Selection Process

All steps in this process are mandatory and cannot be rescheduled for any reason. The Selection Process may take six months to a year to complete. We are usually working within a very tight time frame and do not have much, if any, flexibility. Applicants are given as much advance notice as possible regarding upcoming events. Notification is made by email only; applicants must monitor spam/junk folders. Changes to any candidate information should include your Social Security Number to ensure accuracy and should be done via email. Personal information changes are not accepted by telephone. See the Contact Us page for information on contacting the Merit Board.

ISP_Pictures_035.jpgThe Selection Process is initiated after the Merit Board receives notice from the Illinois State Police that a cadet class has been scheduled. The process consists of the following steps:

1. Physical Fitness Inventory Test (PFIT)

The Fitness Test is a four-item, pass or fail test.  Click here to read a breakdown of the four item test and view a video demonstrating each item on the test.     


2. Background Investigation/Review 

A complete background investigation, including education, personal and employment references, traffic, criminal and credit history is completed. Once all background information has been compiled, a committee, comprised of a Merit Board member and an Illinois State Police Colonel will meet to review this information to determine which applicants advance to oral interviews. Polygraph testing may be required at this, or any other stage of the Selection Process.


3. Oral Interview 

The Oral Interview consists of two parts.  The first part consists of an interview with a Merit Board member and an Illinois State Police Colonel.  The second part includes a written assignment and an oral presentation to a panel of ISP officers.  An individual Oral Interview takes approximately one and a half hours to complete. Applicants are ranked after this step of the process.


4. Certification

An appropriate number of applicants needed for the cadet class is certified to the Director of the Illinois State Police, and scheduled for a medical, psychological examination and drug screening. The exams are administered by the Illinois State Police.