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Tips for Taking the U.S. Border Patrol Entrance Examination

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Want to be a Border Patrol Agent? Make sure you pass the U.S. Border Patrol Entrance Examination. And you can!!

This written test consists of the Logical Reasoning Test and depending on how proficient you are in Spanish, the Spanish Language Proficiency Test or the Artificial Language Test (ALT). The Border Patrol Entrance Exam is a multiple-choice test. It’s important to prepare for this test since you have a better chance of proceeding forward with your application if you have a high score.

To help you maximize your Border Patrol Exam preparations, here are some tips!!

  1. Download the Preparation Manual for the U.S. Border Patrol Entrance Examination from the Customs and Border Protection website ( It is the first tab found under the “How to Apply” section on the left hand portion of your screen. This will give you sample questions and practice tests so you can acquaint yourself…
  2. Get a good night’s rest on the night before the test. Eat a nutritious breakfast as well. This will ensure that you will stay sharp and alert during the day of the test.
  3. Give yourself enough time to arrive in the testing site. Know ahead of time how to get there. If you are unfamiliar with the area, be sure to visit it before the day of your scheduled test. You should arrive there at least 30 minutes before so you don’t get stressed…
  4. Read the instructions for each test part carefully. Do not begin until you are told to do so by the test proctor. Also, make it a point to read the entire question before answering so that you don’t miss any important information that will matter when you decide on your answer.
  5. There is no penalty for wrong answers! Thus, it would be to your advantage to answer each and every question even if you have to guess. You have a much better chance of getting the correct answer by making educated guesses for each question. Use your gut instincts and trust yourself!!! YOU CAN DO IT.
  6. Answer all the easy questions first before proceeding with the more difficult ones. This way, you go through the test quickly and still have enough time to analyze the challenging questions. Be sure to check all your answers if there is still enough time left on the clock.
  7. If you are already proficient in Spanish, take the Spanish Language Proficiency Test. However, if you are not, you should take the Artificial Language Test (ALT). The ALT determines your capacity to learn a foreign language. Being able to speak Spanish is not a prerequisite for employment as a BPA but you will be required to learn it and pass the Spanish Task-Based Language Training Program during your stay at the Border Patrol Academy.
  8. Mark your answer sheet carefully. Since the numbers with the answer choices are close to each other, you should see to it that the answer you are marking is for the number of the question you are reading. If you change your mind about a particular answer, be sure to erase it completely and mark your new choice clearly.
  9. There are no patterns in the answers. For example, just because you saw 5 consecutive As and 5 succeeding Bs in the previous numbers does not automatically mean that 5 Cs will follow in the next numbers. There are no set patterns and you won’t improve your score if you attempt to find a pattern in the answers.
  10. Stay calm. Breathing deeply allows you to concentrate on the test questions and increase your chances of getting a higher score.
  11. Have a great time with the test and the process and GO for it!
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