Ask the CBSA!

Discuss the educational and physical requirements, testing process and background phase involved in the hiring process. Includes the experiences and advice of current and past applicants. All agency application related questions belong here.

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Orphee
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby Orphee » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:28 pm

Hello!

I also did the OTEE yesterday (February 25th 2019) and I was not able to complete the test under 2h30. Like you, I completed only 65-70% of the test. I totally agree with you, some of the questions needed a lot more time to answers them correctly. I don't read very quickly but I have a bachelor degree so... it's not like I never had to pass an exam in my life. I really think, based on the directives in the email that we received for the exam, that it will be considered as a failed OTEE. We will have to wait 1 year to be able to reapply.
Last edited by Orphee on Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

Orphee
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby Orphee » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:30 pm

Athejme wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:09 am
Hi guys. I did OTEE exam yesterday and i didnt have enough time to finish it. It is bad? I feel there was too many questions that were too long for 2:30 hours
I was able to finish around 65-75 questions .
Usually how much time does it take to get the results?
Thank you
Hello!

I also did the OTEE yesterday (February 25th 2019) and I was not able to complete the test under 2h30. Like you, I completed only 65-70% of the test. I totally agree with you, some of the questions needed a lot more time to answers them correctly. I don't read very quickly but I have a bachelor degree so... it's not like I never had to pass an exam in my life. I really think, based on the directives in the email that we received for the exam, that it will be considered as a failed OTEE. We will have to wait 1 year to be able to reapply.

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Ziggy Stardust
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby Ziggy Stardust » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:51 pm

Back in the day, the CIT was an all day test. Portions of the morning testing consisted of providing information that you had a specific amount of time to study and would be tested on in the afternoon. It was common knowledge that a time management strategy was crucial in order to do well on the test. I'm surprised that 25 years later people are still challenged by this rather basic strategy for doing well in written testing. You are being tested on more than knowledge. You are being tested on time management, adaptability, assessing priorities, the ability to handle stressful situations.... the list goes on.

Learn from the experience and you will do better next time.
"The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching." - John Wooden

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JoshG
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby JoshG » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:41 am

cbsa_insight wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:09 pm
CanadianQuackers wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:35 pm
Are there any academics/scholars on here that are in the CBSA? I have applied but I was curious as to what kind of experiences that post-graduate students have had during their employment? Did anyone start after they gained employment? Has your grad schooling made you more employable and mobile within the rankings/workforce? Are the CBSA accomadating of employees gaining more education?
Once you're on the inside, having an advanced education mostly serves as a benefit if you want to move to Headquarters to work in Policy, or advance within a specialized unit. Staying within operations, Intel, or programs really doesn't require/value education as much as policy and subject matter expertise. I've been posted abroad for over a year now, and I can tell you first hand that my selection for this position was based largely on my education and knowledge of additional languages.

If you want to work in Ops, Intel, inland, the BOC, NTC, or any run-of-the-mill position in programs, they aren't going to care if you have a diploma from a community college vs a degree (with exceptions with some FB-04 positions). You can expect however, that positions of FB-06 and above are likely going to require the completion of a BA.

That being said, we have some very educated officers working the front line that simply enjoy the position and don't desire climbing the corporate ladder. I worked alongside many BSO's with MA's and MBA's, graduates of teachers college, engineers, and some that passed the bar following law school.

As a reference, I have an BA, MA, and Post graduate certificate.
Hey, maybe you can speak to a question I asked a little further up the forum. Do positions within the CBSA, namely Inland Enforcement, require post-secondary education to apply? Will I be at a disadvantage moving up in a CBSA career having only a highschool diploma?
Corrections Officer

CanadianQuackers
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby CanadianQuackers » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:16 am

cbsa_insight wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:09 pm
CanadianQuackers wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:35 pm
Are there any academics/scholars on here that are in the CBSA? I have applied but I was curious as to what kind of experiences that post-graduate students have had during their employment? Did anyone start after they gained employment? Has your grad schooling made you more employable and mobile within the rankings/workforce? Are the CBSA accomadating of employees gaining more education?
Once you're on the inside, having an advanced education mostly serves as a benefit if you want to move to Headquarters to work in Policy, or advance within a specialized unit. Staying within operations, Intel, or programs really doesn't require/value education as much as policy and subject matter expertise. I've been posted abroad for over a year now, and I can tell you first hand that my selection for this position was based largely on my education and knowledge of additional languages.

If you want to work in Ops, Intel, inland, the BOC, NTC, or any run-of-the-mill position in programs, they aren't going to care if you have a diploma from a community college vs a degree (with exceptions with some FB-04 positions). You can expect however, that positions of FB-06 and above are likely going to require the completion of a BA.

That being said, we have some very educated officers working the front line that simply enjoy the position and don't desire climbing the corporate ladder. I worked alongside many BSO's with MA's and MBA's, graduates of teachers college, engineers, and some that passed the bar following law school.

As a reference, I have an BA, MA, and Post graduate certificate.
Thanks for the response!

That's great to know, I assumed there would be a mix of people working frontline/higher up positions but I didn't realize that general specializations would require relatively similar education to other frontline BSO’s. Did you complete your post-grad cert/MA while working for CBSA? Do you know anyone who has? Higher learning is definitely something I enjoy doing, so I'm just curious if it's feasible to complete, even in a part-time fashion. I'm really glad to read that policymaking comes from within, that definitely intrigues me as my current background is political science and I have looked into public admin/similar MA’s.

Lastly, is there a pay increase with FB-04 and the other rankings above? I would assume so but assumptions aren't always the best basis so I thought id ask.

Suikoden
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby Suikoden » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:49 am

CanadianQuackers wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:16 am
cbsa_insight wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:09 pm
CanadianQuackers wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:35 pm
Are there any academics/scholars on here that are in the CBSA? I have applied but I was curious as to what kind of experiences that post-graduate students have had during their employment? Did anyone start after they gained employment? Has your grad schooling made you more employable and mobile within the rankings/workforce? Are the CBSA accomadating of employees gaining more education?
Once you're on the inside, having an advanced education mostly serves as a benefit if you want to move to Headquarters to work in Policy, or advance within a specialized unit. Staying within operations, Intel, or programs really doesn't require/value education as much as policy and subject matter expertise. I've been posted abroad for over a year now, and I can tell you first hand that my selection for this position was based largely on my education and knowledge of additional languages.

If you want to work in Ops, Intel, inland, the BOC, NTC, or any run-of-the-mill position in programs, they aren't going to care if you have a diploma from a community college vs a degree (with exceptions with some FB-04 positions). You can expect however, that positions of FB-06 and above are likely going to require the completion of a BA.

That being said, we have some very educated officers working the front line that simply enjoy the position and don't desire climbing the corporate ladder. I worked alongside many BSO's with MA's and MBA's, graduates of teachers college, engineers, and some that passed the bar following law school.

As a reference, I have an BA, MA, and Post graduate certificate.
Thanks for the response!

That's great to know, I assumed there would be a mix of people working frontline/higher up positions but I didn't realize that general specializations would require relatively similar education to other frontline BSO’s. Did you complete your post-grad cert/MA while working for CBSA? Do you know anyone who has? Higher learning is definitely something I enjoy doing, so I'm just curious if it's feasible to complete, even in a part-time fashion. I'm really glad to read that policymaking comes from within, that definitely intrigues me as my current background is political science and I have looked into public admin/similar MA’s.

Lastly, is there a pay increase with FB-04 and the other rankings above? I would assume so but assumptions aren't always the best basis so I thought id ask.
I have a marketing and computer programming degree and am starting my BA in Criminology and Policing in May (it’s a two combined into one program). If you like learning like I do, maybe something to look into. The course is a four year part time course where it’s all completely online and there’s no set time to do activities or watch courses; the course is popular amongst current officers (or so I am told) but does not require having to be an officer to take (at least for Wilfred Laurier).

Though for someone who has no education, programming or accounting would be more beneficial based on stories I’ve been told

ie rcmp denied one person over and over so the person went to school for accounting while his two younger brothers became rcmp members (irony). The rcmp then approached this person many years later asking him to join now as they needed someone in forensics and he became a really well known accountant. He still had to do Depot but the rest is history.

But keep learning so long as you feel it will enable you to reach doing something that will make you happy!
Five laps owed so far

29 Mar - OTEE pass
28/29 Apr - CRFSC/CFSC pass

Suikoden
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby Suikoden » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:38 am

Sorry for replying above. Thought this was general chit chat for cbsa when replying
Five laps owed so far

29 Mar - OTEE pass
28/29 Apr - CRFSC/CFSC pass

CanadianQuackers
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby CanadianQuackers » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:49 pm

Suikoden wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:38 am
Sorry for replying above. Thought this was general chit chat for cbsa when replying
No worries! I’ve looked into the various degrees that are offered online, I almost applied to Laurier’s MPS program, however, my issue with a lot of those programs is that they have a clear purpose. This isn’t to degrade anyone who is interested in them, but these programs are a way to meet future standards or certain requirements for officers, especially in Ontario where officers will soon require at the bare minimum 2 years worth of post-secondary education. When I was attending the online seminars for Laurier, most of the questions/discussions were directed at their police studies/online BA in criminology programs which made that narrative of serving an occupational purpose very clear. I think the requirements for the BA in police studies is to be a peace officer, so if that isn't a "red" flag, I don't know what is. It works well for those with a very narrow purpose/goal, but in general, it doesn't provide the same sort of learning environment for people looking for a more academic/research based schooling. I would say more but those discussions are best served for being either in a PM or chat offline.

I transferred out of a major in criminology actually, because it doesn’t suit my interests. I’m looking into things that would compliment my BA (honours poli-sci), so either graduate schools with some sort of research component or a thesis. I may actually take a BSc (geography), part-time, to fill the void while I wait for a few job applications to process since they seem to be about 1.5-2 years, which is about the length of a second degree. It would be two-fold, giving me time to pursue something I enjoy while serving as an alternative pathway in the future if the CBSA doesn't work out.

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affinity54
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby affinity54 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:35 pm

Ziggy Stardust wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:51 pm
Back in the day, the CIT was an all day test. Portions of the morning testing consisted of providing information that you had a specific amount of time to study and would be tested on in the afternoon. It was common knowledge that a time management strategy was crucial in order to do well on the test. I'm surprised that 25 years later people are still challenged by this rather basic strategy for doing well in written testing. You are being tested on more than knowledge. You are being tested on time management, adaptability, assessing priorities, the ability to handle stressful situations.... the list goes on.

Learn from the experience and you will do better next time.
This will likely give away my vintage, but I remember writing the CIT myself. I realize it may be more efficient and allows you to test more applicants, but now that I’ve “written” the OTEE, I much prefer the “pencil to paper” or at least an “in person” approach for various logistical reasons.

I completely agree with you regarding what is being tested and how the test should be approached. It’s very easy to become overwhelmed and distracted and there appears to be plenty of advice here and elsewhere on how to combat that.
Last edited by affinity54 on Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.

lastsamurai
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby lastsamurai » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:08 pm

any suggestion on OTEE? or any material I can prepare for it?

sss2016
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby sss2016 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:45 am

Hi all,

Gosh I've been trying to look everywhere for the OTEE sample questions. I found one that has only 10 questions. Is there something online i can find that has more questions to practice on?

TIA

Tornelco
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby Tornelco » Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:35 pm

sss2016 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:45 am
Hi all,

Gosh I've been trying to look everywhere for the OTEE sample questions. I found one that has only 10 questions. Is there something online i can find that has more questions to practice on?

TIA
Most police aptitude exams will all have the same questions. So do the R-PAB and APCAT practice exams. Those will give you an idea of what to expect on the OTEE.
What is better? To be born good, or to overcome your evil nature through great effort?

sss2016
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby sss2016 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:16 am

Tornelco wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:35 pm
sss2016 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:45 am
Hi all,

Gosh I've been trying to look everywhere for the OTEE sample questions. I found one that has only 10 questions. Is there something online i can find that has more questions to practice on?

TIA
Most police aptitude exams will all have the same questions. So do the R-PAB and APCAT practice exams. Those will give you an idea of what to expect on the OTEE.
Excellent!Thank you!

LargeFarva
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Re: Ask the CBSA! Practice Test Services

Postby LargeFarva » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:51 pm

With the OTEE test coming up shortly and I am wondering if anyone has used practice services like cognitive results or public service prep? Is the content worth the cost? Yes I know if I pass it is definitely worth it, I just don't want to spend that much and not feel like it helped.

Tornelco
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Re: Ask the CBSA! Practice Test Services

Postby Tornelco » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:49 pm

LargeFarva wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:51 pm
With the OTEE test coming up shortly and I am wondering if anyone has used practice services like cognitive results or public service prep? Is the content worth the cost? Yes I know if I pass it is definitely worth it, I just don't want to spend that much and not feel like it helped.
Police prep is definitely a good resource to use. Make sure you use multiple different agency's exams like the RCMP exam and the Alberta Police Exam. Most police agencies are all testing for similar stuff, so their questions won't vary as much. I've personally taken police aptitude exams and noticed all similar questions. Every exam does have its own uniqueness as well so don't think otherwise.
What is better? To be born good, or to overcome your evil nature through great effort?


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