Special Agent Entrance Exam Guide [+ SAEE Practice Tests]
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What Is the SAEE Test?

The Special Agent Entrance Exam (SAEE) is an exam that must be taken to become a Secret Service agent. It can be administered in either computerized or paper-and-pencil formatting. The test consists of multiple-choice questions and it’s made up of five separately timed sections: Logic-based reasoning, experience inventory (parts 1 and 2), language usage, and detail observation.

Let’s expand on each of these sections:

The Secret Service Test Sections

  • Section 1: Logic-Based Reasoning –The logic test section is one of the sections that frustrates secret service candidates the most. It contains 12 passages, each of which describes a set of facts. Each passage is followed by one to four questions that are conclusion based on the set of facts presented in the passage. There are 30 questions that need to be answered in 40 minutes.

    Here’s a sample question (taken from our complete practice) to give you a feel for the real logical questions you’ll face:

All field agents hired in the last three years received advanced anti-terrorism training.

Only field agents can receive advanced anti-terrorism training.

Some field agents have not received advanced anti-terrorism training.

Bob was hired last year as a field agent.

Patricia has received advanced anti-terrorism training.

Indicate whether the statement is True, False, or if there is Insufficient Information to draw a conclusion:

Patricia was hired as a field agent within the last three years.

Insufficient Information to Decide
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is Insufficient Information to Decide.

According to the first statement, all field agents hired in the last three years received advanced anti-terrorism training.
According to the fifth statement, Patricia has received advanced anti-terrorism training.

However, since no information is provided as to whether field agents hired more than three years ago also could have received advanced anti-terrorism training the correct answer is Insufficient Information to Decide.

  • Section 2: Experience Inventory, Part 1 – This section contains statements describing situations that applicants may or may not have encountered before. There are 64 questions that need to be answered in 20 minutes.
  • Section 3: Language Usage – This section includes two types of documents: memoranda and summary reports riddled with errors. Your task is to identify the errors in grammar, syntax, punctuation, usage, and/or structure. You have 40 minutes to answer 25 questions.
  • Section 4: Experience Inventory, Part 2 – This section contains statements that describe different situations and opinions. You must choose the response option that best reflects the extent to which your past supervisors and/or teachers would agree that the statement describes you. You have 30 minutes to answer 96 questions.
  • Section 5: Detail Observation – In this section, you are presented with a series of photographs. These photographs depict images that may be seen when working as a special agent, such as this scenario:

    Special Agent Test Prep

After viewing the photographs, you must answer a series of questions unrelated to the photographs. Only after, you will be asked a series of questions about what appeared in the photographs. You’re not allowed to view the photographs while answering these questions.

This section contains three photographs and three sets of accompanying questions, taking approximately 40 minutes to complete.

Looking for more SAEE exam sample questions? Check our new video to see them (full explanations included):

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Is the SAEE Exam hard?

The SAEE can be difficult because it requires you to stay on your toes for an extended period of time (it takes more than 3 hours to complete the exam). Additionally, the test includes unusual question types, such as Logical Reasoning and Detail Observation, which you usually don’t encounter on high school or college exams.

What to Wear to the Secret Service Test?

Have you wondered what you should wear to the SAEE test? The best advice is to wear a business appropriate outfit. For men – wear a suit, neutral color shirt, and a tie. For women – the equivalent of the men’s outfit. And if your hair is long, make sure to put it up.

How Many Applicants Pass the Special Agent Entrance Exam?

Unfortunately, the secret service doesn’t disclose how many applicants pass the SAEE every year. Furthermore, they neither reveal the SAEE pass rate or the passing score whatsoever.

So, to make sure you pass the exam and advance to the next hiring step, it’s vital to practice as much as you can. And here’s how you can do it.

How to Pass the SAEE and Come One Step Closer to Your Desired SA Job

Each of the SAEE test sections has a different passing score. The problem is no one knows what it is! And that’s why it’s important not to neglect preparation for any of the sections.

To ensure you get a good grasp of each of the topics, we created a thorough SAEE test prep for you. This is by far the most comprehensive, accurate SAEE online practice and it includes everything you need to pass the test. You get:

  • 70+ SAEE practice tests covering all five sections of the Secret Service test.
  • Realistic SAEE practice questions closely matching the actual test sections.
  • Step-by-step explanations for every question allowing you to quickly learn from your mistakes.
  • Dedicated study guides to brush up on your grammar skills and sharpen your memory and recall skills.


Get the Complete Special Agent Entrance Exam Prep

Gain instant online access to dozens of Secret Service practice tests, hundreds of practice questions, helpful study guides, solving tips, and much more.


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SAEE Test Tips

  • Get in a good sleep the night before.
  • Eat a good breakfast to give you energy.
  • Wear a watch to keep track of the time.
  • Arrive at the examination venue with time to spare before your test.
  • Make sure to read through the exam instructions well.
  • Read the test questions until the end.
  • Answer questions, even when in doubt, because you won’t be penalized for wrong answers.
  • Don’t focus on one question for too long.
  • Make sure to check whether the answer sheet column hasn’t shifted.
  • Take a deep breath, stay calm, and concentrate on answering to the best of your ability.

The 2022 Secret Service Hiring Process

To become a Secret Service Special Agent, you must go through a two-phased hiring process:

Phase I: the Competency phase, and phase II: the Security phase.

In 2020, the secret service hiring timeline lasted for 6 to 7 months. Here’s a breakdown of the two phases:

Phase I
  1. Job Opportunity Announcements Posted on USAJobs
  2. Qualifications/Resume Review
  3. Written Exam (SAEE)
  4. Applicant Physical Abilities Test (APAT)
  5. Interview
  6. Conditional Job Offer
Phase II
  1. Security Interview/Credit Checks
  2. Polygraph Exam
  3. Medical Exam/Psychological Exam
  4. Background Investigation
  5. Hiring Panel

Special Agent Entrance Exam FAQs

I Have the Official SAEE Preparation Guide. Why Should I Use Your Prep?

The study guide given by the Secret Service is a nice start, but it will only get you so far.

First, its practice questions are untimed (as it’s a study guide), meaning you’re unable to prepare with real time constraints.

Second, there are only several sample questions for each section, and there are two sections that don’t have sample questions at all (Experience Inventory).

And lastly, test specific solving tips are not provided, but rather just generic test-taking tips.

On the other hand, JobTestPrep’s complete SAEE practice includes dozens of timed practice tests, allowing you to improve your test-taking abilities under real-time pressure. It also has numerous practice questions with full explanations covering each and every SAEE test section. Moreover, you’ll get unique study guides and SAEE-related solving tips to give you an extra push.

Do They Let You Know What You Scored on the Special Agent Entrance Exam?

The Secret Service remains secret also when it comes to revealing your SAEE score. The only result you’ll get after you finish the exam is Pass or Fail. If you take the computerized version, this result will be shown instantly, and if it’s paper-and-pencil, it might take several days to weeks.

What Happens After I Pass the Special Agent Entrance Exam for Secret Service?

After you pass the SAEE test, you’ll get an email from the Secret Service Talent and Employee Acquisition Management Division inviting you to the next hiring stage. This stage is called the Applicant Physical Abilities Test (APAT).

I Failed the Secret Service Test. How Long Do I Need to Wait Before I Can Test again?

If you fail the SAEE test, you’ll be able to retake the test after a period of 6 months from your most recent fail date. But here’s the thing: before retaking it, you must first reapply for the position (when there’s an open vacancy announcement) and submit a new application packet.

My SAEE Test Is in 2 Days. Do I Have Enough Time to Prepare?

Although it’s recommended to take more than 2 days to practice, passing it is still achievable! After you take our first SAEE practice test, you’ll get an instant score report showing you exactly which areas to focus on. Then, you’ll get focused practice drills that retarget these weaker areas, allowing you to quickly improve your performance and boost your exam score.

Additionally, every practice question is coupled with a thorough explanation, teaching you the most efficient solving strategies. So, even if you don’t have time to practice all the questions, you’ll still be able to use these solving methods on the real exam.


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