TCOLE Licensing Exam
The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) requires all candidates seeking to become peace officers to pass a comprehensive state licensing exam. It measures the candidate’s command of all the procedural and practical knowledge covered during the mandatory basic peace officer training course.
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Who Is Eligible to Take the TCOLE State Licensure Exam?
The exam is open to anyone who meets the following eligibility criteria:
- Be a US Citizen of at least 21 years of age. Under certain circumstances, you can become eligible before you are 21. Contact a TCOLE representative to learn more.
- Possess at least a high school diploma or equivalent
- If you have served in the armed forces, you must have been honorably discharged.
- No record of conviction for a Class B misdemeanor or worse within the last ten years.
- Not currently being charged with a criminal offense which, if convicted, would make you ineligible.
- No record of conviction for an offense involving family violence.
- Possess a valid, unrestricted driver’s license.
- Not prohibited under state law from possessing firearms or ammunition
- Completed a physical exam by an approved, licensed physician. The physician must declare you physically sound and capable of performing the duties of a peace officer.
- No trace of illegal drug use (as determined by various medical tests, including a blood test).
- Completed a psychiatric evaluation by an approved, licensed psychologist. The psychologist must declare you psychologically and emotionally fit to handle the demands of the job
You will need to provide documentation with your application in order to prove that you meet the above criteria. The application process will involve getting a background check, a physical exam, a psychological exam, and a drug test. So you have to be prepared to share a good deal of personal information in order to be determined eligible.
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How Do I Register for the TCOLE Licensing Exam?
You can start your application online on the TCOLE website. Once you have established that you meet the eligibility criteria and you have completed your Basic Peace Officer training course, you will be able to register for an appointment that works with your schedule. The test is offered on multiple dates throughout the year. You will have to pay an exam fee of $26 in order to reserve your place for the exam.
What Will I Be Tested On?
The licensing exam will include a total of 250 questions (for peace officers, less for other professions). The questions will cover all the material that you learned in your Basic Peace Officer training course. Below is a brief overview of what you will be expected to know on test day:
- Stress management, fitness, and wellness
- Professional policing
- Professionalism and ethics
- U.S. and Texas Constitutions, bill of rights, and criminal justice system
- Multiculturalism and human relations
- Code of criminal procedure
- Arrest, search, and seizure
- Penal code
- Intoxicated driver and SFST
- Civil process
- Alcoholic beverage code
- Health and safety code, controlled substances act
- Family code, juvenile issues
- Written communications
- Force option
- Mechanics of arrest
- Emergency medical assistance
- Emergency communications
- Professional police driving
- Communication and problem-solving
- Patrol and consular notification
- Victims of crime
- Family violence and related assaultive offenses
- Crisis intervention training and mental health code
- Hazardous materials awareness
- Criminal investigation
- Racial profiling
- Asset forfeiture
- Identity crimes
- TCLEOSE rules
You will have two hours and 45 minutes to respond to all 250 multiple choice questions. Bear in mind that the questions are randomly generated from a large bank of questions covering all the above material. This means the actual number of questions you see on any given topic will be completely random.
What Score Do I Need to Pass?
The scoring requirements are not made publicly available. However, if you set your target at about 80% or higher (meaning at least 200 correct out of 250), you should receive a passing score.
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How Should I Study for the TCOLE Licensing Exam?
This is a lengthy and comprehensive exam, so you will need to review the essential concepts and procedures from all of your training material. Your best friends as you prepare for the exam are going to be the notes you took during training, the Mometrix Study Guide, and the Mometrix Flashcards.
The study guide provides a comprehensive overview of the core concepts from your training that you will definitely need to have memorized and ready to go on test day. The flashcards will reinforce your memory and improve your ability to recall the relevant information quickly and accurately. Because the questions are randomly generated, make sure to review all the material thoroughly and address your weaker subjects.
TCOLE Study Guide
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