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Students' Column

Preparing for Success Throughout The Police Officer Application Process



How to become a police officer

It’s no secret that the majority of people will fail the police officer selection process. After all, working as a cop is no easy job and with the huge amount of responsibility riding on the police, selecting the right recruits is absolutely essential.

If you’re thinking of becoming a police officer, you’re up against some strong competition. Every year, hundreds of people apply to various police departments and the majority of them will be rejected. If working as a cop has always been your dream, then that’s the last thing that you want to happen to you.

The good news is that by putting in the work, understanding what’s expected of you and making sure that you shine out from the rest as an applicant to take notice of, you can improve your chances of being accepted and getting started with initial police officer training as soon as possible.

If you’ve just started out down your pathway of becoming a cop, you’re going to want to do the following before you even apply:

Study Something That Demonstrates Your Commitment to the Field:

Sure, you don’t need a degree in being a police officer to work as one, but having a qualification behind you that demonstrates your interest in, and commitment to, the field can certainly help you stand out throughout the application process. Some of the job degree options that you could go for in order to stand out as an applicant and be in with a better chance of advancing your law enforcement career in the future include:

  • Social Sciences degrees: Psychology, Criminology or Sociology, for example
  • Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement
  • Law Enforcement and Public Safety
  • Law
  • Foreign Languages
  • Finance or Accounting
  • Computer Science

Check out this post from Wilfrid Laurier University to find out more about the best degrees for an aspiring police officer to take.

Understand What Makes a Good Cop:

When you understand what recruiters are looking for in applicants, you’re in a better position to demonstrate to them that you have got what it takes. After all, they are looking for individuals that clearly show that they have the makings of a good police officer.

  1. Being Emotionally Aware: There are various ways in which you can be emotionally aware. Relating to others, understanding their difficulties, and showing empathy are just a few. It’s likely that you will be given role-play activities designed to demonstrate your emotional awareness.
  2. Taking Ownership: As a police officer, it’s essential that you are able to take responsibility and ownership for problems. For example, if you turn up to a bar and there’s a fight breaking out, you’re going to be responsible for resolving the situation – after all, it’s your job.
  3. Collaboration and Teamwork: To work successfully, police officers must be part of a close-knit team. You’ll be working with lots of other people both inside and outside of the police department, whether it’s the other emergency services, members of the public, or local authorities.
  4. Critical Thinking: During the application process, your critical thinking skills are going to be tested a lot. As a cop, you’ll need to be able to critically analyze and evaluate situations in order to make the best decisions on your feet. You need to be able to demonstrate that you can look at the information you have with an open mind and be innovative in order to make the right calls.

Demonstrate Your Skills and Qualities:

Throughout the application process, it’s important that you involve the demonstration of the skills and qualities you possess – the ones that’ll make you a great cop – in everything that you do. Be impartial; it’s all about understanding people’s needs and taking them into account when you make decisions. Demonstrate that you are able to do this, whether you’re going through group interviews and role-playing scenarios, or even filling out an application form.

You should also demonstrate that you’re able to treat everybody in a fair and respectful manner; this is absolutely crucial when working for the police today. Recruiters will be looking for you to demonstrate this at every step of the process, whether it’s in your application form responses, interviews, or assessment centers.

Nailing the Interview:

The interview really gives you a chance to shine one-to-one with the recruiters and demonstrate your skills, experience, and knowledge. So, getting it right is absolutely crucial. During the interview process, answer questions with evidence-based responses using the STAR technique, which stands for:

  • S- Situation
  • T- Task
  • A- Action
  • R- Result

For example, you might be asked to describe a time where you were able to solve a difficult problem when under pressure, and you’ll need to describe what situation you were in and what you did.

  • Situation: Explain what the situation was that you had to deal with
  • Task: Explain what you had to do in order to achieve the end goal
  • Action: Tell the interviewer what action or actions you took
  • Result: Describe the result that you got – always choose a situation in which the end result was positive following the actions of yourself and others

Some questions that you might expect to be asked include:

  1. Describe a time when you have supported a vulnerable person or group
  2. Describe a time when you assisted somebody to overcome a difficult problem or situation.
  3. Describe a time when you have taken responsibility for solving a difficult problem.
  4. Describe when you have used your initiative in a situation.

You should also be prepared for more probing questions, such as:

  1. How did you feel in that situation?
  2. Would you do something differently if you were in the same situation again?
  3. Do you feel that you coped well with the situation?
  4. Why do you think that the other person responded or reacted that way?

These questions are all designed to get answers about your personality, so you need to reflect and analyze your performance. It’s a good idea to go through some mock police interviews so that you’re fully prepared.

Getting into the police is very competitive, so make sure that you’re prepared to stand out and shine in the applicant pool.

Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Students' Column

How Students Are Learning To Focus Better



Become a student

Being a student can be tough for a lot of people, and it is certainly something which can often prove to be difficult to do right. One of the main issues that are always going to be happening for students everywhere is that it can be hard for a lot of students to focus on their work for that long. However, this is vital if someone is going to be able to put their all into their work and get the results they are looking for. Here are some of the ways that students are now learning to focus a little better on their studies.

Putting The Phone Down

In many respects, the smartphone is the enemy of concentration – and a lot of students these days are starting to realize it. The simple act of putting the phone down for a while can dratically help anyone to concentrate better and focus on what they need to, so that is something that students are doing more effectively now. It can also help to turn it off or even put it somewhere far away while studying, such as in the other room. This is a great and very important way to focus better right now for students everywhere.

Using Supplements

There are many supplements out there in the marketplace now that are designed to help with concentration and focus. Of course, it can often prove difficult to know which of these are actually worth taking and work well, and which might not be quite so worthwhile. One good example of a supplement that does seem to work well for improving focus is CBD oils such as those at CBDistillery. These can often seem to be highly effective, and they are definitely something that students can consider in order to try and focus a little better each day.

Getting More Sleep

Sleep is a vital factor in how well a person can concentrate. Someone who is not getting enough sleep is going to find that this can drastically affect their ability to focus, so this is another area that many students are starting to look into more and more. In order to get more sleep, however, they might need to make many changes, and it’s something that for some students can simply escape them for quite a long time. However, it is worth pursuing for anyone who wants to be able to focus better on their work.

Setting Up A Distraction-Free Space

Distractions can be all too easy to come across, and this is one of the major ways in which someone is going to often struggle to concentrate properly on their studies. However, the simple solution to this problem is to set up a distraction-free space, which is what a lot of students are now doing, and this does seem to be incredibly effective for a lot of people. So that too is another really important thing that students can attempt in order to concentrate more, and it’s looking like more people are doing this.

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Students' Column

8 Tips On How To Be The Best Teacher



Being a teacher in a day and age when teachers are constantly being attacked for their inability to educate students can be quite a daunting prospect. Even when teachers try hard, they may encounter parents who complain about what they’re teaching or how they’re teaching it. In any case, it’s always best to learn from those who have been in the trenches before you.

Here Are 8 Tips On How To Be The Best Teacher

1. Get To Know Your Students

One of the best ways that you can improve your teaching is by knowing who your students are and what they want. However, this takes time; it’s something you build through the school year. So begin by getting to know their names as soon as possible – then start learning other things about them: interests, background, ambitions, etc. 

This will help you plan lessons that meet their individual needs and wants, resulting in a more enjoyable experience for both you and them. A good rule of thumb is to ensure you take part in a cpr certification course online, as you never know when it might come in handy.

2. Find Out How Each Student Learns

No two people learn in exactly the same way. Therefore, you should find out how each of your students learns to understand how they absorb information from your lessons. 

For example, some people prefer listening while others prefer reading, some learn best from demonstrations, and others need to see a diagram or image. This will help you plan your lessons so that everyone has a chance to learn.

3. Encourage Your Students To Ask Questions

Students often fail to ask questions after a class because they don’t want to ‘look stupid’ or embarrass themselves in front of the rest of the class. Try to encourage your students to ask questions by emphasizing that there’s no such thing as a silly question – the only stupid question is the one that wasn’t asked!

4. Encourage Group Work Between Your Students

Group work can be an excellent way of helping your students learn. Not only does it help those who find it hard to participate in class, but it also helps those who are more confident as they have to explain themselves and defend their reasoning. With a bit of guidance from you, many classes will soon grow closer as friends and work better together as teammates.

5. Give Regular Feedback On Performance

Giving regular feedback on performance during lessons will help show you what areas each student needs extra tuition in. It will also allow you to give quick guidance on how they can improve their performance next time – saving valuable lesson time.

6. Encourage Your Students To Help Each Other

Utilize peer-learning by encouraging your students to help one another – this not only helps them prepare for the real world but also saves you time when planning lessons. For example, if you need students to research various facts and figures, why not set up groups of two or three? They can then share ideas and resources to complete the work in less time.

7. Reward Good Performance

Everyone responds well to positive feedback, and with careful planning, you can use this in your teaching style to encourage good performance from your students. For example, if someone is doing particularly well in class, why not surprise them with a special reward? It doesn’t need to cost money; examples could include letting them eat lunch first or giving them some extra playtime at break time.

8. Keep Your Class Active

One of the most important things about being a successful teacher is ensuring that your students are actively taking part in all aspects of each lesson. If you feel that some lessons have become too passive, try to inject more energy into your lessons by making them more interactive. This will keep students interested, and they’ll retain more of what you’re teaching.

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Students' Column

Is Writing An Easy Field To Break Into?



For many of us, the idea of becoming a writer is something that we nurture from adolescence, our love of reading dovetailing with a desire to be heard. It is one of the most romanticized career ideas – just think about how many films and TV shows revolve around one or more writers – and it’s no surprise that student newspapers and magazines are often among the most popular extracurricular activities included on college applications.

What separates writing from many other careers is that there is not always an evident career path. Those of us who dream of one day writing for the newspaper we read scrupulously, or of signing a deal for our first novel, can end up quite disillusioned by the reality of trying to get paid as a writer. And while we’d love to think that it’s not about the money, there’s a great deal of truth in the motto that has become a mantra for so many writers: “I can’t pay my rent with exposure”.

Do you need to secure a regular writing job to make it a career?

If you dream of becoming a writer, you probably have an inspiration, someone who made you want to pick up a laptop and share your ideas for the first time. Chances are, these icons are individuals who can make a very comfortable living from a column per week thanks to a tenured slot at an established media institution, and they’ve “paid their dues”. That’s something that’s getting harder to do, as local newspapers are struggling to hold up in the digital age – making it harder to get a starting job in the industry.

Is freelancing a reasonable alternative?

The idea of being a freelancer can be attractive initially – if you’re not tied to any one media group, you won’t be committed to an editorial line – but it is tricky and guaranteed income is hard to find. It is a good idea to cultivate regular clients. You’ll learn their payment patterns, have the ability to invoice them in one touch through your accounting software, and can establish yourself as a reliable writer. It may not have been how you pictured freelancing, but a good client is worth cultivating – and they may well mention you to other potential clients.

Is starting your own outlet a realistic option?

Writing is a competitive world, and as a freelancer you will always be fighting with other freelancers for what can often be a small amount of work. You may prefer instead to take matters into your own hands by starting your own project. Often, this will begin with a blog; there are ways and means to monetize such a site, but you’ll need followers to make it happen. If you take this approach, social media is also going to be pivotal. Talented writers can still get read these days – and it can lead to higher-level recognition and a stable writing job – but there is still going to be a grind and you’ll need to have the discipline to produce content that is both interesting and regular.

The truth of the matter is that if you want to become rich and have a comfortable living doing something you love, writing is a sector that is filled with potential obstacles and it can be frequently disappointing. However, if writing is what you love, then there are ways and means of going about it – as long as you keep cultivating contacts, it can be a rewarding career.

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