How To Pass a Polygraph Test

Test machine
Ever wonder what it takes to pass a polygraph test? This article provides a few hints that will help you pass a lie detector test with ease. 

Step 1

Learn the basics. A polygraph test is not a surefire way of getting the truth from someone. In fact, it is far from that. Polygraph tests simply measure the body's reaction to certain questions. They cannot tell a lie from a truth, and that is one reason that they are not admissible in courtrooms.

Step 2

Learn the schedule. Most polygraphs will require you to take a preliminary questionnaire or interview followed by the actual test. After that, you may be asked to participate in a post-test interview. If possible, it would be a good idea to avoid any type of post-test questions. 

Step 3

Learn the procedures. Polygraph tests usually ask three types of questions: foundation, leading, and specific.

  • Foundation questions are designed to get a base reading on your pulse, blood pressure, etc., and they can be manipulated in your favor. These simple questions (i.e. Are you sitting?") only have one correct thing for you to say in response, so if you can quicken your heart rate during them, the readings for any other questions will be off. Be subtle in your methods though, because polygraphers will notice if you are wincing from pricking your feet with tacks.
  • Leading questions are designed to get a reading on a lie of yours, but you must anticipate them and answer truthfully. A question such as, "Have you ever lied to avoid trouble?", may seem incriminating, but since everyone has done this, any answer other than "Yes" is known to be a lie.
  • Specific questions are the reason that you are taking the polygraph test. They will be custom designed for each test to investigate a certain aspect of your life. In a polygraph test, appearance is everything, so these questions must be answered in the same manner as every other question during the test. Don't be caught off guard.

Step 4

Stay calm. Don't give the polygrapher any reason to disbelieve your answers. If you are telling the truth, there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Simply remain calm throughout the whole test, and turn the event into a learning experience instead of a stressful time.

Hopefully you will never have to take a polygraph test, but if you do, these tips will help you pass with flying colors. Remember, the truth will set you free!

Zach Bauguess is a freelance journalist with articles written on a variety of topics from cooking to cars to crafts.

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