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Police Officer Frequently Asked Questions

Medical Assesment Link image Character Assessment Link image psychological assessment Link image
physical assessment Link image Taking the exam Link image Inclusivity Link image
Miscellaneous Link image Hiring process Link image Social Media Link image

Medical Assessment

Q: What does the Medical Assessment consist of?

A: Vision test- Candidates' vision must be 20/30 or better corrected and at least 20/100 or better uncorrected with each eye tested separately. Candidates who wear corrective lenses must bring their glasses or contact lenses to the examination. Color vision will also be evaluated. The use of color deficiency corrective devices of any type is prohibited.

Hearing test- Candidates’ ability to hear a tone of varying decibels across a range of frequencies will be evaluated. Each ear is tested separately. The application of hearing aids to achieve such standards are allowed – under limited circumstances – provided they are self-contained and fit within (auricular) or behind or over (post-auricular) the ear.

Blood pressure- Candidates must have controlled blood pressure of no greater than 140/90 with a pulse of fewer than 100 beats per minute. It is suggested that candidates refrain from the use of products containing caffeine and/or other stimulants for 24 hours prior to their medical exam.

Electrocardiogram- Every candidate will have an EKG performed to screen for cardiac abnormalities

Physical exam- Every candidate will be asked to complete a Medical Questionnaire listing their medical history. Then, using this history and the results of the above testing as a guide, the candidate will be questioned and physically examined by a Police Department doctor or physician assistant.

Q: Should I bring medical records with me to my initial medical assessment?

A: Although, it is a good idea to have your medical records ready, do not bring them to your initial medical assessment. When you are assigned an investigator, he or she will ask for certain medical records if they are needed for your processing.

Q: If I had a previous surgery or injury, will I be disqualified?

A: Prior injuries or surgeries are not an automatic disqualifier. You will be asked for medical records pertaining to the injury/surgery. They will then be reviewed by independent doctors hired by the city that work in conjunction with the NYPD.

Q: What are my options if I am currently recovering from a surgery/injury and was called to begin my process?

A: All applicants will be reviewed on a case to case basis. If you have been called in to begin processing for the desired job title, and are recovering from an injury/surgery, you can notify Candidate Relations. You will be put on a hold until you are ready to be processed. All exams are valid for four years from the date your list number was established.

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Miscellaneous

Q: What is the best advice that can be given to prospective candidates?

A: There are some things that every candidate should remember while going through the hiring process:

Be engaged and responsive – The faster you respond back to your investigator, fill out paperwork, or schedule your appointments, the faster your process will go.

There are only 3 immediate disqualifiers for becoming a Police Officer: A felony conviction, domestic violence misdemeanor conviction, and/or a dishonorable discharge from the military.

Don’t lie to your investigator – It’s better to be truthful about your background and experiences than to hide them. Your history will be reviewed in its totality by the Department. You may not be disqualified for what you tell your investigator, but may be disqualified if you lie or omit information.

Q: What are the requirements to become a Police Officer?

A: Requirements for the position of Police Officer are as follows:

Qualifying Age: The minimum age of appointment is 21 years old. However, candidates are eligible to take the Police Officer’s Entrance Exam at seventeen and one half (17½) years old. Candidates may register for the Entrance Exam up until their 35th birthday.

Education: You must have earned 60 college credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA from an accredited institution or 2 years of active military service in the U.S. Armed Forces in order to be appointed to the title of Police Officer.

Residency: You must also be a United States citizen, have a valid New York driver license and live in one of the city's five boroughs, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Westchester, Putnam or Orange counties within 30 days of being hired.

Q: How much notice will I be given before entering the next Academy class?

A: The Candidate Assessment Division will make every attempt to provide at least 2 weeks’ notice, but this timeframe can be less dependent upon the hiring needs of the department.

Q: Will I be paid in the Academy? What will my salary/benefits be? What will my hours be?

A: A starting salary of $42,500 and medical/dental benefits will begin from the start of the Academy. Your hours are dependent upon the Police Academy training schedule.

Q: Are there expenses during the Academy?

A: You will be required to purchase training uniforms and equipment totaling approximately $2,504. See below for an approximate breakdown of how much you would be expected to spend:

  • $550.00 at the start of the Academy (basic uniform/class items)
  • $1,104.00 within 3-4 weeks of starting, for equipment purchased in the NYPD Equipment Section
  • $850.00 for items to be purchased after your 1st trimester exam

Options for payment and loans, if necessary, will made available to you once you are in the Police Academy.


Q: How long will the Academy last?

A: The current Police Academy runs for approximately 6 months.

Q: Does the Department provide resources for childcare while you’re at the Academy?

A: No, you will be responsible for childcare arrangements for the duration of the Academy.

Q: Will I be put on probation? How long will probation last? Can I be fired during probation?

A: Your probation will last for 24 months, not including sick and vacation time. You can be terminated during probation subject to the approval of the Police Commissioner.

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Taking the Exam

Q: How do I register and take the Police Officer Exam?

A: Prospective candidates must first pass the police officer written exam which is administered by the NYC Department for Citywide Administration Services (DCAS).

Q: Will I know my score after I finish taking the exam?

A: Although your exam score is generated automatically, it takes approximately six months for DCAS to create the certified list.

Q: How many questions is the Police Officer Exam?

A: The Police Officer Exam is a 55 question civil service. Prospective candidates will have two hours to complete the exam.

Q: Will I be allowed to take notes on exam day?

A: Even though the exam is computerized, you will be permitted to take notes during the exam. Proctors on exam day will distribute scrap paper and writing utensils. You WILL NOT be permitted to bring your own scrap paper into the testing site.

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Hiring Process

Q: What does it mean when I am given a list number?

A: The NYC Department for Citywide Administration Services (DCAS) will generate your list number. List numbers are generated by exam score. The higher the score, the lower your list number will be. List numbers are ONLY generated for candidates who pass the exam.

Q: What happens when my list number is called?

A: Upon completion of your exam (passing score) the NYPD’s Candidate Assessment Division will email you an invitation to create a NYPD Candidate Portal account. When your list number is reached you will be invited through the Portal to complete the Personal History Questionnaire which will begin your assessment process. You will also prepare and upload additional documents in the portal which can be located at NYPD Candidate Portal (nypdonline.org)

Q: What do I need to bring with me during my first interview?

A: A complete list of items that you are required to upload and bring to your interview will be listed in the NYPD Candidate Portal upon completion of your Personal History Questionnaire. Additional information can be found in the Candidate Resource Booklet at Police Officer Candidate Forms - NYPD (nyc.gov).

Q: How long will the hiring process take?

A: The average length of time it takes a candidate to be hired is 6 months to 1 year. However, the process can take as little as 2 months or last as long as 4 years depending upon each candidate’s situation.

Q: What if I am not ready to start my processing?

A: Your exam will be valid for four years from the date your list number is established. You can notify Candidate Relations if this applies to you once you receive a list number.

Q: What happens if I already have a job when my list number is called?

A: You should not quit your job until you are officially notified that you will be hired by the NYPD.

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Character Assessment

Q: What does it mean when my investigator conducts a background check?

A: Investigators conduct background checks to verify that an individual is who they are claiming to be. In addition, background checks allow investigators to confirm if an applicant has a criminal record, history of disrespect for the law, a tendency toward violence, and/or termination from a job for poor behavior. They will also verify the validity of employment history and education disclosed by the candidate.

Q: How will my investigator contact me?

A: The email address you register with on your Candidate Portal will be used if your investigator needs to contact you. In addition, your investigator may also wish to speak to you on the phone number you provided as well. Please, make sure to check your email regularly, as well as your spam folder. Also, make sure you have a valid voicemail set up so your investigator can leave you messages.

Q: Does any prior substance use, including marijuana, prevent me from being hired by the NYPD?

A: Prior use is not an automatic disqualifier and will be considered with the totality of your background investigation. You must pass a drug screening prior appointment. Once hired NYPD employees are strictly prohibited from drug use, including marijuana.

Q: If I have been arrested, or received traffic tickets, or criminal court summonses will this prevent me from being hired by the NYPD?

A: The only statutory disqualifiers to becoming a Police Officer are a felony conviction, a domestic violence misdemeanor conviction, or a dishonorable discharge from the military. The totality of your background investigation will be considered when determining your eligibility for employment with the NYPD. You must be honest and truthful with all aspects of your background investigation. Deception or omission of pertinent background information may be grounds for disqualification.

Q: Will poor school grades prevent me from being hired by the NYPD?

A: You are required to have at least a 2.0 overall GPA in your college coursework.

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Psychological Assessment

Q: What does the psychological exam entail?

A: The written testing is a full day of paperwork, administered in a group setting, which includes autobiographical questionnaires, symptom inventories, and two longer objective personality inventory measures.

The oral interview is a one-on-one evaluation with a psychologist where they will be asking you questions about your educational history, employment history, psychological history, medical history, legal history, social relationships, and if there are any areas of concern or areas of relevance. The oral interview is approximately 1 hour.

Our best advice for the written testing and oral interview is to come prepared (e.g., bring a resume, transcripts, etc.), be open and honest, and be yourself.


Q: If I go to therapy/counseling or have been to therapy/counseling in the past, will this prevent me from being hired by the NYPD?

A: We understand that seeking therapy or counseling is a healthy and adaptive choice. We do not disqualify candidates simply for attending therapy or counseling. We will want to understand more about the circumstances which led you to seek therapy or counseling, how it went or what the focus of the treatment was, and how you have been doing since seeking therapy or counseling. Please come prepared and ready to discuss the dates that you were in therapy or counseling, who the provider was, and the circumstances which led you to seek treatment.

Q: If I am on anti-depressants will this prevent me from being hired by the NYPD?

A: There are no medications that would automatically disqualify you from being hired as a police officer for the NYPD. However, any medication use must be assessed and evaluated closely. We would need to understand the reasons for which you are or were prescribed medication, the symptoms which the medication was meant to address, how you did on the medication, as well as the timeline for how long you have/were taking the medication. Come prepared to discuss the names of the medications, the dosages, the timeline for which you were/have been prescribed.

Q: What psychological history will prevent me from being hired by the NYPD?

A: There are no automatic mental health disqualifiers. Everyone is considered on a case by case basis. If you have any history of mental health problems, come prepared to answer questions about any mental health diagnoses, past or current treatment including therapy or medications, the circumstances and symptoms related to your mental health history, and how these have affected you both past and current.

Q: How do you know if your psychologist received your documents?

A: Always email your psychologist first to see if they have received your documents, allowing them 5 business days to respond. If you do not get a response you can call Candidate Relations Monday – Friday 7:00am to 6:00pm at 718-312-4226, and select option 3.

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Physical Assessment - Job Standard Test (JST)

Q: Do you have to have a certain level of fitness to pass?

A: There are no BMI or body size requirements to join the NYPD, however exercising and getting into physical shape will make passing the JST easier. Passing the JST is a mandatory requirement for being hired as a police officer.

Q: What does the Job Standards Test entail?

A: Job Standards Test (JST): Candidates must finish this continuous physical test in 4 minutes and 28 seconds to pass. The JST includes: sprinting 50 feet and surmounting a barrier; climbing stairs; demonstrating the ability to physically restrain someone; running in pursuit; dragging a 175-pound mannequin 35 feet to simulate a rescue; and pulling the trigger of an unloaded firearm multiple times.

Q: What happens if I fail?

A: If you fail your initial attempt you will be offered tutoring and be allowed additional opportunities to pass the exam.

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Inclusivity:

Q: Will the NYPD accept my chosen gender identity?

A: The NYPD allows you to identify as Female, Male, Non-Binary, or Other. The department allows you to use the department restroom and locker room facilities consistent with your gender identity.

Q: Will the NYPD use my chosen name?

A: The NYPD and its employees will use your chosen name.

Q: Will the NYPD allow me to express my gender at work?

A: The NYPD does not tolerate discrimination and allows you express your gender.

Q: Can you be transgender and still become an NYPD officer?

A: Yes, the NYPD does not tolerate discrimination and currently employs transgender officers.

Q: Will my sexual orientation prevent me from being hired by the NYPD?

A: The NYPD does not tolerate discrimination and your sexual orientation will have no bearing on whether you are hired by the NYPD.

Q: If I have concerns or questions about being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and joining the NYPD is there anyone I can speak with?

A: Yes, you can contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion at:
Deputy Commissioner Equity and Inclusion
Office of Equity and Inclusion
Telephone: (646) 610-8139
Email: Job Standards Test


Social Media

Q: Are there any social media accounts I can follow to receive updates for upcoming exams?

A: The Recruitment Section has three social media accounts; Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Q: How often do you respond to messages on social media?

A: Messages are responded to on a daily basis. A team of Recruiters work to answer your questions in the most professional and knowledgeable manner.

Q: How can I find you on social media?

A: You can find us on these social media platforms by searching:

Instagram: NYPDRECRUIT

Facebook: NYPDRECRUIT

Twitter: NYPDRECRUIT

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