PST Information Center

Applicant FAQs


How can I study for the test?

PST offers study and preparation materials designed by the test developer for each category. These are downloadable products that you can purchase in our Store.

What is the Personal History Statement and do I have to fill one out?

The Personal History Statement is designed to assist public safety agencies in the background investigations of applicants. Many of the agencies we test for require the applicant to complete the PHS within one week of testing.

The PHS is one of the most important, if not the most important document you will complete as a public safety applicant.  It is critical that you are completely truthful and thorough as you complete the PHS. Many applicants are disqualified for untruthfulness, inaccuracies or omissions in their PHS.

Applicants will need to update their PHS following each test and if you have changes to personal information such as employment, address, marital status, etc.

You will need to have the Microsoft Office Word on your computer to be able to view, edit, and save this document correctly. You will upload your completed PHS in your account in the My PHS Form section. For users who do not have Microsoft Word on their computer, please send an email to [email protected] for a PDF version of the PHS.

Up to top

May I test for agencies from different states?

Yes

You may take one written exam and one physical ability test and have your test scores sent to any agency we are testing for - and that you qualify for.  While the law enforcement physical ability standards are a bit different amongst the states, the events are basically the same (push-ups, sit-ups, running, etc). Be sure to carefully review the physical ability standards for each state described in our Information Center.

What dates do you currently have scheduled for testing?

Please see our Test & Event Schedule. Seating is limited and is on a first come first serve basis. Your seat is only confirmed once you have paid for your testing fees. We have testing sites at various locations around the region and tests will be offered on a regular basis typically on a Saturday or Sunday. Weekday testing also occurs frequently.

May I test for law enforcement and corrections officer at the same time?

Yes.

It is the same written exam but the minimum physical ability standards are different, the events are similar - however you'll still only have to take one written and one physical ability test. If you wish to apply for law enforcement and corrections agencies at the same time, you may do so by adding to your cart before you finalize your order.

Will I take my written and physical ability tests on the same day?

Yes, law enforcement and corrections applicants will take the written and physical ability exams on the same day.

While firefighter written testing will be offered at various locations around the region, the firefighter Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) is conducted at our CPAT Testing & Training Centers in Kent and Spokane, WA.  Optional CPAT Orientations & Practice Tests will also be offered at those locations. See our current Test & Event Calendar for dates/locations.

How long will it take to test?

For law enforcement and corrections applicants, plan on approximately 7 - 9 hours for both the written and physical ability exams. For dispatcher applicants, plan on at least 3 hours for the written exam. For firefighter applicants, plan on approximately 4 - 4.5 hours for the written exam.  Law enforcement and corrections applicants should come dressed for the physical ability test. Be sure to arrive early for check-in.  If you are late for your scheduled test, you will be required to reschedule.

What is done with my test scores?

Scores will be available to all of the agencies that you selected only if you pass the required written and the physical ability tests (some agencies only require the written exam). These scores will be available to each agency after PST audits & certifies them, usually within one business day of the event.

Do you tell us where we rank?

No

PST does not maintain eligibility lists or any form of "ranking" of applicants. Our contract with subscribing agencies is to provide them with your "raw" test scores and the information that you supply during the on-line registration process. Each agency, through their established process (often additional testing), establishes an eligibility list and a "ranking" of applicants. Your "ranking" will be determined by each agency. 

After the agencies receive my scores, what will they do?

That is up to each agency, some will review the Personal History Statement first, however most will invite a certain number of applicants to an oral board interview depending on the ranking of your score in comparison to other applicants on their list and the needs of the agency at that time. They will have you fill out the necessary paperwork for their agency as well. Agencies may require other testing and an extensive background check. In addition, there are also required polygraph, psychological and medical testing.  It is a very thorough and lengthy process that does not occur quickly - be patient!

How long are my scores good for?

Your scores are good with the agencies you have tested with for one year from the date the agency certifies their eligibility list or for a length of time as determined by that agency's civil service rules. PST does not maintain any list or ranking of applicant scores. 

Does it cost to use your service?

Yes, the fees are based on the number of agencies selected to test for.

When you consider the costs of taking time off of work, traveling many miles, hotel costs and other costs associated with testing for jobs and having those costs each time you want to test with every agency that you are interested in working, the testing fees associated with using our service are an investment in your time - and career. With our service, you only have to apply once, take one written exam and one physical ability test. Please see our fee schedules. Be sure to check with your accountant, but our testing fees may even be tax-deductible.**

I am not able to download the liability waiver form. How can I receive one?

A copy of the liability waiver form will be available in your account under "My Downloadable Products". Please remember that you must bring your notarized liability waiver form to your scheduled test date. For your convenience, PST will provide a notary public on-site for a fee of $10.

I am not yet comfortable providing my credit card number online. Is there a way to pay by check?

Yes

You will have the option during the online registration process to pay by check. All you will do is print out your online receipt and mail it to us with your check or money order. However, one advantage of paying online with your credit card is that you are confirmed for the time, date, and location you have chosen for your written exam testing time. If you choose to pay by check and the testing facility is at maximum capacity by the time your registration is processed by our office, you will possibly be asked to move your testing time. We use Payeezy through Bank of America, a proven, secure and reputable online service for credit card transactions.

I was recently invited to an oral board interview. Do you offer any help in preparing for them?

Yes

Periodically, PST offers a workshop on preparing for the hiring process with emphasis on the oral board interviews - a critical stage in the hiring process and a step that few adequately prepare for. Instructors are experienced law enforcement and fire service professionals that have conducted hundreds of interviews, background investigations and have hired many public safety employees. Workshop dates are noted in our Test & Event Calendar

I am currently in the military, when should I start testing?

Typically, 3-4 months from your separate date or as long as you are able to continue with your agencies in the hiring process which may include: oral boards, backgrounds, psychological testing, polygraphs, etc. 


Up to top

I am eligible for veteran's preference points. When will those be considered?

Veteran's preference (or any other preference) points will be factored in by each agency that you have tested for. They will collect your Form DD-214 and any other needed documentation.

Can I change my written testing date, time and/or location?

While we discourage changes, we certainly understand that it is sometimes required. Please login to your account and follow the steps from "My Schedule" on the dashboard. There is a non-refundable $10 processing fee for rescheduling tests, and is subject to the availability of seating at your requested time/date/location.

Can I cancel my test once it is scheduled?

Cancelations made PRIOR TO your scheduled test date/time will incur a $15 processing fee. There are no refunds for a missed test date.  Test cancellation requests are processed from your account in the "My Schedule" section.  Click on the "Reschedule" link next to your test date and follow the steps to cancel your test.

What about refunds?

  • There are no refunds on or after your scheduled written and/or physical ability exam date.
  • There are no refunds once you have started any examination.
  • There are no refunds for missed test dates.
  • There are no refunds or rescheduling of the CPAT Orientation & Practice Test dates or times. Requests to reschedule your CPAT date or time prior to your CPAT date will incur a non-refundable $25 rescheduling fee. These fees must be paid in advance when scheduled. If you miss your scheduled event, there is no refund because space availability is very limited at each event. It is very important that you attend your scheduled event.

Bad Checks

Checks that are returned NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds) will be charged a $30 processing fee.

Can I keep testing to increase my score?

Applicants may test once every 90 days (~3 months). If you fail the written exam, you must wait at least 90 days (~3 months) before you test again and you may test for any agency, including those on your original test date. If you fail the physical ability test, (PFAT), you have one re-test opportunity within 90 days.

Firefighter candidates must complete the PST CPAT within 180 days (~6 months) of your written examination. The sooner that you complete your CPAT, the sooner your scores are available to the agencies. 

If I'm interested in applying to agencies that subscribe to your service after I have tested, do I need to re-apply and test again?

Not necessarily. If you indicate during the registration process that you want to be notified of any new subscribing agencies, our system will automatically notify you as soon as they become available. If you have successfully completed testing with PST, you may be eligible to add on new agencies. Please log in to your account and click on the "New Agencies" link from the menu on the left and follow the steps to complete this transaction. You must add this new agency to your list within 180 days of your written exam date. 

How do I learn about new subscribing agencies?

We can automatically notify you via email if you sign up for such service. Please login to your account to set up Notifications/Opt-in.  If you are not a registered applicant, you may visit the contact us page and sign up to be notified when new agencies are available.

I cannot afford the testing fee - is there a waiver?

You may apply for a testing fee waiver and you must show proof of a verifiable financial hardship. Once we receive your completed testing fee waiver form, we will evaluate it and respond to you as soon as possible. Please submit this form at least two weeks prior to your desired test date. The waiver form may be found by clicking here: Testing Fee Waiver Form.

I am a Communications Officer/Dispatcher candidate, where do I take the typing test?

You will need to complete and pass the typing test PRIOR to your scheduled written exam date. To take the typing test, please login to your account and follow the steps under "My Typing Tests".  You must also select your highest score to forward to the agencies you applied to.

The passing score is 35 words per minute with an accuracy of 90%, however, some dispatch agencies may require a higher words per minute score. Please check the agency profile for details. Your scores will not be sent to departments if you do not pass the typing test. You are only allowed 3 attempts on the actual test. The results will be passed on to the agencies along with your written test score. Typing test results from other websites or departments will not be accepted.

I live outside of your test sites in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Alaska. Am I able to take the test in my area?

Possibly. There are certain agencies that will accept scores from candidates who take the test out of state. More information about the out of state testing scheduling process and the agencies who allow this process can be found here: https://www.publicsafetytesting.com/outofstate.

Up to top

What are your policies regarding Adding Agencies?

Adding Agencies

You may add an agency or agencies to your list after your initial registration and prior to your written test.  The fee for this is the difference between what you have already paid and what the fee would have been had you added that agency or agencies at the time of your registration.  

You may NOT add agencies that were available on your exam date to your list AFTER you have taken the written exam, regardless of any changes an agency may make to their current hiring status. 

New agencies can be added as described below:

If you have successfully completed testing with PST, you may be eligible to add on new agencies. Please log in to your account and click on the "New Agencies" link from the menu on the left and follow the steps to complete this transaction. You must add this new agency to your list within 180 days of your written exam date. 

Testing / Re-Testing

Law Enforcement / Corrections Applicants

Law enforcement/Corrections applicants may take one written exam within a 90 day (~3 month) period; however, if you fail the written test, you must wait 90 days (~3 months) to test again for any agency. If you fail the physical ability test you have one (1) retest opportunity to pass a physical ability test within 90 days (~3 months) from your written exam date. The physical ability retest fee is $35 (non-refundable). Please login to your account to schedule your physical ability retest date. An agency may require more restrictive timelines than provided here. You must pass both the written and physical tests for your scores to be made available to the agencies to which you have applied for.

Dispatcher Applicants

Dispatcher applicants may take one written exam within a 90 day (~3 month) period; however, if you fail the written test, you must wait three (3) months to test again for any agency.  You must have successfully completed the PST typing test prior to your written examination date (and no longer than 60 days prior).  You must select and designate your highest typing test score in your My Account prior to your written exam date.  You have 3 attempts to take the actual typing test, and may not take the typing test more than those 3 times within a 7 day period.

An agency may require more restrictive timelines than provided here. You must pass both the written and typing tests for your scores to be made available to the agencies to which you have applied for.

Firefighter Applicants

Firefighter applicants may take one written exam every 90 days (~3 months). However, if you fail the written exam you must wait at least 90 days (~3 months) from your written exam to test again for any agency. You must pass a PST CPAT within 180 days (~6 months) of your written test date in order for your scores to be made available to your agencies. If you fail a CPAT test, the CPAT retest fee is $119. Please login to your account to schedule your CPAT.

Cancelations and Rescheduling Policy

Cancelations prior to your scheduled testing date will incur a $15 cancelation fee.  The fee to cancel your CPAT or Interview Skills Workshop is $25.

Rescheduling your written test date and/or location will incur a non-refundable $10 fee.  The fee to reschedule your CPAT or Interview Skills Workshop is $25.  All reschedule requests are subject to availability of seating at your requested time/date/location, and must be made through the My Account page on our website. All reschedule requests must be made within 7 days of a missed test appointment, except CPATs.  There are no refunds or rescheduling tests 7 days after your missed test date.

Refunds

  • There are no refunds on or after your scheduled written and/or physical ability exam date. 
  • There are no refunds once you have started any examination.
  • There are no refunds for missed test dates.
  • There are no refunds for CPAT Practice Tests.
  • There are no refunds for missed CPAT Tests.
  • There is no rescheduling after 7 days of a missed test date.

 

How do I request Special Accommodations for testing?

During your PST profile creation, you will need to describe the type and scope of your impairment, learning disability or related deficiency that requires an accommodation related to the testing. You will be required to submit written documentation for review. Documentation must be emailed to: [email protected]. Please allow 2 weeks for review once documentation is received.

Up to top

* or as requested by Agency
** Pricing subject to change