Police Scotland Police Officer Assessment Centre and SET Test Preparation

Are you applying to become a police officer in Scotland? As part of recruitment for all positions, you will need to take the Standard Entrance Test (SET). Learn more about the three tests that make up the SET and prepare with JobTestPrep's practice materials.

Arbel, Police Aptitude Tests Expert at JobTestPrep
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About Police of Scotland

Police Scotland unified all police forces in Scotland from April 2013. As part of the unification of the police force, Police Scotland created a common process for recruitment, designed to help the service identify the best recruits to join the police. 

Police Officer Application Process

The application process involves submitting four forms: an application form, a vetting form, an equality & diversity form, and a posting preferences questionnaire. You must also make sure to meet eligibility/essential criteria. If you pass the application stage, you will be invited to sit the Standard Entrance Test and/or the national fitness assessment. You are required to pass both of these assessments to receive an invitation to attend an interview.

Standard Entrance Test (SET)

The test is made up of three papers, and there are three different versions of the test. The test covers language, numbers, and information handling. You may use a calculator when completing the numbers paper.

You must pass all three test papers to proceed to the next stage of the application process. You will be afforded automatic re-sits should you fail the SET up to three times.

Language Test

The Language Test lasts for 30 minutes. It consists of four sections. The first section contains 12 sentences with a word missing. You have four choices to choose from. You must choose the best word that completes the sentence. The second section contains 12 missing words from a passage. You must choose the best word from a list to fill in the blanks. The third section is four sentences that are jumbled. You must arrange the sentences in order. The fourth and last section of the test contains two passages, each followed by six questions. You must provide either a word or short phrase to answer the questions.

Number Test

The Numbers Test lasts for 30 minutes and contains 20 questions. It consists of word problems and simple math equations.

Information Handling Test

The Information Handling Test lasts for 30 minutes. It consists of four sections. Each section presents you with information in a graph, table, or list. Your task is to draw a conclusion based on the information previously given.

To become a police officer or a special constable in Scotland, you must take and pass the SET. 

Initial Interview

If you pass the SET and the initial fitness assessment, you will be invited to an interview with two members of the local recruiting team. Preparation and research are important as you are expected to have an appreciation of what the role of a police officer involves. The skills and aptitudes evaluated during the interview are personal effectiveness, teamwork, respect for diversity, personal awareness, service delivery, and job knowledge.

Assessment Centre

During the one-day assessment centre, you will take part in three practical exercises and an additional interview. This interview is designed to assess the skills and attributes required for the role of police constable. The following competencies are assessed:

Practical exercises

  • Effective communication
  • Personal effectiveness
  • Team working
  • Respect for diversity
  • Personal awareness
  • Problem solving


  • Effective communication
  • Personal effectiveness
  • Job knowledge
  • Personal awareness
  • Leadership
  • Partnership working

Other Stages In the Recruitment Process

Several additional stages come after you have passed the SET:

  • Initial Fitness Assessment/Bleep Test
  • Vetting
  • Criminal Record
  • Financial Status
  • Tattoos
  • Business Interests
  • Medical
  • Substance Misuse Testing
  • Final Fitness Assessment


Prepare for the SET with JobTestPrep

JobTestPrep has created practice tests and study guides to prepare you for the SET. Recruitment for Police Scotland police officers and special constables is competitive, with many candidates vying for each available position. Preparing for the test will help you to achieve a higher score and outperform your competition.