About the Testing Process

The testing process evaluates an applicant’s aptitude, physical fitness, communication, background and general health. Certain phases have minimum requirements and applicants should remember they are competing against hundreds of others who are vying to be police officers. Applicants should perform at their highest level during the process, continue to live in a professional manner and improve their education and physical fitness.

Application Process: The process begins with the announcement of recruit orientation dates, the online application availability window and the test date. Recruit orientations provide detailed information about the testing process.  Online applications must be submitted by the deadline to be considered.

Hundreds of online applications are submitted and only the top candidates are invited to the participate in the testing process. Back to Top  

Physical Agility Test: The physical agility test has three components: a 1½ mile run, pushups and sit-ups and measures an applicant’s general cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength and muscle endurance.

Applicants should wear athletic clothing and shoes during the physical agility test. Applicants are encouraged to bring water and hydrate well in advance. It is wise to stretch and warm-up prior to physical activity to avoid injury.

The standards below are the minimums to pass the physical agility test. An applicant must successfully pass all three components to move to the written examination.

1½ Mile Run - Applicants must run six laps around a ¼ mile track in 14 minutes or less. Walking is not permitted and those who walk fail this portion of the test. Applicants may carry water or listen to music during the run.

Pushups - Applicants must complete at least 21 pushups; there is no time limit. If an applicant rests, they may do so in the front leaning rest (up) position. If an applicant stops with any part of the torso touching the measuring block or ground or is unable to complete 21 pushups, s/he fails this portion of the test. Modified pushups are not permitted.

Click here to view a video demonstration of appropriate pushups and sit-ups.

Sit-ups - Applicants must complete at least 29 sit-ups in one minute. If an applicant rests, they may do so but only in the up position. If an applicant stops with any part of his or her back touching the ground or is unable to complete 29 sit-ups in one minute, s/he fails this portion of the test. Back to Top 

Written Examination: The written exam evaluates memory, analytical and logical thinking, reading comprehension, written communication, problem solving and other tasks of a police officer. The exam will take approximately two hours to complete. Exams are scored upon completion and applicants are notified if they passed or failed. The written exam will be conducted immediately after the physical agility test. Only applicants who pass will move onto the panel interview. Back to Top

Panel Interview: Upon successful completion the written exam, applicants will immediately be scheduled to participate in a panel interview. Applicants should expect to attend a panel interview the week following the written exam and physical agility test. The panel interview lasts approximately 30 minutes once the process begins but applicants should plan to set aside up to two hours of their time.

The interview board will be made up of two members. The panel interview may be different from other interviews an applicant has attended as only the applicant will speak during the interview and the panel members will not ask follow-up or clarifying questions. This provides a consistent experience for all applicants. Applicants should answer questions completely and base answers on personal experiences, skills and knowledge.

Panel members do not view applications or the results of previous test phases and only information provided by the applicant can be can be evaluated by the interview board. Applicants will be notified via email if they did not pass the panel interview.  Those who pass will not receive any notification and are placed on an eligibility list. Back to Top

Background Investigation: If an applicant successfully completes the panel interview and is selected to move forward in the process, s/he will be schedule an interview. Passing the written examination, physical agility test and panel interview does not guarantee an applicant will be given further consideration.

During this interview, the detective will review the AzPOST questionnaire and address all areas of your life. The background investigation may take several weeks or months to schedule and complete. During this portion of the process, the department will conduct a thorough check of an applicant’s history. Back to Top 

Polygraph Examination: Upon completion of the background interview, applicants may be scheduled for a polygraph examination.  Only the most qualified candidates will be invited to a polygraph examination. Back to Top

Psychological Evaluation: Upon completion of the previous phases, applicants are evaluated and the best are selected to move forward. Should an applicant move forward, s/he will be scheduled for a psychological evaluation. The purpose of this phase is to ensure there are no psychological issues that would prevent an applicant from having a successful career as a police officer. Prior to the psychological evaluation, an applicant will be given a conditional offer of employment. Back to Top

Medical Examination: Applicants who successfully complete the psychological evaluation will be scheduled for a medical examination. Once an applicant has successfully completed the medical examination, s/he may be scheduled to attend the police academy. Back to Top

*Out-of-State Applicants: Out-of-state applicants need to be in Tempe on the scheduled dates for the physical agility test, written exam and panel interview.  The department will attempt to accommodate out-of-state applicants by minimizing travel during later phases.  Back to Top