Becoming a Secret Service Special Agent is no simple task. The hiring process is very competitive and can take 6 to 9 months to complete. One of the first hurdles in the recruitment process is the Special Agent Entrance Exam (SAEE). Only those candidates who pass the SAEE exam will be able to continue on with the selection process. We will walk you through everything you need to know to land a job as a secret service agent. We will teach you what to expect on the SAEE test, provide you free sample questions, answers, and study guides.
What Does a Secret Service Special Agent Do?
A Secret Service Special Agent is responsible for carrying out integrated missions of investigation and protection. Off the field, Secret Service agents are responsible for investigating violations of the law relating to financial crimes as well as cyber attacks on the national banking and telecommunication systems. In the field, Secret Service special agents are required to develop and implement creative strategies to mitigate threats on our nation's leaders. The United States Secret Service recruits candidates of the highest caliber. The first metric selection tool they use is the Special Agent Entrance Exam.
What Is the Special Agent Entrance Exam (SAEE)?
The Special Agent Entrance Exam (SAEE), also referred to as the Secret Service Exam is a recruitment exam used as part of the selection process in order to become a Secret Service Agent. It is a multiple choice test that can either be taken on the computer or on paper. The SAEE test consists of five timed sections to be completed in roughly three hours. The Secret Service Test sections are as follows; Logic Based Reasoning, Experience Inventory Part 1 and 2, language usage, and detail observation. Let's take a deeper look at each of the sections.
This section is made up of 12 passages, with 30 questions, to be completed within 40 minutes. Each passage describes a set of facts and you will be asked to draw conclusions based on those facts. These logic questions will measure your ability to understand information. You will be required to read carefully and think about information that is both provided and not provided. As a secret service agent it will be your job to make quick decisions based on the facts and situation set in front of you.
Experience Inventory Part 1
This section has 64 questions to be completed in 20 minutes. You will be given a set of statements describing situations. You must give the best outcome to the statement. Some of the situations you might have encountered in the past, and others you may not have.
This section has 25 questions to be completed in 40 minutes. You will be given two readings; a summary report and a memoranda. Each of the documents will be punctuated with grammatical mistakes. You will need to identify the errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, syntax, and structure. This section is to ensure that you can display yourself in a professional manner in a written context.
Experience Inventory Part 2
This section has 64 questions to be completed in 20 minutes. You will be given a set of statements describing situations you have encountered before. You must choose the response that best describes how often you have been involved in that situation.
This section will take 40 minutes to complete and you will be given three photo scenarios with three sets of accompanying questions. You will be presented with a photo of a scene you might encounter on the job as a special agent. Each photo has a caption and you will be given 2 ½ minutes to study the picture. You must study the photo as you will be asked questions about it. The photo will be removed and you will not be able to view it when answering the questions. First, you will answer a series of questions unrelated to the photo, then asked questions about the photo. The point of this is to try and recreate a real on the field scenario. Often you will be at a scene, and there will be a distraction, you will be required to remember what happened at the original moment of the disturbance.
Here is a list of things you should focus on when you look at the photo; people, objects, and background. Anticipate what you might need to remember from the picture. Pay attention to what the people look like, what they are doing, and details about their appearance. Pay attention to both the appearance and location of objects. Memorize the background and setting of the photo.
If you fail the SAEE test you will need to wait at least six months before retaking it.
FREE SAEE Practice Test Questions
Secret Service Logic Test Sample Question
Sarah is a Secret Service Special Agent.
Claire has never been to Ohio.
All Secret Service Special Agents have been to Ohio.
Pete works with Claire.
Indicate whether the statement is True, False, or if there is Insufficient Information to draw a conclusion.
1. Claire is a Secret Service Special Agent.
- Insufficient Information to Decide
The facts state that Claire has never been to Ohio and that all Secret Service Special Agents have been to Ohio. So we can draw the conclusion that Claire cannot be a Secret Service Special Agent.
2. Pete works for the Secret Service.
- Insufficient Information to Decide
INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION TO DECIDE
According to the facts given we can neither conclude true or false. We know that Claire cannot be a Special Agent, as she has not been to Ohio and all Secret Service Agents have been to Ohio. It is possible she works at the Secret Service in a different job, or she may have another employer. So, Pete who works with Claire may or may not work for the Secret Service. We do not have enough information to draw a conclusion.
3. Sarah has been to Ohio.
- Insufficient Information to Decide
The facts state that Sarah is a Secret Service Special Agent and that all Special Agents have been to Ohio. As a result we can conclude, Sarah has been to Ohio.
Sample SAEE Detail Observation Practice Question
In this section, you will be presented with a photograph that shows a scenario that a Secret Service Special Agent might face on the job. You will be given a certain amount of time to look at each photo. Then, you will be asked a series of unrelated questions followed by a series of related questions. You will not be allowed to view the photograph when answering the questions.
For each picture, the test will progress as follows:
- 2 ½ minutes to view the photograph
- 5 minutes to answer the unrelated questions
- 6 minutes to answer questions about the photo
No notes can be taken. Once the 2 ½ minute photo viewing time is done, you may not turn back. All questions will be answered based on your memory.
Language Usage Directions
This portion contains 5 sentences. Each sentence is divided into 4 sections by slashes (/). You need to identify how many sections, if any, have an error. The errors can be in the area of grammar, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, or the formation of plurals. There will not be any errors in the area of commas, as many experts disagree on the appropriate use. If there are no errors in the section, choose the answer A "0." If one section has an error, fanswer B "1," and so on. You have 5 minutes to complete this portion.
Sample Secret Service Exam Photograph
Secret Service Agents investigate both computer and financial crimes. During investigations, Special Agents may be asked to secure and canvass the crime scene in order to find and preserve potential evidence. The photo above displays a view of a counterfeiting crime scene that is part of a Secret Service investigation.
Sample Language Usage Question
Response Options: A = 0 sections B = 1 section C = 2 sections D = 3 sections E = 4 sections
- This opportunity will not / be successful without / a partner ship with / you're department.
- All secret agents / need to report / to an / assigned destination.
- He opened the / cases file, / noted several inconsistency, / and changed them.
- I am investigating / several womens' claims / that their items were stolen / from their cars.
- All secret agents' / are required to / follow this / rules and regulations
- C - There are two errors it should be "partnership" and "your"
- A - There are no errors
- C - There are two errors it should be "case files" and "inconsistencies"
- B - There is one error it should be "women's"
- C - There are two errors it should be "agents" and "these"
Sample SAEE Photograph Questions
1. What was the color of the piece of paper on the paper cutter?
2. How many pieces of paper were on the bulletin board?
3. What did it say on the open box on the floor in front of the cabinets?
- Makes Your Work Look Better
- Makes Your Work Look Professional
- Makes Your Work Look Neat
- Makes Your Work Look Good
4. The stack of papers on the island had three colors including pink and what other two colors?
- yellow and green
- blue and yellow
- white and green
- yellow and white
5. How many of the drawers in the room were at least partially open?
- 2 out of 8
- 2 out of 10
- 3 out of 8
- 3 out of 10
6. How many tape dispensers are in the photo?
7. Which of the following objects was closest to the canvas bag?
- a power cord
- a bulletin board
- a binder
8. Which of the following objects appeared in the photo?
- a post-it note
- a stapler
- a red pen
- both A and C
- The answer is B. The paper on the paper cutter was yellow.
- The answer is D. There were 8 pieces of paper on the bulletin board.
- The answer is A. The writing on the box was "Makes your work look better."
- The answer is C. The sheets of paper on the island were pink, white, and green.
- The answer is A. There were 8 drawers, 2 of them were at least partially open.
- The answer is C. There were 2 tape dispensers in the photo.
- The answer is A. The power cord was the closest to the canvas bag.
- The answer is D. The post-it note and the red pen are in the photo.
What Is an SAEE Passing Score?
Befitting the secret service, they do not reveal what a passing score is on the SAEE test. Nor, do they share information on the pass rate for the SAEE. Although, we do know that each section has a different passing score. If you take the computerized version you will be told immediately if you PASS or FAIL. But, you will not be shown a score. If you fail the SAEE you need to wait six months before you can retake it. You must start the application process from the beginning and apply to an open position. This adds extra pressure to make sure you succeed the first time around.
Is the SAEE Exam Hard?
Most candidates find the SAEE test challenging. It is quite a lengthy test which can lead to testers fatigue. Like any position which is both interactive and has a high salary landing the job will not be easy.
Secret Service Special Agent Hiring Process
If you are a U.S Citizen between the age of 21-37 and hold a current drivers license you may be eligible to apply for a position as a secret service agent. The secret service special agent hiring process is broken down into two phases.
- Apply to open position on USAJobs
- Resume Review
- Secret Service Special Agent Entrance Exam
- Applicant Physical Ability Test (APAT)
- Conditional Job Offer
- Security Interview and Credit Check
- Polygraph Test
- Medical and Psychological Assessment
- Background Investigation
- Hiring Panel
How Much Does a Secret Service Special Agent Make?
The average US Secret Service Agent makes about $138.581. You also get amazing benefits, travel opportunities, and work vehicle.
How Can I Practice For the SAEE Exam?
SAEE exam prep which includes a timed computer based exam which mimics the exact test. This way you can feel the pressure of what the actual test feels like. The Special Agent Entrance Exam practice test includes answers with detailed explanations and study guides.