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FBI tests

FBI Tests

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FBI tests

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the intelligence and security service of the United States. It helps to protect the country and its communities, businesses, and institutions from domestic and international threats.

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Meet & greet

All applicants who successfully complete the phase I test will be invited to attend a meet & greet session at their local Processing Field Office. Note that it usually takes around 16 weeks to proceed from the screening and phase I testing stage to the meet and greet, so be patient with the process.

At your meet & greet appointment, your application will be reviewed, and you’ll be asked questions to validate the information submitted. You’ll also be able to ask any questions you have about the job position or recruitment process.

After this meeting, there will be further evaluation to determine whether you meet the criteria to proceed to phase II. Your competitiveness will be evaluated using the FBI core competencies, which are:

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Flexibility & Adaptability
  • Initiative
  • Interpersonal Ability
  • Leadership
  • Organizing & Planning
  • Problem Solving & Judgment

Phase II test

If you are deemed to be a competitive candidate, you’ll progress to the second stage of testing. The phase II FBI test consists of a writing assessment and a structured interview.

Writing assessment

The writing assessment is designed to test your ability to absorb and analyze information, and synthesize it into a well structured and comprehensive report.

You’ll be given a fictional scenario and accompanying materials containing relevant information. From this, you’ll be asked to type a report within a 2.5-hour time limit.

Close attention should be paid to readability, spelling, grammar, and punctuation.


If you submit a strong response in the writing assessment, you’ll be invited to attend an interview. This will be competency-based and will feature a panel of three FBI employees. It should last around an hour.

The interviewers will use standardized scoring criteria to measure your performance, so ensure you are ticking the required competency boxes with your answers. As with all interviews, try to remain relaxed and be yourself.

Ensure your responses are strong by using examples from your past educational or work experience to evidence your skills and abilities.

Conditional appointment offer

If you successfully pass phase II testing, you’ll be given a conditional appointment offer. You’ll need to pass the remaining components in the process to be able to take up the offer.

For desk-based roles, this is the background investigation. For practical (e.g. field agent roles), this is the background investigation, and graduation from the FBI Academy (which includes the Basic Field Training Course and the Official Physical Fitness Test).

Background Investigation

All candidates must be subject to a background investigation, to ensure they are approved for service within the security agency. The first step is to complete what is referred to as an ‘e-QIP application’, which will be emailed to you. The background investigation involves:

A personnel security interview, a polygraph examination, a urinalysis drug test, and fingerprinting.

A review of all your records, from your academic school record to your medical and credit records.

You will also be checked for any criminal arrest record and, if you are a veteran, your military records will also be reviewed.

Investigators will check your references, contact your current and all former employers, and speak with your family, friends, and neighbors.

The time it takes to complete the background investigation can vary according to the individual – extensive travel or time living overseas can extend the process. It usually takes around 6 months.

FBI Academy

Basic Field Training Course (BFTC)

The FBI’s Basic Field Training Course (BFTC) is designed to prepare Special Agent and Intelligence Analyst candidates for their roles. The Special Agent course lasts 20 weeks, while the Intelligence Analyst course lasts 12 weeks.

The programme ensures trainees have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to begin work in the field. Training topics include defensive tactics, firearms, interview and interrogation, human intelligence, FBI intelligence products, and briefing skills.

During the course, prospective special agents will need to achieve a pass score on the Official Physical Fitness Test (PFT).

Official Physical Fitness Test (PFT)

The FBI’s Official Physical Fitness Test (PFT) is used to determine whether candidates have the stamina to work in the field. Not all applicants will need to complete a fitness test, but passing the assessment will be a condition of employment for special agent roles.

The PFT has four fitness challenges, which must be completed with only five minutes of rest time between the events.

The test includes:

Sit-ups – You’ll need to complete as many continuous sit-ups as you can within one minute

Sprint – A timed 300-meter sprint

Push-ups – The number of continuous push-ups you can do will be counted

Run – You’ll complete a timed 1.5-mile run

Pull-ups (only for candidates in the Tactical Recruitment Program) – The number of continuous pull-ups you can do will be counted

You’ll complete more than one PFT whilst undergoing FBI preparation training. You’ll need a score of 5 within 120 days of completing the Basic Field Training Course to stay in the running.

To pass, you’ll need a minimum cumulative score of 12 points in the first four PFTs (with at least 1 point in each event).

In addition to the PFT requirements, special agents must also pass a hearing test, vision test, and medical review.

Practice Aptitude Tests is not associated with FBI. We provide preparation services for FBI psychometric tests. Our tests are not designed to be identical to any style, employer or industry. Visit to find out more.

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