CPS & OS Firefighter Test – Practice Tests and Study Guides

What Is The NFST (National Fire Select Test)?

This test is based on multiple choice questions, and getting a passing score is the difference between joining a fire department and becoming a Canadian firefighter or not.

The NFST is a written assessment test used by different Canadian fire departments in their hiring process. it measures your ability to work with written and oral information, as well as being a character test- meant to see if you have the personality needed to become a firefighter.

Firefighter applicants in Canada are very likely to take this test, so if you are one- keep reading to find out more about it.

Note that you may also be asked to take a physical test alongside the occupational skills assessment- so make sure you get fit before the test day, to ensure you can join the fire department.

CPS Entry-Level Test Format

The entry-level CPS test is generally divided into five sections, although there are seven possible areas the CPS assesses applicants with. JobTestPrep provides practice materials for all seven of them to ensure you are as prepared as possible for anything that may come your way.

  • Understanding Oral Information – Firefighters need a commanding understanding of oral information so that when they are at the scene of a fire oral commands are clearly understood, even if they are not explicitly written out or explained. This section tests your reasoning skills as well.
  • Reading and Understanding Written Information – During an emergency, there is usually an LED sign with a scroll explaining the situation. It is important that your reading comprehension skills are up to par. It is also important to be able to study and learn the correct information about all the equipment used by firefighters.
  • Understanding Written Instructions – If a firefighter cannot understand the rules of how to fight a fire correctly, then they become a danger not only to themselves but also to the rest of the crew and to civilians.
  • Mathematical Ability – Firefighters use a lot of math—they must be able to understand what hose length reaches the scene, which ladder is the correct height, and how much water is still in the tank. There are numerous other examples as well, but they are all based on your arithmetic reasoning.
  • Numerical Skills – This section is more or less like the basic mathematical ability section. However, it is more specific in that it refers to the calculation of water flow and is slightly more math intensive.
  • Maps & Diagrams – A firefighter must be able to get to the scene as quickly as possible, and this will only happen if you understand how to read a map. You must also understand how to read floor plans to be able to find the source of the fire in buildings and structures.
  • Mechanical Aptitude – The mechanical aptitude test revolves around the levers, pulleys, etc. that you will encounter during your job. It is important for you to have a basic understanding of how general mechanics work to ensure the most effective techniques are used.
  • Teamwork/Public Relations/Community Living – This section is much like a personality test, with a few situational judgment questions as well. Firefighters work in teams, so it is imperative that you be able to work as part of a team and that you can live in a firehouse without causing problems. Firefighters also tend to speak a lot with civilians and victims, so it is important for you to possess good people skills.

CPS Sample Question- Numerical Skills

A shop owner bought some shovels for $5,500. The shovels were sold for $7,300, with a profit of $50 per shovel. How many shovels were involved?

None of these
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is 36.

The total profit from the sale is the selling price minus the cost of purchase, which is $7300-$5500= $1800.
If the total profit is $1800 and each shovel accounts for $50 profit, the amount of shovels is 1800/50=36.


CPS Sample Question- Situational Judgement Test

During the last fire, the hose got caught in the truck. It took an extra five minutes to loosen the hose and lay it out long enough to reach the fire. Following this incident, your captain calls in Tom, the firefighter who performed the last equipment check before you left. You know that your captain is upset after this dangerous error, and you know that Tom will get in trouble. You also remember that it was you who rolled the hose last and that you did it while talking on the phone, which may have distracted you.
What would be the worst response to this situation?

Wait to see what the captain will say to Tom before you take any rash actions.
Tell Tom that you think you should share the blame and suggest you talk to the captain together.
Talk to the captain, confess what you did, but emphasize that this is exactly why equipment checks are important.
Suggest to Tom that next time he should check the instruments more thoroughly. 
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is Talk to the captain, confess what you did, but emphasize that this is exactly why equipment checks are important.

Worst response: C
Competencies: Integrity (ethics), Interpersonal relations (teamwork)
Explanation: Following a dangerous incident, your teammate Tom is expected to be blamed for failing to spot a potential hazard in his inspection. Tom indeed should have found the error, but you are the one who caused it. You have a chance to either take responsibility for your part or to let Tom take all the blame. Notice that you are being asked about the worst response to the situation.

In response A, you wait. This seems like a passive response or a response that postpones your need to decide. However, deciding to wait is also a decision. Your first response is not to take responsibility. This is not a positive response, yet it is not the worst.

In response B, you take your share of the responsibility. You don't take the full blame, and indeed Tom has his part too. But you show solidarity and ethics. This is the best response.

Response C might be confusing. First, you confess to your part of the blame – you weren't focused enough while rolling the hose. You go on to emphasize why equipment inspections are important. While this is true, and they are indeed important, emphasizing it here seems to be an attempt to take the blame from you and turn it to Tom. You appear to be responsible, but in fact, you are trying to eat the cake and have it too – presenting yourself as ethical by confessing your part but also dodging the reprimand by pointing to someone else. This is the worst response.

In response D, you fail to confess your part in the incident and act insensitively to your teammate's situation. However, here you don't make things worse for him by trying to get your captain more upset with him. This is a negative response, but it is not the worst.



Prepare for the Firefighter Test

Hundreds of candidates typically apply for each open firefighter position. Firehouses rank the test and pick the highest-scoring candidates. JobTestPrep offers a CPS-styled firefighter test preparation package, which includes both practice tests and a comprehensive study guide. These resources will prepare you for the exam and help ensure that your name is at top of the candidate list. Our package is especially geared for the CPS Chicago Fire Dept. exam. 

About CPS

CPS HR is one of the largest assessment test companies in the United States that works with public safety. It provides assessment tests for fire departments in some of the top cities nationwide, including Chicago, Orange County, Sacramento, Akron, and many, many more.

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