Individuals taking the 911 dispatcher test should expect a two-part process that involves a written examination and typing test. The written portion of the test is called The Dispatcher Selection Tool and consists of questions that measure a potential dispatcher's cognitive abilities. Test questions measure cognitive skills such as deductive reasoning, oral comprehension and information ordering. The test measures inductive reasoning capabilities and the test taker's ability to comprehend written language.
Due to the serious nature of emergency calls, 911 dispatcher candidates must demonstrate the ability to reason and make quick decisions. Deductive reasoning test questions are designed to deduce how a candidate determines what strategies to use to assist in saving lives. Inductive reasoning skills are needed when piecing together multiple bits of information. Oral comprehension test questions address a person's ability to understand the information being given verbally over the phone. Information ordering is the ability to prioritize bits of information gathered from one or more sources and put each piece of information into proper order.
Writing comprehension questions determine a candidate's ability to understand basic English language in written form, and cover punctuation, vocabulary and grammatical sentence structure. Emergency dispatchers must also demonstrate they can express thoughts clearly in written English using the same grammatical rules as writing comprehension. An online typing test is usually required, and candidates must score high on accuracy to pass.