FBI Test Phase 1 (Special Agent Exam): Guide with Practice Test 
Last updated 12/9/2022
The FBI has a very challenging hiring process. The first phase, once you complete your application, is the FBI Phase 1 Test. If you don’t ace this exam you won’t be permitted to continue with the hiring process.
Only 30% of candidates pass the FBI test. It is essential that you not only pass this exam but also get a high score. Your score will remain on file and be accessed to decide if you are a good candidate. To ensure you know what to expect from the FBI test and how to prepare, read on.
What is the FBI Special Agent Phase 1 Test?
The FBI Special Agent Phase 1 Exam is also known as the FBI Special Agent Test. This test is multiple-choice and computer-based. You need to complete the test in three hours. The test features five sections:
- Logical Reasoning
- Figural Reasoning
- Personality Assessment
- Situational Judgement
- Preference and Interests
Why do Candidates Need to Take the FBI Phase 1 Test?
The central values of the FBI are as follows:
- Uncompromising institutional and personal integrity
- Accountability (you must accept responsibility for your actions and decisions and their consequences)
The FBI Phase 1 Test measures these values and considers them in relation to a candidate’s logical reasoning capabilities. It isolates trustworthy candidates, who have high IQs and a good awareness of emotions.
The test is marked by a computer. The computer will give you your pass or fail result within one hour.
If a candidate indicates, in the personality part, that they value finishing work to a good standard and that they are detail orientated, but, in the situational section, select a response that contradicts this, the exam indicates that the candidate has lied and that they are able to distort or withhold information. This is in clear contrast to the key FBI values of accountability and integrity.
The FBI Test is thus not a skills exam, but rather a complete assessment of the psychology and personality needed to deal with sensitive national security issues and investigations.
What is Being Measured on the FBI Exam?
The FBI test measures the critical thinking skills required for a Special Agent job position. An FBI agent must study large amounts of information and identify important information from this.
The test is made up of five sections: Logical Reasoning, Figural Reasoning, Personality Assessment, Situational Judgement, and Preference & Interests.
The logical and figural reasoning tests and nuanced, difficult questions assess a candidate’s ability to think logically and figuratively accurately, and quickly.
The logical reasoning questions ask a candidate to analyze information from a text, which will be one paragraph long.
The figural reasoning tests are visual and candidates need to accurately identify the subsequent logical iteration in a sequence of images or graphics.
The next three parts of the FBI exam measure personality, approach to teamwork and work quality, honesty, self-awareness, and professionalism.
The questions featured in the personality assessment part are like the questions seen in a psychological personality exam. They give two unrelated statements from opposite personality traits and request that a candidate selects one. There is no room for a neutral answer.
The preferences and interests part outlines one attribute of a professional personality characteristic. For example, “I regularly work extra hours so that I meet all my work deadlines. I also work hard to make sure that all parts of my work are accurate and complete.” The candidate needs to mark a “strongly disagree – strongly agree” five-point scaled answer.
The situational judgment questions part provides a more in-depth paragraph that outlines a scenario a Special Agent may typically encounter. The candidate will then be given five distinct descriptions of responses.
The candidate will need to select the response that most accurately matches what their response would likely be.
How is the FBI Phase 1 Test Scored?
The passing score for Phase I is calculated according to the combination of all 3 exams, instead of an individual passing score for every exam. You will be informed if you pass or fail within 30 days of completing the test. The exact test scores will not be provided.
If you fail the test for the first time, you will get a second opportunity to retake the test 90 after you sat the exam. If you fail test two, your application for an FBI Special Agent job will be deactivated permanently.
All you Need to Know about the FBI Phase 1 Test: FAQ
The road to becoming an FBI Special Agent is very competitive, genuinely difficult, and could take a year or even longer. The FBI employs different types of assessments and interviews, such as the FBI Phase 1 Test, to find the most suitable candidates, from thousands of impressive candidates.
If your aim is to become an FBI Special Agent, you will need to make sure that you have the right skills, knowledge, and experience prior to beginning this difficult process.
Recruits who enter the academy get a modest salary for the initial 16 weeks of their training. Once they receive their badge, they can start earning between $53,743 to $58,335 a year. Agents who remain in the force can earn as much as $113,000 a year and managers can earn even more.
The FBI gives its employees health benefits, life insurance, a thrift savings plan, and vacation and sick leave time. Employees also get 10 days off for federal holidays.
Definitely! From what we have encountered and based on our customer’s feedback, we know that even practicing three hours a day leading up to the exam can be highly beneficial. In these three hours, you will become familiar with the types of questions and format of the test. You will also learn how to solve questions effectively and be privy to useful insights and tips.
The FBI Phase 1 Test runs for three hours and features cognitive, behavioral, and logical reasoning tests.
The FBI official site suggests that you “wear casual, comfortable clothing that is suitable for an office environment.”
How can I Prepare for the FBI Test?
You can smoothly and efficiently prepare for the online FBI test to get a top score by practicing with our comprehensive FBI test prep course. By using our course materials you will gain an in-depth understanding of the skills you need to pass. You will also gain access to FBI practice test materials. Our FBI preparatory course will make sure that you achieve your goal of landing a career with the FBI.