Police Testing Information

Those interested in becoming a police officer for the City of San Marcos must register to take an entrance examination. To register, complete the registration application. Entrance tests will be administered to candidates who are not TCOLE certified. It will be the goal to conduct two tests each year in the spring and the fall as needed.


The City of San Marcos’ entry-level police officer examination tests applicant’s reading comprehension ability. You will be given exactly 25 minutes before the examination to read and study a booklet containing police related information. During this time you should read and learn as much of the information as you can. You will be tested on how much of the information you can remember. You will not be able to take notes when reading the study materials or to refer to the study booklet during the test. An hour and 45 minutes is the maximum time allowed for the test. A study guide is available for purchase from Public Safety Compass.

Applicants who pass the exam will be placed on an eligibility list ranked by test score. If all conditions are met to become a police officer with the City of San Marcos, positions are offered as vacancies arise. The eligibility list remains in effect for a year from the exam date or until the list has been exhausted. If a candidate tests twice within one year, the most recent test score will be placed on the list and the prior score will be removed.

Test Information

  1. Applicants must have applied online by the posted deadline for the exam and present a valid picture identification (e.g. driver’s license, ID card etc.) to be admitted into the test site. Be in line by 8:30AM with your picture ID. The testing will begin promptly at 9:00AM and doors will be locked.
  2. Personal items will not be allowed in the testing room (e.g. hats, purses, briefcases, cell phones, pagers, food, drinks, etc.). No one will be permitted to leave the building after the test has started until their test has been turned in.
  3. Scoring:
    • A score of 70 or more is passing.
    • Applicants who pass and meet the criteria, receive a maximum of 8 additional points to increase their final score.
    • An eligibility list will be established by listing applicants in order of final score. In the event of a tie in final score, the order will be determined by the date of receipt of application with the earliest date and time taking priority.

Additional Information

If you have additional questions about the test process, please call 512-393-8060 or 512-393-8000 for a Human Resources representative to assist you. For more information about becoming a San Marcos police officer, email Police Recruitment.