Written Assessment Exam Tips – QLD Police Practice Tests

How to Pass the Written Assessment Exam

There are many approaches to preparing to write your essay for this section of the Written Assessment exam. 

Outlined below is my approach, which looks to group information into 3-4 groups, which I then write a paragraph for each.

Written Assessment Question Example

INFO TO BASE YOUR REPORT ON:
Nuclear Energy
• The former Soviet Union was the first world power to use nuclear energy to produce electrical power in 1954.
• Around 6% of the world’s energy and 14% of the world’s electricity is produced by nuclear power.
• Worldwide, there are over 400 commercial nuclear reactors producing energy for 31 countries.
• Nuclear reactors are used to power some military submarines and aircraft carriers and even powers Mars rovers
• In the entire history of nuclear energy production, there have only been 3 major disasters – Three Mile Island, Fukushima, and Chernobyl. In the past 25 years, there have been over 10 major disasters with fossil fuel energy – the largest of which was the BP oil spill.
• Nuclear reactors produce radioactive waste which can be difficult to dispose of safely.
• Nuclear power plants produce power by boiling water to create steam that spins a turbine. The water is heated by a process called fission, which makes heat by splitting apart uranium atoms inside a nuclear reactor core.
• Nuclear energy comes from uranium, a nonrenewable resource that must be mined.
• Every 18 to 24 months, a power plant must shut down to remove its spent uranium fuel, which becomes
radioactive waste, and then replaced with new uranium.
• Nuclear fuel is extremely dense. Because of this, the amount of used nuclear fuel is not as big as you think. All of the used nuclear fuel produced by the U.S. nuclear energy industry over the last 60 years could fit on a football field at a depth of less than 10 yards.
• Nuclear power plants do not emit greenhouse gases while generating electricity.

Supportive table Written Assessment Question - QLD Police Practice Tests
Support information Written Assessment Question - QLD Police Practice Tests
Supportive Pie Chart Written Assessment Question - QLD Police Practice Tests

Step 1: Get Clear on Your Topic

In this case, it is Nuclear Energy. We have four sources of information; 
– Bullet points
– Table of countries use of nuclear energy
– Bar graph on energy reliability in the US
– Pie chart of the death rates from different types of energy

Step 2: Organise Content into Groups (Most important part!)

I am looking to organise the content into 3-4 groups, which I will then write a paragraph each on.

The bullet points contain the most relevant information to do this task.

Scroll up and see if you can find any groups several bullet points can go under.

For example:

Group 1: Summary / Overview / Usage

• The former Soviet Union was the first world power to use nuclear energy to produce electrical power in 1954.
• Around 6% of the world’s energy and 14% of the world’s electricity is produced by nuclear power.
• Worldwide, there are over 400 commercial nuclear reactors producing energy for 31 countries.
• Nuclear reactors are used to power some military submarines and aircraft carriers and even powers Mars rovers

Group 2: Safety

• In the entire history of nuclear energy production, there have only been 3 major disasters – Three Mile Island, Fukushima, and Chernobyl. In the past 25 years, there have been over 10 major disasters with fossil fuel energy – the largest of which was the BP oil spill.

Group 3: How Nuclear Energy Works

• Nuclear reactors produce radioactive waste which can be difficult to dispose of safely.
• Nuclear power plants produce power by boiling water to create steam that spins a turbine. The water is heated by a process called fission, which makes heat by splitting apart uranium atoms inside a nuclear reactor core.
• Nuclear energy comes from uranium, a nonrenewable resource that must be mined.
• Every 18 to 24 months, a power plant must shut down to remove its spent uranium fuel, which becomes radioactive waste, and then replaced with new uranium.
• Nuclear fuel is extremely dense. Because of this, the amount of used nuclear fuel is not as big as you think. All of the used nuclear fuel produced by the U.S. nuclear energy industry over the last 60 years could fit on a football field at a depth of less than 10 yards.
• Nuclear power plants do not emit greenhouse gases while generating electricity.

Once you have the bullet points into groups, you can then add the graphs & tables into the groups, or create new ones.

For example:

– Table of countries use of nuclear energy = Summary / Overview / Usage 
– Bar graph on energy reliability in the US = Summary OR a new category, Reliability
– Pie chart of the death rates from different types of energy = Safety

Of course, you may group content into different categories, that’s good, just pick 3-4 different ones.

Step 3: Plan out what you will write

Once you have 3-4 groups, you can then focus more on what you will write. Time is short in this assessment, so you don’t have too much time for this step.

For example, there are a lot of bullet points on how nuclear energy works. Do we need to use all of that copy? No. 

Make sure to include a short introduction sentence or two and if possible, a summary sentence at the end.

I don’t have specific advice here in planning out what to write specifically. My approach was to make it up as I went along. This works for me, but may not work for you.

If you don’t know what to do, then  practice on the questions from this website to find out what works for you. Keep re-writing your response until you feel confident with a strategy that works for you.

Step 4: Start writing!

Below is my written response:

Electricity generated by nuclear energy supplies electricity for many of the worlds largest countries and is easily the most reliable source of energy available. Although its use is controversial due to several major disasters, nuclear energy is far safer to use than fossil fuels.

How nuclear energy works
Energy is produced in nuclear power plants by a process called fission, which splits atoms. This process heats up water, which creates steam, which then generates electricity by spinning a turbine. The atoms used in this process are uranium atoms, a nonrenewable resource that must be mined. Nuclear power plants must be shut down after 18-24 months to remove their spent uranium fuel, which becomes radioactive waste.

Usage of nuclear energy
Nuclear power was first used to produce electricity in 1954. Since then, over 400 nuclear reactors supply electricity for over 30 countries, generating 6% of the world’s energy supply and 14% of its electricity. Besides providing electricity to countries, nuclear energy also powers military navies and even the Mars rovers.

Europe has the most countries producing nuclear energy. Currently, France produces the most amount of electricity from nuclear energy in the world, with over 75% of its requirements being met by nuclear. Followed by Hungary, Slovakia and Ukraine with 50%. Outside of Europe, South Korea and Japan produce the most with 30% and 25% respectively followed by the USA and UK with 20%.

Nuclear energy reliability
Nuclear energy is the most reliable source of energy. For example, in America, Nuclear power plants operate at full capacity more than 90% of the time. Fossil fuels like natural gas and coal are only reliable 55%-45% of the time respectively with renewable energy sources such as wind and solar being the least reliable with a reliability rating of 35%-25% respectively.

Safety record
Although the recent Fukushima nuclear disaster severely damaged the image of nuclear power, in terms of the amount of lives lost among different energy types, nuclear is clearly the safest form of energy. Brown coal, coal, and oil kill far more people that nuclear has ever done. In the past 65 years of nuclear energy production, there have only been three major disasters, compared to fossil fuel energy with over ten major disasters in the past 25 years.

Nuclear energy doesn’t have the best image, but it remains a reliable, safe and large source of electricity for many countries around the world.

Looking for Extra Written Assessment AFP Practice Exams?​

Check out the 3 full-size Written Assessment practice exams that can be completed online or printed off. 

Each exam contains the same type of questions found in the entrance exam with full explanations for each question provided. If you are worried about this section, the best way to improve is to practice. Start today.

Good luck with the prep!

If you would like extra help on a question, drop me an email.

For further QLD Police Practice Test Tips:
Abstract Reasoning
Numeracy Skills
Literacy Skills