What is a school safety agent test?
The role of a school safety agent carries great responsibility. Suitable candidates need to be alert, decisive and show to be effective and empathetic communicators when dealing with staff and children at the school.
School safety agents may also need to liaise with emergency services, apprehend any unauthorized personnel on-site and make arrests if they deem it necessary.
The role isn’t just a physical role; it also involves an element of administration. Agents are required to create and record events, write reports and keep and maintain accurate, relevant records as directed by the school and state.
With a wide range of skills required for the role, school safety agents tests enable employers to objectively assess candidates against the role requirements. The results provide a greater understanding of where a candidate’s strengths lie and whether candidates demonstrate the skills required for the role.
What skills do school safety agents typically need?
To be effective in their role, school safety officers need to have a variety of different skills.
These include the ability to think on your feet, be adaptable and make quick decisions. All school safety agents need to be good problem solvers and critically analyze a situation and make logical deductions.
The ability to communicate effectively and show empathy with a wide range of people is a crucial skill required by a school safety officer and one that is used daily in the role.
The purpose of school safety agents is to ensure the security of personnel and pupils when at school. To do this, school safety agents need to make effective and quick decisions to assess a situation and take the appropriate action as necessary. Agents are permitted to apprehend and make warrantless arrests of anyone who is not allowed to be on-site, should they believe this necessary to keep staff and pupils safe.
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
Excellent written and verbal communication skills are essential for school safety agents. Day-to-day agents need to be approachable when speaking with staff and pupils, be empathetic, listen to others and manage their emotions when responding to others.
The role also requires school safety agents to write and maintain records and write incident reports used by various authorities. This means that candidates need to be able to accurately document events in a concise manner, using appropriate language and tone.
Strong problem solving skills
When faced with difficult situations, school safety agents need to use their critical thinking abilities to solve problems. They often need to make deductions and logical conclusions when presented with limited information, so need to be objective in their approach. The ability to take separate pieces of information and use these to solve problems is a skill that makes for an effective and efficient school safety agent.
Adapting to different situations is a daily occurrence when working as a school safety agent. Due to the wide range of people and situations that agents encounter in their role, they need to adapt their approach, verbal or written communication style as appropriate.
Ability to remain calm under pressure
School safety officers can find themselves in stressful situations. Keeping calm under pressure is essential to ensuring a safe outcome when presented with a situation that compromises the safety and security of themselves, personnel, and the children at school.
How are these skills assessed on the school safety agent test?
School safety agent tests are designed to assess all of the skills required to be effective in the role. These tests are typically comprised of multiple-choice sections, with each section assessing a specific skill or ability:
- Written comprehension
- Written expression
- Ordering of information
- Problem sensitivity
- Spatial orientation
- Deductive reasoning
- Inductive reasoning
The tests are taken online with a pass mark of 70%. Candidates often sit these tests in the early stages of the recruitment process, enabling employers to shortlist the candidates that demonstrate the skills required for the role.
This test is an assessment of how well candidates can understand written passages of text. Questions are presented in the form of short paragraphs of text. Candidates need to read the passage and then answer the multiple-choice questions that follow.
The ability to understand and use appropriate words in written communication is an ability that school safety officers may use when writing incident reports. When completing the test, it is essential to your time to read and understand the questions before selecting your answer.
The written expression test looks at whether candidates can use appropriate words to document situations clearly.
This test is formed of multiple-choice questions. Candidates are given a sentence that needs to be completed. Using their understanding of words, they need to select which multiple-choice answers are most appropriate to complete the sentence.
Ordering of information
To ensure that candidates are able to document a situation in the correct order it happened, applicants for school safety agent positions sit an ordering of information test. In this test, candidates need to correctly list a set of things or actions in the correct order using the rule or group of rules that have been provided.
The questions can include numbers, actions, procedures, or sentences and relate to whether candidates will be able to arrange data in the correct order when documenting and writing reports in their role.
This test assesses how well candidates can notice when something isn’t right or anticipate when something is going to go wrong. Also whether they can solve the problems that situations present. This requires candidates to solve one part of a problem to prevent it from escalating or solve a problem as a whole.
The test takes the form of scenario-based questions relevant to situations that school safety agents may face when on the job. Candidates then select which of the multiple-choice answers they believe to be the best solution in the given situation.
Thistest looks at whether candidates possess spatial awareness in determining where they are in relation to other objects. When on the job, this ability would be used by school safety agents to decipher where they are in relation to a particular school building.
The test is multiple-choice, and questions may be given as maps or objects. Candidates need to use their spatial awareness to determine which of the multiple-choice answers given is correct.
The deductive reasoning test focuses on a candidate’s ability to problem-solve. Questions in this test assess whether candidates can use the information given and make logical conclusions from this. Using your understanding of the information you have read, you select which of the statements that follow is the most logical conclusion. Questions are provided in a variety of different formats.
This test looks at a candidate’s ability to read through the information to identify a pattern or sequence and then make logical inferences to solve a problem.
Questions are provided in various formats and include missing pieces of information. Using the information given, candidates then draw a conclusion or generalization and use this to select which of the multiple-choice answers is the most appropriate.
Memory skills are assessed in this test through a series of short multiple-choice questions.
Questions are given in the form of a list of things that need to be memorized. These could be objects, numbers, patterns, or words. Once you have memorized the list, you need to select which of the answers given is the correct list.
The visualization test assesses whether candidates can visualize in their mind how objects would look if the object’s aspect were changed or if it was disassembled and its component parts re-arranged.
Questions are presented in the form of images. Candidates need to select which of the multiple-choice answers best represents the object if it was rotated, unfolded, or which parts make up the complete object.