Written communication is a valuable part of many jobs, and law enforcement is no exception. While an officer spends the majority of the day working with community members to resolve situations, there are reports to file for each incident, and the responding officer is responsible for writing these reports. From a routine traffic stop to a domestic violence incident, the important details need to be documented in a clear, concise manner.
The WCT, or Written Communication Test, is a required test that must be passed by anyone who wants to become a police constable in Ontario. This test presents applicants with scenarios, and applicants must write a logical response for each. There are a few things scorers are looking for when grading your exam, though, that can make a difference.
- Organization of information: The scorers are looking to see if the sequence of the information you’ve presented makes sense. Do the paragraphs flow in a logical order? Is the timeline of events correct?
- Detailed information: Scorers aren’t looking at each person’s individual writing style, which may vary. Instead, they are looking to make sure the facts and opinions are clearly presented, and have supporting evidence to back them up.
- Good grammar and spelling: Since reports will be used professionally in many different ways, especially court cases, if the need arises, the WCT scorers look for good spelling and grammar. Leave enough time at the end of your exam to read your responses; one trick to find improperly spelled words is to read the paper from the last word to the first. Most people’s brains are so trained to recognize the shape of a word that proofreading might pass over a misspelled word, and reading backwards can help prevent that.