaptability. Police officers often face unpredictable and dynamic situations. Strong logic and reasoning skills mean you are better equipped to adapt to changing circumstances.


Logic and Reasoning test your ability to solve puzzles and come in different formats.

Example questions similar to the APCAT

Use your knowledge of the real relations between the existing nouns to determine the best response.

A CRUX resembles LILO but is closer to the Sun

A TIGO resembles Jupiter but is farther from the Sun

A LILO resembles Earth but is closer to the Sun

Answer: B
Based on the relations outlined in the first & third statements, we know that a CRUX is closer to the Sun than a LILO, which is closer than Earth. We also know that Earth is closer than Jupiter from the knowledge we have of these existing nouns, and, from the second statement, we know that Jupiter is closer than a TIGO. From closest to farthest, the order of the words is: CRUX, LILO, Earth, Jupiter, TIGO. Therefore, t choice 2 is the correct answer.

[CRUX<LILO<Earth<Jupiter<TIGO in terms of distance from the Sun] 

Which word does not belong?

a. Jet
b. Float plane
c. Kite
d. Biplane

1. C
A kite is not a type of plane.

Problem Solving (Word Problems)

Word problems are important for the Alberta Police Cognitive Ability Test (APCAT) because they test your ability to use cognitive skills to solve problems in real-life scenarios, which is essential for effective decision-making and problem-solving in the context of law enforcement.

Word Problems

Example Question:

Employees of a discount appliance store receive an additional 20% off the lowest price on any item. If an employee purchases a dishwasher during a 15% off sale, how much will he pay if the dishwasher originally cost $450?

a. $280.90
b. $287.00
c. $292.50
d. $306.00


The original price of the dishwasher is $450. During a 15% off sale, the price of the dishwasher will be reduced by:

15% of $450 = 0.15 x $450 = $67.50

So the sale price of the dishwasher will be:

$450 – $67.50 = $382.50

As an employee, the person receives an additional 20% off the lowest price, which is $382.50. We can calculate the additional discount as:

20% of $382.50 = 0.20 x $382.50 = $76.50

So the final price that the employee will pay for the dishwasher is:

$382.50 – $76.50 = $306.00

Therefore, the employee will pay $306.00 for the dishwasher.

Written by,

Date Published: Friday, July 28th, 2023
Date Modified: Thursday, January 25th, 2024