CBP Assessments

Prepare for the CBP recruitment process with tailor-made practice materials.

Careers at CBP

CBP stands for Customs and Border Protection.

With more than 60,000 employees, CBP is one of the world’s largest law enforcement organizations. Its main duty is to keep terrorists and other threats at bay, and to ensure lawful travel and trade.

In practice this involves border control, implementing and overseeing national security, disrupting terrorist threats and organizations, and facilitating lawful trade and travel.

The CBP headquarters are located in Washington DC.

Types of roles at CBP

There are a huge range of different roles available to candidates of all experience levels and backgrounds.

First of all, it’s worth looking at the broad career categories where you can find different opportunities at CBP. These include:

  • Air and Marine Operations
  • Office of Trade
  • Border Patrol
  • Office of Professional Responsibility

You can also search for roles by relevant experience level. As well as careers, there are also opportunities for veterans and for students and graduates.

How To Get Hired At CBP

CBP cites its main mission as protecting the country. And they’re looking for people with the passion, dedication and ability to do just that.

There are a few general requirements to work at CBP such as having a valid driver’s license, being allowed to carry a firearm and being a U.S. resident for at least three years, but the CBP are also an inclusive and diverse employer who are actively seeking a variety of different people.

The core CBP values are vigilance, service and integrity.

CBP Application Process

The CBP application process is incredibly rigorous.

Not only does CBP want to hire the best people for the job, but they also need to ensure prospective candidates do not take drugs, are medically and physically fit, are able to carry a firearm, have a valid driver’s license and pass the mandatory polygraph test.

CBP Online Application

To begin the process, you’ll need to complete and submit your online application on USAJOBS.

You’ll be asked to share your resume, relevant transcripts and any further documents that prove your age and experience.

To check your application has been received, it’s a good idea to log back into your USAJOBS account — if you’ve successfully applied you’ll be able to see an application date.

The CBP resume aid is a great tool to use to ensure you’ve provided the best possible application.

The CBP Hiring Center will review your application and progress you to the next stage if you meet all the criteria.

CBP Entrance Exam

The first proper stage of the CBP application process is the entrance exam.

The entrance exam is split into two parts. The first part is the online candidate experience record which can be taken in the comfort of your own home and should take less than an hour to complete.

To complete the second part of the test, you’ll be invited to schedule a slot at your local test center. Here, you’ll need to work through the logical reasoning, numerical reasoning and writing skills sections.

To move on to the next stage in the process, you’ll need to score more than 70.

CBP Background Check

Every candidate applying to the CBP must take part in a background check.

You’ll need to fill out a questionnaire to kickstart the process. Then, as well as a preliminary vetting, you can expect a fuller investigation before the final ruling.

CBP Medical Exam

As well as examining your suitability through background checks and reasoning tests, the CBP will also ask you to take a medical exam so they can be confident you’re physically fit enough to meet the demands of the role.

The full medical examination is also a chance for you to declare any conditions or diseases that could interfere with your duties.

Your assessor will examine your individual case thoroughly before deciding whether you can move on to the next stage, if you require more testing, or if your medical health, unfortunately, rules you out of the process.

CBP Fitness Tests

Everyone working at CBP will have been put through their paces in the fitness test. This is essential to ensure employees don’t put their safety, or the safety of others, at risk by not having the required fitness levels to meet the basic requirements of the role.

You can find more information here on what you need to do, but overall it involves doing 20 sit-ups in one minute, 12 push-ups in one minute and proving you can complete 110 12” steps per minute, for five minutes.

CBP Interview

The interview at this stage of the process is competency-based, so it’s essential you respond to each question with clear, concise examples of how you've demonstrated a particular knowledge or skill before.

The questions cover a variety of themes and topics including your decision-making skills, judgment, emotional maturity, interpersonal skills, cooperation, and emotional sensitivity and intelligence.

CBP Polygraph Exam

Most candidates will also be asked to take part in a polygraph exam.

Although this can be nerve-wracking, if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about. Try to relax and answer the questions as honestly as possible.

The polygraph exam can last between four and six hours, and covers questions on national security, as well as on the information and answers you’ve provided on your forms and as part of the application process thus far.

Every polygraph test is taken through a quality control review afterward to ensure the results are as fair and accurate as possible.

CBP Drug Test

Each candidate will also be asked to take a random drug test at some point in the application process.

A failure to comply, or a failure on the test itself will result in an instant disqualification from the process.

Tips To Get Hired At CBP

1. Ensure the CBP is for you

The CBP process is incredibly rigorous and thorough, and the job itself is demanding (while also being incredibly rewarding). That’s why it’s essential to read through the job description, application process and day-to-day realities of the work and really evaluate whether it’s the role for you.

2. Answer honestly

At each stage of the process, it’s essential you answer every question as honestly as you can.

The CBP application is incredibly thorough as national security is at stake, and there’s little to no chance you’ll be able to get through it if you’re hiding things. Honesty saves everyone’s time.

3. Do your research

Whether it’s writing a strong application, successfully practicing mock tests before completing the assessments or getting ready for the physical — research, practice and preparation are essential at every stage if you want to pass the CBP application process.

Sample CBP Assessments question Test your knowledge!

Score: /5

A briefing document uses the following sentences: 'New policies will target contraband goods. These measures aim to substantially reduce the influx of counterfeit merchandise.' What can be concluded from the passage?

  • The new policies will be replaced by more effective measures soon.
  • Counterfeit merchandise is considered contraband.
  • New policies include an increase in taxes on all imported goods.
  • The influx of counterfeit merchandise is currently low.

Imagine you are reviewing surveillance reports. If all reports that mention 'unusual activity' also mention 'security check,' but some reports with 'unlawful trade' do not mention 'security check,' which of the following must be true?

  • Reports with 'unlawful trade' always mention 'unusual activity'.
  • Reports that do not mention 'security check' never mention 'unusual activity'.
  • All reports mentioning 'security check' deal with 'unlawful trade'.
  • Some reports with 'unusual activity' may not mention 'unlawful trade'.

In screening imported goods, an officer finds that the price of a batch of 70 units is listed at $3,150. If the price per unit is discounted by 15% due to a trade agreement, how much is the total price for the batch?

  • $2,677.50
  • $2,850.00
  • $3,150.00
  • $2,500.00

In reviewing a written statement from an individual claiming refugee status, which of the following conclusions is strongly supported by the statement that 'I fear for my life and the safety of my family due to ongoing civil unrest and targeted persecution in my home country'?

  • The individual has a family.
  • The individual does not believe the conditions will improve shortly.
  • The individual's home country is experiencing economic difficulties.
  • The individual is seeking financial assistance.

When cross-referencing entry logs, you notice that when there is a full moon, there are 10% more entries recorded than on other nights. Assuming there are roughly 5 full moon nights in a given interval and an average of 600 entries per night, how many entries should be expected during these nights?

  • 3,300
  • 3,000
  • 660
  • 3,600

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Psychometric Tests was an invaluable resource to ace a multitude of different pre-interview screening assessments.

Natasha used Psychometric Tests in preparation for her interviews at Think Ahead


CBP Assessments Tips

Know Your ABCs: Always Be Calm!

Staying calm during your CBP test can make a huge difference. Anxiety can cloud judgment and affect your performance. Find calming techniques that work for you, such as deep breathing exercises, meditating for a few minutes before starting, or visualizing success. Remember, a clear head leads to clearer answers!

Understand the Territory

Before you take your CBP practice test, get familiar with what you're likely to face. While we can't give you the exact questions (that would be cheating, wouldn’t it?), Psychometric Tests provides a comprehensive overview of the typical test structure and question formats. Familiarity breeds confidence!

Real-World Practice

Theory is one thing, practice is another. On Psychometric Tests, you'll have access to realistic practice exams tailored for CBP candidates. It's your time to apply what you've learned in a controlled, test-like environment. Learning by doing is often the best way to ensure you're prepared for the real deal.

Keep an Eye on the Clock

Timing is key during these tests. While practicing, pay attention to the time you spend on each question. It's a balance between being thorough and being swift. Our practice exams are timed, helping you get a feel for the rhythm of the test and improving your time management skills.

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CBP Assessments FAQs

How long does the CBP recruitment process take?

The CBP recruitment process is incredibly rigorous, and as a result, takes an average of 300 days from start to finish. However, this is dependent on the role you’re applying for and various other factors.

Who can apply for a job at the CBP?

Anyone can apply for a role at CBP, there are just a few key criteria you’ll need to meet to be considered.

You need to have a valid driver’s license, have been living in the U.S. for a minimum of three years, be allowed to carry a firearm, and be entered into the selection process before you’re age 40.

How can I prepare for the entrance exam?

You can prepare for the entrance exam by taking past practice tests in writing skills, logical reasoning and numerical reasoning.

The more you practice, the easier you're likely to find the questions on the day, and the more confident you’ll be moving through the test.

Can I fail a polygraph exam?

Yes, you can fail the polygraph exam.

Anyone who does fail will unfortunately not be able to proceed with their application for a role in CBP.