South Australia Police Tests – How to Pass

The South Australia Police was formed in 1838, making it the oldest police force in Australia and among the oldest police services in the world. With 138 stations across over 1 million square kilometres, the 5000 officers serve a population of approximately 1.7 million people. Like every Police Agency in Australia, candidates hoping to join the South Australia Police must undertake a rigorous selection process, which includes a number of varied written tests. These tests are referred to as ‘The South Australia Police Tests’.

In South Australia, the police entrance exam consists of the following elements:

  • Reading Ability Tests
  • Comprehension Tests
  • Numerical Reasoning Tests
  • Writing Ability Tests
  • Abstract Reasoning Test


Keep reading for a breakdown of each of the South Australia Police tests, as well as a few sample questions for each one. This will allow you to fully acquaint yourself with the tests and what will be expected of you.Answers for these questions will appear at the end of the blog!

Reading Ability and Comprehension Tests

Of course, being able to read to a reasonable standard is a vital requirement when applying to become a member of the police. In South Australia, this ability is tested with spelling and comprehension tests. Both are online.

In the spelling tests, you will have to spell 40 words, having 20 seconds for each. Similarly, in the comprehension test, you will be given a list of words, and you will need to create a sentence from each of them, in order to test you know the meaning of these words, as well as check your grammar and written expression.

Sample Questions:

Below are a number of multiple choice spelling questions. Fill in the gaps with the correct answers.

1. The Ofsted report implied that discipline could do with some____________________.


2. The team made a ____________________ to improving standards in the English department.


3. Students acted as____________________of the school during the trip.


4. ____________________ for the role were to be made by the 25th September.


Numerical Reasoning Tests

Numeracy skills are also important for cops on duty. Of course, your ability with numbers could be called into action in a variety of situations, whether you’re out on the streets or doing casework at the station.

In South Australia, your numerical ability will be tested with on online test of 34 varied questions, which will assess you in many different ways. For example, you will have to complete mathematical questions ranging from straightforward sums to diagram-based questions covering techniques from calculating volume to working with angles.

Sample Questions:

Question 1
A charity arranges a bike race. 120 people take part. 1/3 of the people finish the race in under half an hour. How many people did not finish the race in under half an hour?

Question 2
What is 3/5 of 700?

Question 3
What is the missing angle?
South Australian Police Test Numerical 1

Writing Ability Tests

To further check your writing abilities, you will also need to carry out a written expression test. In this test, you will be presented with a short description of events that have taken place at the scene of a hypothetical crime. It is your task to write up a full crime report.

The aim of this test is to assess your ability to present information clearly, accurately, and concisely. What’s more, this is often done in the context of police work.

Sample Question:

You are the customer services officer for a fictitious retail centre. Your manager has asked you to compile a report based on a new pub that is being opened in the centre. Your manager is meeting with the pub owners in a few days’ time to discuss a few issues and he wants you to write a report based on the information provided. The pub owners have requested that the pub is open to serve alcohol beverages in the centre from 11am until 11pm.

At the bottom of this page there is a survey sheet that tells you that, on the whole, the general public and staff are not happy with the idea of a pub being opened in the shopping centre because of perceived antisocial behavioural problems, littering and rowdiness.


The following information has been taken from a survey that was conducted amongst 100 members of public who regularly shop at the centre and 30 employees who work at the centre.

60% of the general public and 80% of employees felt that the opening of a pub in the centre would increase littering.

80% of the general public and 60% of employees thought that rowdiness in the centre would increase as a result of the pub opening.

10% of the general public and 10% of employees thought that the opening of the pub would be a good idea.

It is your job to create a report for your manager stating what the main issues are and what your recommendations would be.

Abstract Reasoning Tests

The last of the South Australia Police tests is all to do with Abstract reasoning. Abstract reasoning tests are designed to test intelligence by assessing how good you are at spotting patterns in several series of diagrams or shapes. The South Australian Abstract Reasoning Police Test consists of 45 multiple choice questions in which your aptitude in dealing with logical sequences will be assessed.

Sample Questions:

Question 1

Work out which figure is a top-down 2D view of the 3D shape.

South Australian Police Tests Abstract Reasoning 1

Question 2

Work out which option fits best in the missing square in order to complete the sequence.

South Australian Police Tests Abstract Reasoning 2

South Australia Police Tests Answers

Reading Ability and Comprehension Answers:

1. Improvements
2. Commitments
3. Representatives
4. Applications

Numerical Reasoning Answers:

1. 80. EXPLANATION = 120 (total number of people) ÷ 3 = 40. This is equal to 1/3. Therefore: 40 x 2 = 80.
2. 420. EXPLANATION = 700 ÷ 5 x 3 = 420.
3. 100 degrees. EXPLANATION = the angle makes a straight line (which in essence, is a half turn of a circle). Therefore the angles would all need to add up to make 180°. So, 180 – 50 – 30 = 100°.

Writing Ability Sample Response:

From: The Customer Services Officer

To: The Centre Manager

Subject: New pub

Please find detailed my findings and recommendations in relation to the new pub as requested. The survey conducted took into the consideration the views and opinions of 100 members of the public and 30 members of staff who work at the centre.

Whilst a small proportion of staff and public (10%) felt that the opening of the pub would be a good idea, the majority of people surveyed felt that there would be problems with anti-social behaviour, littering and rowdiness.

Having taken into consideration all of the information provided, I wish to make the following recommendations:

The level of customer service that the centre currently provides is high and it is important that this is maintained. It is important to take into consideration the views and opinions of our customers and staff and to see things from their point of view. I believe that there would be a high risk involved if we were to allow the pub to serve alcoholic beverages from 11am until 11pm and that problems with anti-social behaviour could develop. We have a responsibility to protect the public and to ensure that they are safe whilst in the centre.

Whilst it is important to initially obtain the views of the pub owners, I recommend that the pub is only permitted to serve alcoholic beverages from 11am until 1pm and from 5pm until 7pm so as to reduce the risk of the above problems developing.

I have recommended this course of action, as I believe it is in the best interests of the centre, its staff and more importantly our valued customers. This alternative course of action would be for a trial period only and providing there are no problems with anti-social behaviour, littering or rowdiness we could look to review the opening hours with a view to extending them. I am prepared to take full responsibility for monitoring the situation once the pub has been opened. I will keep you updated on progress.

Abstract Reasoning Answers:

1. A. EXPLANATION = a top-down 2D view of the 3D Question Figure would show three squares in a horizontal line.
2. D. EXPLANATION = the sequence follows: every even square has triangles pointing in the right direction, every odd square has triangles pointing in the left direction. The triangles get bigger as the sequence progresses.

South Australia Police Tests Conclusion

So, there you have it. A breakdown of the South Australia Police Tests. We hope that this has shed some light on this particular part of the selection process, and encouraged you to go for it and realise your ambition.

For more information on South Australia Police tests, as well as Australian police recruitment as a whole, please follow this link to our sister Australian site.

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2 thoughts on “South Australia Police Tests – How to Pass

  1. Reza says:

    This is the 2nd year I am taking the exam for South Australia Police. Last year I passed the TAFE exam which includes computer basics , Numeracy, Verbal reasoning, report writing.
    But unfortunately failed Vocabulary test and abstract reasoning test.
    wondering if you can help me with these two exam and also the panel interview.

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