The Secret Service Assessments

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

Careers In The Secret Service

As a federal law enforcement agency, the United States Secret Service is responsible for two primary duties - the protection of past and present political figures and their families, as well as visiting heads of state, and the investigation of financial crimes against the US.

It employs more than 6,500 people, from administrative staff to officers in its uniformed division. Perhaps the most coveted role with the Secret Service, however, is that of a special agent.

Types Of Secret Service Jobs

As a Secret Service special agent, you may be assigned to a range of duties, including:

  • Ensuring the safety of protectees such as the President, Vice President, and other US and foreign government officials.
  • Planning and executing protective measures for buildings or events as a matter of national security.
  • Investigating activity relating to financial crimes including counterfeiting, fraud, theft and cybercrime.

How To Get A Job In The Secret Service

To be eligible for a special agent role, you must be a US citizen and at least 21 years old at the time of application.

You must also hold a valid driver's license, pass hearing and visual tests, and be free of any visible body markings.

On meeting these requirements, you must then complete a comprehensive application process, including a challenging entrance exam and a range of online and in-person tests.

Secret Service Application Process

The Secret Service looks to employ the most talented, committed and capable individuals, and as such runs a tough recruitment process.

To present yourself as a high calibre candidate, you'll need to fully prepare for each stage.

The Secret Service Qualifications And Resume Review

Having submitted your application online, your qualifications and resume will be assessed to ensure you meet the basic criteria.

A criminal background check will also be carried out at this stage.

The Secret Service Aptitude Tests

The Secret Service SAEE Written Examination

The next stage is the Special Agent Entrance Exam (SAEE). This is a computer-based assessment split into five sections.

Each section is timed, and focuses on core skills deemed essential for a serving special agent. All questions are multiple-choice.

The Secret Service Logic-Based Reasoning

Section one is a verbal reasoning test that looks at your ability to interpret new information and draw logical conclusions.

You'll read through passages of text, each accompanied by a number of statements. Using the facts presented, you must decide if each statement is true or false, or if it's impossible to say either way based on the evidence.

There are 30 questions in section one, with a 40 minute time allowance.

Experience Inventory Part 1

In this section, you'll read through 64 statements that describe various situations. You must rank these depending on the frequency with which you have experienced each situation in the past.

Section two has a time limit of 20 minutes.

Language Usage

This is a form of error checking test. You'll be given memoranda and summary report documents containing mistakes that you'll need to identify.

Errors may relate to punctuation, grammar, syntax, language use or structure. You'll have 40 minutes to complete 25 questions.

Experience Inventory Part 2

Section four asks you to evaluate your character and behaviours from the perspective of past employers or tutors.

You'll be given a series of statements and must indicate the extent to which you think others would say each one applies to you. There are 96 questions and a 30 minute time frame for this section.

Detail Observation

The final section of the SAEE looks at observational skills and memory recall. You'll be shown a photograph of a scene you'd likely see as a special agent, and will need to take from it as much detail as possible.

You'll then be asked a number of completely unrelated questions to distract your memory, before answering questions relating to details in the photograph. You will not be shown the image again.

This last section takes around 40 minutes.

Applicant Physical Abilities Test (APAT)

The APAT ensures you have the required level of fitness to perform the physical duties of a special agent.

It includes sit-ups, push ups, an agility run, and a 1.5 mile run.

The Secret Service Pre-Employment Interview

Based on your success in prior stages, you'll then be invited to the first of several interviews. The primary focus of this initial interview is to assess the way you present yourself, so pay close attention to speech, behaviour and body language.

You can expect this interview to last for around one hour.

The Secret Service Special Agent Review (SAR) Panel

Here you'll face a panel of three, and will be asked a range of competency-based questions that look at how you've applied key strengths in the past, as well as questions that explore how you'd deal with a number of hypothetical scenarios.

You can prepare for this stage by taking plenty of practice situational judgement tests.

The Secret Service Conditional Job Offer

If you're seen as a strong candidate, you'll then receive a conditional offer of employment.

This will only become official once you've successfully passed the second phase of recruitment.

The Secret Service Suitability and Security Phase

To complete the application process, you'll need to pass a series of additional interviews, tests and checks, including:

  • Security interview
  • Eye examination
  • Polygraph test
  • Medical and drugs testing

You'll also be subject to a comprehensive background investigation. This involves credit and criminal record checks, employment history checks, referencing, and verification of qualifications.

The duration of a background investigation varies, but typically takes between six and nine months.

Tips To Get Hired At The Secret Service

Understand Exactly What You're Applying For

Employment with the Secret Service is a major commitment, and not a decision to be taken lightly. You'll be put through your paces throughout the recruitment process, and will be expected to have carried out due diligence prior to application.

Make sure you have a thorough understanding of the organization's structure, purpose and mission, and can demonstrate allegiance to its core values of duty, loyalty, justice, honesty and courage.

Keep Your Application To Yourself

As its name suggests, maintaining confidentiality is a fundamental part of working for the Secret Service, and this extends to the status of your application.

Showing the level of integrity required as a serving special agent during the recruitment process goes a long way to proving your commitment to one of its core principles.

Prepare For The Entrance Exam

The SAEE may be unlike any form of assessment you've come across before. It is purposefully designed to test your skills under pressure, and uses a broad range of question types not commonly found in academic exams.

Given that you'll need to pass this test to move forward, preparation is critical - so take plenty of practice tests. In doing so, you'll familiarize yourself with complex questions like those in the verbal reasoning section, train your brain to think critically and stay alert, and identify any areas of weakness that need greater attention.

Sample The Secret Service Assessments question Test your knowledge!

Score: /5

Assuming all other variables constant, which factor would be most important for an agent to consider when preparing security for a high-profile international summit?

  • The preferences for meals and accommodations of the attending dignitaries
  • The history of previous events held at the summit location
  • The current threat level and specific intelligence regarding potential disruptions
  • The number of attendees expected to be present at the summit

An agent is tasked with preparing a report on a counterfeit currency operation. Which of the following statements, if true, would be most important to include in the summary?

Counterfeit currency operations pose a significant threat to the economy and financial stability of any nation. The use of advanced technology and international networks by counterfeiters has escalated the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies. It is essential for the successful prosecution of counterfeiters that the chain of evidence from production to distribution is meticulously documented.

  • The technological methods used in the printing of the counterfeit currency.
  • The historical implications of counterfeit operations on past economies.
  • General statistics on financial crimes unrelated to counterfeiting.
  • A brief history of the Secret Service's founding and primary objectives.

During an interview, an agent must discern whether a witness's statement aligns with known facts. If a witness claims to have spotted a suspect fleeing a scene at a time inconsistent with video evidence, what is the most appropriate action for the agent to take?

  • Disregard the witness's statement as it contradicts hard evidence.
  • Ask clarifying questions to understand the reason for the discrepancy.
  • Immediately suspect the witness of being complicit in the crime.
  • Use the statement to reconstruct the timeline despite the inconsistency.

Which of the following arguments is most effectively supported by the given passage?

Protecting dignitaries not only involves physical security but also a comprehensive understanding of the geopolitical context. Each dignitary may be associated with different levels of risk based on their origin, public standing, and current international events.

  • Dignitary protection should prioritize physical security over other forms of assessment.
  • Understanding international relations is instrumental in providing effective protection to dignitaries.
  • The origin of the dignitary is the sole factor determining the risk level.
  • Public standing has no relevance to the security measures implemented for dignitaries.

What can be inferred about a carefully orchestrated financial crime from the passage below?

Financial crimes are often sophisticated operations that involve multiple levels of deceit and manipulation. They can affect not only the primary victims but also numerous secondary victims who may never be fully aware of the crimes' impact on their lives.

  • The primary victims are the main focus in financial crime investigations.
  • The operations are designed to have a widespread and possibly hidden impact.
  • Secondary victims are more significantly affected than primary victims.
  • Financial crimes are generally straightforward and easy to detect.

Build your confidence today

Try one of our Secret Service tests for FREE.

With Psychometric Tests, I was able to prepare for the interview process efficiently, clearly and at my own pace.

Pav used Psychometric Tests to ace the interview process at the Civil Service


The Secret Service Assessments Tips

Know Your Stuff

To excel in exams for the Secret Service, it's crucial to be well-versed in the agency's duties and operations. Brush up on the history, key responsibilities, and current activities of the Secret Service. Familiarize yourself with both their protective and investigative missions, as this contextual knowledge can give you an edge in scenario-based questions.

Stay Calm Under Pressure

Working for the Secret Service means facing high-pressure situations. Therefore, the examinations are designed to test not just your knowledge, but your ability to stay composed. Practice techniques to keep your cool, like deep breathing or strategic pauses, to ensure you can think clearly and make sound decisions during the test.

Simulate Test Conditions

To really get the hang of the Secret Service's exam format, recreate the test environment when practicing. This means timing your practice sessions and working without distractions. By doing this, you'll become comfortable with the pressure of the actual exam day, making you less likely to be thrown off by the formal testing conditions.

Attention to Detail

The devil is in the details, especially when it comes to law enforcement exams. Pay close attention to the wording of questions and provided materials. Sometimes a single word can change the meaning of a question. Your ability to spot these nuances can make a significant difference in your test performance.

Physical and Mental Endurance

As part of the Secret Service, staying sharp both mentally and physically is part of the job. Ensure you're in good physical shape for any potential fitness assessments and keep your mind agile with regular puzzles and problem-solving exercises. This holistic approach to preparation will serve you well, not only for the exam but for your desired career path with the Secret Service.

Level up

Choose the package that works for you.


Pay Annually
Pay Monthly
  • 8 Aptitude packages
  • 20 Admissions packages
  • 74 Employer packages
  • 22 Publisher packages
  • Dashboard performance tracking
  • Full solutions and explanations
  • Tips, tricks, guides and resources

  • Access to free tests
  • Basic performance tracking
  • Full solutions and explanations
  • Tips and resources

The Secret Service Assessments FAQs

Is The SAEE Exam Hard?

At over three hours long in total, the SAEE requires you to stay alert and focused for a long time. This, combined with time limits, exam pressure, and the broad range of question types, makes it a challenging assessment. That said, plenty of practice should ensure you're up to the task.

How Many Applicants Pass The Special Agent Entrance Exam?

The Secret Service does not make this information publicly available, nor does it provide details on what is considered a good score. All you can do is put in your best effort by being fully prepared.