The Post Officer Selection Test (POST) is made up of four separately timed test sections. The first three sections, Mathematics, Reading Comprehension and Grammar utilize the multiple-choice and True/False formats. The fourth section, Incident Report Writing, requires you to write your answers in complete sentences in the spaces provided in the test booklet.
Though most of the questions in this test battery relate to police duty, no prior knowledge of law or law enforcement will be needed to answer the questions.
Section I: Mathematics
In this section of the exam you will be provided with situations that require the use of basic arithmetic. You will read each situation and solve the problem. You are not allowed to use a calculator in this section; scratch paper will be provided in the test booklet to do all the figuring.
Section II: Reading Comprehension
This section measures reading comprehension. You will read passages relating to police duty and then answer questions based on these passages. No prior knowledge of law or law enforcement will be needed to answer the questions. All the information needed to answer the questions will be provided in the passage.
Section III: Grammar
This section of the exam requires you to identify error in grammar, punctuation, or spelling. There are two types of questions presented in this section. The first type presents incomplete sentences and you are to choose the alternative that best completes the sentence. For these items, be sure to read carefully any material appearing before or after the item. The right answer may be dependent on this material. The second type of question presents sentences that contain a spelling error and you are to choose the alternative that contains the misspelled word.
Section IV: Incident Report Writing
Section IV tests your writing skills. You will read a completed sample incident report form. You will then use the information contained on the form to answer question regarding the incident. All your answers must contain the correct information and be written in complete sentences. The sentences must be grammatically correct and all words should be correctly spelled.
Montana Physical Abilities Test (MPAT) Description
The Montana Physical Abilities Test is designed to replicate critical and essential physical tasks and demands faced by law enforcement officers in the normal performance of their duties. Both specific tasks and overall physical demands are replicated in the MPAT through the use of a carefully designed, validated and timed obstacle course.
Part One - Obstacle Course - Mobility Run
The MPAT consists of a 1,235 foot obstacle run where the candidate must demonstrate essential and job related physical abilities such as mobility, agility, flexibility, power and general physical endurance.
From the course start cone, the candidate runs to the outside of the marked course towards the first obstacle, the balance beam. The candidate must cross the balance beam in a controlled manner. If the candidate falls off the balance beam, the candidate must go back to the start cone and renegotiate the balance beam.
The candidate goes around the next cone and turns right, running towards the second obstacle, where the candidate must jump across a five (5) foot obstacle (mat). The candidate must successfully get all the way across the five (5) foot jump. If the candidate hits any part of the five (5) foot mat, the first penalty is free. The second time is a five (5) second penalty.
The candidate goes around the next cone and turns left running towards the third obstacle, the stair stimulator. The candidate must run up and down the stairs hitting at least one (1) step on the way up and one (1) step on the way down, as well as the top platform. The candidate will go around the cone at the bottom of the stairs and go back up and down the stairs. The candidate may not jump from the top platform. If this occurs, the candidate must repeat that portion of the stairs.
The candidate will turn right and proceed onto the forth obstacle, the crawl obstacle. The candidate will crawl under this obstacle, which is 23 inches high, touching at least one (1) knee on the mat. The candidate must not knock over or carry this obstacle. If the candidate carries or knocks over the crawl obstacle, the first penalty is free. The second time is a two (2) second penalty.
The candidate will go around the next cone, turn left and run towards the next two identical obstacles, both 18 inch high hurdles, 10 feet apart. The candidate must jump over the center of each obstacle. If the candidate knocks over one (1) of these obstacles, the first penalty is free. The second time is a two (2) second penalty.
The candidate will go around the next cone, turn right and run towards the next obstacle and vault over a three (3) foot high railing simulating a fence. The candidate will land on both feet in control on the opposite side of the vault obstacle, fall to their back or stomach (alternating on each lap), recover to their feet without mechanical assistance and proceed around the start cone before beginning the second lap. Six (6) laps are completed in this manner.
Part Two - Push Pull Machine
After completing the obstacle course-mobility run, the candidate moves to the mechanical push/pull station, consisting of a push-pull unit and a line on the wall 39 inches from the floor. Reaching the push-pull machine after completing the sixth lap of the obstacle course should not take more than five (5) seconds. Upon reaching the push-pull unit, the candidate grasps the machine handles and pushes 80 pounds off the floor, then moves left to right completing a 180-degree arc. Six (6) complete arcs must be executed by bringing the bar parallel with the base of the machine. The candidate must remain in control of the machine throughout the activity. The candidate’s chest may not touch the lever arm. Arms must remain bent at the elbow throughout the performance of this activity.
Once the push activity is completed and the weight is released, again while maintaining control at all times, the candidate moves away from the unit, falls on their back executing a sit-up like maneuver, rising to a standing position touching the marked line on the wall, 39 inches from the floor. The candidate will repeat this fall to their back. The candidate then executes a third fall to their stomach executing a push-up like movement and stands up touching the marked line on the wall, 39 inches from the floor. The candidate will repeat this fall to their stomach. This sequence is repeated twice, (4 falls total- 2 back and 2 front). The candidate cannot use the wall for assistance to help them to the standing position.
When the fourth fall is completed, the candidate moves to the mechanical push/pull station, where the candidate grasps the rope and pulls the weight off the floor. Maintaining the weight in this position, the candidate moves through a 180 degree arc by bringing the bar parallel to the base of the machine. This action is repeated six times. The officer must remain in control at all times and their elbows must remain flexed.
Part Three - “Dummy” Drag
After a 60-second rest period subsequent to completing the push-pull portions of the test, the candidate must drag a 165 pound dummy a distance of 25 feet. The candidate must use the under the arm technique to accomplish this task. The candidate will then drag the dummy for 25 feet. The candidate must perform this task in a controlled and continuous manner. Once motion is started, the candidate cannot stop if they are to pass this section of the test. Candidates will have three (3) attempts to complete this task. Three (3) unsuccessful attempts will constitute a failure, resulting in the candidate failing the MPAT.