Written Communication Test (WCT) Preparation
The Written Communication Test, also known as the WCT, is a testing component that can be found in almost all police selection tests across Canada. It can be the most challenging portion of testing because it is truly a test of your individual ability to observe, understand, and express your interpretation of events surrounding an incident, which is one of, if not the, most important skills you should have as a police officer.
As a police officer, it is critical that you have a strong ability to accurately observe events, that you comprehend these events, and that you can accurately express such observations and understanding to your fellow police officers. For example, complex circumstances and events must be thoroughly analyzed through observation, and by interviewing of witnesses or parties at an incident followed by a clearly written, accurate, and grammatically correct report. Your ability to clearly communicate such observations will be used to defend your actions or the actions of your senior officers in court proceedings and, in most cases, the entire case may rest on your report. Therefore, demonstrating this ability in the Written Communication Test will be one of the ultimate determining factors on whether or not you pass as a police officer in Canada.
It is imperative that your report be both factual and contextual, that it is thorough and easy to follow, and that it must relay the facts of incidents in a logical, orderly and comprehensible manner. The report must follow correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and layout or structure. Your essay, or “report”, must make a sound conclusion as to the occurrence of the incident in question.
WCT Strategies for Success
While this may all sound a bit daunting and overwhelming, fortunately there are many strategies for success on the Written Communication Test that will improve your chances of qualifying as a police officer for Canada. In testing, there will be a paragraph laying out a scenario for you that may include a number of facts and/or evidence that will be unorganized or illogical. It is important to remember that you must separate the appropriate and relevant facts from the inappropriate or irrelevant facts in order to construct a logical, coherent, and orderly sequence of events in order to better analyze and determine the occurrence of the incident the scenario gives you.
Therefore, in order to correctly and successfully complete the WTC, you must:
- Make an ordered list of facts that took place at or surround the incident,
- Write an essay that clearly describes and concludes what took place, applying your analytical and observational skills as clearly and thoroughly as possible.
How well your WCT is graded depends immensely on how you remember your ability to follow correct grammar, spelling, punctuation and structure, how you speculate (or analyze and observe the events of the incident), and how accurately you can draw sound, logical, and coherent conclusions. Therefore, it is paramount that you sharpen and hone these skills in order to increase your chances of passing the WCT test in flying colors and make your qualification as a police officer for Canada much more likely.
Simply write an essay that draws an accurate conclusion detailing all the facts and events that surround the incident. Conclude with what may have happened to each person or party involved in the incident. Remember, your WCT report will be graded on the following criteria:
- Comprehensiveness: You have listed all the facts in a correct, relevant, and orderly manner.
- Conclusion: Your report must make a sound and accurate conclusion that clearly utilizes the events of the incident and all factual evidence. Your report must also deliver an accurate conclusion about what happened to the involved parties.
- Technical: The proper and correct use of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and structure.
- Legibility: The level of readability and clarity of your essay, such as the correct formation of sentences, proper word usage, and the spacing of words.
It is also important to be aware of the following:
- Each question or scenario will include information that is irrelevant to the situation
- Strategy: Discard this information. Only keep an eye out for information that is there to purposely put you off-track, such as an incident that does not affect the current situation in any serious way.
- The scenario will be described in a random, incoherent order.
- Strategy: When creating your list of events, list them in the order as they occur chronologically.
- Write your report in a simple and clear manner
- Strategy: Make sure your report is easy to read, makes legitimate sense, and that all grammar and spelling is correct.
- Watch the clock and keep track of how much time you have left!
- Strategy: Keep an eye on the time! Make sure you can see a clock in the room you are taking the test in or that you are wearing a functioning watch. Read, List, and Write! Your success on the WCT and your future as a police officer depends on it.