Border Patrol Agent

Archive for January, 2012

Logical Reasoning Practice Test

In questions 1 through 8, some questions will ask you to select the only answer that can be
validly concluded from the paragraph. These questions include a paragraph followed by five
response options. Preceding the five response options will be the phrase “From the information
given above, it can be validly concluded that.” In other questions you may be asked to select the
only answer that cannot be validly concluded from the paragraph. These questions include a
paragraph followed by five response options. Preceding the five response options will be the
phrase “From the information given above, it CANNOT be validly concluded that.”

You must use only the information provided in the paragraph, without using any outside information whatsoever.

It is suggested that you take not more than 20 minutes to complete questions 1 through 8. The
questions on this practice test will not be on the real test, but the real questions will be similar in
form and difficulty to these. The explanations for the correct and incorrect responses are found
after the sample questions.

1. Often, crimes are characterized as either malum in se—inherently evil—or malum prohibitum—
criminal because they are declared as offenses by a legislature. Murder is an example of the former.
Failing to file a tax return illustrates the latter. Some jurisdictions no longer distinguish between
crimes malum in se and malum prohibitum, although many still do.
From the information given above, it can be validly concluded that

A) many jurisdictions no longer distinguish between crimes malum in se and malum prohibitum
B) some jurisdictions still distinguish between crimes malum in se and malum prohibitum
C) some crimes characterized as malum in se are not inherently evil
D) some crimes characterized as malum prohibitum are not declared by a legislature to be an offense
E) sometimes failing to file a tax return is characterized as malum in se

2. A trucking company can act as a common carrier—for hire to the general public at published rates.
As a common carrier, it is liable for any cargo damage, unless the company can show that it was not
negligent. If the company can demonstrate that it was not negligent, then it is not liable for cargo
damage. In contrast, a contract carrier (a trucking company hired by a shipper under a specific
contract) is only responsible for cargo damage as spelled out in the contract. A Claus Inc. tractortrailer, acting under common carrier authority, was in a 5-vehicle accident that damaged its cargo. A
Nichols Inc. tractor-trailer, acting under contract carrier authority, was involved in the same accident,
and its cargo was also damaged.
From the information given above, it can be validly concluded that, in reference to the accident,

A) if Claus Inc. is liable, then it can show that it was not negligent
B) if Claus Inc. cannot show that it was not negligent, then it is not liable
C) if Claus Inc. can show that it was not negligent, then it is not liable
D) if Nichols Inc. is liable, then it cannot show that it is negligent
E) if Nichols Inc. can show that it is not negligent, then it is not liable

3. A rapidly changing technical environment in government is promoting greater reliance on electronic
mail (e-mail) systems. As this usage grows, there are increasing chances of conflict between the
users’ expectations of privacy and public access rights. In some investigations, access to all e-mail,
including those messages stored in archival files and messages outside the scope of the investigation,
has been sought and granted. In spite of this, some people send messages through e-mail that would
never be said face-to-face or written formally.
From the information given above, it CANNOT be validly concluded that

A) some e-mail messages that have been requested as part of investigations have contained messages
that would never be said face-to-face
B) some messages that people would never say face-to-face are sent in e-mail messages
C) some e-mail messages have been requested as part of investigations
D) e-mail messages have not been exempted from investigations
E) some e-mail messages contain information that would be omitted from formal writing

4. Phyllis T. is a former Federal employee who was entitled to benefits under the Federal Employee
Compensation Act because of a job-related, disabling injury. When an eligible Federal employee has
such an injury, the benefit is determined by this test: If the beneficiary is married or has dependents,
benefits are 3/4 of the person’s salary at the time of the injury; otherwise, benefits are set at 2/3 of the
salary. Phyllis T.’s benefits were 2/3 of her salary when she was injured.
From the information given above, it can be validly concluded that, when Phyllis T. was injured, she

A) was married but without dependents
B) was not married and had no dependents
C) was not married but had dependents
D) was married and had dependents
E) had never been married

5. Some 480,000 immigrants were living in a certain country in 1999. Although most of these
immigrants were not employed in professional occupations, many of them were. For instance, many
of them were engineers and many of them were nurses. Very few of these immigrants were
librarians, another professional occupation.
From the information given above, it can be validly concluded that, in 1999, in the country described
above,

A) most immigrants were either engineers or nurses
B) it is not the case that some of the nurses were immigrants
C) none of the engineers were immigrants
D) most of those not employed in professional occupations were immigrants
E) some of the engineers were immigrants

6. Police officers were led to believe that many weapons sold at a certain gun store were sold illegally.
Upon investigating the lead, the officers learned that all of the weapons sold by the store that were
made by Precision Arms were sold legally. Also, none of the illegally sold weapons were .45 caliber.
From the information given above, it can be validly concluded that, concerning the weapons sold at
the store,

A) all of the .45 caliber weapons were made by Precision Arms
B) none of the .45 caliber weapons were made by Precision Arms
C) some of the weapons made by Precision Arms were .45 caliber weapons
D) all of the .45 caliber weapons were sold legally
E) some of the weapons made by Precision Arms were sold illegally

7. Impressions made by the ridges on the ends of the fingers and thumbs are useful means of
identification, since no two persons have the same pattern of ridges. If finger patterns from
fingerprints are not decipherable, then they cannot be classified by general shape and contour or by
pattern type. If they cannot be classified by these characteristics, then it is impossible to identify the
person to whom the fingerprints belong.
From the information given above, it CANNOT be validly concluded that

A) if it is possible to identify the person to whom fingerprints belong, then the fingerprints are
decipherable
B) if finger patterns from fingerprints are not decipherable, then it is impossible to identify the
person to whom the fingerprints belong
C) if fingerprints are decipherable, then it is impossible to identify the person to whom they belong
D) if fingerprints can be classified by general shape and contour or by pattern type, then they are
decipherable
E) if it is possible to identify the person to whom fingerprints belong, then the fingerprints can be
classified by general shape and contour or pattern type

8. Explosives are substances or devices capable of producing a volume of rapidly expanding gases that
exert a sudden pressure on their surroundings. Chemical explosives are the most commonly used,
although there are mechanical and nuclear explosives. All mechanical explosives are devices in
which a physical reaction is produced, such as that caused by overloading a container with
compressed air. While nuclear explosives are by far the most powerful, all nuclear explosives have
been restricted to military weapons.
From the information given above, it can be validly concluded that

A) all explosives that have been restricted to military weapons are nuclear explosives
B) no mechanical explosives are devices in which a physical reaction is produced, such as that
caused by overloading a container with compressed air
C) some nuclear explosives have not been restricted to military weapons
D) all mechanical explosives have been restricted to military weapons
E) some devices in which a physical reaction is produced, such as that caused by overloading a
container with compressed air, are mechanical explosives

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Preparing for Logical Reasoning Questions

Logical Reasoning
Reasoning is the single most important competency for successful performance in Border Patrol
jobs (and in other jobs in the economy). Correct reasoning is useful for decision making and
problem solving, activities that prevail on the job. In this part, you will read some useful
information about reasoning correctly.

The questions in this examination are designed to test your ability to understand complicated
written material and to derive correct conclusions from it. The kind of reading that these
questions ask you to do is different from ordinary reading in which you just follow the general
meaning of a series of sentences to see what the writer thinks about a topic. It is the kind of
reading you have to do with complex material when you intend to take some action or draw
some conclusion based on that material.

The test asks you to make logical conclusions based on facts you are given in various
paragraphs. These conclusions need to be based only on the facts in the paragraph. Therefore,
answering requires careful reading and focused thought about what information is given and
what information is not given.

The following information will give you some suggestions about how to approach the questions
and some information about how you can develop your reasoning skills.

Reading the Paragraph
Every reading paragraph in the test is drawn from some kind of written material relating to
Border Patrol or government work. There may be facts in a paragraph that do not actually apply
to every part of the Federal Government or that may not always be true everywhere. In
answering the questions, it is important that you accept every fact in the paragraph as true.
Remember that you are not being judged on your knowledge of facts, but rather on your ability
to read and reason on the basis of given facts.

Not all information is the same kind of information. There can be information about events or
situations, and there can be information about individuals and groups (or categories). It is
important to examine information in the paragraph closely to determine what kind of information
it is. Is the information about two or more categories of things? Is the information about how
two events or situations are linked together? It is also important to recognize whether the
information is positive or negative. Usually, information is positive (for example, “these tire
tracks are several days old”), but knowledge that something is not the case is also useful
information (for example, “these tire tracks are not from a truck”).

Reading the Lead-In or Basic Question
In this test, you will find a paragraph, followed by a lead-in phrase that asks you to complete a
sentence by choosing one of several response options labeled from (A) to (E). The lead-in
phrase may be either positive or negative: “From the information given above, it can be validly
concluded that” or “From the information given above, it CANNOT be validly concluded that.”
It is important to focus on the lead-in phrase at the beginning of a question to determine whether
it is positive or negative. Do not skim over the lead-in phrase.

Positive lead-in phrases are followed by four invalid conclusions and one valid conclusion. Your
task is to find the valid one. Negative lead-in phrases, by contrast, are followed by four valid
conclusions and only one invalid conclusion. The task in these questions is to determine what
cannot be validly concluded based on the facts in the paragraph.

The lead-in phrase may also limit the possible answers in some way. For example, a lead-in
phrase such as “From the information given above, it can be validly concluded that, during the
1990’s in California” means that there might be different answers based on other times and
places, but for the purpose of the test question, only conditions in California during the 1990’s
(as described in the paragraph) should be considered.

Reasoning About Groups or Categories
As was stated before, not all information is the same kind of information. There can be
information about events or situations, and there can be information about individuals and groups
(or categories). This part of Section II discusses how to deal with information about groups or
categories.

“All” Statements
A statement about two groups that begins with the words “all” or “every” gives you some
important information about how the two groups are related. The words “all” and “every” tell
you that everything in the first group is also in the second group. For example, in the statement,
“All the law enforcement officers on the case are Federal law enforcement officers,” the first
group, consisting of law enforcement officers on the case, is totally included in the second group,
consisting of Federal law enforcement officers.

The “all” statement does not provide sufficient information to determine whether or not all
members of the second group are included in the first group. Suppose that a librarian told you
“All the books on this set of shelves are about law enforcement.” From this information, you
might be tempted to conclude that all of the library’s books on law enforcement (the second
group) are on that set of shelves (the first group), but this conclusion is invalid. The books on
those shelves might only be part of the entire group of books on law enforcement. The sentence
does NOT provide information on whether or not other law enforcement books are placed
elsewhere in the library. The following examples provide an “all” statement (all of Group A are
Group B) followed by an invalid “all” statement (all of Group B are Group A). To develop a
good grasp of this concept, try to create some examples of your own.

True: All the people at my party speak Spanish.
Therefore, Invalid: All the people who speak Spanish are at my party.
True: All Supreme Court justices are lawyers.
Therefore, Invalid: All lawyers are Supreme Court justices.
True: All U.S. Presidents were elected.
Therefore, Invalid: All officials who were elected are U.S. Presidents.
True: Every U.S. Border Patrol Agent works for the U.S. Government.
Therefore, Invalid: Everyone working for the U.S. Government is a U.S. Border Patrol Agent.
True: Every U.S. Senator is a member of the U.S. Congress.
Therefore, Invalid: Every member of the U.S. Congress is a U.S. Senator.
Every “all” statement provides sufficient information to determine that at least some members of
the second group are included in the first group. Returning to our previous examples, we can
validly conclude that “some Federal law enforcement officers are on the case” and that “some of
the books about law enforcement are on this set of shelves.” Developing numerous examples on
your own of a true “all” statement (all of Group A are Group B) and a “some” statement (some
of Group B are Group A) will help you to develop a mastery of this concept.

More examples:
True: All the people at my party speak Spanish.
Therefore, Valid: Some people who speak Spanish are at my party.
True: All Supreme Court justices are lawyers.
Therefore, Valid: Some lawyers are Supreme Court justices.
True: All U.S. Presidents were elected.
Therefore, Valid: Some officials who were elected are U.S. Presidents.
True: Every U.S. Border Patrol Agent works for the U.S. Government.
Therefore, Valid: Some employees of the U.S. Government are U.S. Border Patrol Agents.
True: Every U.S. Senator is a member of the U.S. Congress.
Therefore, Valid: Some members of the U.S. Congress are U.S. Senators.

Reasoning From “None” and “Not” Statements
Information that something is NOT true is useful information. For example, you may learn that
one group of things is NOT part of another group of things. This is the same as saying that there
is no overlap at all between the two groups of things. Here, you can draw conclusions about
either group as it relates to the other since you can count on the fact that the two groups have no
members in common. If you can say that no reptiles are warm-blooded, you can also say that no
warm-blooded creatures are reptiles because you know that the first statement means that there is
no overlap between the two groups. In the test, you will see phrases or terms such as “It is not
the case that” or “Not all of” or words that begin with the prefix “non-.” All of these are ways to
say that a negative fact has been established.

Sometimes, our ordinary speech habits can cause us to jump to conclusions. Most people would
not make a statement such as “Some of the pizza has no pepperoni” unless they are trying to
suggest at the same time that some of the pizza does have pepperoni. By contrast, a detective
might make a statement such as “some of the bloodstains were not human blood” simply because
only part of the samples had come back from the laboratory. The detective is trying to suggest
that at least some of the bloodstains were not human blood. The rest of the bloodstains might or
might not be human blood.

As you work through the practice test, think about each negative phrase or term you find. Take
care to assume only as much as is definitely indicated by the facts as given, and no more.

Reasoning About Parts of a Group
The term “some” refers to a part of a larger group. For example, in the statement “Some agents
are taking specialized training,” the term “some agents” refers to a portion of the group of all
agents. You should note, however, that the fact that we know that “some agents are taking
specialized training” implies nothing about the remaining portion of the set of agents: other
agents may or may not be taking specialized training. Unless information is provided in the
paragraph to the contrary, treat “some” as meaning “at least some.”

Statements that refer to a portion of a set may contain other terms such as “most,” “a few,” or
“almost all.” Also, as discussed in the previous section, they can be negative, as in “Many
agents are not fluent in French.” From this statement you may be tempted to infer that there are
at least a few agents who are fluent in French, but that would be jumping to a conclusion. From
this statement alone, you do not know about the entire group of agents and whether or not they
are fluent in French. In these cases, you should remember that the term refers only to a part of
the group and that from this information on part of the group you cannot infer anything about the
rest of the group. Unfortunately, neglecting this principle of sound reasoning can cause costly
errors.

When you see a paragraph describing parts of a group, read the paragraph carefully to see if that
description is based on knowledge of the entire group or only on knowledge of part of the group.

Reasoning About “If-Then” Statements
As was said before, there can be information about events or situations, and there can be
information about individuals and groups. Previously, Section II discussed how to deal with
information about groups. Next, Section II will discuss how to deal with information about the
relationship between events or situations.

We are all familiar with the idea of a chain of events in which one thing leads to another thing,
which in turn leads to a third thing, and so on. For example, “if a person is convicted of
possession of a gram of marijuana in Aker County, that person is guilty of a misdemeanor, and
persons found guilty of a misdemeanor in Aker County are fined by the court.” It is easy to see
that one can think backward and forward along this chain.

Thinking forward means that, when the first thing happens, the later events will follow. For
example, if you learn that Bill is convicted of possession of a gram of marijuana in Aker County,
you know that Bill is guilty of a misdemeanor. Furthermore, if you know that Bill is guilty of a
misdemeanor in Aker County, you know that Bill will be fined by the court.

Thinking backward means that if later events do not occur, the earlier events did not occur. For
example, if you know that Bill has never been fined by the court in Aker County, you know that
he has not been found guilty of a misdemeanor there. Furthermore, by reasoning backward from
the fact that Bill has not been found guilty of a misdemeanor in Aker County, you know that he
has never been convicted of possession of a gram of marijuana there.

The wording we typically use to indicate this kind of linkage between events includes the simple
“if-then” sentence in which the first event is in a statement tagged by “if” and the second event is
in a statement tagged by “then.” An example would be the sentence “if Chris gets assigned to
the Bike Patrol, then the Bike Patrol will need additional equipment.” We also use the same
language to describe signs that such a linkage has already happened. An example of that
structure would be the sentence “If there are tracks on the ground, then people passed through
this area on foot.”

There are other ways of wording this relationship, however. When a sentence starts with the
word “whenever,” it means that a linkage between two events is being described: “Whenever I
hear that song, I think about the beach.” The phrases “each time” or “every time” suggest the
same thing: “Every time there is a power surge, my computer switches off.”

It is important to realize that you cannot validly switch the order of the two statements in this
type of sentence. If you do, your conclusion may be wrong and may lead to costly errors in reallife situations. For example, you learn that “If the jet engines are reversed (the first statement),
the speed of the plane will decrease very rapidly (the second statement).” From this information,
you cannot validly infer that “If the speed of the plane decreases very rapidly (the second
statement), then the jet engines have been reversed (the first statement)”. The following
examples start with a true “if-then” sentence, followed by an invalid “if-then” sentence with the
first and second statements reversed.

True: If a person is a Border Patrol Agent, the person is an employee of the U.S.
Government.
Therefore, Invalid: If a person is an employee of the U.S. Government, the person is a Border
Patrol Agent.
True: If a criminal receives a pardon, the criminal will be released.
Therefore, Invalid: If a criminal is released, the criminal has received a pardon.
True: If a person is convicted of murder, that person is guilty of a felony.
Therefore, Invalid: If a person is guilty of a felony, that person has been convicted of murder.
True: If a person lives in Germany, the person lives in Europe.
Therefore, Invalid: If a person lives in Europe, the person lives in Germany.
True: If a car has no gas, the car will not run.
Therefore, Invalid: If a car does not run, the car has no gas.

You can, however, validly reverse the order of these two statements when the statements are
made opposite (that is, negated). For example, you learn that “If the jet engines are reversed (the
first statement), the speed of the plane will decrease very rapidly (the second statement).” From
this information, you can validly infer that “If the speed of the plane does not decrease very
rapidly (the negation or opposite of the second statement), then the jet engines have not been
reversed (the negation or opposite of the first statement)”. The following examples start with a
true “if-then” sentence, followed by a true (or valid) “if-then” sentence with the first and second
statements made opposite (negated) and reversed in order.

True: If a person is a Border Patrol Agent, the person is an employee of the U.S.
Government.
Therefore, True: If a person is not an employee of the U.S. Government, the person is not a
Border Patrol Agent.
True: If a criminal receives a pardon, the criminal will be released.
Therefore, True: If a criminal is not released, the criminal has not received a pardon.
True: If a person is convicted of murder, that person is guilty of a felony.
Therefore, True: If a person is not guilty of a felony, that person has not been convicted of
murder.
True: If a person lives in Germany, the person lives in Europe.
Therefore, True: If a person does not live in Europe, the person does not live in Germany.
True: If a car has no gas, the car will not run.
Therefore, True: If a car runs, the car has gas.
You cannot infer the opposite of the second statement from the opposite of the first statement.
For example, you cannot validly infer that “If the jet engines are not reversed (the opposite of the
first statement), then the speed of the plane does not decrease very rapidly (the opposite of the
second statement)”. The following examples start with a true “if-then” sentence followed by an
invalid “if-then” sentence made of the opposite of the first and second statements.
True: If a person is a Border Patrol Agent, the person is an employee of the U.S.
Government.
Therefore, Invalid: If a person is not a Border Patrol Agent, the person is not an employee of
the U.S. Government.
True: If a criminal receives a pardon, the criminal will be released.
Therefore, Invalid: If a criminal does not receive a pardon, the criminal will not be released.
True: If a person is convicted of murder, that person is guilty of a felony.
Therefore, Invalid: If a person is not convicted of murder, that person is not guilty of a felony.
True: If a person lives in Germany, the person lives in Europe.
Therefore, Invalid: If a person does not live in Germany, the person does not live in Europe.
True: If a car has no gas, the car will not run.
Therefore, Invalid: If a car has gas, the car will run.

A Few Final Cautions About Wording
There are test preparation classes that train people to take tests. In some of these courses,
students are advised against choosing any answer in a reasoning test if it starts with the word
“all” or the word “none.” This is supposed to be useful advice because it is believed that most
correct answers strike a balance between extremes and usually do not cover subjects that can be
summarized in sentences beginning with “all” or “none.” If you have heard this advice before,
you should ignore it for this test. “All” statements and “none” statements occur in real-life
situations and, consequently, you will be asked to work with them in this test in the reading
paragraphs as well as in both correct and incorrect responses.

In general, you should pay attention to any words that provide information on groups or on
linked events. This includes a wide range of negative words (such as “seldom” or “never” or
“illegal” or “prohibited”) and negative prefixes (such as “non-” “un-” or “dis-”). It also includes
positive words (such as “all” or “some” or “most” or “always”). You should also watch for
connectors such as “whenever” or “unless” or “except,” since these words sometimes contain
key information about relations among the facts given in the paragraph.

English is a language that ordinarily uses single negatives. The word “not,” by itself, does the
job of making a formal English sentence into its opposite: “That bird is NOT an eagle.” On this
test, if you read a sentence such as “The cord is not wound,” it means the cord is still unwound.
When an English sentence has two negatives, the sentence has a positive meaning. For example,
a sentence that reads “This application is NOT unworthy” means that the application IS worthy.
The sentence “The bell did ring” could be stated “It is NOT the case that the bell did NOT ring.”

Finally, it is extremely important to pay close attention to the use of the word “ONLY.” A
sentence such as “The door will open IF AND ONLY IF both keys are used” is a very strong
statement that means that there is just one way to open the door—with both keys. If the sentence
just said, “The door will open if the key is used,” there may be several other ways to open the
door. But that is not the case when the expression “if and only if” is used.
Remember These Tips When Taking the Logical Reasoning Test

1. In questions with positive lead statements, always choose the only conclusion that can
definitely be drawn from the information given in the paragraph.

2. Remember NOT to use any outside factual information to reach your conclusion.

3. Read the lead-in sentence and the paragraph very carefully. Also, read all the answer
choices before you mark the one you think is correct.

4. Pay special attention whenever the question uses words such as “all,” “some,” or “none.”
Other terms such as “unless” or “except” or “only” are also important. These words help
to define the facts from which you must draw conclusions.

5. Also pay special attention whenever you see a negative prefix such as “non-” or a
negative verb such as “disconnect” or “unfasten.” These may be crucial to understanding
the basic facts in the paragraph.

6. Ignore any advice you may have received in the past about avoiding an answer that
contains the word “all” or the word “none.” These may be signs of an incorrect response
in some tests, but not in this test. You will find these words in both right and wrong
response options.

7. Take the sample test and study the explanation for each of the questions very carefully.
This will help you fine-tune your reasoning on the actual test.

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Test Tips

Section I: Test Taking Tips
1. You will do your best on the test if you stay calm and relaxed. Take a few deep, slow breaths to help you maintain your calm.

2. Pay careful attention to all directions before beginning.

3. Answer the easier questions first. Skip questions you find to be very difficult and come back to them later.

4. For each question, read the entire question and all response options carefully before  deciding upon an answer.

5. If you do not know the answer to a question, eliminate the response options that you know to be incorrect or probably incorrect and then guess from the remaining response options.

6. Your score is based only on the number of questions you answer correctly. You are not penalized for answering questions incorrectly. Therefore, you should answer every question, even questions that you must guess.

7. If you finish before time is up, go back and check your answers.

8. Be sure that you mark your answer sheet correctly. If you have to change an answer,  erase the first answer before marking the new answer. If you skip a question, be sure to answer the next question in the appropriate place on the answer sheet.

9. Ignore any patterns of A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, or E’s on your answer sheet. These correct answer positions are chosen randomly and there is no way to improve your chances by guessing based on an answer sheet pattern.

10. Take the Spanish Language Proficiency Test if you are proficient in standard Spanish;  otherwise take the Artificial Language Test.

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Introduction to Manual

Purpose of the Manual
The purpose of this manual is to help you prepare to take the U.S. Border Patrol Test. This manual will familiarize you with the U.S. Border Patrol Logical Reasoning Test, the Spanish
Language Proficiency Test, and the Artificial Language Test (ALT) and will give you a chance to study some sample questions and explanations for the correct answers to each question. If you
have not had much practice taking written, multiple-choice tests, you will have an opportunity to see what the tests look like and to practice taking questions similar to those on the tests.

Organization of the Manual
The manual is organized into four sections. The first section provides some tips for taking the U.S. Border Patrol Test. The second section provides preparation material for the U.S. Border
Patrol Logical Reasoning Test and a practice test with explanations for the answers to the practice test. Sample questions for the Spanish Language Proficiency Test follow in the third
section. The final section provides a practice test for the ALT along with explanations for the answers to the practice test.

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Conditions of Employment

You must be willing to:

  • Meet with a Border Patrol oral interview panel and successfully pass the oral examination; and,
  • Undergo an extensive background investigation.
  • Accept appointments at any location the border in which you are in process.
  • Work rotating shifts, many at night.
  • Work long and irregular hours, including weekends and holidays.
  • Work alone.
  • Learn the Spanish language.
  • Adhere to grooming and dress standards.
  • Carry, maintain, and use a firearm.
  • Work under hazardous conditions such as inclement weather, rough terrain, heights, moving trains, high-speed chases, and armed encounters.
  • Operate a variety of motor vehicles.
  • Submit to a physical examination.
  • Fly as a passenger/observer in various types of aircraft.
  • Maintain composure and self-control under extremely stressful conditions.
  • Bear initial travel and uniform costs (a $500 uniform allowance is provided after entrance on duty).
  • Undergo intensive physical and academic training, which includes a 15-week study of study at the CBP Border Patrol Academy, and subsequent training throughout the year.
  • Work on operational details away from home for extended periods of 35 days or more.
  • Reasonable Accommodation: Reasonable accommodations will be made for applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodations will be made for any part of the hiring process, please notify the servicing personnel office. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be rendered on a case-by-case basis.
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Medical Qualification Requirements

The duties of the position involve physical exertion under adverse environmental conditions such as extremes of weather and terrain. Hours of work are often irregular and protracted. The ability to safely and efficiently perform a variety of duties, e.g., while on foot or while using motor vehicles (car, air, marine, etc.) is required.

Physical training and duties employ firearms, weapons and arrest techniques, as well as defensive tactics. Physical conditioning is essential and includes the ability to: run long distances, weight train, swim, sprint, and climb walls, ropes and ladders. The ability to crawl through a simulated culvert, jump ditches, and stand/stoop for prolonged periods, etc. is also required. Trainees are expected to successfully complete a confidence course practice session(s) and a final timed proficiency course. Operating motor vehicles including doing so under simulated emergency responses is also required.

Prior to an offer of employment, tentative selectees must undergo a pre-employment medical examination and be found to be medically qualified to perform the full range of duties of the position safely and efficiently. Any disease or condition that may potentially interfere with the safe and efficient performance of the job’s duties or training may constitute grounds for medical disqualification. Individualized assessments of each person’s medical history, current condition and medical qualifications will be made on a case-by-case basis. Final consideration and medical determination may require additional information and/or testing. If medical information is required beyond that provided by the pre-placement examination, it is provided at the expense of the tentative selectee.

Vision

  • Uncorrected distance vision must be equal to or better than 20/100 in each eye.
  • Binocular distance vision must be correctable to 20/20.
  • Depth perception must be equal to or better than 70 seconds of arc.
  • Peripheral vision must be normal.
  • Color vision must be normal. X-Chrome lenses or other artificial devices are not acceptable as a means for correcting color deficiencies.
  • Monocular vision is generally disqualifying.
  • Candidates must be able to safely tolerate rigorous / hazardous law enforcement activities such as physical altercations and exposures to toxins such as pepper sprays, etc.
  • Any disease or condition that interferes with a person’s vision may be considered disqualifying; this will be determined on a case by case basis.
  • Refractive Eye Surgery: Individuals who have undergone refractive surgical procedures (such as LASIK surgery) are considered acceptable provided the individual’s vision meets the above standards post-operatively, and an acceptable recovery time period has occurred. The individual must be free of post-operative complications. For refractive surgery, the results of an additional evaluation by an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist will be required to ensure that vision is not impeded due to post-operative complications such as glare and contrast-sensitivity, and the individual must be cleared for rigorous law enforcement training including exposure to pepper spray.

Hearing

  • Unaided testing in each ear cannot exceed 30dB at the 500, 1000 and 2000Hz frequencies. At 3000 Hz, the deficit should not exceed 40 decibels in either ear.
  • The use of any hearing aid to meet the medical standards is unacceptable.

Medications
All medication requirements, including psychotropic medication, will be evaluated to ensure that safe and efficient job performance will not be adversely affected. Each of the following considerations will enter the medical recommendations:

  • Medication(s) and type and dosage requirements
  • Potential drug side effects
  • Drug-drug interactions
  • Adverse drug reactions
  • Drug toxicity and any medical complications associated with long-term drug use
  • Drug-environment interactions
  • Drug-food interactions
  • History of patient compliance
  • Medications such as narcotics, sedative hypnotics, barbiturates, amphetamines, or any drug with the potential for addiction, that is taken for extended periods of time (usually beyond 10 days) or is prescribed for a persistent or recurring underlying condition would generally be considered disqualifying.

Anabolic Steroids. Any person currently using anabolic steroids may be disqualified.

Note: Anabolic steroids were legislated as a controlled substance on February 27, 1991, and now require a physician’s prescription.

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Basic Qualifications

1. You must be a United States citizen.

2. You must possess a valid automobile driver’s license.

3. You must take and pass the CBP Border Patrol entrance examination. The CBP Border Patrol entrance examination is a three-part test, which covers logical reasoning skill, Spanish Language, or if you don’t speak Spanish, an Artificial Language test that predicts your ability to learn Spanish, and an assessment of job related experiences and achievements.

4. To qualify at the GL-5 level, you must have a substantial background of experience (paid, voluntary, full or part-time), of which at least one year must have been comparable in level of difficulty and responsibility to grade GS-4 in the federal service. The work experience does not have to be law enforcement related. (You must describe all work experience in your application for employment in order to gain proper consideration.)

This type of experience must demonstrate an ability to take charge, make decisions and maintain composure in stressful situations; it must demonstrate an ability to maintain interpersonal relationships with coworkers and the public and it must demonstrate a propensity to learn both on the job and through formal instruction.

or

If you do not have the work experience described above, a 4-year college degree can be substituted for and is fully qualifying for the GL-5 level. There is no requirement that the degree is in any particular field or that it is a recent degree;

or

You may qualify through a combination of education and work experience (assuming you have not completed your degree). Each year of full-time semester or quarter units equates to three months of general work experience. For example, if you had two (2) years of full-time college education, that would equate to six months of experience with an additional six (6) months of generalized work experience, you could qualify for the GL-5 position.

Qualifying at the GL-7: It is extremely important for you to provide the documentation described below if you want to be considered for a grade GL-7. Your grade level will be determined based on the information you provide with your application. If you are offered a position as a GL-5 Border Patrol Agent (Trainee), and you accept, you cannot change your grade level once you enter on duty. Your application (Resume, OF-612, or SF-171) must completely and specifically describe your job duties that you want considered in the determination. All transcripts, calculations, and other documentation must be submitted to the CBP Minneapolis Hiring Center within 10 days of notification of selection Failure to provide this documentation will result in you not being found eligible at the GL-7 grade level. If you have one (1) year of Law Enforcement Experience comparable in level of difficulty and responsibility to GL-5 you may qualify for GL-7. The CBP Minneapolis Hiring Center will determine what meets the specialized experience requirement. Experience must have demonstrated the ability to:

Make arrests and exercise sound judgment in the use of firearms:
Deal effectively with individuals or groups of persons in a courteous, tactful manner in connection with law enforcement matters:
Analyze information rapidly and make prompt decisions or take prompt and appropriate law enforcement action in light of applicable laws, court decisions, and sound law enforcement matters:
Develop and maintain contact with a network of informants.
All four items listed must be met in order to qualify at the GL-7 grade level based on experience. You must address all four of these items in your application

or

If you have one (1) full year of Graduate education in law or a field related to law enforcement (e.g. Criminal Justice, Police Science), you can qualify for the GL-7.

or

Superior Academic Achievement (SAA): to qualify for the GL-7 under the SAA provision, you must have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited 4 year college/university. SAA is based on (1) grade point average (GPA of 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 for all completed undergraduate courses, or courses completed in the last 2 years of undergraduate study, or a GPA of 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 for all courses in the major field of study, or required courses in the major field completed in the last 2 years of undergraduate study; (2) class standing (applicants must be in the upper third of their graduating class in their college, university or major subdivision; or (3) honor society membership (applicants must have been a member of a national scholastic honor society other than freshman honor societies).

5. You must pass a urine drug test: tentative selectees for this position will be required to submit to a urine drug screen for illegal substances prior to appointment. This position is designated for testing for illegal drug use; after hiring, incumbents are subject to random testing. In addition to drug screening, candidates must meet specific medical and physical requirements.

6. You must be younger than 40 at the time of selection. The limitation may be waived for applicants who are presently in Federal civilian law enforcement positions covered under the special retirement provisions of P.L. 100-238, or who have been in such positions in the past.

7. You must appear before an oral interview panel and demonstrate that you possess the abilities and other characteristics important to Border Patrol Agent positions. Among these are interpersonal skills, judgment, and problem-solving abilities.

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The Border Patrol Agent Hiring Process

Step 1
Apply by Internet – You must register for the written test for the Border Patrol Agent position during the open period. You must register for the written test online. The website address is available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week during the open period. Based on your responses to the questions, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will determine if you meet the basic qualifications for the BPA position. If you meet the minimum qualifications, you will be scheduled for the written test.

Step 2
Schedule the Written Test – Scheduling of the written test is done during the on-line registration process. As soon as you have registered and have been scheduled for the written test, you will be able to print your test admission notice which will contain the date, location, and time for the written test. You will be given a UserID and password after you have successfully registered for the written test. If you need to reprint your test admission notice, print a study guide, or reschedule yourself into another test session you will need to go to ( USA Test Manager ) , log in using your UserID and password, click on “Border Patrol Agent” (listed below “Application”) and select the appropriate choice (Contact Information or Study Guide or Reschedule My Exam), to obtain this information and print it. If you forget your UserID/password, you will need to go to ( USA Test Manager ) and click on “forgot UserID and password”.

We believe that proper test preparation is essential for the successful candidate and suggest that you take time to carefully read the study guide. If you want to get started, you may download the guide from our website.

Prepare for the Written Test
We suggest that you review the study guides before taking the test.

Preparation Manual for the U.S. Border Patrol Test – This manual will familiarize you with the U.S. Border Patrol Logical Reasoning Test, the Spanish Language Proficiency Test, and the Artificial Language Test (ALT), and will give you a chance to study sample questions and explanations for the correct answers to each question.

Sample Test for the Entry-Level U.S. Border Patrol Logical Reasoning Test – This diagnostic assessment will help you prepare for the Logical Reasoning Test (LRT) by identifying your strengths and weaknesses on several of the components of the LRT.

The test itself takes about 4 1/2 hours and contains 3 sections: Logical reasoning skills; Spanish language or, if you don’t speak Spanish, an Artificial Language Test that predicts your ability to learn Spanish; and an assessment of job-related experiences and achievements. After you have taken the Border Patrol Agent test, you should receive a Notice of Results (NOR) in the mail within 4-6 weeks following the test. These are your test score results.

Step 3
Selection Process – If you pass the written test, your name will be placed on an inventory. The inventory is maintained in score order including veteran’s preference points. Referral for a position is dependent on the scores of the applicants that are available in the inventory when a list is issued. If you are selected, you will be emailed a tentative selection package. That package will explain the further requirements for forms submission, the oral interview with a panel of Border Patrol Agents, medical examination, fitness test, drug test, background investigation, and the second physical fitness test, which all need to be satisfactorily completed before a firm offer of employment can be made.

Step 4
Structured Oral Interview – The Oral Board is a structured interview given by three Border Patrol Agents. The interview consists of situational questions that do not require technical knowledge. The structured interview assesses a candidate’s judgment/decision making, emotional maturity, interpersonal skills, and cooperativeness/sensitivity to the needs of others. These qualities are key to successful performance as a Border Patrol Agent. The oral board is a pass/fail interview. Candidates must receive a “pass” in all areas in order to continue in the hiring process.

Step 5
Pre-Employment Process – In addition to completing step 4, you must also undergo and successfully complete a drug test, medical examination, fitness test, background investigation, and a second physical fitness test. These will be scheduled as soon as possible.

Starting Work
If you successfully complete these steps your name will be placed on a list for a future position. As vacancies become available and your name is reachable (dependant on original selection date order and score order, including veterans’ preference) you will receive a firm offer of employment.

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Spanish TBLT Program

Spanish Language Training enables interns to communicate effectively with those people they will encounter in the field who speak only Spanish. This is a critical element of the job because over 90% of the more than one million undocumented aliens apprehended each year speaks only Spanish.

The Spanish taught at the Border Patrol Academy is very specialized. Our staff provides an 8-week Task-Based Language Training program that is focused on critical Border Patrol-specific tasks. Soon after arriving for 55-days of basic academy training, all students are tested on their language abilities. Those who fall below a benchmark score that has been established by the language training experts and Academy subject matter experts are assigned a Spanish class that will begin upon successful completion of the 55-day program. Proficient Spanish speakers will report directly to their duty stations to begin Post Academy Training.

Students must be able to understand and employ law enforcement-specific language unique to the Border Patrol Agent’s work environment as well as be able to solicit information and use colloquial phrases and idiomatic expressions. Instructors use a wide variety of the most modern methods available in second language acquisition methodology to provide students with an exciting, creative, and challenging course that will enable them to remain safe and effective in the field.

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Driver Training

The Driver Training program is designed to train Border Patrol Agent interns in the safe and efficient operation of motor vehicles. Emphasis is placed on principles and techniques relating to laws of motion, vehicle dynamics and driver response. Under close supervision and guidance, the interns will learn to recognize their personal limitations as well as limitations of the vehicle. The Border Patrol is charged with the prevention of illegal entries in the expanses between the Ports of Entry as well as the apprehension of illegal aliens anywhere within the U.S. The safe operation of patrol vehicles under a variety of extreme conditions is vital to the accomplishment of the Agency’s mission. The Driver Training Department is tasked with providing interns with the necessary skills to become effective border patrol agents.

The following three areas of instruction must be successfully completed in order to graduate from the Border Patrol Academy:

  • Van/Utility Vehicle Operation
  • Skid Control
  • Emergency Response

Once the intern has successfully completed the pass/fail portion of the program, he or she will be given further advanced instruction in the areas of:

  • Pursuit Driving
  • Vehicle Stops (low-risk and high-risk)
  • Night Driving
  • 4×4 Off Road Driving
  • SUV/Van Evasive Driving
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