Police Practice Papers
Police Practice Papers are excellent preparation for the Standard Entrance Test (known as the SET test), the written test element of the recruitment procedure used by the Police Service of Scotland or Police Scotland. The SET test was used by all of the eight police forces prior to the current single force.
The SET test consists of three separate tests: Language, Number and Information Handling. Candidates are required to pass all three papers in one sitting in order to pass the SET. This is a substantial undertaking and should not be underestimated!
While many attempt the police SET test papers, the success (and therefore failure) rates are significant: on average, 40% of all candidates sitting the police entrance exam will fail. 62% of ethnic minority candidates will fail (probably on the Language test paper) and almost unbelievably, 30% of graduates will fail the Scottish police entrance test questions!
There are a number of reasons why the Scottish police test papers are difficult to pass. One is because the exam itself does not fit into the SQA model of exams which most candidates will be familiar with. There are no past papers to refer to, for example, since they do not exist.
The Scottish police force holds a bank of three test papers (A, B and C) which are rotated on a six monthly basis. It is for this reason that candidates are only allowed three attempts at sitting the actual police test papers. This is also why candidates are required to wait a substantial period of time (usually six months) between sittings. Police Scotland recruitment teams will have a record of which police entrance exam papers candidates have previously sat and will amend sittings accordingly.
All SET test papers which have been attempted are shredded by the police recruitment teams immediately. This is to ensure that the actual entrance test questions used by the Scottish police entrance exam are not available to the general public.
So while there are no past papers available, what are available for preparation purposes are the Police Practice Papers. These have been created in the exact format of the police SET test papers and accurately reflect the level of difficulty of the actual Scottish police standard entrance test. The questions in the Police Practice Papers books have been designed to be as close to the actual SET entrance test questions as possible.
A word of caution: the Specimen Paper on the Police Scotland website does not accurately reflect the level of difficulty of the actual police test papers. You have been warned!