CritiCall is a testing program used to assess the skills and knowledge of 911 telecommunications operators and emergency dispatchers. The test typically covers topics such as communication, multi-tasking, decision making, and emergency procedures.
The purpose of the test is to evaluate the ability of the operator or dispatcher to perform their job duties effectively and efficiently in high-pressure emergency situations.
A Guide for Passing the CritiCall Test
If you are reading this page, you are likely interested in becoming a 911 dispatcher or another emergency call center professional. It is an extremely important position to hold, which means it should come as no surprise that there is rigorous pre-employment testing involved in the hiring process.
The most popular exam for those applying to these positions is the CritiCall Test. This test was created by the CritiCall company, which has been creating pre-employment testing for over 40 years. Their experience in creating specific and effective assessments has led to the creation of the CritiCall Test, which is now used by over 1,800 agencies in the emergency service industry, including local police, state police, and even homeland security.
What Kind of Questions Are on The CritiCall Test?
The CritiCall test is extremely thorough and tests a wide array of proficiencies, such as:
- Reading Comprehension
- Numerical Comprehension and Logic
- Multi-Tasking Skills
- Spelling, Grammar, Syntax, and Written Clarity
- Short-Term Memory
- Long-Term Memory
- Map Reading Skills
The assessment of these items is determined through three areas of testing – basic skills, dispatcher skills, and data accuracy. The specifics of the test and the names of each section might vary based on location in which you are taking the test. However, the general knowledge requirements for each section are the same.
Basic Skills Testing
Each CritiCall test will include a number of questions meant to assess the basic skills of the test taker. Some testing procedures you may encounter include:
- Summarize audio recordings and log specific details from those recordings.
- Listen to simulated calls and answer follow-up questions from memory.
- Take general reading comprehension assessments.
- Complete spelling assessments.
- Solve basic math and algebra problems.
- Correct written text to prove your grammar skills.
Dispatcher Skills Testing
The dispatcher skills section of testing is crucial and may take up a large portion of your test time. Here are some of the skills on which you will be tested:
- Map Reading – How well can you assess a map and correctly direct emergency units?
- Priorities – How do you prioritize theoretical tasks and emergency scenarios?
- Memory/ Recall – Can you accurately reproduce strings of words, numbers, shapes, or other pieces of information?
- Decision Making – How quickly and confidently can you determine which action to take and how to take it?
- Probability – How intuitive are you, and can you properly choose between two options when information is scarce?
Data Accuracy Skills
Your ability to accurately and quickly process data is highly important as a dispatcher. Here is how your ability to process this data may be tested:
- Data-Entry Testing
- Character Comparisons
- Timed Cross-Referencing
Here are some tips to help you ace a 911 dispatcher interview:
- Research the job: Familiarize yourself with the duties and responsibilities of a 911 dispatcher, and be prepared to answer questions about your understanding of the role.
- Prepare for common interview questions: Review common interview questions, such as “Why do you want to be a 911 dispatcher?” or “How would you handle a stressful situation?” and practice your answers.
- Brush up on emergency procedures and protocols: Knowledge of emergency procedures and protocols is crucial for a 911 dispatcher, so make sure you are familiar with them.
- Highlight relevant experience: If you have previous experience in customer service, communication, or a related field, be sure to highlight it in the interview.
- Show your passion and dedication: 911 dispatching can be a challenging job, so it’s important to demonstrate your passion and dedication to the role.
- Be professional: Arrive on time, dress appropriately, and maintain good eye contact and body language during the interview.
- Ask questions: Show your interest in the job and the department by asking thoughtful questions during the interview.
- Follow up: Send a thank-you email or note to the interviewer after the interview to demonstrate your professionalism and interest in the job.
Positions that may use the CritiCall Test:
|Emergency Dispatcher/Call Taker||Receives and processes emergency calls and dispatches appropriate emergency services to the scene|
|Police/Fire/Medical Dispatcher||Dispatches and coordinates police, fire, or medical services to the appropriate location in response to emergency calls|
|911 Operator/Communications Specialist||Answers emergency calls and provides assistance to callers while dispatching the appropriate emergency services|
|Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)||Provides emergency medical care and transportation to patients who are ill or injured|
|Paramedic||Provides advanced emergency medical care and transportation to patients who are ill or injured|