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How to Prepare for Your State Corrections Officer Exam

Updated on January 21, 2012

Corrections officers often must take an initial exam before getting accepted as a trainee. Aspiring correctional officers should learn the process and resources available for preparing for this corrections employment test.

Each state decides the requirements for its own correctional officer exam and other employment requirements. For example, the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision has an initial exam for correction officer trainees. Those who pass the test and meet other requirements get hired as a trainee and attend a corrections-officer training course.

You must check with your own state to see the exam requirements. Generally speaking, you should contact the Department of Corrections or similar state agency to find out about testing in your state.

Because each state can even make its own corrections officer exam, there is not really a study guide or method that is going to apply to all tests. However, these tests tend to be the same or similar.

First, check to see if your state has its own study guide or tips. In that case, follow the agency's advice for getting ready for your correctional officer exam. For example, Massachusetts has its own preparation guide online for its corrections exam.

Second, ask officers in your state what the test was like when they took it. Try to glean as much information as possible about the types of questions encountered on the exam and any preparation tips.

The third option is to use corrections officer exam study guides that are prepared and marketed on a national level. While these are not guaranteed to be completely geared toward your state's testing requirements, you can generally expect an exam to test the same kinds of skills and contain similar questions as what you find in national study guides or courses.

An example of an online study course is Officer Forestal's Correctional Officer Exam Study Guide. As of September 2011, the fee is $37 for this study guide. It has plenty of practice questions to help you get familiar with the exam.

Peterson's has another popular study guide with 3 full practice tests. As of September 2011, the cost is $19.95 for this study guide and practice exams.


New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision: Correction Officer Exam

Officer Forestal's Correctional Officer Exam Study Guide

Massachusetts Corrections Officer Exam Information and Study Guide


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