PSNI Assessment Centre & Initial Selection Test Guide

In this PSNI Assessment Centre & Initial Selection Test guide, you will be able to access useful coaching videos, practice tests, tricks and top tips to help you ace and succeed your PSNI application and test.

Starting point resource

  • Download your practice PSNI initial selection test here

The PSNI Recruitment Process At-A-Glance

The recruitment process of PSNI involves the following:

  1. Online application form – you will need to fill out a standard application with personal data. You will also need to submit two short personal statements.
  2. Initial Selection Test – you will need to take timed aptitude tests.
  3. Assessment Centre – you will need to answer a written exercise, attend to 3 role plays and a situational interview.
  4. Final Assessments – this involves online learning, physical and medical assessment. This includes substance misuse test and vetting process.

The PSNI Online Application

The PSNI is similar to other online applications. However, if you wish to learn more and submit your application, click here .

PSNI Initial Selection Test

For you to be able to take the initial test, you will have to receive an invitation via email. There will be three areas which you will be assessed on and they are the following:

1) Initial Selection Test- Spelling and Grammar

You will be provided with a paragraph and you will have to identify the wrong international spelling and grammar mistakes. In this assessment test, you must demonstrate your ability to read quickly and have a keen eye for details.

2) Initial Selection Test- Verbal reasoning

This test is given to assess your ability to understand written data. It is like the normal verbal reasoning test given and widely used by huge corporations.

We have written an extensive guide about this test which you would find very helpful in preparing for this portion of the PSNI assessment test. Visit How to Pass Verbal Reasoning Test to access tips and practice tests.

In this test, you will be provided with statements which you will have to decide if it is true, false or cannot say.

Important Tip: Employers use different suppliers which means you will have to know which supplier they are using. This way you will be able to practice the format, content and style of the supplier. As for PSNI, they use their initial selection tests from Kenexa.

Click here to practice Kenexa PSNI initial selection test

Importance of Preparation

The question we often get is, is there a shortcut to passing and getting high score in PSNI? Unfortunately, there is no other way but to prepare and one way to prepare is to do some practice tests. As they say every minute you spare in preparing will give you greater chance in passing the assessment.

Tip 1: Practice initial selection test for 60 minutes a day for 2 weeks prior your real assessment day.

Tip 2: Clear your schedule and dedicate time for preparation. You will need to set more time as an investment for your future.

3) Initial Selection Test- Error Checking Test

At this part, your ability to interpret numerical data and situational judgement will be assessed. For more tips and practice test on numerical reasoning, click here.

– This test consists of multiple choice type wherein the questions are based on a table of data.

– Ensure that you understand the data before you start answering the questions.

– Appreciate the information first before you start drawing conclusions.

We again would like to reiterate that the best way to hone your skills and ace this test is to do practice tests. We recommend these practice tests They provide full answers and easy to understand explanations.

Candidates who have the best high IST scores will go through the PSNI Assessment Centre for further tests and assessments.

PSNI Assessment Centre – Overview

The second stage is going to the Assessment Centre. In here you will be given three more assessment tests and they are:

– 3 role play exercises

– PSNI interview

PSNI Written Test

Frame your behavior

It is easy to focus on the exercises however, before we go into that, you will need to understand:

– The whole purpose of the PSNI Assessment Centre is to find people who are capable and fit to join the PSNI police. In other industries, these are called key competencies. They are the set criteria which you will be tested and assessed. Hence, you will have to focus on these too.

During the assessment, you will need to try to have a good grasp and able to exhibit the following:

– Good decision making skills

– Leadership- openness to chance

– Leadership- Service delivery

– Professionalism

– Public Service

– Working with others

For more details, check their website here .

Tip: Make time at least 2 hours to read through the Personality Qualities and prepare to give an example for each based on your past experience/s when you have demonstrated those qualities.

1.) This will help you internalize the language you need to use.

2.) The examples that you will use will highly impress the one who is assessing you.

Role Play Exercise

Role Plays are quite a bit difficult for some and could even be scary. At the PSNI Assessment Centre, prepare to face three. Do not take this negatively as:

– Role plays could be very exciting and a good avenue to show your skills.

– The role plays are situations which you will need to deal with when you become a policeman/woman.

Take note that when you approach these scenarios, take in mind the personal qualities you would need to possess.

Tip: Practice role plays with a family member or a friend. Try to be confident when handling the situations. Practicing will help you be calmer and more confident.

Need help with your PSNI assessment centre role-play? Check out our Role-Play Masterclass.

PSNI Interview

There are two steps involved in this section.

First, you will have to ensure that you review your initial application particularly your motivational statement.

The interview will want to know why you would like to join PSNI and learn more about you.

The second portion, they will concentrate on the personal qualities that were mentioned earlier. You will be asked questions where you will need to recall your previous experience/s.

Tip: they would want you to give them an example which would demonstrate your qualities. When giving an example make sure you follow the STAR method framework. What is the STAR method?

STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result.

o Situation- tell a background of the challenge or problem like the sales of our company went down to 5 percent.

o Task- Describe why do you think it was a big problem i.e. we were on the verge of not meeting our annual target.

o Action- What did you do? i.e. you got new clients.

o Result- the impact of your action i.e. we hit our annual target.

This method provides huge impact and could impress the one assessing you. However, to achieve this type of answer, you will need to practice a lot.

Again, practice makes perfect.

Update your CV before your interview

One of the biggest mistakes when going to your interview is not improving your CV. Here’s why:

1) Update your CV before the interview event and take with you a fresh, newly and improved version. One that is tailored to the job or role you would want.

2) In interviews, one of the basis of your interview will come from the information on your CV. No matter the interview is competency based or no. You will have to answer the questions based on your CV.

3) Your CV is one of the basis in the hiring decision process. It is your CV that they look at when they decide whether to hire you or not.

The CV is the one that reminds the hiring manager of what your skills and experiences are and what happened during your hiring process. Aside from that, your CV is also your first and last impression. With this, we remind you to make your CV as strong as you could.

More Resources:

To help you more, click here to go to our section of interview guide/s. Also we recommend these additional articles which could provide you more tips:

“How to Prepare for Your Interview or Assessment Centre.”

“How to Cope with Nerves & Anxiety about Your Assessment Centre.”

Here is a video where you could learn about the do’s and don’ts when being interviewed

PSNI Written Test

This is the last section or portion of the PSNI Assessment Centre. The written test will be assessed through a written report where you will be presented with a problem and scenario and you will have to outline a report.

In this type of test, we recommend that you get a grip of the real issue and identify the problem. When you are sure of your answer, you could now try to work on writing your report.

Tip: you would want to provide a solution which embodies the personal qualities of a police constable. This should be your guide in everything you say and do during the assessment test.

Your report should be written in a well-structured manner. It should have a beginning, middle and end. If you are worried about this part of the test, you could check this link and you could study and do some written exercises.

PSNI Assessment Centre is complete

There are many things to prepare for this test. You will have to practice a lot to ensure that you will be able to increase your chances of succeeding the test and assessment.

In this type of assessment, you will be measured and timed against other candidates. Thus, every second counts.

Again, we would like to stress that you will have to practice to increase your levels of competence and confidence. This would surely improve your chances of acing the test.

Final PSNI assessments

After the tests that you will be taking at the PSNI assessment centre, you will have to face other final assessments such as:

o Online Learning

o Physical Competence Assessment

o Medical Assessment

o Substance Misuse Test

We wish you luck and we hope we were able find our tips and practice tests useful.