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Old 12-31-2013, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,090 posts, read 45,584,713 times
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I took a test for this and I can tell you that the reason I did not score well is that there was a part of the test in which we had to write down some things that were on a tape recording. I was sitting at the back of the room and could not hear the instructions very well. My advise is to sit in the front row.
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Old 12-31-2013, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Northern Illinois
2,187 posts, read 3,612,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aliss2 View Post
And don't worry, it's not really a skills test - more of an aptitude test. You will need to be trained for everything on the job - things like your alphabet, typing codes, 10 codes, priorities, law, all that stuff is learned at work. What testing does is eliminate those who have no potential to learn quickly. There is no room for slow learners or slow workers, they need people who are willing to shut up, show up with a clean slate, and no attitude (know-it-alls are the worst in this job because they make poor decisions that get people hurt).

Most of all, IMO, is assertiveness and confidence. If you cannot be assertive, callers will manipulate you into things that you shouldn't be doing or dispatching. You'll tie up resources in poor places and cause a snowball effect, leading to officers coming to your desk and complaining. You need balls!!!
Sounds like you have some!!! Excellent response - I did find it extremely stressful. Luckily for me, after I got married DH and I decided we really didn't need my salary and now I'm a housewife. I'm thankful for dispatchers like you out there - truly. I know oodles of them - and by and large they go pretty much unrewarded. Thank you.....
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
823 posts, read 825,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aliss2 View Post
I'm a 911 dispatcher, currently breaking as a SAHM.

I do not find my job very stressful anymore. After the first three years, you get very used to it. There are, of course, situations that can produce adrenaline but Halle Berry's recent movie is completely fictitious - you can just go have a coffee and read a nice magazine after a robbery, without giving it another thought. It has it's downsides, but at least I'm safe and warm with a coffee at all time.

The skills tests vary from agency to agency, but here are some that I have experienced:
- Typing test (this is standard I think), ranging from 60-80+ wpm minimum requirements (you cannot do this job if you cannot type that fast)
- Mapping skills
- Rote memory recall (they might blurt out a description and you will need to be able to recall essential words - word order is generally taught on the job, but you need to be aware)
- Audiology tests (these are not common but I have had one)
- Ability to use Google (we use it for GPS cell coordinates and immediate phone numbers)
- Ability to hear and decipher several conversations at once (as stated by other posters, you will be screamed at by multiple people at once and need to comprehend it all)

I think this response is very helpful. What I've heard is that most city and state and county jobs have a basic skills tests that involve, reading comprehension, writing skills, typing skills, reasoning and problem solving and math. I'm asking because of the math part because that's where I am weak. It may not be part of the the training, but part of the weeding out selection, so I was wondering.
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:25 PM
 
3,072 posts, read 4,274,200 times
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You're welcome

With math, I think you are likely to face basic common sense, rather than BEDMAS formulas. Off the top of my head, basic reciting of numbers quickly, adding/subtracting (you have 7 officers and 3 districts - based on population, what would be the right amount in each district?), dealing with number logic (case files go 2013-2834982354 or whatever). Have to be honest, I have never done a math test for that job. The math used in the job is listening to numbers, remembering numbers, following logical codes, inputting GPS into Google.

I've always sucked at math but was a good dispatcher. Numbers in this gig are more about rote memory and listening to them, rather than any sort of actual calculations. I really can't recall when I *ever* did a calculation beyond splitting the bill to some takeout at the office, hah!
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:47 PM
 
7,002 posts, read 10,275,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brynach View Post
I hear you saying what the job expectations are. Thank you for that. I think I'm asking more of what to expect on a skills test? What would that look like? What things would it entail.
Obviously, you skipped over my response.

Most of the departments in my region only require 35-45 wpm. Once you start the job, you'll notice that you need to type 55+ to keep up, but many police departments don't require it.

The math part on the aptitude tests is very basic. I've taken two of them.
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:53 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,343 posts, read 17,392,796 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
I took a test for this and I can tell you that the reason I did not score well is that there was a part of the test in which we had to write down some things that were on a tape recording. I was sitting at the back of the room and could not hear the instructions very well. My advise is to sit in the front row.

I remember taking this test years ago as well when I was in between jobs ... they would play a recording of "reports" ("Car 153 is at a code-3 on Main St., need Fire-4 for code-1 on 5th Ave, " etc.) and you'd have to answer questions to see how much you remembered. It wasn't too terrible but I flunked the panel interview. lol
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,090 posts, read 45,584,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaypee View Post
I remember taking this test years ago as well when I was in between jobs ... they would play a recording of "reports" ("Car 153 is at a code-3 on Main St., need Fire-4 for code-1 on 5th Ave, " etc.) and you'd have to answer questions to see how much you remembered. It wasn't too terrible but I flunked the panel interview. lol
I believe the one that I took had a list of numbers recited on the tape, and we just needed to write down what we heard, in perfect order. Since it couldn't hear it, I missed some.
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
823 posts, read 825,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaypee View Post
I remember taking this test years ago as well when I was in between jobs ... they would play a recording of "reports" ("Car 153 is at a code-3 on Main St., need Fire-4 for code-1 on 5th Ave, " etc.) and you'd have to answer questions to see how much you remembered. It wasn't too terrible but I flunked the panel interview. lol

What kind of questions were on your panel interview? Do you remember?
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:22 PM
 
3,463 posts, read 4,537,374 times
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I made it to the interview stage for a dispatcher position in FL, and I had to take a TABE test as part of the exam.
There are study manuals for that test everywhere.
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
823 posts, read 825,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L210 View Post
Obviously, you skipped over my response.

Most of the departments in my region only require 35-45 wpm. Once you start the job, you'll notice that you need to type 55+ to keep up, but many police departments don't require it.

The math part on the aptitude tests is very basic. I've taken two of them.
Not at all, L2. I focused on what related to the question, which was the test, and not the expectations. For example you state the ability to work on tight deadlines as an example, but not how that might be tested for.

I'm not sure the dispatch in my area is through the police department, but rather contracted through them and separate than say the basic dispatch.
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