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Trooper Career · Cadet Testing & Hiring Process

Effective September 1, 2013, the WSP Cadet Testing Unit is now accepting applications using NEOGOV at

Before beginning the four phase testing process, you must submit an application on NEOGOV by clicking on 'Trooper Cadet Application' in the Quick Link Directory. *Note - you will not be allowed to test without an approved application and an email confirmation from the WSP Human Resources Division. We are no longer able to accept applications at Phase One testing sites, or allow applicants to test on a walk-in basis.

Once the application has been electronically received, it will be reviewed and an email notice will be sent to the applicant notifying them if their application status. If the application was accepted, they will also be asked to self-schedule through NEOGOV for an available test date of their choosing, after which they will receive an email confirming their test date, location, and further details..

The testing process consists of four phases. Click one of the buttons below to jump to the phase you're interested in learning more about. See the bottom of this page for Additional Testing Information and Information for Out of State Applicants.

Phase 1 TestingPhase 2 TestingPhase 3 TestingPhase 4 Testing


Phase One

Phase One consists of two written tests and the Cooper Institute Physical Fitness Test.

Dress Code:

  • Appropriate physical fitness attire.

Physical Fitness Test:

Notice: The applicant must meet the body fat standards outlined in the application. If the applicant does not meet these standards or provide a waiver they will not be allowed to participate in Phase One testing. See Body Fat Standards for more information.

Refer to the fitness videoWindows Media Video for demonstrations of the following three tests:

One Minute Push-up:
  • The applicant will get into the front leaning rest position on the floor and perform one push up to properly locate the foam block position in relationship to their chest as demonstrated in the video.

  • The foam block will be approximately even with the hands of the applicant.

  • The applicant will begin by lowering the entire body as a unit while maintaining a generally straight line from the shoulders to the feet.

  • Lower the body until the chest comes in contact with the foam block.

  • Raise the body back to the start position for one repetition.

  • The only rest position is the front leaning rest position, with the body straight from the shoulders to the feet. If this position is broken by raising the buttocks or sagging in the middle, the test will be over.

  • The applicant will do as many correct pushups as they can in one minute.
One Minute Sit-up:
  • Using mats placed on the ground, the applicant will lie on their back with their knees bent at a 90-degree angle (or greater).

  • The feet of the applicant submitting to the test will be held to the ground by an assisting applicant.

  • The applicant’s fingers MUST remain interlocked behind the applicant’s head throughout the exercise.

  • The start position will be the down position.

  • At the command “Go,” the applicant will begin by raising their body until their elbows touch their knees, and will then lower their body until their shoulder blades touch the ground. This counts as one repetition.

  • The only rest position is the up position. However, applicants cannot maintain that position by holding the knees in any way.

  • The hips are required to remain in contact with the ground during the exercise.

  • The applicant will do as many correct sit-ups as they can in one minute.

1.5 Mile Run:
  • The test will be conducted using a mostly level course.

  • A grader will give the command “Go” and will start a stopwatch.

  • The applicant must complete the run without assistance.

  • A grader will call out the time as the applicants cross the finish line.

*Applicants are required to pass all three tests in order to continue to the next phase.

Refer to the Cooper Institute Physical Fitness Test and Norms for Law Enforcement Standards.

Written Tests:

  • The first test is designed to evaluate an applicant’s judgment and common sense. The test contains situational questions with multiple-choice answers.

  • The second test is designed to evaluate the applicant’s observation, written communication, and reading skills. This test identifies similarities of an applicant’s work preference and experience in comparison to those of persons who have been successful in a police organization. See Phase One Preparation GuideAdobe PDF Document.

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Phase Two

Upon completion of Phase One, applicants will be notified if they qualify to advance to Phase Two. If the applicant qualifies for Phase Two testing, they will be scheduled within the same month as the Phase One testing was conducted.

Dress Code:

  • Business attire.

Oral Board Interview:

Phase Two of the testing process consists of an oral board interview. The oral board interview consists of general personal background questions and situational questions requiring the applicant to formulate a response to solve or deal with a given problem. Watch the informational videoWindows Media Video about what to expect in Phase Two of the testing process.

Applicants are required to bring copies of the following documents to their oral board interview:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Drivers License
  • Five year complete driving record from the Department of Licensing. This is available online by visiting DOL’s website.
  • Military Discharge Certificate (DD-214 form, page-member 4)
  • Completed Personal History & Background Questionnaire
  • SEALED Official College Transcripts, only if a degree was obtained
  • SEALED Official High School Transcripts, or SEALED certificate of successful completion of a GED
  • Social Security Card

At this phase in the testing, the applicant’s height and weight will be confirmed to ensure they meet departmental standards.

Applicants may be notified if their scores advanced them into phase three upon completion of the oral board interview.

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Phase Three

Phase Three consists of a pre-employment polygraph examination and an extensive background investigation.

Dress Code:

  • Business attire.

Polygraph Examination:

All applicants are required to submit to a pre-employment polygraph examination. Once the polygraph has been completed, the background investigation begins.

Background Investigation:

The background investigation solicits information about the applicant by contacting personal references, employers, neighbors, friends, school, law enforcement agencies, etc. The background investigation averages two to three months to complete.

Applicants will be notified by mail whether or not their accumulative scores will advance them to an eligibility roster. Approximately two months before hiring begins, applicants on the eligibility roster may be given a conditional offer of employment. In compliance with federal law, all persons accepting a conditional offer of employment will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification document form. Hiring of the applicant is contingent upon the successful completion of Phase Four.

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Phase Four

Dress Code:

  • Business attire.

Phase Four consists of the following:

  • Medical examination
  • Post offer psychological test
  • Psychological interview with the department psychologist

All applicants are required to provide evidence of a current TB (Tuberculosis) test.

Additional Information

Applicants may only test three times in a 12 month period.

Applicants who have failed during one of the phases may re-apply as follows:

  • Phase One – 30 days from the test date
  • Phase Two – 30 days from the oral board interview
  • Phase Three – 1 year from the date of the applicant’s notification letter
  • Phase Four – To be determined on review by the Human Resource Division Commander

Out of State Applicants

We offer an accelerated out of state testing at the Olympia location only for those traveling from outside Washington State. However, Washington State applicants are also welcome.

The reason this is an accelerated process is because everything is graded in Olympia, therefore we can give you your results the same day.

Here is how it works --

  • Saturday Morning check in 0730 hours.
  • Physical Fitness is first, if you pass, pushups, sit-ups and 1.5 mile run, you move to written exams.
  • After completing the exams you will be notified if you will be moving forward to oral boards.
  • You will be scheduled a day, the following week (Monday-Wednesday) for an oral board interview. Out of State applicants who have pre-scheduled flights get first priority.
  • If successful passing the oral board, you will be scheduled for a polygraph the same day or following day.
  • If you are successful passing the polygraph you are free to leave and your file will be forwarded to the background unit.
  • If successful passing the background you will be called with a conditional offer and we will work with you to schedule your phase four which consists of three parts, written psychological exam, psychological interview and a medical exam.
  • We will attempt to schedule these within a three to four day period during the week to accommodate schedules and less travel.

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Quick Links


For questions about a career as a trooper or applying, please contact
a WSP Recruiter

Click to view fitness test video