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How hard is the unarmed security guard test?

LAST EDIT May 26, 2023

How hard is the unarmed security test?

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As the creator of The Unarmed Security Test Prep Guide and curator of the best free unarmed practice test online, I've had the privilege of assisting thousands of aspiring security professionals preparing for their tests.

Stick around till the end of this article for access to these resources and a link to your state's licensing agency—an essential detail, as regulations may differ by state. These three resource are must have and should give you what you need to pass the test.

Nervous about the test? Don't fret. By combining some solid studying with a good measure of common sense, you're sure to succeed. Regulators want to confirm you understand your role and won't act irresponsibly. They're not out to trick you into failing.

Unarmed security tests, usually multiple-choice, often focus on common-sense issues. You are not likely to find any essay or extensive writing sections. Common sense questions revolve around observing and reporting. Remember, your goal isn't to become a police officer. Many security posts require you to be a professional observer who can accurately report on incidents.

Broad topics under this umbrella include patrolling (positioning yourself correctly for observations), observation techniques (setting yourself up to recall what you saw), incident response (how to respond to an incident), and report writing (documenting incidents). Most likely, you could answer many of these common-sense questions without much study. However, you may need to understand certain terminology such as "Standard Operating Procedures" or "Post Orders."

More detailed study is necessary for questions concerning emergency aid and assistance protocols, state licensing regulations, and legal issues like laws about arrest, detainment, and trespassing.

Before I send you to the study tools, let's talk about test logistics.

Firstly, eliminate any clearly incorrect answers, then choose from what's left. Since tests can be timed, it's smart to skip challenging questions and return to them later, at the end of the test when you know that you can take your time and not risk going too long.

Test environments differ—state authorities, your training school, or your security employer may administer the test. State-administered tests aren't open book. There's a small chance that schools or employers may allow open-book testing. If that's the case, my advice is: don't rely on it. Strive to learn the material thoroughly to become a genuinely professional security officer.

So what's the worse that can happen?

You fail!

Even if you don't pass on your first attempt, don't lose hope. Within a designated timeframe, you'll be allowed a retake. Immediately after your first attempt, note down or record any problematic questions. Researching these will prepare you for the next attempt.

As promised here are the resources you need to prepare:

Download the free PDF of the Unarmed Security Guide at or buy the printed version from Amazon at

Take the free unarmed prep practice test at After completing the test, you'll receive a customized guide comparing your results with others and providing correct and incorrect answers.

Access your state's licensing handbook. Find a link to your state's licensing agency at Review their regulations. If available, download and study the licensing and regulation handbook—it's likely the test will cover this material.

Lastly, join The Security Officer Network, if you haven't already. From day one of your security career, this is the membership to have. It's the ideal place to document your training, including the unarmed security prep test, and build a security network transcript that will impress future employers and clients.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading. Best of luck with your test preparation!

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