Your Comprehensive Guide to the Canadian Police Assessment Test: Police Analytical Thinking Inventory
One of the very first stages of the Constable Selection System to become an Ontario Police Officer is the Police Analytical Thinking Inventory or PATI assessment. This is a multiple choice test that is taken with a pencil and paper. This is the only assessment test that is available in English and French. At registration, you should note if you prefer the French version of the test. This test has the purpose of determining if you have the right critical thought aptitudes necessary to function as a peace officer. There are three portions in this test: deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. Some might assume that since these questions deal with math, logic, and reasoning, it isn’t something that needs to be studied to get a passing grade, but that is far from the truth. This test is timed, and can be difficult. As with any test, preparation is the key to conquering it the first time around and knowing what you will be facing is a good step to take for your preparation.
The test is administered over an hour and 45 minutes. 15 minutes will be spent on administrative tasks, such as passing it out and explaining the instructions, and the remaining hour and a half will be for you to finish the test. Your passing test results will be valid for you to use for a period of three years after taking it, and if you do not pass on your first attempt, you have to wait three months before retaking it. If you do not pass on your second or further attempts, you will have to wait six months before you can try again to earn a passing score. If your successful test is going to expire, you can take it again two months before the date it will expire, and at any time after the expiration date.
Deductive Reasoning Section
Deductive reasoning is having the ability to draw conclusions based on the information that is provided to you. This portion uses syllogism and travel time tasks to see how well you can absorb the given scenario and extrapolate the correct answer. An example of a syllogism is the statements: All women are human; Jane is a woman; Jane is a human. They provide two general facts, and you will be required to determine which answer is the best conclusion from those two facts. Preparation for this task can be improved by learning more about basic logic and syllogism online. Travel time tasks will give you an example map noted with driving, bike riding, and walking travel times for the sections of the map, and map orientation. You will then be given questions to answer based on that map.
Inductive Reasoning Section
Inductive Reasoning is having the ability to look at a series of data points or objects and find common characteristics or trends among them. As an officer, you will be required to make determinations on how facts that can seem unconnected may actually go together. This portion of the test will use classification and series completion questions. Classification questions may show you a series of pictures where you have to identify which picture does not belong, such as one frowning face among three smiling faces. Series completion questions are typically a short series of pictures or information, and you will have to identify from the multiple choice answers which one will go next in the series. Learning more about inductive reasoning through online examples and explanations can be a good prep tool for this portion of the test.
Quantitative Reasoning Section
Quantitative reasoning is having the ability to use basic math skills for problem-solving. These math skills include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. You can expect to be tested on arithmetic tasks and word problems in this section. For instance, do you remember your order of operations? Hint: you might have learned a phrase like Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally to remember that the order you should solve a problem in is parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. It’s time to review all of those math problems you thought you might never need in the real world. As an officer, you will be required to find stopping distances, rates of speed and other real world instances where math is needed. One of the best ways to practice for this section is to write out the math problems and your work, and then check yourself with a calculator. You will be allowed to write out your math problems on a scrap piece of paper during the test.
General Study Tips
It may have been awhile since you had to study for a test, so here are some general study tips to get you back in test-taking mode. How you study can be just as important as how often you study. For instance, staying up all night to study before your test may backfire as you may find it hard to focus when it comes time to put all that knowledge you crammed to use.
- Time Management – You will want to give yourself plenty of time to go over all the materials that you will be studying. Procrastination can lead to test anxiety, and cause you to feel as though you will do poorly, which in the end might happen.
- Handwrite, don’t type – There have been studies done that show that people that write out what they are learning in notes by hand are more likely to retain the information that they are writing than typing your notes.
- Read out loud – Similar to writing out your notes, reading your materials out loud while studying can help you to remember it.
- Rewards – Yes, passing your test the first time around can be a good reward to studying, but sometimes offering yourself some small rewards for finishing a set of tasks can help to ward off procrastination. It gives you something to look forward to in a short amount of time.
- Get up and Move – Taking breaks to move around while studying can help you to focus and remain on task while boosting your memory and brain power.
- Music – Playing instrumental music or nature sounds softly in the background can help to keep you alert, especially when you are studying a topic that you find disinteresting. Some evidence supports the Mozart Effect that listening to Mozart can improve your mental performance.
- Meditation – Meditation is an excellent way to reduce stress, and it has also been found to have a positive effect on improving scores for attention-skills tests.
- You do you – As trite as it may sound, you know your own study behaviors the best, and you know the best ways for you to learn. Use these tips in a manner that benefits you the most.
PATI Preparation Tips
Piecing together your study materials from what you can find at the library and online is one way to go about preparing for your upcoming test, but it might not be the best use of your time. It can be helpful to use a company like Police Test Prep that has tried and true strategies to get you everything you need in one place to study and pass your test on the first try. The Ontario Police Full Test Prep Package through Police Test Prep offers six practice exams with random questions pulled from the current test, so you will not be taking a duplicate test over and over again from old exams. Your exams will be scored, and will have solutions that will show you how to get to the correct answer so that the next time you see a similar question, you will know what you need to do to solve it. This will prepare you to take the timed exam because the test will be given in a similar way to the one that you will be taking. This strategy will not only let you see if you are able to get all the answers correct but will also help you see if you can finish it in time. Not finishing it in time may mean that you have to work on your time management during the real test.
If you are successful with Phase One, you will be able to move on to Phase Two and will be automatically registered for it. If you are unsuccessful on your test and do not meet the standard, you will receive some feedback to help you improve on retesting. This will be general improvement and feedback information as they do not provide you with your specific score or test results. Using a service like Police Test Prep will take the uncertainty out of what areas you need to improve upon to pass the test on your first try.
Prepping for the Police Analytical Thinking Inventory is a big step towards starting your career in law enforcement. Jumpstart your career by successfully tackling and passing this test the first time around because you have done the necessary work to get a good result. Police Test Prep is ready to assist you in starting the journey to your dream job.