Police Officer NYPD Exam: Test Format & Hiring Process (2021)

Last updated 02/2021

nypd police exam

The NYPD exam is a highly challenging applicant selection tool, employed to identify the very best applicants for roles within the New York Police Department.

Prepterminal’s all-inclusive guides, practice materials, and authentic practice questions are the ideal preparation resource for anybody seeking to apply to the NYPD.

About the NYPD Exam

The New York Police Department hires only the best-qualified individuals. It receives a large pool of candidates, so it’s essential that you optimize your chances of excelling during this strict selection examination.

Although the result of the NYPD exam is a simple PASS/FAIL, the more questions you get correct, the higher up the waiting list you’ll go; making preparation for the test an imperative.

The NYPD exam is exceptionally comprehensive, challenging a range of disciplines, including memory, deduction, spatial awareness, visualization, and a variety of other skills which we’ll cover in this article.

PrepTerminal offers the most in-depth preparation training for your NYPD test. We’re going to help you prepare for this extremely challenging test so that you can get your foot in the door for a rewarding, exciting, and prestigious career. For the full preparation package, our NYPD Police Preparation Course is ideal for a comprehensive learning experience.

What Does the NYPD Exam Include?

There are 85 questions in the NYPD exam 8339. You need to answer sixty of those questions correctly to pass. That’s a 75% pass threshold.

The NYPD exam tests your proficiency in the following disciplines:

You won’t have studied most of these categories in school. It’s crucial, therefore, that you recognize what to expect in each of these subject areas.

This is why programs such as PrepTerminal’s comprehensive NYPD training program offers exceptional preparatory insight for your exam.

The Structure and Subjects of the NYC Police Recruit Exam

Spatial Orientation

You’ll be presented with a map of a typical New York City street (although it’s just as likely to be fictional). There’s a compass indicator, street names, and a list of numbers placed at strategic points around the map.

Give the map a brief once-over – you won’t need to remember anything here, but the more quickly you familiarize yourself with the street names, the faster you’ll be able to address each question.

Locational questions

These questions are based on locational orientation. You’re given a starting point, along with a list of instructions that guide you towards a final destination.

Crime scene questions

You’ll be given a starting location and told to find the shortest route to the scene of a crime. This is a test of your ability to recognize shortcuts, navigating your way around potential roadblocks and one-way systems, etc.

Written Comprehension

You’re given a long passage of text, containing multiple paragraphs – of up to a full sheet of letter paper.

You’ll be asked to identify facts based on the passage. These facts, however, are phrased differently, so you’ll need to look for the most accurate alternative description.

Written Expression

This section of the NYPD examination provides a crime description in table form, along with a list of four prose-based reports.

You’re asked to determine which of the given statements matches the table of information most accurately, clearly, and completely.

This section examines your ability to use the English language in a concise, accurate fashion, bearing in mind the conventions of grammar and sentence clarity.

Informational Ordering

This section of the paper will give you a summary of a crime event, including additional, detailed information.

You’ll be asked a list of questions that relate to the given information that demands that you use common sense and an understanding of criminal law to make assumptions and deductions.

Inductive Reasoning

You’re given a written crime scenario, and you’ll be asked questions that test your current understanding of legal subtleties.


This section asks you to identify an object after superficial changes have been applied. Alternatively, you might be asked to identify the object from a different angle.

This section is exploring your ability to compare images and find similarities.

Deductive Reasoning

This section of the NYPD test will ask you to drive toward a conclusion based on given circumstances, but not all information will be relevant.

You could be given maps, tables, and image comparisons, but you’ll need to deduce which of those items are most helpful to your investigation.

Problem Sensitivity

You’ll be given a written scenario and asked to identify the problem. For example, a police officer needs to place signals or barricades in the road as a warning of hazards ahead to road users.

Based on that scenario, you’ll be given a set of three or four options, delving into your understanding of the problem and a potential action to prevent harm to the public.

Number Facility

These are basic mental arithmetic questions to complete without the use of a calculator, relying on your ability to determine reasonably complex equations in your head.

NYPD Hiring Process

The NYC Police Department is keen to hire only the most-qualified applicants. If you wish to be one of these people who can wear a NYPD uniform and badge you will need to put in a bit of preparation. The hiring process is tough and you will need to successfully complete each stage of the application process.

The NYPD hiring process is made up of 9 steps:

  1. Minimum application requirements – At least a 2.0 Grade Point Average and a minimum of 60 college credits at an accredited college of university; NYC resident; at least 21 years of age; U.S. citizen; and a current and valid state of New York driver’s license
  2. Written entrance test conducted by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS)
  3. Pre-Hire interview through the Medical Division
  4. Medical exam – Vision, height, weight, hearing, dental health
  5. Standardized written test – psychological
  6. Physical test
  7. Verbal interview
  8. Character investigation/check
  9. Police Academy training program

Am I Eligible to Take the NYPD Exam?

The NYPD police exam is particularly tough; designed to filter out the best candidates for formal training at the police academy.

The best way to prepare yourself for this challenging test is to understand the requirements and to practice.

But first, there are some eligibility criteria to consider.

While the minimum age for full appointment in the NYPD is 21 years of age, candidates can take the entrance exam at seventeen and a half. You can take the test up until the age of 35.

You can only take the NYPD exam once, so you should make sure that you’re ready and prepared for your test.

Residency status
You need to be a US citizen and a resident of New York state (within 30 days of your appointment).

You should have a clean, valid New York driver’s license.

What Might Disqualify Me?
All NYPD applicants require a clean criminal record.

The following are not eligible to apply:

  • Convicted felons
  • Those found guilty of domestic violence misdemeanors
  • Anybody dishonorably discharged or disqualified from military service
  • Additionally, if you have demonstrated prior disrespect for the law or violent conduct, or dismissed from a job for ill behavior, you may be disqualified from applying for a police officer role in the NYPD.

Advantages of Joining the New York Police Department

There are various advantages that come with performing duties as an officer within the NYPD. These advantages include, an above-average salary, stable employment, holiday leave, sick pay, compensation for night shift differential and overtime and more. By serving your community as an officer, you will also have various educational and promotional opportunities to better your career path.

As the NYPD seeks new recruits who show a very high level of integrity and duty, it is no surprise that the hiring process is relatively rigid. The NYPD hiring process is about showing that you have the mental and physical abilities to excel. The NYPD measures the cognitive abilities and mental strength of all new candidates via several written exams. Many applicants fail to do well enough in these exams without prior preparation.

That’s why Prepterminal has created an NYPD prep course that provides extensive NYPD Practice Exam resources. Our NYPD course will show you what to expect on the NYPD Test and give you the edge over your competition.

PrepTerminal’s NYPD Prep Course

Remember, you can only take the NYPD test once, so you should prepare as thoroughly as you can in order to maximize your chances of excelling during this challenging, multi-disciplinary test.

Higher scores send you to the top of the waiting list, meaning that you could be in line for recruitment sooner rather than later.

PrepTerminal is perfectly positioned to provide expert guidance that WILL help you pass the next NYPD exam and move forward toward a rewarding career in law enforcement. This course provides extensive NYPD Practice Exam resources, which will give you a real insight into what to expect on the NYPD Test and give you the edge going into the real thing.

*Note: NYPD and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with PrepTerminal or this website.

Police Officer NYPD Exam: Test Format & Hiring Process (2021)

Last updated 02/2021

nypd police exam

The NYPD exam is a highly challenging applicant selection tool, employed to identify the very best applicants for roles within the New York Police Department.

Prepterminal’s all-inclusive guides, practice materials, and authentic practice questions are the ideal preparation resource for anybody seeking to apply to the NYPD.

Police Officer NYPD Exam Prep Course

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  • Number Series & Word Problems Guide
  • 1/2/3/4 Operations Guide(Practice QNs)
  • Percentages and Ratio Guide(Practice QNs)
  • Reading Comprehension Guide
  • Written Communication Guide
  • Incident Report Writing Guide
  • Verbal Reasoning Guide(Practice QNs)
  • Spatial Awareness Guide(Practice QNs)
  • Non-Verbal Analogies Guide(Practice QNs)
  • Inductive Reasoning Guide(Practice QNs)
  • Situational Judgement Guide(Practice QNs)
  • Memorization Guide(Practice QNs)
  • Interview & Background Check Guide
  • Map Reading Guide(Practice QNs)
  • BONUS 911 Prep Module

Course Content

Lessons Status

BONUS Interview Prep Video Guide




Life Experiences Survey


Number Series


Word Problems


1/2/3/4 Operations






Reading Comprehension




Written Communication


Incident Report Writing


Verbal Reasoning


Spatial Awareness


Non-Verbal Analogies


Inductive Reasoning


Situational Judgement




Map Reading


Interview & Background Check


BONUS 911 Prep Module