Public Safety and Resource Protection


Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission Regulation 1951 mandates that peace officers be able to read and write at the levels necessary to perform the job of a peace officer as determined by the use of the POST Entry-Level Law Enforcement Test Battery (PELLETB) or other professionally developed and validated test of reading and writing ability. Because performance on the PELLETB is highly correlated with performance in the academy, many agencies and academies use the PELLETB as an indicator of readiness for a career in law enforcement. California State Parks requires the PELLETB as a tool to evaluate a candidates reading and writing skills.


The POST Entry-Level Law Enforcement Test Battery (PELLETB) measures skills that are associated with successful performance as a California peace officer. Because the PELLETB is an aptitude test, the skills measured are acquired gradually over a long period of time (usually years). There is no quick or easy way to improve these skills in preparation for the exam. The only way to predictably improve scores on an aptitude test is through extensive learning and practice (e.g., coursework, training).

Because the PELLETB is primarily a language aptitude test, one must already possess solid language skills to perform well on the test. There are a few exercises that can be helpful in maximizing performance if solid language skills are already in place.


The first two components of the PELLETB focus on language ability: one evaluates writing ability and the other tests reading ability. The writing component of the test measures clarity, vocabulary, and spelling. The reading component measures reading comprehension. The third component of the exam focuses on reasoning ability.

Writing Ability

Each of the three writing sub-tests contains 18 items. In the clarity sub-test, sentences are presented, and the test-taker is asked to identify which sentence is most clearly and correctly written. Only common writing errors (e.g., unclear references, misplaced modifiers, sentence fragments, and run-on sentences) are included in the clarity portion of the exam.

The spelling sub-test uses a standard multiple-choice format. A sentence is given with one word omitted. A blank indicates the location of the omitted word. Four alternative spellings of the same word are given. The test taker is asked to identify the word that is correctly spelled for the given context.

The vocabulary sub-test also uses a standard multiple-choice format. One word in a sentence is underlined and the test taker is instructed to select the alternative that is the most accurate synonym or definition. The words included in the spelling and vocabulary tests are common words that may be encountered in law enforcement work.

Reading Ability

Reading ability is measured through the use of two sub-tests. The first is a 28-item reading comprehension sub-test. This sub-test presents passages which vary in length from a single paragraph to one page. After reading the passage, test takers answer multiple-choice questions about the information contained in the passage. All passages cover common concepts and contain the information necessary to answer the questions.

The second measure of reading ability is the 40-item CLOZE sub-test. Test takers are presented with a passage of text. In each passage, the first and last sentences of the passage are complete. Between the first and last sentences, every seventh word is systematically deleted from the text. No word is deleted that cannot be deduced from context. In place of each deleted word is a dashed line. Each dash represents one letter in the deleted word. The test taker must use contextual clues to determine what words would logically complete the passage. The word must come from the test taker's vocabulary as no alternative words or lists of words are presented in the test. A word is considered correct if it is syntactically correct and semantically appropriate (i.e., words selected by the test taker must be the right part of speech and must make sense in the passage). In some instances, there is more than one correct response; in others, only one word can correctly fill the blank. In instances where more than one word is correct, the test taker receives credit as long as he/she selects a word that fits within the context.

Reasoning Ability

The reasoning ability sub-test contains 9 items. The reasoning sub-test uses a standard multiple-choice format. Information such as groups or ordered series of facts, numbers, letters, or words are presented. The test taker analyzes information and uses patterns, commonalities, and relationships to answer questions about the information presented.


When POST electronically scans test answers, statistical calculations are performed to convert raw scores (the number of items answered correctly) into a “T-score.” A T-score is a standardized score that places an individual’s performance on the test into a distribution (bell-shaped curve) with a midpoint (average) of 50 and a standard deviation of 10. If the individual’s score falls around 50, his/her performance is considered “average” when compared to other applicants who have taken the test. Scores of 40 or below are considered “below average.” Scores of 60 or above are considered “above average.” Research shows that the likelihood of successful academy completion increases for every point scored above 42.

All responses provided by the test taker are a part of the ongoing analyses of the test battery.

exam graph

The graph above provides a visual representation of T scores. The bell is comprised of many individual test scores. The bell is widest in the middle because most scores fall in and around the middle. This is why scores near the midpoint of 50 are considered “average.”


Can I take the PELLETB elsewhere?

Yes, unfortunately there is not a list of providers that offer the test, so you would need to contact agencies or academies directly to determine if it is offered.

How do I get my test results?

For security reasons, POST is unable to provide test results directly to applicants or other unauthorized persons. All agencies/academies that use the PELLETB are required to provide applicants with their test results within 30 days of the test administration. If it has been less than 30 days, please allow time for the agency/academy to process your results. If it has been more than 30 days, contact the agency where the PELLETB was originally administered to inquire about your results. Alternately, an authorized agency representative (i.e., an individual listed on a current POST Security Agreement) from any of POST’s user agencies can contact POST on your behalf to obtain your results.

How long is my test score good for?

A score on the POST test has no shelf life; therefore, a candidate may submit the department letter from the previous administration to the prospective employer. Individual departments, however, have the discretion to establish their own acceptable time frames for the shelf life of a reading and writing test.

If I took the PELLETB with another provider, do I have to take it again with California State Parks?

Not for the purposes of satisfying POST requirements. Departments who use the POST test are required to provide candidates with a letter indicating their t-score. California State Parks has elected, at its discretion, of accepting this letter as evidence that the candidate has met the POST reading and writing standard, if the score is deemed acceptable. The test must have occurred within 12 months.

Can I take the exam multiple times?

Yes, however, before you can retest, you must wait for a period of one month (30 calendar days) before taking the exam again. This applies even if the exam is taken through a different department/agency than the original exam.

What if I retest within 30 days?

If you retest within 30 days either with the same or a different department/agency, your test results will be invalidated. You MUST wait at least 30 calendar days prior to retaking the test.


June 7, 2022

“Pass the PELLETB POST Workshop”

Join Stevie Daniels as she takes participants through an entire practice POST Pellet-B Exam. All five parts of the exam will be covered, she will focus especially on grammar, reading, and the close test. Participants in her earlier webinars will definitely want to come as this is the follow-up workshop to those webinars. All are invited to attend whether or not they have been to the first webinar or not. Break-out rooms will be part of this webinar allowing students to work on each part of the exam together.

About Public Safety and Resource Protection

Ranger with kids at on a hikeRanger with the ocean as a backgroundRanger at Lake Millerton during sunset

Few places in the world exist like California, where one can enjoy majestic mountains, wide-open deserts, cool forests, sunny seashores and clear lakes. California State Parks preserves the best of California for all to enjoy, whether it’s outdoor fun, peaceful relaxation or learning more about history, nature and California.

More than 100 million people visit California State Parks each year. The Department employs over 500 peace officers to safeguard both visitors and the historical, cultural and natural resources in our state parks. 

State Park Rangers and Lifeguards help maintain, interpret and protect California’s state parks for future generations.

State Park Peace Officer (SPPO) Rangers and Lifeguards provide not only public safety law enforcement and aquatic rescue services; they also provide public education through interpretation.

State Park Rangers and Lifeguards are trained peace officers with statewide peace officer authority.

They help operate and manage State Park units and perform the following duties:

Interpret natural, historic and cultural resources • Perform first aid • Assist and advise park visitors regarding rules and regulations • Operate and maintain emergency equipment • Perform cliff rescues and underwater diving • Rescue persons or vessels in distress


How to Start a Career in Public Safety and Resource Protection

Benefits & Compensation

Ranger at OHV park

State Park Peace Officers enjoy excellent benefits:

• Health, dental and vision care • Retirement benefits • Paid vacation • Promotional opportunities • Training and education reimbursements ?Pay differentials

State Park Peace Officer Compensation 

Veterans Preference - Thank you for your service! Learn about the job search benefits you have because of your military experience! 

Positions in Public Safety and Resource Protection Include:

Positions in Public Safety and Resource Protection Include:

You have many opportunities to explore statewide!

This series includes the Cadet, Ranger, and Supervisor levels

The State Park Peace Officer (Ranger) series describes professional positions involved in the law enforcement and visitor services functions of the State park system. These classifications have full peace officer powers pursuant to Penal Code Section 830.2, and perform the full range of peace officer duties and responsibilities in accomplishing their assignments.

Peace officer duties include, but are not limited to: patrol (vehicle, boat, foot, etc.), issuing citations, writing reports, making physical arrests, conducting investigations, taking command in emergencies, performing search and rescue activities, and providing emergency medical aid. Performing these duties requires the use of protective equipment (e.g. firearms, electronic control weapons, batons, chemical agents, and handcuffs), and regular training and testing in physical defensive tactics and firearms use. Other important aspects of ranger duties include visitor services, natural and cultural resource protection, administration, and interpretation and education.

Opportunities for specialized assignments (e.g. cliff rescue, SCUBA diving, off-road vehicle and motorcycle patrol, canine handler, etc.) are also available.

Learn more about the SPPO Ranger series and minimum qualifications.

This series includes the Cadet, Lifeguard, and Supervisor I-III levels

State Park Lifeguards are open-water lifesaving professionals and trained peace officers with statewide authority. They help operate and manage state park units including coastal beaches, inland lakes, reservoirs, and rivers.

Public Safety Aquatic Rescues Medical Aid Operating and Maintaining Emergency Equipment Law Enforcement Services Specialty Assignments such as SCUBA Diving & Swiftwater Rescue
Visitor Assistance Advising visitors of rules and regulations & providing general park information through superior customer service
Public Education and Interpretation Community Outreach Interpretive Programs, Junior Lifeguard Program and more!
Park Resource Protection and Management

Aquatic Safety in California State Parks 
Lifeguard I (Seasonal) 
Lifeguard II (Seasonal
Junior Lifeguard Program 

History of Lifeguards in California 

Learn more about the SPPO Lifeguard series and minimum qualifications. 

This series includes levels I-V

State Park Superintendents are professional positions within the State Park System responsible for the protection and management of natural and cultural resources, public safety and law enforcement functions, visitor services, interpretation programs, real property management, and facilities maintenance. State Park Superintendents work throughout the State primarily within districts of the State Park System which include State parks, reserves, historical units, recreation areas, beaches, wayside campgrounds, and underwater parks. Positions in the series may also be assigned to Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Units or to headquarters functions.

Learn more about the State Park Superintendent series and minimum qualifications

Ranger Hendricks with K9

Current Vacancies

See current vacancies in Public Safety and Resource Protection

Park vacancies (State Park Peace Officer)

Join the Parks Family and Live the Parks Life!    

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