top of page

How Accurate Is The Polygraph Exam?

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

(By Jason Holt, Polygraph Tulsa | Lie Detector Test Tulsa OK)

The #1 question asked on a polygraph consultation is “How accurate is the polygraph”?

Before any consultation, most people have already attempted to search the internet for the answer.

However, all they find is more confusion. A recent search of “How accurate are polygraphs” on Google returned about 85,500 results. There are links to stories with titles such as The shaky science of lie detectors and Lie detectors: why they don’t work. These stories are misleading.

The actual answer about the accuracy of a polygraph is based on scientific studies and many are surprised how accurate the polygraph can be.

The American Polygraph Association (APA) has published a report in their quarterly journal to help answer the accuracy question. The study was titled Meta-Analytic Survey of Criterion Accuracy of Validated Polygraph Techniques. It examined techniques used by examiners and their levels of accuracy.


The study concluded the combination of all polygraph types have an accuracy rate of approximately 89%, with some techniques exceeding 90-92%. Below are the results of the study:

1. Event-specific, or single issue testing techniques, had an accuracy rate of approximately 89%

2. Multiple issue testing techniques had an accuracy rate of approximately 85%

3. The combination of all validated polygraph testing techniques had an accuracy rate of

approximately 86.9%

4. Some polygraph testing techniques, which are routinely utilized by our firm, had accuracy rates of greater than 90%

If you wish to read the report click here. You can also access the report by visiting the APA’s website.


Accuracy of polygraph exams range between 85 and 93 percent. We believe this study by the American Polygraph Association shows evidence the polygraph is highly accurate. However, polygraphs are not foolproof. Polygraphs are not perfect. Anyone who tells you otherwise is looking to take your money.

With that said, polygraph exams administered by qualified and professional polygraph examiners have a high degree of accuracy.

If you are at the point in your relationship where a polygraph will help clear up some uncertainties, you can rest assured that polygraphs from Jason Holt Polygraph Services will provide clarity with up to 93% accuracy. Many of our clients have found satisfaction in knowing the truth. We have helped save relationships, identify loss and theft for businesses, and are hired in pre-employment screening processes for many agencies statewide.

Next steps…schedule a free 30-minute consultation. Let us answer your questions.


bottom of page