[IPAC-List] promotional exam strategy

Glen Morry Glen.Morry at rcmp-grc.gc.ca
Wed Jun 29 08:58:29 EDT 2011

Hi Ramona -

>From a candidate's point of view it is reassuring to see all the potential questions that could be asked. Less test anxiety (and more focused preparation) might result in elevated exam scores, but I wonder if this "spoon-feeding" could disproportionately favour weaker candidates? Does one's actual exam score matter - i.e. are the results applied "top down", or is it just pass-fail? What's the overall pass rate and what proportion of candidates eventually get promoted...? I guess it is as much a matter of managing candidate pools (and candidate expectations) as it is a psychometric issue!

If candidates had all the test items in hand, then most will just study to those, and disregard anything else (although 500 items is a lot to digest). At the RCMP we publish previous exams, and we find the same sort of thing - candidates overly rely on preparing to these questions, rather than to the actual content we want to test for. If the ultimate goal is to ensure that candidates know all the P&P well, then a simpler strategy would be to just list the specific policies and procedures that will be covered by the exam. This involves a whole lot less work on your part, and arguably would produce similar benefits!

Since this is essentially a generic province-wide promotional exam, do the participating police forces also supplement this with testing involving questions directly related to their own force's policies and procedures, municipal by-laws etc? If so, do they use the same testing strategy, with candidates using a question bank to prepare?


Glen Morry
Senior Advisor, Executive Development
Executive/Officer Development & Resourcing
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
73 Leikin Drive,
Building M4, room 606-13
mailstop # 41
Ottawa ON K1A 0R2
(613) 843-6145 - tel.
(613) 825-0529 - fax

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