The scores were recieved on saturday for anyone who took the Oct, 2010 Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captains exams. The results have been described as nothing short of disasterous with the lowest scores and numbers of passers in memory. Those who routinely scored in the 90’s found themselves bitterly disappointed with mid to low 70’s scores. It looks even worse from the perspective of Chiefs and appointing authorities where its not inconceivable that a 80-90% failure rate has happened and entire departments failed the exam. This leaves them with no candidates in some cases to promote. The problem many communities find, is that without candidates to promote, they will lose positions left open for extended periods as communities seek to bridge the budget gap.
What happened though, is that HRD wrote the exam to be tough, and did their job too well as complaints flowed in after the exam from angry test takers. The questions were poorly worded, often times leaving the test taker to interpret what the test was even asking, let alone answer the question.
There is a silver lining in all this. On Tuesday, no doubt the HRD offices will be flooded with angry phone calls from Chiefs across the state left with no options. The result will likely be a much easier exam next October. History shows, that when a difficult exam is given they usually follow it the next year with an easier one; a good example is the 2002 Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain exam. It was a brutal exam (nothing like this past one however) and was followed in 2003 by a easier exam.
We have also been contacted by people who took the exam and are furious at not passing. HRD is standing by the exam and the suggestion to appointing authorities is to make short list appointments while awaiting the results next year. As for those who took the exam, sadly the results are the same. There is not a winnable appeal under Chapter 31 for those who did not pass without some evidence of wrongdoing beyond just writing a ridiculously hard exam. We are in the process of revamping our materials for next year. Hopefully we can help a good number of people achieve different results.
Attorney Ronald A. Sellon