First things first

Want to know more about 911 dispatcher tests and what it takes to be one? This guide highlights some of the most important aspects of the test and how you can prepare for it in an easy manner. Before you prepare for the test, it is pertinent to know what it takes to be a 911 dispatcher. Although, no prior experience is required for the job, there are certain pre-requisite skills that you must possess to perform efficiently as a dispatcher.

About the Guide

The guide will tour you through the different contents of the test that you are required to pass to get the job of a 911 dispatcher. It helps you to prepare for the job so that you can apply with confidence and become a part of the life-saving team. It includes tips and techniques to pass the assessment and also enlightens you with the other aspects of the job.

What is a 911 Dispatcher Test?

911 dispatchers are responsible for answering emergency calls and dispatching the appropriate emergency personnel based on the information provided by the caller. To work as a 911 dispatcher, you must pass a written dispatcher test. This exam gauges your reasoning capability, written communication, speech recognition ability and the ability to multitask. The test also identifies your ability to solve problems and think clearly during emergency situations. The test also examines your potential to handle stress in a complicated situation.

Contents of the 911 Dispatcher Test

There are various types of dispatcher exams which vary according to the region. Nevertheless, 911 dispatcher tests include a written test and rarely a typing test. The written test is subdivided into seven categories. Each category covers a list of topics and questions. These are the following

  1. Memory Test
  2. Personality Test
  3. Data Entry
  4. Spatial Orientation
  5. Reading Comprehension
  6. Attention to Accuracy
  7. Deductive Reasoning


911 Dispatcher test assesses the skill level of the candidate in specific areas which include Problem Solving, Reading Comprehension, and Multi-Tasking, Listening and Prioritizing. Apart from a background check, drug test and an interview, this demanding position requires a reliable assessment tool. The 911 Dispatcher test assesses the true potential of the candidate and ensures that he/she is proficient enough to perform as a dispatcher.

 Memory Test

This test is crafted to assess your memory power as the job of a dispatcher involves a lot of memorization. There are different codes for different emergencies and callers. The test will determine your ability to memorize various aspects which is crucial for the job.

Personality Test

The Personality Test is designed to assess how you deal with stressful situations and how you interact with people. Being a dispatcher, you are to remain calm and collected in stressful situations as you are the helpline between the emergency responders and the victims.

Data Entry

This test evaluates how accurately you can input entries such as the caller’s name, location, emergency and so forth.

Spatial Orientation

The Spatial Orientation test involves your ability to know where the caller is calling from and the location of the closest emergency responder.

Reading Comprehension

This test assesses your reading capability as the job involves reading data entry and notes. A dispatcher must be able to comprehend data entry within minutes to take quick decisions.

Attention to Accuracy

One of the most crucial features of this job involves attention to details. The test evaluates your focus-orientation skills and timely response to emergency situations.

Deductive Reasoning

This is another test that measures your deductive reasoning skills that enable you as a dispatcher to take quick and accurate decisions to save lives.

Apart from these tests, 911 dispatcher tests also include a few other evaluations.


This test is a compilation of simulated conversations between the callers and the dispatcher. The conversation is played on a CD. You are required to answer a set of questions in the test booklet based on the listening passage. You will be given 4 minutes to answer a set of questions from the passage.


The prioritizing test is another crucial evaluation in which you are presented with a set of calls at the same time with different priority levels. You need to determine the level of priority based on the importance of the call and rank it accordingly. There are three criteria which determine the priority of the calls. The first priority is for the calls involving loss of life or any injury. The second priority goes for calls involving loss of property. The third priority is for calls that involve any type of harm that is likely to happen in the future.

Multi tasking

This test assesses the capability to multi task as dispatchers need to attend multiple calls at the same time and respond to them based on priority.

How difficult is the 911 dispatcher test?

The 911 dispatcher test is based on the type of tasks that dispatchers actually do on the job. So the tests are designed in a way to evaluate the skills of the participants that is essential for the job. Though the test can seem to be quite overwhelming in the beginning, with adequate practice you can ace the exam.

What kind of abilities or knowledge do I need to pass the 911 dispatcher test?

To pass the 911 dispatcher test, you need to possess the ability to think quickly, precisely and logically. You should also need to remain calm and collected at the time of emergencies. You should have the ability to handle stress and take accurate decisions. Multi tasking capability is another added advantage that will help you to pass the test.

To sum things up

The guide on 911 dispatcher test explains the contents of the test and how to prepare for it. It throws light on various features of the test and how participants can hone their skills and apply for the test with confidence.