Special Agent assessments

Aspiring FBI Special Agents must successfully complete two rigorous evaluations during their recruitment process. The initial phase is the FBI Phase 1 Test, also known as the FBI Special Agent Exam. This is a demanding three-hour computerized assessment consisting of cognitive and behavioral questions. Only the top 20% – 40% of candidates who pass this test advance to the next stage.

The subsequent assessment, the FBI Phase 2 Test, includes a writing evaluation and a structured interview, both designed to further assess the candidates’ suitability for the role of a Special Agent.

FBI Special Agent Phase 1 Exam

The FBI Special Agent Phase 1 Exam is a critical part of the selection process for becoming an FBI Special Agent. This test is designed to measure the skills and competencies necessary to perform effectively in the role. Here’s what the exam typically contains:

1. Logic-Based Reasoning

  • These questions assess your ability to understand and apply logical principles to solve problems. You might encounter various logic puzzles or scenarios where you need to deduce conclusions based on given facts.

2. Figural Reasoning

  • This section evaluates your ability to analyze and solve problems using information presented in diagrams, patterns, or other non-verbal formats. It tests your spatial orientation and your ability to perceive and think critically about visual information.

3. Personality Assessment

  • This part of the exam is aimed at understanding your personal characteristics, work style, and suitability for the role. It typically includes questions designed to assess traits such as integrity, stress tolerance, team orientation, and decision-making style.

4. Situational Judgment Test (SJT)

  • SJTs present you with hypothetical, yet realistic, work-related situations and require you to choose the best response or rank responses in order of effectiveness. This tests your judgment, problem-solving abilities, and potential for effective interaction with others in a law enforcement environment.

5. Preference and Experience Inventory

  • This section may be included to gather information on your past experiences and preferences that are relevant to the duties of an FBI Special Agent. It helps to assess how well your background and skills align with the job requirements.

The FBI Phase 2

The FBI Phase 2 testing process for Special Agent candidates is the second major step in the hiring process, following the successful completion of the Phase 1 Exam. The Phase 2 test focuses primarily on an applicant’s ability to communicate effectively and to reason through complex scenarios. This phase consists of two main components:

1. Writing Assessment

  • The writing assessment is designed to evaluate your ability to clearly and effectively communicate in writing, a critical skill for any FBI Special Agent. Candidates are given a scenario or case study and asked to write a report or memo based on the information provided.
  • This assessment tests your ability to organize your thoughts, use logic to form conclusions, and present information in a clear and concise manner.

2. Structured Interview

  • The structured interview involves a panel of FBI agents and/or professional staff who will ask a series of questions. These questions are designed to assess various competencies and qualities that are essential for a successful Special Agent.
  • Topics typically include behavioral questions that require candidates to discuss past experiences that demonstrate their qualifications and abilities in areas such as leadership, decision-making, adaptability, and teamwork.
  • This component evaluates your interpersonal skills, professional demeanor, and overall fit for the role, assessing how well you handle pressure, think on your feet, and communicate with others.