Guide on SAPS Psychometric Test in South Africa


The South African Police Service (SAPS) uses psychometric testing as part of its selection process for new recruits. These tests are designed to assess a candidate’s cognitive abilities, personality traits, and suitability for a career in law enforcement. This guide provides comprehensive information on the SAPS psychometric test, including its purpose, structure, preparation tips, and resources.

Purpose of the SAPS Psychometric Test

The SAPS psychometric test aims to evaluate:

  1. Cognitive Abilities: Problem-solving skills, logical reasoning, and comprehension abilities.
  2. Personality Traits: Characteristics that are essential for police work, such as integrity, stress tolerance, and interpersonal skills.
  3. Suitability for the Role: Overall fit for a career in law enforcement based on psychological and behavioral assessments.

Structure of the SAPS Psychometric Test

1. Cognitive Ability Tests

These tests measure various aspects of cognitive functioning, including:

  • Verbal Reasoning: Assessing the ability to understand and analyze written information.
  • Numerical Reasoning: Evaluating mathematical skills and the ability to interpret numerical data.
  • Logical Reasoning: Testing problem-solving abilities through pattern recognition and logical sequences.

2. Personality Assessments

These assessments evaluate personality traits and psychological characteristics relevant to police work, including:

  • Emotional Stability: Assessing how well a candidate manages stress and emotional responses.
  • Integrity and Ethics: Evaluating honesty, ethical behavior, and moral principles.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Measuring social skills, teamwork, and the ability to interact effectively with the public and colleagues.

3. Situational Judgment Tests (SJT)

These tests present hypothetical, job-related situations to assess decision-making and judgment. Candidates are required to choose the most appropriate response to various scenarios they might encounter as police officers.

Preparation for the SAPS Psychometric Test

1. Understand the Test Format

  • Familiarize yourself with the types of questions and the format of the test.
  • Practice sample questions to get a feel for the test structure and time limits.

2. Study Resources

  • Practice Tests: Utilize online resources and practice tests to improve your cognitive skills and familiarity with question types.
  • Study Guides: Use study guides specifically designed for psychometric testing to review key concepts and strategies.

3. Improve Cognitive Skills

  • Verbal Reasoning: Read extensively and practice comprehension exercises to enhance your verbal reasoning skills.
  • Numerical Reasoning: Review basic mathematics, practice solving problems quickly, and interpret numerical data accurately.
  • Logical Reasoning: Solve puzzles, play strategy games, and practice pattern recognition exercises to strengthen logical reasoning.

4. Personality and Situational Judgment

  • Reflect on your personal experiences and how you typically respond to various situations.
  • Understand the core values and ethical standards expected of SAPS officers.
  • Practice situational judgment scenarios and think critically about the best responses.

Test Day Tips

1. Preparation

  • Rest Well: Ensure you get a good night’s sleep before the test day to be well-rested and alert.
  • Healthy Diet: Eat a balanced meal to maintain energy levels throughout the test.
  • Arrive Early: Arrive at the testing center well ahead of time to avoid any last-minute stress.

2. During the Test

  • Read Instructions Carefully: Pay close attention to the instructions for each section of the test.
  • Time Management: Allocate your time wisely, ensuring you don’t spend too long on any one question.
  • Stay Calm: Keep calm and focused, and don’t let difficult questions affect your overall performance.

Accessing Resources and Support

1. Online Resources

  • Practice Tests: Websites offering practice psychometric tests and sample questions.
  • Study Materials: Online platforms providing study guides and tips for psychometric testing.

2. Books and Study Guides

  • Psychometric Testing Books: Books specifically focused on preparing for psychometric tests.
  • SAPS Recruitment Information: Official SAPS resources and guidelines for prospective candidates.

3. Support Services

  • Career Counseling: Seek guidance from career counselors who can provide insights and support for test preparation.
  • Study Groups: Join study groups to practice with peers and share resources and strategies.


The SAPS psychometric test is a crucial step in the recruitment process for the South African Police Service. By understanding the structure of the test, preparing effectively, and utilizing available resources, candidates can enhance their chances of success. Focus on improving your cognitive abilities, understanding the personality traits required for police work, and practicing situational judgment to perform well on the test. With thorough preparation and a positive approach, you can navigate the SAPS psychometric test with confidence.