What, really, does it take to be a police officer? The days when any Barney Fife could be put in uniform and given the keys to the jail and a squad car are over. (Confused? Search "Barney Fife" on YouTube to see comedian Don Knotts's portrayal of the classic country-bumpkin deputy). Nowadays, many officers have at least a two-year degree from college. Community colleges often offer associate-degree programs in Criminal Justice or Public Safety. Other would-be police officers get four-year degrees before entering the Academy, in a variety of disciplines. Having studied one of the sciences, math or liberal arts isn't an obstacle to being a police officer.
However, once you've committed to this line of work, there are certain things you'll be expected to know. To screen out the very unprepared, police academies use exams that test candidates not just on the basics of police procedure and ethics, but on simple math skills, logic, reading comprehension and spatial reasoning. Even grammar and spelling are included -- police officers write a lot of reports, and errors can make the department look bad in the eyes of lawyers, reporters and anyone else into whose hands these public reports might fall.
Our quiz, then, strives to imitate a police academy entrance exam. We'll test you on math, logic, grammar and spelling. But we've also included a lot about police techniques, procedures and ethics, to keep things interesting. You're sure not to get bored. Good luck!