The California Highway Patrol (CHP) written exam will demand that you show you have certain acquired knowledge in writing and reading comprehension, plus the skills necessary to apply that knowledge correctly.

The first portion, the Writing Skills Test measures clarity, vocabulary, and spelling.  Seems pretty straightforward — identify clearly written sentences, choose words that match the meaning of other words, and choose correctly spelled words.  These three sections all contain multiple choice questions — piece of cake, right?

Wrong!  Before you even begin to study for this test, you need to train yourself to focus on each task, each question, as you come to it.  Multiple choice questions can lure you into scanning mode — reading the question quickly and scanning your choices for a quick response.  Do not fall into this mental trap.  Scanning means we look for key words or phrases that would normally trigger a correct answer to a dilemma or problem.  However, in this case, the test makers use this generalized approach to intelligence gathering against you by offering answers that, at first glance, appear to be correct.  A closer look though reveals that an important qualifying word is missing — and the answer is wrong.

You can boost your score on the Writing Clarity section by studying the elements of writing that qualify statements and sentence information, such as modifiers, references, and sentence boundaries.  If you are shaking your head again, you need to find a study guide that will explain these qualifiers, teach you how to identify them with confidence, and provide you with practice questions.

The Vocabulary section is simple and to the point.  Choose the word with the meaning that is closest to the underlined word in the test sentence.  This portion of the test relies most on your acquired knowledge — the vocabulary you are already familiar with and use regularly — and studying consists mostly of refreshing that knowledge.  Since a dictionary isn’t exactly light reading, a better preparation would be to find and use CHP written practice tests.  If you hit a brick wall question, use each of the answer choices in the same test question/sentence and go with the one that makes sense to you.  If two words seem to be options, try to determine what the difference is between those two words first; then try using each in the test sentence.  One will sound clearer to you than the other — this is your answer choice.

The Spelling section demands concentration and staying on target.  While this may seem the easiest to some test-takers, it is also the section that trips up the overconfident.  You are tired, stressed, have pored through sentences and word meanings, and now all you have to do is pick the right spelling of one word in a sentence.  The simplicity of it can be deceptive. You may have the tendency to relax, to fall into scanning mode, or to not follow through completely on marking your answer.

This is not the time to let up your concentration!  Take a few deep breaths to oxygenate and refresh yourself, and then dive into this section. Focus on the sentence first, and then the spelling choices. Make your correct choice decision, focus on the letter assigned to your answer, and ensure that this is the letter you mark on your test scoring sheet.

Nothing is worse than missing a score because although you knew the right spelling, you lost your focus at the last moment and marked down the wrong letter.

The key failure phrase throughout the first portion of the written test is:  you lost your focus. 

Replace that phrase with:  you never lost your focus — and enjoy the sweet taste of success!

Hundreds and hundreds of applicants fail the CHP Officer written exam each year. Can you afford to be one of them? To learn how to ace the CHP Exam visit… CHP Exam Preparation

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