Before Your Exam

Preparing for Your Polygraph

Polygraph examinations are best accomplished when you are properly prepared for the experience.
  • Physical Preparation:
    • Remember to take your medications (if applicable) as prescribed. However, please do not use medical marijuana within 24 hours prior to your scheduled polygraph examination.
    • Ensure that you allot yourself a sufficient amount of rest/sleep prior to your scheduled appointment (recommend 6-8 hours).
    • Avoid any strenuous physical exertion (work / exercise 4 hours prior to your exam).
    • Do consume adequate nourishment and fluids prior to your exam (breakfast/lunch).
    • You should avoid excessive consumption of caffeine products (4 hours prior to your exam).
  • Cognitive Preparation:
    • Recognize and resolve any denial and/or minimization issues regarding your offense(s) and/or violations.
    • Examine yourself for present attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors (red flags) which should be disclosed during your exam.
    • Analyze your past/present activities as they relate to your Offense Treatment and Probation requirements (recommend no less than one week prior to exam).
    • Document and disclose in detail your offense(s), victim(s), paraphilias, and/or any violation(s) (recommend no less than one week prior to exam).
    • Yield or concede that you can learn by being self-aware and by actively listening to the input and observations of others around you (treatment providers, probation officer, group, polygraph examiner, family support system).
  • Emotional Preparation:
    • Remember to approach your examination with the purpose in mind that you can and will make it a positive experience — which will eventually lead to a more accountable you.
    • Ensure that you avoid becoming defensive, impatient, and/or argumentative either during your exam or prior to with others.
    • Always remember to engage in active listening during the examination, You thus enhance your ability to properly focus on the context of the questions and answer them with a confident truthful response.
    • Do answer questions asked of you in a truthful, well thought-out, organized, and logical manner – thus reducing the likelihood of unwarranted fears or uncertainty.
    • You must avoid assigning blame to others during your examination. By not blaming others, your ability to view your issues in a logical accountable manner is greatly improved.
  • DO:
    • Do notify your probation officer and treatment provider about any violations in a timely manner.
    • Do keep an up-to-date journal regarding your activities (those deemed reportable).
    • Do make any/all relevant disclosures to both your probation officer and treatment provider – no less than one week prior to your polygraph examination.
    • Do realize that each of your polygraph examinations is unique and that the complete truth, as well as considerable effort, must be put forth by you during each of your examinations.
    • Do listen to and follow all of the instructions provided to you by the polygraph examiner.
    • Do ask questions of the polygraph examiner, which are relevant to and help clarify issues on your examination.
    • Do provide complete details about all relevant issues to your polygraph examiner (who, what, when, where, why & how).
    • Do arrive for your examination with any/all documentation that is relevant to both your sexual history and/or your maintenance issues.
  • DON’T:
    • Don’t assume that your polygraph examiner is completely aware of all there is to know regarding your circumstances.
    • Don’t make the mistake of believing that the less you say or disclose in your examination, the easier the process will be for you.
    • Don’t subscribe to non-technical advice, about taking a polygraph, provided to you by a layperson. (Polygraph examiners approved by the SOMB are knowledgeable, responsible, and willing to provide you with appropriate guidance).
    • Don’t make the mistake of being misled by anti-polygraph literature. These materials are filled with misinformation and assuredly lead to poor results in your examination.
    • Don’t arrive for your examination late and unprepared.
    • Don’t expect the examiner to ask you about all which may be concerning you. You must take a proactive position and become fully and truthfully accountable in the examination process.
    • Don’t distract yourself during your exam by fantasizing, daydreaming, or talking to yourself.
    • Don’t ASSUME anything during your polygraph examination.