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PSYCHOLOGICAL..am I crazy?

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  • PSYCHOLOGICAL..am I crazy?

    I am awaiting notification from AA county in Maryland. They've completed my background investigation. According to my investigator if they like me they will send me a conditional offer of employment. This is based on my passing two final stages, 1. psychological and 2. medical. The medical is no problem. The psychological is freaking me out. I was raised in Canada and I went to school for law enforcement up there. After graduating I applied locally and completed their psych test. I was not processed further and in fact was "marginal" on their test. I inquired as to what the hell that meant. They replied that I would have been too indecisive. I'm 12 yrs older now and much more mature. However, I don't want history to repeat itself. What is the deal with this test and how can I prepare for it? come on guys, help a girl out!
    Thanks

  • #2
    Well I know AA county and they are a very difficult Agency to get on. If you have made it this far, hopefully you should be ok, but you will still have the polygraph to take as well. I am not sure how a pych test is in Canada, but if you do a search on here you will be able to find answers on what to expect, etc. However, just be relaxed when you go into take the written, don't read in to the questions too much. You will receive two tests to take, one is about 500 questions and the other is about 300. You will also meet with a pyschologist if you did well on the written test and they will ask you about how you answered questions on the test, etc. Just stay calm and good luck.
    "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded."

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    • #3
      THANKS Lad,
      You mentioned you know AA county well. I will ask you one more question then. I have heard the class sizes for the academy are quite small, only 25. I've asked my investigator and he's not giving me a direct answer. I'm trying to consider my eligibility given there must have been over 100 applicants along the ride with me. Also, should I not make it through this final stage, does this negatively affect me in applying to other agencies? I would have to submit that I've applied elsewhere and been rejected. I'm also 32 now, do you think that is a negative factor for me?

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      • #4
        Yes they are small. Only 25 at the max usually. If you apply elsewhere, yes list that you applied with AA or any other department. It's all about integrity and honesty in LE. IF you do not tell them, they will either find out on their own or they may not. But do tell them. If there were reasons that you get DQ'ed, then it may affect you, but again they only choose about 25, so who knows.
        "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded."

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        • #5
          My department required a psych test before I could be hired. I was shocked to hear a few days after the test that I failed. According to the testing company, my answers showed me to be overly lenient in areas regarding illicit drug use. The chief called me in, because they were as surprised with the results as I was. The chief asked me to explain my answers to certain questions. I know the test tells you to answer the questions as written and not analyze them too much, but sometimes that's impossible. Once I started explaining why I had answered the way I did, the chief agreed that nothing seemed overly wrong with my answers. It was just my interpretation of the questions that caused me to answer the way I did. So, despite failing the psych exam, I was still hired.
          Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

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          • #6
            You know I don't think there is really a way to fail it. I mean they say it's either a pass or fail, but again its not like they say "hey you got 50 wrong out of 500"...it's just how you as a person precieves the questions, etc and I think its goo thnat the Chief talked to you Kirch. Thats the only way to really find out who you are as a person, etc...I mean I remember being so nervous going to talk to the pysch dude, but he was great and he was there for me quite a few times after some serious incidents. Peopl sometime get way too over stressed about the writtenm etc..only thing I recommend, is read the questions very carefully, after 333 or so, you start seeing things!
            "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded."

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            • #7
              I guess 'fail' isn't the right term. 'The testing company denied a hiring recommendation' would be more appropriate.

              This is the problem I see with psych tests that are completely standardized (i.e. written only). There's no room for interpretation. Now supposedly that's why they have you answer a gazillion questions and ask the same question 6 different ways throughout the test. But the fact remains that something as subjective as a psychological examination cannot be completely standardized. There are just too many variables that can affect the way a particular person answers the questions.

              Yes, it was nice that the chief took enough of an interest in my hiring to meet with me and pursue this.
              Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

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              • #8
                I got the call last night. I have my conditional letter of offer. My psychological is Feb 22 and physical Feb 23. Right after I get back from vacation. Perfect. I will be well rested and ready to go. Thanks for your advice.

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                • #9
                  Congrats, next step should the poly and background. Good luck.
                  "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded."

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                  • #10
                    Lad,

                    I'm finished all of those steps. Passed the polygraph and the background already. My investigator talked to everyone I've ever known, I think, including my father back in Canada whom I have NO relationship with. Go figure! So, this is it. Two little steps and I'm in. I'm so excited and pumped up but, I'm trying to stay calm and focused. I'll keep you posted. There will be no failing allowed! In my family that is unacceptable behavior ha ha

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                    • #11
                      well.. i'm no lover of the psych test... its a pain in the tail end... i would take a hundred polys before i took one psych... but if you fail one dont let it eat your lunch.. just move forward... some of those tests can be self defeating.. one thing i've heard they look for is self esteem.. and there isnt much that will destroy your self esteem than to fail one of these tests.. take everything in stride.. be positive.... you'll do great..
                      good luck...

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