It takes a very special person to work in corrections. Police officers may have to deal with criminal activity on a regular basis, but they also get to spend their time seeing the innocent public that they are sworn to protect. In a prison setting, however, guards need to spend virtually all of their time surrounded by convicted criminals; these are people who are likely to be both hostile to authority and resentful of their situation. The application and exam process for a corrections officer is designed to weed out people who aren’t well-suited to working in this environment.
The initial testing is focused more on good judgment and the ability to exercise reasoning skills than on any specific pool of knowledge. They look for things like verbal reasoning, reading comprehension, and memory. An implicit part of the testing process is also the ability to exercise these skills under the pressure of knowing that your performance could be important to your future. While an officer in corrections does eventually have to learn a lot of policies and procedures, they’re also working in an environment with people who will constantly be trying to get away with things and to find opportunities to work around the rules. Prisons need the sort of officers who can actively take in what’s happening around them and make good decisions about how to respond.
Depending on where you want to work, you’re going to have to go through other testing as well. You may have to meet physical fitness requirements and you’ll almost certainly have to go through an oral exam. Again, they’ll be looking for both your ability to perform the required skills and to do so without losing composure or otherwise cracking under pressure. It can be very helpful to get someone to role play with you on the oral exam in particular, so that you have a feel for how to answer before you’re put on the spot in the real test.
You can get a more detailed sense of what to expect from the testing process through the resources offered by http://lawenforcementjock.com/correction-exam. It’s a good way to get a quick sample of what kinds of challenges you’ll need to face before you decide whether to invest yourself deeply into preparing for this career.