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New York State Police Recruitment Center

Selection Process - How to Become a Trooper

Marching in parade The selection process is job-related and competitive in nature. It is designed to determine a candidate's potential for successful performance in the NYSP Academy, and as a State Trooper. No prior police experience is required. The first step toward achieving your goal of becoming a State Trooper is the completion of our entrance exam application.

After applying, the complete selection process consists of a:

  1. Written Examination
    Subsequent to passing the examination . . .
  2. Physical Ability Test (PAT)
    Subsequent to a conditional offer of appointment . . .
  3. Psychological Evaluation
  4. Background Investigation and Polygraph Test
  5. Medical Examination

Candidates who appear for further processing will be subject to drug screening at various phases of the selection process.

Eligibility List

Following administration of the written examination, an eligibility list will be established which will remain in effect for a minimum of one year and a maximum of four years. Candidates will be ranked in order of written scores, plus any applicable veteran's credit.

As new trooper positions are authorized, sufficient candidates from the eligibility list will be notified to appear for processing through the remaining phases of the selection procedure.

A Trooper measures the height of a candidate

Candidate Processing Weekend

Candidate processing is typically conducted during a weekend at the New York State Police Academy, in Albany, NY, approximately six months prior to the start of an Academy class.

During candidate processing weekend, candidates will participate in a series of testing and review phases that may include, but are not limited to: college transcript review; physical ability test; vision test; hearing test; fingerprinting; and document review (background questionnaire, driver's license, birth certificate, military records, etc.).

Physical Ability Test


The Trooper Candidate Physical Ability Test (PAT) is typically conducted on a Saturday during a Candidate Processing Weekend, about six months prior to the beginning of a NYSP Academy class.

The test measures a candidate's ability to fulfill the essential job functions of the position. The candidate must perform three (3) physical tests, each which are evaluated on a pass-fail basis.

Candidates are invited to participate in the PAT portion of the selection process according to their rank based upon the score they achieved on the written examination.

Conditional Offer of Appointment

Sit ups

Candidates who successfully complete the Physical Ability Test are offered an appointment to the position of NYS Trooper, which is conditional upon:

Psychological Evaluation

The Psychological Evaluation, given to candidates who successfully complete the Physical Ability Test, consists of:

Background Investigation and Polygraph Examination

To help determine character and fitness and to verify information provided by the applicant, each potential appointee will be the subject of:


Candidates who receive a satisfactory evaluation on the background investigation and meet all other administrative requirements will be considered eligible for appointment.

Medical Examination

Approximately one month prior to appointment to an Academy class, medical examinations will be conducted at the New York State Police Academy in Albany, NY, by a NYSP Division Physician. Each potential appointee will be required to authorize access to mental health records.

The Division Physician will examine the candidate's medical condition and general ability to perform the essential related job functions. Elements of the examination involve candidates hearing, dental condition, height/weight proportions and visual acuity.

If the Division Physician should recommend that a candidate is unable to perform the essential functions of the position, the conditional offer of appointment may be revoked by the Superintendent and the candidate will be disqualified.

The selection process has been developed through analysis of the Trooper position.

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