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Careers - Montgomery County Police Officer

Selection Process for Police Officer Candidates

The selection process that all applicants must go through to become a Montgomery County Police Officer consists of a variety of tests, assessments, and investigations that assist the department in employing those applicants best suited for police work.  This process can take anywhere from 3-9 months from the date of initial on-line application.  The Written Exam, Qualifications Appraisal Board, and Physical Assessment must be successfully passed prior to continuing to a background investigation.

  • Online Application:   After completing the online application, you will receive a confirmation number letting you know your application was received. You will then receive a confirmation e-mail approximately 2 weeks prior to the written examination.  The confirmation e-mail will consist of a cover letter with the date, time, and location of the test and a link to download and print the Confidential Questionnaire Booklet. This booklet and other paperwork will need to be filled out and brought to the testing facility at the time of the written test.
  • Written Examination: NOTE: WALK-INS ARE NOT ALLOWED AT TEST DATES.  (Duration – up to three hours) You must apply online and receive a confirmation letter to attend a test date.  The written examination consists of 100 multiple choice questions and is scored on a pass/fail basis. A score of 60% or higher will be necessary to pass. All applicants who pass the written examination will be reviewed for further consideration while those who do not pass will be eliminated from the selection process. 
  • Qualifications Appraisal Board (QAB): (Duration – up to 1 hour) Every effort is made to administer the QAB (oral interview examination) at the time of the written examination.  Preference will be made to those who are coming from out of state.  Any interviews not completed that day will be scheduled for a future date.  The QAB is a structured interview consisting of approximately 9 questions. This means that all applicants will be asked the same questions before a 3 member panel. The applicants responses are measured against response guidelines. Possible rating outcomes include “Well-Qualified” and “Qualified”. Only those applicants receiving a rating of “Well-Qualified” will be processed further.
  • Physical Fitness Assessment Test (PFAT): (Duration up to 3 hours) Each applicant will be offered two attempts to successfully attempt the PFAT.  An applicant may take the Written Exam and/or the Qualifications Appraisal Board (QAB) while waiting to attempt the PFAT.  If an appplicant does not pass the PFAT at the second attempt, he/she will be eliminated from the hiring process.  The Assessment Test consist of:
    • 1 minute timed pushup test - 17 continuous pushups in 1 minute
    • 3 minute timed situp test - 34 bent-knee situps in 3 minutes
    • 1.5 mile run - in 16 minutes or less


To View A Tutorial on the PFAT


  • Background Investigation: (Duration - Varies) All applicants selected for further processing will undergo a comprehensive background investigation. This will include an in-depth interview, written exercise, and extensive investigation of employment history, criminal and traffic records, credit reports, school transcripts, and military records (if applicable). We will interview references, neighbors, co-workers, and family members. The information produced by this background investigation will enable us to better evaluate those candidates best suited for a career with this department.
  • Polygraph Examination: (Duration – up to 3 hours) All applicants selected for further processing must submit to a polygraph examination. The polygraph will cover areas of employment, undetected crimes, falsification of information, drug usage, sex crimes, etc. Applicants whose polygraph examinations indicate suitability problems will be terminated from the selection process.
  • Conditional Offer of Employment: All applicants who successfully complete the above processes may be considered by the Assistant Chief of Police or designee for a conditional offer of employment. The Assistant Chief of Police or designee may select any applicant from the “Well-Qualified” category for a conditional offer. Therefore, due to the abundance of candidates, it is possible to complete the selection process and not be considered for employment.
  • Psychological Examination: (Duration – up to 6 hours) All applicants who receive a conditional offer of employment must successfully complete written and oral psychological examinations. The oral component is conducted by a psychologist who will also review the written test results. A standardized writing skills test will also be administered.
  • Medical Examination: (Duration – Approximately 2 hours) All applicants must successfully complete a medical examination to be eligible to receive a final offer of employment. The medical examination will include stress and physical testing as well as the medical examination and drug screening. The psychological and medical examination results are reviewed by the Chief of Police or designee, and a final determination is made. Successful candidates may then be made a final offer of employment.
  • Notifications: Every effort will be made to give applicants at least two (2) weeks notice of any scheduled appointment. Additionally, every effort will be made to notify applicants concerning the results of each component of the selection process within 30 days of the selection decision.
  • Re-Test Policy: Any applicant who fails the written test component must wait six (6) months before he/she is eligible to reapply.


Montgomery County Department of Police · J. Thomas Manger, Chief
Public Safety Headquarters
100 Edison Park Drive · Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Non-emergency: 301.279.8000
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