A polygraph examination has three phases that the test subject will go through.  The first stage is the pretest phase where the polygraphist will obtain your written permission to take a polygraph examination, determine your suitability to take a polygraph test by going through a background form with you and the polygraph is explained in detail to you. You and the polygraph examiner will then talk about the circumstances surrounding the issue of why you are taking a polygraph test.

The second stage is the in test phase where the examiner will prepare the test questions and review them all with you prior to the actual testing. You are then attached to the polygraph and only the reviewed questions will be asked on your test. The attachments simultaneously record physiological responses which can be analyzed by the examiner.

The third phase is where the examiner will do an analysis of the polygrams and from that will come to an opinion.


  • No one can be made to take a polygraph examination.  All tests must be voluntary.
  • Polygraph components are placed across the chest, on your fingers and a cardio (blood pressure) cuff is placed on the arm
  • Total time you are with the polygraph examiner is usually 2-3 hours depending upon the issue.
  • It is natural to be nervous when taking a polygraph test and the examiner realizes this.  Nervousness does not normally interfere with the test procedure
  • There is never any surprise questions asked on a polygraph examination.

"The ultimate goal of all research is not objectivity, but truth"
- Helene Deutsch

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© 2004 National Polygraph Service
Airdrie, Alberta T4B 2B4