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Burglary/Aggravated Burglary – knowledge test


Knowledge test

Start by writing down the burglary legislation – as much as you know of s.9. It is written below the video so once you’ve watched the video you can check and see how much you knew correctly. Don’t worry about the aggravated offence, we will cover s.10 later.

Burglary lesson video

Knowledge check

Return to the legislation you wrote out at the beginning of the lesson and see if you were correct.

A person is guilty of burglary if—

(a) he enters any building or part of a building as a trespasser and with intent to commit any such offence as is mentioned in subsection (2) below; or

(b) having entered any building or part of a building as a trespasser he steals or attempts to steal anything in the building or that part of it or inflicts or attempts to inflict on any person therein any grievous bodily harm.

Make a note of anything you missed or wrote incorrectly. These will become the areas you need to work on.


Here we highlight the difference between the two sub-sections of the section 9 offence. Notice how in s.9(1)(a) we are concerned with intent and in s.9(1)(b) we are concerned with behaviour. Unlawful damage only applies to s.9(1)(a) and attempts only apply to s.9(1)(b).

You can right click and save this image.

Applying understanding

Next we will test your understanding of the legislation. Look at the following examples and decide which are burglaries. Each questions carries on from the previous one.

Quick review

Review the core parts of burglary with these flash cards.


Knowledge test

Start by writing down the aggravated burglary legislation – as much as you know of s.10. It is written below the video so once you’ve watched the video you can check and see how much you knew correctly.

Aggravated burglary lesson video

Knowledge check

Return to the legislation you wrote out at the beginning of the lesson and see if you were correct.

A person is guilty of aggravated burglary if,

he commits any burglary and at the time has with him any firearm or imitation firearm, any weapon of offence, or any explosive; and for this purpose—

(a) “firearm” includes an airgun or air pistol, and “imitation firearm” means anything which has the appearance of being a firearm, whether capable of being discharged or not; and

(b) “weapon of offence” means any article made or adapted for use for causing injury to or incapacitating a person, or intended by the person having it with him for such use; and

(c) “explosive” means any article manufactured for the purpose of producing a practical effect by explosion, or intended by the person having it with him for that purpose.

Make a note of anything you missed or wrote incorrectly. These will become the areas you need to work on.

Applying understanding

Next we will test your understanding of the legislation. Look at the following examples and decide which are aggravated burglaries. Each questions is independent from the previous one.

Quick review

Review the core parts of aggravated burglary with these flash cards.



Buildings include inhabited vehicles or vessels even when unoccupied. Entry need only be effective and deliberate, it does not require your entire body to enter the building, and insertion of an instrument (to enable the offence of burglary to take place) is considered entry.

A trespasser is someone who enters another persons property unlawfully. The defendant must have been a trespasser when they entered the building or part of the building or have been reckless to the fact. This includes where a person moves from a part of a building where they have permission to be to another part where they do not, or enters a part of the building that is clearly out of bounds (even without physical separation). But this does not include where someone who becomes a trespasser by exceeding a condition of entry. 

s.9(1)(a) is about entering with intent to steal, inflict GBH or cause unlawful damage regardless of their ultimate behaviour. s.9(1)(b) is concerned with their behaviour – stealing, inflicting GBH or attempting either.

Remember the rule of doors. Every time the defendant walks through a door we ask ourselves “Is he entering as a trespasser?”, if he is, we then ask ourselves, “does he enter with intent to steal, inflict GBH or unlawful damage?”. If he enters as a trespasser, but doesn’t enter with intent, we then ask ourselves “does he go on to steal, attempt to steal, inflict GBH or attempt GBH?”

Aggravated burglary

The articles this legislation are concerned with are: 

  • Weapon of offence
  • Imitation firearm
  • Firearm
  • Explosive

A weapon of offence means “any article made or adapted for use for causing injury to or incapacitating a person, or intended by the person having it with him for such use.”An imitation firearm simply has to have the the appearance of a firearm.Firearms include airguns and air pistols.Explosive means “any article manufactured for the purpose of producing a practical effect by explosion, or intended by the person having it with him for that purpose.” 

The WIFE must be with the person at the time of the burglary. If a s.9(1)(a) burglary is committed, then the WIFE must be with him when he entered the building or part of the building as a trespasser with intent to steal, inflict GBH or cause unlawful damage.In a s.9(1)(b) burglary, having entered a building or part of a building as a trespasser, the offence is committed when he has a WIFE with him as he steals (or attempts to steal), or inflicts GBH (or attempts to inflict GBH).

The WIFE must be “with him” and this can mean the defendant was carrying the offensive weapon or has it in his immediate control.

And finally, there must be knowledge of the WIFE or the intention to use an article offensively.

What next…?

Before completing the 20 questions below and rather than review the topic of burglary any further at this point, move on to study another topic. This will give you time to find out how much you have actually remembered, and which areas have been forgotten.

Suggested topics –

  • Weapons
  • Firearms
  • Blackmail
  • Robbery

Return to burglary at a later date and write out both s.9 and s.10 offences (before reading anything else), then check them against the legislation above. Any areas of weakness need to be returned to after a further break. Remember to keep extended the gap between reviewing work. Spaced repetition is the key.

20 questions

Now you have returned to burglary after studying other topics, take the quiz to see how much information you have retained.

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Preparing for the exam – the night before

Exam prep

Video transcript –

When you’ve put so much time and effort into studying for an exam, you want to make sure you’re perfectly prepared the day before too. 

The first step is to stop drinking any caffeine by lunch time. The half-life of caffeine (that’s the time taken for the body to eliminate one-half of the caffeine) is about 5 hours, so if you drink it after lunch, it can still be in your system when you go to bed. Play it safe and stop by lunchtime. 

What about last minute study? Don’t leave it until the evening as it may be harder to get to sleep when you have things on your mind. Try and complete any study before dinner.

If you’re driving to the exam venue the next day, make sure your car is full of fuel and you know where you can park, as well as a plan A and a plan B in case the venue is busy. If you have a long way to travel, it may well  be worth the investment to book a hotel near the venue for the night. 

Prepare everything you need for the following day. Everything for the exam, like pens, paper, water, ID you need to take, as well as all your personal effects. Choose your clothes for the day and lay them out in the order you need to put them on. Prepare what you need for breakfast so it’s all ready to go. Put your wallet and keys where you can find them. You want to eliminate every decision you need to make the following day so all your decision making is saved for the exam. This is also designed to reduce stress, so you can turn up feeling as relaxed as possible.

Don’t eat your dinner too late. You don’t want to go to bed hungry, but an earlier meal won’t interrupt your sleep. Eating at least 3 hours before bed is a good option. If you eat at 5:30pm you can be in bed by 9pm.

So, let’s talk about bed. You ideally need to be asleep by 10pm to allow your brain to complete all its housekeeping and cleaning! So getting into bed at 9pm without any screens, like your phone, will help you relax. The light from screens can keep you awake and disrupt your sleep cycle. Try reading rather than watching TV. This would be a great time to meditate too. Anxiety the night before an exam will interfere with your sleep and reduce your performance the next day. It can be difficult to clear your mind, but music can absorb your attention and act as a distraction. This means it can be a great aid to meditation.

We’ve linked a song below that neuroscience says can reduce anxiety by up to 65%. It’s from the results of a study where participants attempted to solve difficult puzzles as quickly as possible. The puzzles induced a certain level of stress, and participants listened to different songs while researchers measured brain activity as well as physiological states like heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rates. Listening to this one song called “Weightless”, resulted in a 65 percent reduction in participants’ overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in their usual physiological resting rates. That’s a real bonus for the exam.

Don’t forget that the difference between a pass and a fail is only one mark. Preparing well the night before an exam means that you don’t leave anything to chance. 

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Breakfast for your brain – 60 second video


Video transcript –

When you are starting a day of study, you need to eat the right food. Here are some suggestions to get your brain cells fired up and ticking along nicely.

We’ve mentioned choline before. You’ll find it in egg yolks. It helps brain cells communicate with each other, keeps memories intact and is responsible for memory recall. Scramble some eggs, cooking them in olive oil on a low heat. Olive oil contains vitamins E and K which help with memory. Just make sure you never heat the oil to the point of smoking.

Serve the eggs with some oily fish such as sardines and some sliced avocado. Sardines are high in Omega 3 fatty acids which protect the brain and play an important part in learning and avocados contain a large number of medium chain triglycerides which have been shown to improve memory.

Finally, add some steamed spinach to your meal.  High in iron, this will keep your brain oxygenated as you work.

This will get you off to a great start on your study days.

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Active recall – 60 second video

Active recall

Video transcript –

Active recall is the process of recalling facts from memory.  A single test after reading some text produces better learning than re-reading the text or reviewing any notes. It turns out that re-reading text over and over again is in fact a very poor and ineffective way to study.

So how do you use active recall? Before opening any books or materials, start your study session by recalling everything you know about the topic, then check whether you were correct. Next, spend time studying the material.  At the end of the study session test yourself. Finally, leave a gap before re-testing yourself again. The gap needs to be long enough (maybe several days), so that you actually forget information that didn’t make it into long term memory. 

To be most effective repeat the active recall again and again in spaced out sessions. Not only is it an essential way to build strong long term memories but it also highlights exactly what you don’t know so you can focus on those areas of weakness.

Active recall is hard and feels less productive than re-reading, but the effort produces longer lasting learning and stronger long term memories.

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Using flash cards – 60 second video

Flash cards

Video transcript – 

Now you’ve made your deck of flash cards, this is how to use them.

Shuffle the deck and place them question up in front of you. Look at the first question and answer it out loud.Turn the card over and see if you were correct. If you were completely correct then place it out of the way in a new pile. If you get any part of the answer wrong place it into a second pile.Keep working through the cards this way. 

When you reach the end of the flash card pile you should have two new piles. One of successfully answered questions which you can put aside to return to in a few days time. And a pile of incorrectly answered questions. These are the ones you are going to go through again on your next session. If you answer them correctly, return to them in a few days.

On occasion, when you return to your successful pile a few days later, try keeping them answer side up and remember the question. Knowing the relationship of the answer to the question is important too.

Keep making the gap you wait before returning to the successful pile, longer and longer until you only review them every few weeks. This spaced repetition helps embed the information into long term memory.

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Exam question skills – multiple choice papers


Tips for success in exam question skills.

Exam question skills are essential for making the most of your opportunity on the big day. When you’ve worked so hard on your revision it would be such a shame to miss out on easy marks. Become familiar with how multiple choice exams work. Utilising a few key exam question skills will help you make the most of your knowledge.

Getting started…

Start by reading the end of the question first, this is often where the real question is. Once you know what you are looking for, read the question from the top. Look for the details you need and ignoring any red herrings or superfluous information.

Try this question:

You can see how the actual question is at the end of the text. Reading this first and then going back to the beginning is an efficient way of looking at the question. You are reading it already knowing exactly what you are looking for. If you read the question in order,  you would need to read it a second time. This method will save you time overall and is probably one of the most important exam question skills.

But do make sure you always read the entire question. The answer may seem to be in the first few lines, but if you read on you may discover more. Perhaps the offence is incomplete, or the offender has a defence for his actions.

What next?

  • Answer the question in your mind before looking at the answer choices.
  • Then, having decided on your answer, read every answer choice, eliminating any you know to be definitely wrong. Even if you see what you think is the right answer straight away,
  • You have already answered the question in your mind, and eliminated wrong answers, so choose the best answer from those that remain.

If you knew the answer straight away, that’s great. If not, you may have been able to rule some of the answers out before making an educated guess.  To be left with what is correct, sometimes you just need to know what answers are wrong.

So while we are here, let’s talk about the right and wrong answers to this question.

The offence can’t be “Making a threat to kill” as this does not apply to an unborn child. Had Mr Rogers threatened to kill the child upon its birth this would have been a different matter.

We can rule out “Possession with intent to endanger life” because Mr Rogers has an imitation. Even if you are not sure of the legislation, common sense tells us that you cannot intend to endanger life with an item that does not endanger life!

And finally, we can ignore “Having an imitation firearm in a Public place”, because My Rogers has a lawful excuse.

With those answers aside, it leaves us with the correct answer of “False imprisonment” – unlawful restraint of a persons freedom of movement.

What about the more complex questions?

This is where writing on the exam paper can be a life saver. If you are allowed to write on the paper, you can cross out any information that is wrong, leaving you with a much simpler question. Take this question for instance:

I hope you started by reading the last part of the question first!!

If you’re not super confident on relevant time then a question like this can be really daunting. But we can instantly simplify it.

The relevant time is the time of arrival at the first station where he is wanted or, if arrested outside of England/Wales, 24 hours after entry into England/Wales (or sooner if they arrive at the station before the 24 hours is up). So the information we are looking for is when they entered England. The question clearly states that they entered England at 1pm on Tuesday.  The relevant time is 24 hours after entering England/Wales (or sooner if they arrive at the station where he is wanted before the 24 hours is up).

So to save getting confused, let’s write on the question, get rid of everything we don’t need and highlight what we do.

Now the question seems much simpler. Check your understanding by answering it here:

What if I get stuck?

Move on and return to the question later.  There are likely to be several questions you are unsure of and it would be a huge shame to waste time trying to work them out and not finish the exam, especially as there could be a dozen unfinished questions at the end of the exam that would have been easy for you if you had just got to them. 

Leave questions you are unsure of and come back to them at the end. If you still have time left, you can now share this between the remaining questions, starting with the ones you think are easier. But never leave any blank, if there is little time at the end then simply guess.  If there is no negative marking (marks taken away for wrong answers), you shouldn’t be handling in an unfinished paper.

But make sure you read the tricky question before leaving it to come back to later. There are two good reasons for this. 

  1. Your subconscious mind will be working away on it, so you may find the answer comes to mind more easily when you return to the question.
  2. You may get a clue to an earlier question you were stuck on from a question later on in the exam. 

Should I change my answers?

Research supports changing answers if you think your original one was wrong. This is particularly effective when you return to questions at the end of the exam. Your subconscious mind has been working on them and when you return to questions you weren’t sure about, that extra time your brain has spent processing it often leads to a better answer.

So if you think your original answer was wrong, it could be prudent to change it.

What if I don’t have a clue?

If you are guessing with absolutely no idea what to choose, there is an exam question skills strategy you can use. It may squeeze and extra mark or two out of the exam for you! One piece of work that examined 100 tests (2,456 questions in total), from varied American sources, found some useful statistical patterns.

  • The answers “none of the above” or “all of the above” were correct 52% of the time. 
  • The longest answer on multiple-choice tests was usually correct. 
  • Correct answer choices hardly repeated consecutively. (E.g., If your last correct answer was [A], the next one is less likely to also be [A]).
  • There is a slightly higher chance that answer choice [B] is correct when the question has 4 answer choices.

These don’t provide guarantees, but it may be better than a completely random guess if you have no clue at all!


Make sure you use all these exam question skills as you work through your paper. Take your time and read the questions carefully. This is where all your hard work pays off. And make sure you are completely familiar with the NPPF exam rules. You’ll find everything you need to know at the College of Policing here.

Good luck!! 🍀