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Public Safety Telecommunicator Test Development Project

The new entry-level public safety telecommunicator (PST) test will assess whether candidates have the most basic abilities necessary to learn and perform the duties of a PST.

Learn more about the new test

The new PST test contains three subtests:

  1. Ability to Listen, Remember and Respond to Verbal Information. (CD and DVD formats only)
    • Candidates are asked to read a one-page information sheet that explains how officers are assigned to calls. 
    • Next, candidates listen to a shift meeting and take notes on information gathered from previous shifts (e.g., BOLOs, incidents).
    • Finally, candidates listen to a number of incoming ECC calls, after which they answer a series of multiple-choice questions based on: what they heard in the ECC calls, what they read on the information sheet, and information given in the shift meeting. Candidates are permitted to use any notes they took during the shift meeting. 
  2. Ability to Use Situational Judgment.
    • Candidates are presented with a series of written scenarios depicting situations they may encounter on the job.
    • For each scenario, candidates are provided with a list of possible responses and, using their problem-solving skills and common sense, choose the best response from the list.
  3. Reading Comprehension & Ability to Learn and Apply Information.
    • Candidates are presented with paragraphs of information and samples of job-related materials (e.g., policy statements, resource materials) and asked to answer a series of multiple-choice questions about what they learned.

Help us with the test development process

We can’t uphold our 60-year standard of developing highly reliable, valid and fair tests without the help of agencies like yours. The new entry-level PST test is currently in the criterion-related validation phase of development.

There are two steps to completing this phase:

  1. Job incumbents from your agency take the multiple-choice test (approximately 3 hours).
  2. Direct supervisors complete evaluations regarding incumbents’ job performance using a web-based form (10-15 minutes per incumbent). Evaluations are kept strictly confidential and are used only to compare test performance with job performance.

The steps included in the criterion-related validation phase of test development are necessary to ensure that the use of this test in emergency communications centers across the country is supported by validity evidence. Data collected from all participating agencies is combined and analyzed by our test development experts. The analysis is accomplished in two steps: (1) an item analysis is run to determine which test questions should be included; and (2) a statistical analysis is run using the data from the test results and performance evaluations in order to ensure that candidates’ test performance is a valid predictor of their job performance.

If you have any questions about participation or the criterion-related validation phase in general, please call us at (800) 381-TEST (8378) or send us an email:

Discover all of the great BENEFITS of participating

We understand the time commitment we are asking of you and your agency. And to let you know how much your participation means to us, we’re offering you the following rewards as a thank-you for your time and expertise.

  • 30% off your agency’s next test order.
  • $75 gift card for each participant.
  • A snack basket for participants to share after the test.
  • $50 Applebee’s gift card for the test administrator.
  • Direct evidence supporting the validity of the exam and its use in your agency.

Complete the participation form online.

If you have any questions, please call (800) 381-TEST (8378) or send us an email:

Thank you!