Physical/Written Test

The Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Commission (MPOETC) outlines basic physical fitness and academic standards that all individuals must meet to qualify for the role of a police officer. Individuals must meet these standards to enter a police academy, graduate from a police academy, and apply for employment at a police department. 

Physical Test

MPOETC uses the Cooper Health testing parameters to gauge physical fitness. The Cooper standards are scientifically valid norms based on general population and law enforcement samples and are representative of a cross-section of those populations. Entrance to a Certified Municipal Police Academy requires each cadet to pass all four of the components of the Entrance Fitness Test (30%). Graduation from a Certified Municipal Police Academy requires the cadet to pass all four tests at the 50% percentile at least once during the academy. This fitness evaluation ensures that all cadets are sufficiently fit to participate in the physically rigorous elements of academy training without incurring injury. The battery includes the following tests: 1.5-mile run, 300-meter sprint, push-ups, and sit-ups. MPOETC has very rigorous judgment criteria for each of these tests, so please contact a recruiter for additional information about these standards. 

MPOETC Physical Fitness Assessment Standards


Written Test

MPOETC requires applicants for the role of a police officer to be able to read at a ninth-grade level. To gauge this, capacity, the Nelson-Denny Reading Test is administered to all individuals prior to enrollment in the police academy. The Nelson–Denny includes two subtests and yields four scores. The first subtest, Vocabulary, consists of 80 multiple-choice items, each with five response options. The words were drawn from high school and college textbooks and vary in difficulty. The second subtest, Comprehension, requires examinees to read five short passages (also drawn from high school and college textbooks) and to respond to 38 multiple-choice questions about the contents of these passages. Approximately half of these items relate to specific factual content, while the other half are more inferential. A total reading score is derived by summing the Vocabulary score with the Comprehension score (the latter score is doubled to compensate for the larger number of items on the first subtest). Part way through the first passage in the Comprehension subtest, reading rate is also assessed. There are a variety of online resources available to assist potential applicants in preparing for this test format. 


Additional Testing

MPOETC requires that all potential police officers pass these two exams prior to enrollment in the academy.  Applicants who have not yet attended a police academy should be prepared to pass this physical test at least three times during the academy. Academy cadets are also expected to maintain a passing grade through all 3 trimesters of the academy, which include additional tests on a variety of subjects including criminal procedure, defensive tactics, PA laws and case law, patrol tactics, vehicle code, firearms, and more. 

Photography by Marc Wiczkowski