Correction Officer Exam 2020 Study Guide and Practice Test

Last updated 05/2020


Being a correctional officer is a serious responsibility. In order to ensure that candidates can handle the daily duties in such a role, the Department of Civil Service administers the Correction Officer Exam, also called the correctional officer test. This test was designed to be extremely challenging for prospective recruits so that only the best candidates make the cut.

Prepterminal’s Correction Officer Exam 2020 study guide and correctional officer practice test content have been formulated to best prepare you for this challenging exam. Secure success today and start preparing to enter a rewarding career. Read on to learn more about the correctional officer test.


I’m Matt, Prepterminal’s Correction Officer Exam Prep Expert.
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intro-imgIntroduction to the Correction Officer Exam

Unlike the typical law enforcement exam, the correctional officer test is not offered by the penitentiary or detention facility that requires correctional officers, instead it typically offered by the Department of Civil Service of your state or municipality, usually whichever is the closest or the one designated to administer the correctional officer exam for that particular year or hiring period.

The correction officer exam is designed to identify whether the prospective candidate has the minimum cognitive abilities to perform activities or tasks that are related to maintaining security within correctional or detention facilities.

This is in addition to being responsible for the custody, control, care, job training and work performance of inmates living in the facility or location that they are assigned to, in extrreme cases under intense pressure or even under threat of physical harm.


Although thousands apply to become a correction officer every year, more than 95 to 96% of candidates fail to get through the selection process, and underestimating the contents of the correctional officer test is one of the leading causes.

intro-imgWhat to Expect in the Correction Officer Exam

The questions in the correctional officer test typically follow a multiple-choice format and are administered, depending on the facilities available, via computer or in pencil-and-paper examination.

Let’s take a good look at the subjects that are going to be included in the correctional officer test.



Mathematical Ability

As a Correctional Officer, you will need to have a good basic level of mathematical comprehension for recording information such as time, number of inmates, and possibly logistical and monetary data such as how many supplies are left or what is left of the prison’s budget respectively. The questions here usually revolve around the core operations, namely addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

However, it is not uncommon for the exam to also include statistical data-related questions with the use of graphs and tables.


Short-term Memorization

In this subject of the correction officer exam, the ability of the candidate to recall basic facts or information the moment they are provided to them is tested. This is because, as a Correctional Officer, you will be tasked with reading numerous reports and be required to retain as much information about it as accurately as possible.

This subject is also meant to test if you have the ability to memorize a string of numbers, letters, or a mixture of the two as those will correlate with locks, passwords, case numbers, prisoner/inmate numbers, or even special codes for prison alerts or announcements.

Other times, you may be presented with a photograph for a short period of time and then be asked a number of questions regarding the details contained with in.


Applying Written Material

In this subject, you will be presented with a passage that is in the form of a bulletin, guideline, information, instructions, or procedures relating to a correction or detention facility.

Questions will come after the passage and will require you to apply the procedure or rule that was given to you and selecting which of the choices applies the most to it.

It is not uncommon for the correction officer exam to include unrelated rules or guidelines, like that of how email should be handled or how a particular machine or vehicle should be inspected, because it also allows them to know if you are capable of applying the supplied information.


Preparing Written Material

You will be presented with a set of sentences that are put in a random or nonsensical order. To answer this correctly, you will have to pick from the choices which is the most correct restatement or which one shows the correct chronological or logical order to produce a coherent and understandable passage. This subject in the correctional officer test is meant to determine if the candidate can organize information logically and how accurate they can convey their thoughts or ideas to colleagues and inmates.


Reading and Understanding Written Material

This is also known as the Reading Comprehension Test. Here, the test-taker will be presented with a passage, ranging from a few sentences to a number of paragraphs long, and you will have to apply how the information applies to the question according to its intended purpose or message.


Situational Judgement Test

In this part of the correction officer exam, you will be presented with a situation that contains a conflict or problem of sorts that needs to be resolved.

Most of the questions here will relate to law enforcement roles in general, but some question banks of the correctional officer test focuses on detention facility or correctional facility-centric situations where you will be put in the shoes of a correctional officer.

From here, you will be presented with a number of choices of varying effectiveness, and you will be tasked to select which you think is the best course of action to take to resolve it.

intro-imgThe Correction Officer Exam Hiring Process

One thing that every aspiring candidate has to remember is that the correctional officer test is just part of the application or hiring process to become an actual correctional officer. Prior to being allowed to take the exam, or to go through the rest of the hiring process, you will need to meet a number of requirements. Depending on the state or municipality, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen by the time of appointment.
  • Be 18 years of age by the date of exam though some require the applicant to be 21
  • Have a high school diploma or GED equivalency
  • Have a driver’s license, varies by state (beware as having any moving violation(s) may disqualify you).
  • Undergo and pass a background check.
  • Pass a medical and psychological assessment.
  • Pass a physical ability test.
  • Pass a drug test.

intro-imgHow to Prepare for the Correction Officer Exam

The correctional officer test is, with good reason, very difficult. It is absolutely vital to prepare for this if you want to stand a real chance of getting a foot in the door of this career.

Due to the number of subjects contained within the exam itself with the situational judgement test being designed to make it difficult to know which is the correct answer by making the choices similar or morally gray, the only real method to ensure success is to prepare thoroughly using curated resources and benefit from the aggregated knowledge of industry experts.

While one might look to free online resources, these are extremely limited, scattered and incomplete. This course has been specifically composed to take the difficulty out of the process for you, so you can spend less time worrying about preparing with incomplete information, and spend more time preparing and practicing for this very difficult test. If you want to ensure success, start practicing today.


The need to study and prepare for the correction officer exam, as well as the other parts of the hiring process, cannot be understated. Only around 4 to 5 percent of applicants successfully secure a position as a correctional officer annually with some of them failing at the last moment due to a blunder in the background check or some technicality that could have been rectified legally and easily.

intro-imgHow Prepterminal Can Help You Succeed in the Correction Officer Exam

Passing the correctional officer test is already hard as it is. However, what’s even more difficult is the fact that even if you do pass it, your score will be compared to that of other candidates.

This means that scoring a single point above or below a fellow test-taker constitutes the difference between getting hired or being passed on by for a higher-scoring competitor. The stakes are high, so it’s crucial that you give appropriate attention to preparing for the correction officer exam 2020 as soon as possible.


That’s where we come in.

With our comprehensive Correction Officer Exam Prep Course, which is designed by law enforcement experts and test course professionals who regularly monitor the contents and updates to the exam itself to make sure that our course and study guides are up to date, we can help you make sure that you not only pass the exam but also give you the opportunity to stand out from the rest.

Our prep course is optimized for an efficient learning experience in addition to having supplemental reading and study materials so that you can prepare for the background investigation and interview stages of the application process

Regardless of whether you are new to cognitive tests or experienced with such tests, you can benefit from the efficient tactics taught in our modules, which will help you speed up your response time and overall competence.

By teaching you best way to tackle each question and question format effectively, we can improve the speed and accuracy with which you take on the test, allowing you to save precious time which can then be spent on those harder questions that require extra attention.

At PrepTerminal, we know that many test-takers score below expectations on entrance exams as a result of unpreparedness rather than incompetence. We have assembled this resource in order to remedy that shortfall and equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to significantly improve your score and employability when you sit your correction officer exam.

Our courses have been designed to give our reviewers a curated learning experience so that they can walk in to take the real exam with ease and confidence.

To get started preparing for success, click ‘BUY NOW’ to access the checkout page and get ready for the Correction Officer Exam 2020 today!

Correction Officer Exam 2020 Study Guide and Practice Test

Last updated 05/2020


Being a correctional officer is a serious responsibility. In order to ensure that candidates can handle the daily duties in such a role, the Department of Civil Service administers the Correction Officer Exam, also called the correctional officer test. This test was designed to be extremely challenging for prospective recruits so that only the best candidates make the cut.

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