INSTITUTE, W.Va. — The initial phase testing for the upcoming 68th Cadet Class for the West Virginia State Police is coming to an end.

Candidates had a chance to test on Friday at the West Virginia State Police (WVSP) Academy in Dunbar before the final day on Saturday, in hopes of earning a spot in the class that is set to begin in February 2020.

“We have people from all walks of life, all different parts of the country” Cpt. Shallon Oglesby with the WVSP said of the testers. “We have some that don’t have degrees and have a high school diploma and GED. We have others that have master’s degrees and law degrees and have been pilots. There are fresh 21-year-olds up to our max-age of 39.

“The thing that they all have in common is they have a heart for service and that’s why they want to be a trooper.”

Friday for the testers began with a physical training phase. Anyone that showed up had to complete 18 push-ups in one minute followed by 27 sit-ups in one minute. If completed, the applicants had to complete a mile and a half run in under 14:36 on the academy’s running course outside.

A written exam consisting of 33 questions followed the physical portion of the testing. The written portion is based on reading and comprehension. Oglesby said candidates remaining will take a suitability test, which she said is like a personal history questionnaire.

If a candidate does not pass any phase of testing, they are asked to leave.

Any remaining candidates after a full day of testing will have a background investigation done on themselves, a polygraph test, psychological examination, medical physical exam by a doctor and an oral interview. Oglesby said the time for those tests will take up to the beginning of the class in February.

According to her, around half of the individuals that show up for testing will not pass and make it to the first day of cadet class.

The WVSP has held testing for this specific class in the past week in a half at the academy, Spring Mills High School in Charles Town and the Morgantown Detachment. 261 individuals tested up until Friday morning with 38 people trying out that day.

Oglesby said the WVSP is encouraged by the numbers.

“Last time we tested, we had 180 total candidates and we are already sitting at 300 today (Friday) with another day of testing left,” she said.

Testing on Saturday begins at 9 a.m. at the academy. Read the requirements to test HERE.