CritiCall Map Reading Test: Sample Questions & Practice Tips to Master This Section

CritiCall map reading test - featured image

This page will help you prepare for the CritiCall Map Reading test section.

Many candidates find the CritiCall map module difficult. The most common reason is a lack of experience reading maps (especially when you have Google Maps that tell you where to go).

This post strives to give you everything needed to pass this section with a high score, even if you think you’re a horrible map reader.

You’ll find:

We compared four CritiCall test prep sites to find the ultimate resource that provides the most accurate, reliable, and comprehensive practice experience. Check the in-depth review on this page.

What to Expect on the CritiCall Map Reading Test Section?

The map reading section of the CritiCall is designed to test your ability to use a map to determine the direction of travel. In the upper corner of each map (usually the right corner), you’ll have a compass that indicates direction: N for North, E for East, S for South, and W for West.

Using the compass as a guide, you should choose the directions asked for in the questions from the four alternatives provided. When choosing the correct answer, you must obey the “one-way” and “two-way” traffic signs.

The questions are made up of two types:

  • Where am I?
    In this type, you are given directions from a starting point and need to say where you will be after following the directions.
  • Direct route
    In this type, you need to find the most direct route between two locations.

Below on this page, we’ll show you an example for each type. But first, let’s understand why agencies use the map reading module in the first place.

Take realistic map reading practice questions to get a feel for the actual test.

Why Do Agencies Administer the CritiCall Map Reading Module?

As the CritiCall is a customizable test, each agency and department can adjust it to its needs. That said, the map test section is used by almost all agencies across the U.S. and Canada, and that’s for two reasons:

  1. During your shifts as a 911 dispatcher or call-taker, there may be instances in which technology fails, and your computer won’t work. This means that you won’t be able to use the map on your screen, and you’ll need to use a map from a book (such as Thomas Guides), just like a dispatcher from a few decades ago.

    So, the ability to read maps manually becomes vital as you’ll need to give officers directions, send emergency services, find streets and addresses, and more.
  2. 911 callers will usually be in a frightened or panic state, so they won’t be able to give you accurate directions of where they are or in what direction a suspect went. If you know the fundamental directions of a map and how to use them, you’ll be able to communicate that better to a caller.

Now, to give you a more intimate acquaintance with this module, let’s try two sample questions.

CritiCall Map Reading Sample Questions

Here are sample questions that resemble the question types you’ll encounter on the real test.

“Where Am I” Questions

CritiCall Map Reading Sample Question
Source: JobTestPrep

A fire engine leaves the intersection of Third and Downhill and travels south for two blocks. It turns west and travels west for two blocks. At what intersection does the fire engine complete the trip?

  1. Second and High
  2. Fourth and Low
  3. First and Polk
  4. Second and Low

The correct answer is (4)

“Direct Route” Questions

CritiCall Map Reading Practice Question
Source: JobTestPrep

You are next to the Taxi station, driving west on Wilde St. What is the most direct route from your location to the Parkdale Rd entrance of the dental clinic?

  1. Keep driving west till you reach Schmidt Crescent and turn left. Go south to Casimir Ave. Go east and take the first turn left to Sprouce St. Follow the road and turn left back to Casimir Ave. Go East on Casimir Ave. to the Dental Clinic.
  2. Go west. Turn left to Schmidt Crescent and then take the first turn right to Casimir Ave. Keep west to reach the dental clinic.
  3. Drive west and turn to Schmidt Crescent. Go south and turn east to Casimir Ave. Go east and take the first turn right to Parkdale Rd. Follow the road to reach the dental clinic entrance which will be to your right.
  4. Go west to Schmidt Crescent. Drive south and pass the Casimit Ave. intersection. Turn left on Dingwall Pkwy. Then turn right to reach the clinic.

The correct answer is (3)

Take more CritiCall map reading practice questions to improve your ability to solve these questions.

How to Practice for the Criticall Map Reading Module?

Since the map reading section appears in almost any agency test, and you must reach a minimum score to pass it, it’s crucial to prep beforehand.

In addition to the practice tips outlined in the next section, we recommend preparing using CritiCall map reading practice tests that simulate that actual test.

These will enable you to get used to the unique format of the real questions and improve your ability to read maps, calculate routes and follow directions.

Currently, JobTestPrep provides the most comprehensive prep kit for the CritiCall map test that includes 13 realistic practice tests with full explanations and solving tips. Additionally, it has dozens of other practice tests that cover the rest of the CritiCall modules (14 practice modules in total).

Get dozens of accurate CritiCall practice tests to help you pass the assessment.

5 Tips to Enhance Your Skills and Performance in This Test Section

  • Practice giving directions to a friend or family member using Google Maps. The more you use this app, the more comfortable you’ll feel when reading actual maps on the test.
  • Install a compass app on your phone and try it while you’re on the street. Practice using dispatchers’ terminology when giving directions, such as “Go East/West/North/South on X street for two blocks” instead of just saying, “Go left/right/straight.”
  • Make sure to read the instructions before you start the test – there are Important details to know about the map signs and traffic rules, which are necessary to solve the questions correctly.
  • U-turns are not allowed unless you are instructed differently or if one of the given answers includes it.
  • An arrow is valid for the entire road unless another arrow shows different traffic directions.


This was a thorough overview of the CritiCall map reading section, one of the most common modules of the test (used by almost all agencies).

You saw what question types to expect, tried two sample questions, got several tips to improve your performance, and discovered the best map reading practice option available right now.

So, now, hopefully, you should be on your way to scoring high and acing this module!

To get more information and practice tips for the CritiCall, make sure you visit these pages on our site:

Free CritiCall practice test with 49 questions
How to Prepare for the CritiCall Test (5 Unique Tips)
In-depth Overview of the Hardest CritiCall Question Types
Review of the Best CritiCall Test Prep Options
CritiCall Test Results Guide
CritiCall Typing Test Practice Guide