Last month we sat down for a quick chat with one of our Police Revision users after she told us about her recent success in the NPPF Part 2 Inspectors exam. Read on to see what she had to say about how Police Revision helped her pass her exams with the 5th highest score in the country.
Date of Interview: January 2020
Time in the Police: 14 years
Exam Taken: NPPF Part 2 Inspectors
Date Taken: October 2019
Pass Mark: 91%
Hello Sarah, firstly congratulations on passing your Inspectors’ Exam with an amazing 91%, the 5th highest score in the country and an exceptional pass?
Thank you, I was surprised myself. I couldn’t have imagined getting that score when I first started revising.
So tell us a little bit about yourself professionally?
Well I’ve been in Hertfordshire for 14 years now, I started out on shift but decided my future lay in investigation so I decided to become a Detective, which was the best decision I have made. I then passed the Sergeants exam and went back to Intervention as a patrol Sergeant. That was really enjoyable but I had got the bug and as such moved back into CID a couple of years later as a Detective Sergeant.
Why did you join the Police?
I looked around at a number of careers but I didn’t want something where I would spend the next 40 years simply typing away on a computer for a huge company. The Police looked (and is) exciting plus it offered a secure career with a sense of purpose.
Why a Detective?
Well mainly because I am nosey and curious (laughter). But seriously it was because I saw that in an investigative role you could see a job from the start to the finish and that appealed to me. A Detective role allowed me to deal with more serious offenders and gaining the satisfaction of getting a guilty verdict.
Why did you decide it was the right time to do the Inspectors’ Exam?
For both personal and professional reasons. I realised that I had the opportunity that I could dedicate my time to study alongside doing my day job. I had also been a Detective Sergeant for a number of years and felt that I was ready to take the next step. I also felt I was becoming more involved in the decision making process and it seemed a natural step.
What did you use to study for the Exam?
Well I read Blackstones (Blackstone Police Manuals) inside out once, making notes as I went along. Making notes are a really important tool for me as I can go back and refer to them later. However I can’t read small text for too long or it stops going in. I also used Police Revision as I could listen to the presentations in the car to and from work, that really worked as you are learning all the time. I also used to listen to them down the gym although I’m not sure they were quite as beneficial as Drake to my work out (laughter)
Online practice questions are a key as they test your knowledge. It’s really good when the explanation and definition is included as even if you have got it wrong you continually learn. I also found mock exams were good indication of areas I was weak in.
How did you manage your study along with everything else?
You have to be prepared to sacrifice your personal time and accept you still have a job to do that may not allow you time to study in work hours. Do a strict revision plan and stick to it. Factor in time for yourself too or life will just be all work and no play. I’m not a crammer so I gave myself 6 months but this was with a revision plan I stuck to, plus I used every opportunity of downtime to do a little study. Also don’t sacrifice the gym or exercise, put your revision on your phone.
What is the worst and best part of exam?
Well when you first realise the amount of content you need to learn, you can be a little daunted but it’s exciting the journey that you are starting. The best, well obviously passing the exam is a great feeling but also knowing that my level of knowledge was greatly increasing. I remember someone asking a question about something in the CID office and realising that I had listened to that exact offence in the car the day before.
What advice would you give to others thinking about taking a Police Exam?
Do it and be confident in yourself. It is a lot of hard work but it is a great feeling and even better knowing you have that exam under your belt. Even if I hadn’t passed I still would have increased my knowledge which would have made me better at my job and there is always next time. In a strange way the exam was actually the fun part as I got the opportunity to show all of the hard work I had put in.
If you could sum up in three words what was key to you in passing the exam?
Dedication – Focus – Time.
Oh and also realising that you are continually increasing your knowledge, small steps.
Thank you Sarah.