The PELLET B Test
Updated May 17, 2022
The PELLET B Test is an aptitude test used to assess the reading, writing and reasoning abilities of candidates who are looking to become peace officers in California.
PELLET B is an acronym for the POST Entry-Level Law Enforcement Test Battery, which is a standardized testing mechanism to ensure that all peace officers have the same basic standard of reading and writing.
The test is about 2.5 hours long, covering 105 questions and must be passed to become a peace officer.
The Commission on POST (Peace Officer Standards & Training) was established in 1959 with the express aim of ensuring that minimum selection and training standards were adhered to for all peace officers.
POST is directly and wholly funded by fines from criminal and traffic offenses and the voluntary membership of POST for peace agencies is based on incentives.
More than 600 agencies are members and take advantage of benefits such as job-related assessment tools, management counseling services, reimbursement of training costs and professional certificates recognizing achievement and proficiency.
The PELLET B Test was developed to standardize the basic reading, writing and reasoning skills that peace officers need to be able to perform their roles well.
The PELLET B is required for all peace officer roles in organizations that are members of POST.
The organizations will pay for you to take the test if you reach that stage in the application process (see below).
The scores on the PELLET B are considered reliable in predicting success during training at an academy, so most agencies use them.
The PELLET B Test is just one stage of the application process to become a peace officer in California. While all departments and agencies have their own procedures, the usual order of steps in the recruitment process are:
- Physical Test – Endurance, fitness and strength
- PELLET B
- Oral Interview – Personal questions to assess your suitability
- Background Check – May include a polygraph
- Medical – Identify any health issues
- Psychological Evaluation – Personality test/meeting with a psychologist
Each stage of the recruitment process must be passed before you are invited to take the next stage. Successful applicants can then attend the academy and begin training.
If the law enforcement agency you are applying to uses the PELLET B, contact them to find out how to complete it.
It must be administered by a POST-Authorized agency representative; they will be able to let you know when and where the test will be.
The first part of the assessment looks at your basic writing ability. Each section focuses on a specific skill set within writing, looking for grammatical knowledge, spelling and a wide vocabulary.
Peace officers must be able to comprehend written instructions and act on them appropriately.
In the second section of the test, applicants need to be able to read information, answer questions and provide missing words – this requires you to not only deduce what the missing concept must be from context but also have a sufficient vocabulary.
In the final section, you need to quickly find patterns and rules to enable you to answer questions based on them.
No general knowledge or previous experience is needed; you are expected to draw conclusions based only on the limited information you are presented with.
The PELLET B Test is a timed exercise. You will have 2.5 hours to answer 105 questions, using pencil and paper.
The test is marked by computer using a Scantron-style system, so you record your answers by coloring in the relevant ovals.
For sections where you must write a word, sheets will be given with the entire alphabet on for you to mark the order of the letters.
The test is broken into three main areas, each with subsets.
The first part of the assessment is based on writing skills and is broken into three subsections, each with 15 questions.
The clarity section questions offer two almost identical sentences. To answer, you must decide which one is written correctly and therefore provides the most clarity.
For success in this section, look out for common writing errors like sentence fragments, misplaced modifiers, run-on sentences and unclear references.
a) The suspect was wearing a blue baseball cap; he ran across the park.
b) The suspect was wearing a blue baseball cap, ran across the park.
“The suspect ______ some rocks at the approaching officers.”
“The suspect was in a dirty hotel room.”
The reading part of the PELLET B is separated into two subsets.
The comprehension subset consists of 20 questions. Each has a passage of text, similar to reports and policies that you will have to deal with as a peace officer.
These passages might be a paragraph or a page long, and you will have to answer a multiple-choice question based on the information provided.
This part of the PELLET B Test can take up some time as the texts that you need to read can be lengthy, so remember you only have a limited time for the whole test and lingering here may not be the best use of your time.
Read to the end of the article for a tip on this section.
“Sheriffs and Deputies are required to be present at the briefing room no later than 10 minutes before the start of their shift so that daily tasks, focus and ongoing cases can be discussed and assigned. The normal shift length of peace officers is 10 hours, but overtime is mandatory when needed. Meal breaks can be taken as workload allows and it is suggested that these are taken outside of the station where possible.”
Question: How long is a normal shift?
a) Six hours
b) 10 hours
c) 12 hours
d) Eight hours
The last part of the reading section is considered by many test-takers to be the hardest as it needs good vocabulary, comprehension and spelling skills.
The CLOZE subtest also requires a strong understanding of context to be successful.
Despite always being rendered in capital letters, CLOZE is not actually an acronym; it is merely the shortened form of the term 'closure' from gestalt psychology theory and capitalized for stylistic reasons.
In the CLOZE section, there are 40 items. Each consists of a written passage with missing words; you need to understand the context to fill in the missing words.
There are no word lists to choose from. Instead, you must use your vocabulary to fill the gap.
A dashed line replaces the missing word, and, for a little help, each dash is a letter in the word that they are looking for.
There may be more than one word that fits in the passage, but as long as it fits the context it will be marked as correct.
“The patrol car must always be checked before driving to ensure that it is safe. Full visual checks must be completed, and the vehicle signed out as checked. Check that all the _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ is present including weapons, ammunition and safety items.”
The reasoning section of the test is not yet standard on all PELLET B exams but will soon be. It is made up of 16 questions.
You will be provided with a sequence of numbers, letters, words and facts. There will be a relationship or a pattern for each and you will need to find this rule to answer the question correctly.
All the information you need is in the question. You should answer using only the data provided and not any prior knowledge or opinion.
You will be provided with some text or other information that you need to put in the correct order or ascertain the order from.
“The suspect entered the room before the victim, and the witness was already seated facing the couch.”
Who was the first person in the room?
Choose the odd one out in the list below:
c) Maine Coon
Finding the rule that links the words, terms, shapes, or patterns will help you to find the odd one out easily.
In this type of question, you continue a pattern of numbers, letters or shapes. The rules of the patterns are not explained; they are something you have to recognize or work out.
Complete this pattern:
1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, ?
Choose from the below:
When you have completed the PELLET B test, the raw score is digitally analyzed and calculated to produce a T-score.
This process means that you will not receive your results for about 2 weeks, and they will be sent to your assessment agency for dissemination.
The T-score is based on an average score of 50, with a standard deviation of 10. A score below 40 is lower than average and a score above 60 is considered higher than average.
According to POST, the attainment of officers in academies improves for every score above 42, so anything below a 42 is generally considered a failing score.
Your T-score remains valid for life. In most cases, they can be submitted with applications to different departments, but they can also ask you to retake the test.
If you fail or are unhappy with your results, you can retake the test after 30 calendar days.
Familiarity with the PELLET B Test will help you feel more relaxed when taking the test.
You can achieve this with practice and brushing up on your knowledge of language rules, spelling and grammar. This will also help broaden your vocabulary.
Several online preparation courses can help you gain confidence ready for the PELLET B exam.
The choice, of course, is up to you.
We recommend JobTestPrep’s course which is a popular resource for those studying for the test. JobTestPrep offers a money back guarantee if you aren't completely happy with its offering.
POST has practice questions in its preparation pack that will help you get used to the phrasing, style and structure of the questions. This can make you more confident taking the test because it will feel familiar.
To be successful in the writing part of the exam, your knowledge of spelling and grammar rules needs to be good.
You can revise online for common writing errors and spelling conventions. It is easiest to try to learn and remember the rules for spelling that you would have learned in high school.
You can easily widen your vocabulary and get used to recognizing context if you read more. Books and newspapers are best for this because they tend to use correct grammar and spelling, as well as more interesting words.
The more you read, the more you will learn and understand now words. You can test your new abilities and find areas you need to improve online.
Make sure that you fully understand what the question is asking before you start. Read the question and any instructions given to make sure that you know how they want you to answer.
A great tip for speed in the comprehension subtest is to read the question then look at the multiple-choice answers first, before reading the text.
This helps you to already have an idea of the information you are looking for before you get stuck in the details.
You can practice this technique online.
If a question seems too hard, you can leave them and come back at the end. The test is timed, so spending too long on one question can mean you miss out on answering questions later in the exam.
If you do not know the answer, it is ok to guess. It is better to have an answer rather than nothing.
Most of this test is multiple-choice, so it is best to have a go at more questions than spend ages figuring out a single one, as that gives you a chance to get multiple of them right.
On the night before your exam, make sure that you get an early night so that you are well rested. Eat a good breakfast and stay hydrated.
The test is administered using pencil and paper. You can carefully erase your answer if it needs changing. Bring at least two sharpened pencils and an eraser with you to the PELLET B exam.
You will be told if you are allowed to store your belongings at the test center or have to leave them elsewhere.
PELLET B is an acronym for POST Entry-Level Law Enforcement Test Battery. The Pelletb or PELLET B test is a type of aptitude test. It tests reading, writing and reasoning abilities and is used in the recruitment of peace officers in California. This is a standardized assessment method used to ensure all peace officers meet the same basic standards for reading and writing.
The PELLET B test comprises 105 questions and takes around 2.5 hours to complete. The writing skills section is split into three subsections. Each subsection contains 15 questions. The reading skills section is separated into two subsections. The comprehension subsection includes 20 questions, while the CLOZE subsection contains 40 items. The reasoning section contains 16 questions.
Upon completion of the PELLET B test, your raw score will be analyzed and used to calculate a T-Score. Typically, you will receive your T-Score within two weeks of sitting the test.
The average PELLET B T-Score is 50, with a standard deviation of 10. A score of 40 or lower is considered below average. A score of 60 or over is considered above average. In general, a score of 42 or under is classed as a fail. A good PELLET B T-Score is typically anything above 55.
Your Pelletb B test result is valid for life. You can submit it with applications to different departments, but you may also be asked to resit the test.
If you do not pass or you are unhappy with your T-Score, you can apply to retake the test after 30 calendar days.
Becoming familiar with the format of the test is the best way to prepare for Pelletb. This will help you to feel more confident and relaxed on the day of the assessment.
Try to complete as many practice tests as possible or consider taking an online preparation course.
It is also important to refresh your knowledge of grammar, spelling and language rules. Try reading a variety of different materials, such as newspapers, books and journals. On the day of the test, eat a nutritious breakfast and ensure that you are feeling well-rested and hydrated.
The venue for your PELLET B test will depend on the law enforcement agency you are applying to. All law enforcement agencies have to be administered by a POST-Authorized agency representative and they will be able to tell you when and where your test will take place.
Candidates taking the PELLET B test are required to draw conclusions from the information they are provided with.
If you have a good command of the English language, you probably won’t find the PELLET B too hard. However, the test is timed, which means you must work under pressure to answer all of the questions within 2.5 hours.
Many people find the CLOZE subtest element of the reading section difficult. To pass this part of the test, you will need to demonstrate good comprehension, vocabulary and comprehension.
POST has made it simple for all peace officers to have the same basic abilities in reading and writing through the PELLET B exam. It is not an easy test, but with practice and concentration, it can be passed.
PELLET B tests are administered by peace officer agencies that are affiliated with POST. You should contact your agency directly if you want to take the test.
Understanding and practicing what each subtest is looking for gives you the best chance to gain a good T-score.
Your T-score stays with you for life unless you retake the test. Your results will form part of the application process to join an Academy.
Preparation is the key to becoming more confident and improving your test scores.