What is the Border Patrol Entrance Exam?

The U.S. Border Patrol Entrance Exam is a test that needs to be taken by a candidate who wishes to compete for the job of a Border Patrol Agent. The test is designed to measure the intelligence and mental aptitude of the taker, in order to assess the capability of the person to serve as an agent.

How does the exam work?

The Border Patrol Entrance Exam comprises of three sections, which can take anywhere between four to six hours to complete. The three sections are Logical reasoning, Spanish Language Proficiency, and Personal Assessment, and the test is structured as follows:

Logical Reasoning

The Logical Reasoning section of the entrance exam is intended to test the competence of the applicant in understanding problems, analyzing situations and deriving conclusions from it. The section contains reading passages which are followed by questions. Each question includes five answer choices of which the candidate is expected to choose the right response. Although there is no penalty for guessing, it is important to carefully read all parts of the passage before attempting to answer the questions. Mostly, the extracts are about the work border patrol agents do on their job, or may also concern the rules of the federal government.

However, test takers are not expected to know the above mentioned subjects in advance. The section is not aimed at checking the factual knowledge of candidates, rather their ability to examine data, think critically and come up with solutions. Therefore, all questions need be answered using the information provided in the reading passages.

Spanish Language Proficiency Test

The U.S. Border Patrol entrance examination also contains a foreign language section which is designed to test the level of expertise candidates hold in Spanish. The section is further divided into two sub sections: a vocabulary section and a grammar section. The grammar section consists of three parts to assess different aspects of Spanish grammatical rules. However, only candidates who are already fluent in the language are required to complete the section. Other test takers are required to attempt the Artificial Language Test.

Artificial Language Test

All Border Patrol agents are supposed to know Spanish. So, candidates who do not know the language at the time of application must be willing to learn it. For this reason, such applicants are required to take the Artificial Language Test (ALT) to prove their aptitude for learning a new language. Thus, the test comprises of questions based on an artificial language with a list of vocabulary and grammatical rules to determine whether or not the candidate is capable of understand a foreign language.

Personal Assessment

The last part of the test is personal assessment, which is a questionnaire to examine the candidate’s skills and potentials, and if they meet the job requirements. The test can be taken by the candidate at his own computer, and the questions asked are usually about his past work experience and achievements.

Why become a Border Patrol Agent?

Joining the Border Patrol Force as an agent has several benefits. The starting annual salary of an agent is $40,511. Along with this, they receive health and life insurance, Thrift Savings Plan, Social Security, and basic annuity under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).They also get ten paid leaves on federal holidays every year and personal leaves for vacation or family care.

What is the hiring process for the job of a Border Patrol Agent?

The hiring process for a Border Patrol Agent includes the nine following steps. These steps usually occur in the order mentioned, but may occur differently or simultaneously.

  • Apply for the job of Border Patrol Agent
  • Take the Border Patrol Entrance Exam
  • Review of Candidate’s Qualifications
  • Background Investigation of the Candidate
  • Medical Examination
  • Fitness Tests
  • Planned Interview
  • Polygraph Examination
  • Drug Test

How difficult is the Border Patrol Agent Entrance Exam?

The entrance examination to determine the selection of a Border Patrol Agent is extremely difficult and rigorous. This, however, is deliberate for the reason that the job of an agent can be pretty tough and challenging. Therefore, the selection process is intentionally designed to be a draining one to ensure that the chosen candidate is physically and mentally fit for the job and would be able to fulfill his responsibilities.

How important is the Border Patrol Agent Entrance Exam for the evaluation of a candidate?

The entrance exam is the foremost step which needs to be completed by an applicant aspiring for the job of a Border Patrol Agent. The test is an integral part of the evaluation process as it measures the ability of a candidate to become an agent and to perform the tasks that might be expected of him if he qualifies for the job.

What is the eligibility criterion for applying to the job of a Border Patrol Agent?

Before applying to the job of a Border Patrol Agent, every candidate must meet some eligibility criterion. These are as follows:

  • US citizenship
  • Must have been a resident of the U.S. for a minimum of 3 years
  • Be eligible to carry a firearm
  • Must be under 40 years of age
  • Willing to travel
  • Must have a valid driver’s license
  • Must be willing to take the Border Patrol Entrance Exam

What are the practice tips for taking the Border Patrol Agent Entrance Exam?

  • Here are a few tips which might help in improving a candidate’s performance while taking the Border Patrol Agent Entrance Exam.
  • Read the directions of the questions before beginning to answer. Read the entire question carefully and go through all response options twice before attempting your choice.
  • Start with answering the easier questions first. Skip the questions that require more time for solving and come back to them later.
  • There is no penalty for guess work, so answer all questions. While guessing, eliminate the responses you are sure are incorrect and narrow your choice down to the last two remaining responses.
  • Take the Spanish Language Proficiency Test only if you are extremely fluent in Spanish. If you are even a little doubtful of your Spanish, take the Artificial Language Test. You will have the chance to improve your Spanish later if you qualify for the job.

Why is it important to prepare for Border Patrol Agent Entrance Exam?

As mentioned earlier, the Border Patrol Agent Entrance Exam is a difficult and competitive test, and it is necessary to pass the test in order to qualify for the next step in the hiring process of a Border Patrol Agent job. Thus, it is important that you prepare well for the exam and our guide will help you do that.

Our Border Patrol Agent Entrance Exam preparation guide is the ultimate way to prepare for the test. The guide includes complete practice exercises, instructions and sample multiple choice questions to help you practice for the test. The model tests and example exercises are designed to help you get familiar with the kind of questions asked on the actual test, and thus help you avoid silly mistakes that you make if you are unprepared or nervous. Along with exercise preparation, the guide also offers tips and suggestions on how to prepare better for the test and how to improve your performance on the day of the test. The manual contains sample questions from all the three sections of the test, namely: Logical Reasoning, Spanish Language Proficiency and the Artificial Language Test. The guide is the best way to master job and career practice exercises.