Practice Police Situational Judgement Test

Situational Judgement or Professional Judgement

The basic principles for police professional judgment are sound decision-making, critical thinking, and ethical conduct in complex and sometimes dangerous policing situations.

Answering professional judgment questions involves common sense and following a set of basic criteria.

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.

Police Situational Judgement Practice Questions

  • Five Police SJT practice tests
  • A complete study guide
  • Realistic scenarios
  • Answer key with detailed explanations

Start Practicing Today


Practice 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.

3. The teenagers are a little hostile but are not committing any crime. What should you do?

a. Arrest all of them.
b. Repeat that there has been a noise complaint, and ask them to please be more quiet.
c. Search the group for drugs.
d. Leave the scene.

Scenario 3

You are called to a street lamp that has fallen across the street, partly blocking traffic. You are the first to arrive.

4. What is the first action that you should take?

a. Report the fallen lamp to dispatch.
b. Check the street lamp for exposed or loose wires that
may be carrying current.
c. Secure the area around the fallen street lamp with
pylons to direct traffic around the lamp and give dispatch
an update on the situation.
d. Evacuate the neighborhood.

Scenario 4

5. You recognize a stolen car and confirm with dispatch you are following the car alone. The stolen car has 4 people in it and you are alone. What should you do?

a. Pull the car over immediately
b. Call for backup, giving your position and situation, and keep following the car
c. Report the position and direction and stop following the car.
d. Call for backup and keep following the car.

Scenario 5

6. You are called to a robbery and see two cars leaving the scene at high speed. You give chase, however, the cars are driving at very high speed and driving very

What should you do?

a. Call dispatch with as much information as possible
b. Follow the cars and match their speed.
c. Follow the cars at a high but safe speed, even if you fall behind
c. Follow the cars but do not exceed the speed limit.

7. What is the first step a police officer should take when encountering a potentially dangerous situation?

a. use force to subdue the suspect
b. assess the level of threat and respond accordingly
c. wait for backup to arrive before taking any action
d. retreat from the situation and call for assistance

8. When interacting with individuals from a different cultural background, what is the most important factor to consider?

a. the language they speak
b. their physical appearance
c. their cultural beliefs and values
d. their level of education

9. What is the primary goal of communication and de-escalation techniques in policing?

a. to avoid physical confrontation and resolve situations peacefully
b. to assert authority and control over suspects and bystanders
c. to intimidate suspects and gain compliance through force
d. to prioritize the safety of police officers over that of others

Answer Key – Situational Judgement

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

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

3. B
No crime is being committed, so there is no reason to arrest, and searching may antagonize them and the situation could deteriorate quickly if handled aggressively.

4. C
The first priority is to ensure safety and secure the area, then give dispatch an updated report. Inspecting the street light, beyond a quick inspection, is beyond your expertise and not your job. Better to wait for qualified people to arrive.

5. B
With four people in the car, pulling them over alone is not advised. The priority is to give dispatch the most information you can, and keep following the car.

6. C
One of your responsibilities is the safety, which includes yourself. In addition, a high speed chase could endanger innocent people. The best action is to follow the cars at a high
but safe speed and update dispatch with a description of the cars and any other information you have.

Assessing the level of threat and responding accordingly
Using force immediately may escalate the situation and endanger the lives of everyone involved. Waiting for backup or retreating may also put individuals in danger. Assessing the level of threat and responding appropriately is the most effective and safe course of action.

8. C
Understanding and respecting an individual’s cultural beliefs and values is critical to effective communication and interaction. Language, physical appearance, and level of education are important factors, but recognizing and responding to cultural and diversity issues are more important.

9. A
The primary goal of communication and de-escalation techniques in policing is to avoid physical confrontation and resolve situations peacefully. Asserting authority, intimidating suspects, and prioritizing the safety of police officers over others are not effective.

Common Mistakes on a Situational Judgement Test

  1. Not reading the question carefully: Situational judgement questions are often complicated with multiple scenarios. As with any multiple choice question – read the question and all the choices  carefully before selecting your answer.
  2. Not considering the context: The context of the situation often determines the best answer.  In a different context, the correct answer will be different. Take into account all details of the scenario, the people involved, the setting, and the goals of the organization.
  3. Not considering the ethical implications: Many situational judgement questions have ethical considerations. In choosing your answer, consider not only the legal and professional implications, but also the moral and ethical implications of your actions.
  4. Choosing the most drastic option: Some questions may present extreme options as choices, but in a real-life situation, the drastic option is almost never the best.  Extreme actions presented as solutions are designed to distract and are rarely the best course of action.  Usually, but not always they can be eliminated right away.
  5. Not considering the long-term consequences: Some decisions have short-term benefits but long-term consequences. Consider the potential consequences of your actions before making a decision.
  6. Not thinking critically: Consider multiple perspectives and options when answering.  This is a critical skill that situational judgement questions are designed to test.

Common Mistakes on a Situational Judgement Test

Canadian Police Tests

Police Situational Judgement Practice Questions

  • Five Police SJT practice tests
  • A complete study guide
  • Realistic scenarios
  • Answer key with detailed explanations

Start Practicing Today

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Date Published: Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022
Date Modified: Tuesday, April 18th, 2023