How to Pass the PSNI Online Initial Selection Test (IST)

Pass the PSNI Online Initial Selection Test

The PSNI Online Initial Selection Test (IST) is a series of assessments used to filter the best candidates early in the Northern Ireland Police Service recruitment process, and therefore it is important to understand them fully. So, let’s take a look at how to pass the PSNI Online Initial Selection Test.

What is the PSNI Online Initial Selection Test? – Pass the PSNI Online Initial Selection Test

The PSNI is a series of exercises designed to filter out the weakest candidates who make it through the application process. The PSNI receives thousands of applicants every year. So, it would be impossible every candidate to go to the assessment stage. Therefore, the IST is a pre-screening process.

The Initial Selection Test (IST) will consist of three sub tests, all of which will be held under timed conditions. So, the tests will examine the following skills:

  1. Word meanings, logic and grammatical nuances;
  2. Interpretation of language;
  3. Verbal and numerical data reasoning.

It is important to prepare as comprehensively as you possibly can for the IST. So, start preparing as early as possible. Ideally this should be immediately after you have finished filling in the initial application form. Therefore, the more preparation you do, the more confident you will feel, and this will reflect in your results. For many people, nerves can damage their chances of success, and therefore you need to do your utmost to reduce these nerves.

Tips for How to Pass the PSNI Online Initial Selection Test

Here are some tips for increasing your chances of passing the PSNI online initial selection test:

  • Read newspapers. Using a pen and paper, read through an article and write down a list of definitive facts that have been established by the article. This will help you when it comes to the second part of the test. You could also try to spot any mistakes that have been missed by the editors. Alternatively, there are plenty of proof reading, spelling and grammar exercises you can find online.
  • Practice puzzles and crosswords. These will help you to start thinking logically about puzzles and word problems.
  • Study data from tables, charts and graphs. This is a really important exercise, as it will help you to see the way in which you should approach the actual numerical questions. This is the area where the majority of candidates struggle, and therefore it is essential that you prepare to succeed where others fail.

Pass the PSNI Online Initial Selection Test

Reading Comprehension – How to Pass the PSNI Online Initial Selection Test

In this test you will be required to read through a passage, and identify a number of mistakes. These mistakes will be in the form of incorrect spelling, and words that have been used in the wrong context. So, you will be expected to read through the passage and underline the incorrect words. It is very important when taking this test that you:

  1. Underline the correct number of words as specified by the question, even if you can spot more mistakes;
  2. Underline only single words, not phrases or sentences;
  3. Only underline the words, do not try to correct them.

With this in mind, take a look at the example passage below. Identify eight mistakes in the passage, in under 3 minutes. We’ve provided the answers below, so you can identify any errors that you missed.

‘Every Monday I pop round to my auntys house. She has recently remaried, and lives with her new husbond. There house is semi-detached, and contains all sorts of interesting ornaments. They live next door to a man who owns a german dog. The dog is always barking through the gate when I arrive, so I find it quite inmitidating. So, my aunty normally cooks me a hot dinner of sausage, beans and mash. This is one of my favourite meal, and therefore I always look foward to Monday evenings.’

Reading Comprehension – Answers – How to Pass the PSNI Online Initial Selection Test

1. ‘auntys’
Explanation – The word ‘auntys’ should have an apostrophe before
the s, to indicate that the house belongs to her.
2. ‘remaried’
Explanation – The word ‘remaried’ should be spelt ‘remarried’.
3. ‘husbond’
Explanation – The word ‘husbond’ should be spelt ‘husband’.
4. ‘There’
Explanation – The word ‘there’ should be spelt ‘their’ since the house
belongs to two or more people.
5. ‘german’
Explanation-The word ‘german’ should be spelt with a capital letter,
‘German’.
6. ‘inmitidating’
Explanation – The word ‘inmitidating’ should be spelt ‘intimidating’.
7. ‘meal’
Explanation – The word ‘meal’ should be spelt ‘meals’.
8. ‘foward’
Explanation – The word ‘foward’ should be spelt ‘forward’.

Pass the PSNI Online Initial Selection Test

Verbal Reasoning – How to Pass the PSNI Online Initial Selection Test

In this test you will be given 4 separate passages, with a set number of statements after each. So, you will have to identify and then indicate on the answer sheet, whether you believe each statement to be TRUE, FALSE or UNKNOWN. So, the guidelines for each category are listed below:

TRUE: In order for a statement to qualify as true, the statement should be definitively made within the passage, or should be qualified by evidence taken from the passage that cannot be challenged.
FALSE: In order for a statement to qualify as false, the statement should be something that is not made in the passage, and therefore should be something that can be challenged by reading the passage.
UNKNOWN: In order for a statement to qualify as unknown, there should be insufficient information in the passage to ascertain whether it is true or false.

Data Interpretation – How to Pass the PSNI Online Initial Selection Test

In this test, you will be given a data sheet, and therefore a series of questions based around the information contained within it. So, you will need to demonstrate your numerical ability and skills in data interpretation in order to find the correct answer.

The questions will all be multiple-choice, and could vary from larger more complex data sheets, to smaller more straightforward sheets.

Pass the PSNI Online Initial Selection Test

Conclusion – How to Pass the PSNI Online Initial Selection Test

These are the three main tests that you need to need to perform well in if you want to pass the PSNI online initial selection test. So, for more guidance on becoming a police officer in Northern Ireland, check out our guide: How to Become a PSNI Police Officer.

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