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.

PrepTerminal offers the most in-depth preparation training for your NYPD test.

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

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 Test 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.

All of the questions are multiple-choice, and you should aim toward 100% as this will bring you higher up the waiting list.

The NYPD exam tests your proficiency in the following disciplines:

  • Memory
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • Inductive Reasoning
  • Information ordering
  • Problem sensitivity
  • Spatial Orientation
  • Visualization
  • Written comprehension and communication
  • Number facility

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.


Most people consider the memory section of the NYPD exam to be the most challenging.

You’re given a photograph to study for five minutes – it could be in color or black and white. And chances are, the image will not have a distinct focus. It won’t be of a particular crime scene; it’s likely to be an innocuous, everyday image.

It could be a photograph of the sidewalk in front of a building. There could be street signs with business names and phone numbers and, although they’re likely to feel insignificant, these are the features that you are likely to need to recall.

If there are windows in the picture, can you see people behind the glass? Is there anything significant taking place in an easily-missed corner of the image?

If you’re looking at a street, make a mental note of everything:

  • the number of streetlights
  • any cars driving past or parked
  • phone numbers and street numbers of businesses from billboards or shop facades
  • information about in-store services from facades 
  • anything that might indicate the location, such as subway- or street signs
  • bus stops
  • air-con units

Look for the minutiae; features that are easily missed.

You can’t take notes during the observation period; this is a test of your memory. And once the time is up, you will not be allowed to look at the image again.

You’ll be given around 13-15 questions about the image.

This section requires lots of practice. We’ll help you prepare for this challenging element of the NYPD test.

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.

For example, you might start at the intersection between Clark Street and Eagle Boulevard, told to drive East towards London Row, turn South towards Asten Place. This could be your final destination, and you’ll need to choose the correct answer from a list of options.

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 short cuts, navigating your way around potential road-blocks 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.

Unlike the memory test, you can refer back and forth from the question to the answer, so as long as you apply a little focus and lateral thinking, this section should pose no significant obstacles.

However, you will need to practice this type of question because of the time constraints and the similarity of the descriptions you’re asked to differentiate.

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.

For example:

A 2012 Volvo driven by Amy Treacy struck a mailbox at the intersection of 12th and 43rd at 5.30 pm, causing damage to a mailbox and a dent to the driver’s bumper

is not the same as: 

A 2012 Volvo caused a dent at 5.30 pm to the car and a mailbox. Amy Treacy was driving along 12th and 43rd. 

The second example makes it appear that the car causes a dent to the mailbox as well as the vehicle, but this isn’t an accurate representation of what happened. The first description correctly divides the clauses of the sentence for clarity.

Informational Ordering

These questions test your ability to combine numbers and math equations with:

  • pictures and symbols
  • logical progression
  • words and mathematical letters
  • procedures

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 demand 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 is an area of the NYPD exam that is likely to challenge your existing knowledge, so you should prepare for this type of question with the PrepTerminal NYPD training program.

You could be given witness statements and police reports and asked to assess the integrity of each; evaluating the situation based on a list of given facts and assumptions.


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.

For example, you might be given a drawing or an efit of a suspect and asked to identify them even though they may have changed their appearance.

You should look for the outstanding characteristics of the initial image and look for those in the subsequent choices.

A subject may have a thin nose, a small mouth, and distinctive eyebrows – but bear in mind that it’s easy to reshape eyebrows. A thin nose and a small mouth are more difficult to disguise.

Look out for permanent features that are more difficult to conceal.

Alternatively, you may be given a diagram, a floor plan, or even a geometric object. These questions are commonly found in IQ tests, so familiarize yourself with the types of questions that ask you to visualize the same object in different contexts.

Deductive Reasoning

If induction is testing your ability to make assumptions based on a list of given rules, then deduction is the ability to sift through the information to find the most appropriate or trustworthy clues; leading you towards a conclusion.

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.

These are tricky questions as you’re given very little information. You need to use your common sense to identify which is the most severe or dangerous situation.

Again, preparation for this section is imperative. Ensure that you know how to un-pick the question; finding a route towards the correct answer.

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.

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.


Police officers are highly-skilled, highly-qualified individuals, and require sixty college credits to be eligible for consideration. You should have an average grade of 2.0 from a recognized and accredited educational institution.

Alternatively, individuals with 2-years of active military service within the US Armed Forces are considered to have received adequate prior training.

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 illegible 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.

PrepTerminal can help

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 are 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.