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In need of some help if anyone can provide any information. Quick backround of myself. I have been in the mental and behavioral health field almost 10 years. I've always wanted to get into the law enforcement/criminology field. I'm 34 yrs old with a Bachelor's degree in education. I believe time is running out for me to get in the field.
I took the PA parole agent civil service test but did not score very well. I only scored a 75. Without having any criminology experience, how do they expect a person as myself to score well? Are there ways I can study the information needed to score well on this test? My first problem was trying to answer the questions as if they wanted certain answers and I didn't give my own logical reasoning. I really want to get into this career. Thank you for any information.
While law enforcement entrance tests don't typically require prior police experience to pass them, without knowing what was actually on the test you took it's hard to advise further that test again when you can.
Also, to clarify, "criminology" is not the same as criminal justice. Criminology is academic (i.e. researchers/professors at a college or university) study of sociological trends related to criminal behavior. I am not aware of ANY criminal justice job that requires past criminology experience, and many criminologists never work a day in a criminal justice career field.
Thank you for clarifying. Well let me restate that I'm interested in the criminal justice field. Here are the type of questions that are asked on the test.
Subject Area & Number of Questions
Individual and Group Behavior
Analyzing Written Information
Unfortunately that is all the specificity they describe. I tried looking up this info on the internet but I don't want to read info that is misleading and used in another way when it comes to the field. Thanks for the reply.
Oh I wasn't asking you to actually post what the test consisted of. I doubt you have access to the actual questions after taking the exam, and even if you did posting them online for others to cheat would not be a good move (not saying that's what you meant to do, mind you).
But like I said before, if you didn't do well and want that job take the test again when you can. Most folks do better on a test the second time they've taken it, so it won't hurt anything to retest.
No I would never post the questions anywhere. That wouldn't be too bright of me considering I'm trying to compete for the job itself. I definately plan on taking the test again, hope your right about improving on the retake. Thanks again
Head over to your bookstore.......there are MANY more like it and I bet some for the state of PA in a PA bookstore.
BARNES & NOBLE | Master The Probation Officer/Parole Officer Exam: Complete Test Preparation for a Rewarding Justice System Career by Arco, Peterson's | Paperback (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/master-the-probation-officer-parole-officer-exam-arco/1007444302)
05-11-12, 10:16 PM
I don't think time is running out for you. I'm ten years older and just took the same test a little over a month ago. I have my BS in CRIMJ and I think that degree helped for the test. (I got a 95) I'm ranked #2 through #7 across four counties I picked. Alas, seems like the PBPP is hiring mainly from existing PA civil servant employees in my area as I already received a denial letter stating I would not be considered since I do not have current regular civil service status. It was kind of odd I thought since that position was open to non-civil service persons on the eligibility list.
Thanks for the heads up Steelblitz. That is very odd that it's open to the non-civil service people. From what I hear though, there are a lot of people vying for that position. I've spoken to people in Probation in my area (New Castle, Pa) and they say they know a lot of people applying. Looks like I'll have to take the probation route for now. Thanks again! Go Steelers!
05-16-12, 12:58 PM
I just wanted to share that HR will pull not necessarily by score but by many different factors. For example, they may only pull current PBPP employees, Pull only veterans, pull 5 veterans + 4 African American's + 3 current civil service employees. The interview is supposed to go to the top 3 scores however 10 people are always interviewed and a person with a 92 who is a veteran or already a civil service employee in the same classification (pay range) may trump that score of 95. It's very tricky! I have 5 years of civil service experience and a 94 on my exam however since I am a veteran and have prison experience I am probably more likely to get an interview. No bragging intended...simply letting you know how it works. Also know that a lot of PBPP jobs are filled with transfers and many vacancies are filled based on who knows who. It's a common occurrence within the state. My advice, continue on with getting more experience and try to get a score in the higher 90's to help your chances. Good luck and be safe.
05-16-12, 01:14 PM
My other advice is to read things other than Parole stuff. Get into reading about counseling, mental health, addictions, signs & identification of drug and alcohol use, assessment tools, etc. I cannot and will not say what is on the test but when you think of Parole think Social Work. Read about the causes of crime, theories (strain theory, differential association, labeling theory, trait theory, routine activity, etc) You need to be skilled in more than slapping cuffs on a parole violator and taking him back to prison. You can broaden your knowledge about the system without having a degree in criminal justice. Just make sure you meet the education requirements below. The internet holds everything I learned in college...just start searching. The more you know the easier it will be to make an educated decision while taking civil service exams and in your career field.
Meet the minimum experience and training required for the job: Two years as a Parole Investigator or an Institutional Parole Assistant, and an associate's degree in criminal justice, law enforcement, sociology, social work, legal studies, psychology or a related field;
A bachelor's degree in criminal justice, law enforcement, sociology, social work, legal studies, psychology or a related field;
An equivalent combination of experience and training.
[/QUOTE]A bachelor's degree in criminal justice, law enforcement, sociology, social work, legal studies, psychology or a related field;
An equivalent combination of experience and training.[/QUOTE]
Thanks for all the information. I have a Bachelor's in Education and currently have 10 years Social Work/Mental health/Behavioral health experience. I don't know if that will help. I will have to start reading more on criminal justice, etc. Sounds to me like the usual though. (It's all who you know.) As a person with no criminal justice experience, not a veteran, never worked in corrections, sounds like I will be running my head into a wall and more than likely, last on the list. Even if I do score in the 90's it still doesn't sound promising. I'll keep trying though.