The department of correctional services is continually hiring prison wardens and officers to ensure that inmates do not escape and the facilities remain operational. Although this could appear to be an easy gig, there is a very important selection and training program set aside for candidates.
Potential correctional officers undergo a series of physical tests, but these are complemented by some aptitude assessments. This training can be quite comprehensive, with some tricky questions and assignments included. Learn more about the questions to expect and other great tips to keep in mind when writing the correctional officer exam.
What should you know about the correctional officer exam?
Correctional facilities are more of a disciplinary measure instead of a punishment. This is highlighted within the exam, and this is just one of the main points you should be mindful of. There is a lot more that is entailed in the correctional officer exam. What else should you know about the correctional officer exam?
Entails industry-specific questions
If you are writing the correctional officer exam, go in prepared with various details about the facilities and rules of engagement. Most of the questions are common sense, but others can be a bit complex to the extent that they require a second look. Do some research on correctional facilities and how they are managed.
Focuses on observational skills
Amongst other skills, the correctional officer exam requires that the candidates exhibit sharp observational skills. There are some pictures and paragraphs on the exam that need a very close look to identify faults. There is a huge need for observational skills as a prison warden or officer to prevent things from going awry.
Assesses situational reasoning abilities
Within the corrections officer exam study guide, there are many new concepts you learn about this job. Amongst these concepts, there are situational reasoning abilities. This particular skill set helps make sense of things that could be scrambled. A popular exercise used on the exam is the one that asks you to change the sentence structure for a paragraph to make sense.
Accuracy is very important amongst other skills needed to work in prison. Things happen fast in prison and documenting everything that happens with exemplary accuracy could prevent things from going sideways. No detail is too small, especially since the lives of other inmates and colleagues could be in grave danger.
Preparations and tips for writing this test
Writing this test may not be a walk in the park, especially for individuals not familiar with the operations of the correctional services department. Apart from learning all you can about the department, also work on exercises that can help you attain all the skills you’ll need to pass the exam.
Improve on visual analysis
One of the major skills you should focus on developing is improving visual analysis skills. You should be mindful of all the details you’re seeing and be able to make sense of it. Analyzing certain movements helps with preventing situations that might have been worse. For example, visual analysis skills can help prevent a fight that might break out at a prison.
Work on reporting skills
Unfortunately, correctional officers, especially prison wardens, have a lot of paperwork to sift through. A large portion of that paperwork is the reports on the functionality and performance of the facility. In addition, most correctional facilities have a reporting system for anything that went off when on shift. During the exam, you will be asked to write a brief report to test your abilities on this.
The correctional officer exam has a limited time frame that you should stick to. In pursuit of ensuring that the exam does not exceed the set timeframe, set a timer as you practice. Timing yourself can help identify any room for improvement or a simpler strategy to get more points in less time.
Make full use of practice tests
There is a wide variety of practice tests and learning material that you can use to prepare for this exam. Make full use of these provisions aimed at improving the overall total score you will get when writing the correctional officer test.
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