The FDNY Exam - Practice Test and Complete Guide

FDNY Test Sample Questions and Answers

Yedidya Lixenberg

Yedidya, Firefighter Recruitment Expert at JobTestPrep.

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FDNY Test Video Questions Section

The first section of the written exam includes a short video lecture, a narrated slideshow, and video dialogues between an instructor and firefighter trainees

The videos and presentations will cover topics relevant to a New York City firefighter.

Here is an example of a slideshow that might appear on the NYFD Test and the questions that might follow:

1. Who is responsible for taking a headcount at the assembly point?

A. The building manager

B. Each individual must report themselves

C. The floor warden

D. The firefighters on scene


The correct answer is C - the floor warden

This is mentioned on the second slide: 

Roll Call: Ensure that a headcount is taken by the floor warden.

2. What is the first step to take when you hear the fire alarm in a high-rise building?

A. Call the fire department

B. Sound the fire alarm

C. Get down on the floor

D. Search for a fire extinguisher


The correct answer is B - sound the fire alarm

though this is not explicitly mentioned, sounding the fire alarm will automatically alert the fire department.

Want more? Take the full FDNY Written Test Preparation Course complete with test simulations, video and slideshow questions, full solutions and explanations, written test guides, and all the resources you need to ace the exam!

FDNY Test Reading Comprehension Section

This section on the firefighter exam measures your ability to infer information from written text.

Read the following passage about anti-smoking campaigns, and answer the questions that follow:

In the past few years, the government has turned to shock tactics in order to fight the battle against smokers and the burden they pose on the country's economy (manifested in sick days and health issues). The latest anti-smoking campaign showed tumors growing on a cigarette. Needless to say, this advert was contentious. On the one hand, the advert has become a viral sensation since its launch and has attracted plenty of attention to the subject. On the other hand, some argue that using a hard-hitting approach doesn't really work because people become very afraid. If someone thinks they might have cancer or a symptom of cancer, they're likely to try to push it out of their mind.

3. What is the possible negative effect of the latest anti-smoking campaign?

A. Attracting Excess attention to the subject

B. Contracting a computer virus

C. Increasing the number of smokers

D. Encouraging denial of the problem


The correct answer is D

The passage describes a couple of contrasting outcomes of the latest anti-smoking campaign: (1) “On the one hand, the advert has become a viral sensation since its launch and has attracted plenty of attention to the subject.” (2) “On the other hand, some argue that using a hard-hitting approach doesn’t really work because people become very afraid. If someone thinks they might have cancer or a symptom of cancer, they’re likely to try to push it out of their mind.” The first sentence deals with a positive effect of the campaign: attracting attention to the subject; therefore, distracter A is eliminated. The second sentence deals with a possible negative effect: the campaign might frighten people, encouraging them to avoid a potential problem, therefore D is the correct answer. As for distracters B and C, they are not even mentioned in the passage.

4. Which one of the following would best replace “contentious” while maintaining the meaning of the passage?

A. Problematic

B. Unpopular

C. Controversial

D. Detested


The correct answer is C

The word “contentious” means quarrelsome or debatable. In the context of the passage, it can be replaced with the word “controversial.” A clue to the meaning of this word can be found in the phrasing of the passage after its use: “Needless to say, this advert was contentious. On the one hand… On the other hand…” This phrasing helps us understand that the advert had positive and negative effects, namely, that it was controversial. Also note that all three distracters are very similar in meaning (negative adjectives), which can serve as an additional hint to the correct meaning of the word in question.

FDNY Personality Test Section

5. When I'm under a lot of pressure, from time to time feel like I'm falling apart.

Strongly disagree




Strongly Agree


When answering questions like this one, keep in mind that your answer will be used alongside other questions dealing with resilience to assign a score on the resilience scale. Therefore, your answer to this specific question does not have to be one thing. Provide the answer that feels most honest, but do pay attention to other questions that measure the same trait.

Overall, you want your resilience scale score to be high but not the highest. You do not want to appear dishonest.

FDNY Recruitment

The FDNY Exam is only one part of the process of joining New York City's Fire Department. The process begins by filling out an application, which you can do so long as you meet all the necessary requirements.

  • The FDNY Written Exam

Once you've completed your application, you are ready for the NYFD Test. This computer-based test evaluates your cognitive aptitude and usually takes place approximately six months after your application. A publisher named PSI provides the test.

Firefighter Picture

The test itself is not difficult to pass, especially for NYC residents or persons with a military service background, who receive automatic points. However, passing the test does not guarantee immediate employment. Instead, you are transferred to a list of eligibles and are contacted when the department is seeking new recruits.

This is why scoring well on the Exam is essential, as high scorers are often offered to join first, and low scorers are sometimes not contacted at all.

💡 You can also join FDNY by taking the EMS route.

  • The FDNY Candidate Physical Ability Test

Once you've been contacted to join the FDNY, you will need to take a standard Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT). The CPAT in New York City is the same as every other jurisdiction in the country. Its goal is to measure your physical fitness. 

💡 Learn more about the CPAT and CPAT Training.


  • Additional Steps - Medical and Psychological Tests

Lastly, you'll have to pass a psychological exam similar to the Police Psychological Exam, a thorough background investigation, a medical exam, and a drug test. Once you've been cleared, you will join the 18-week Firefighter Academy and emerge a bona fide New York City firefighter.

When Is the Next FDNY Exam

Registration for the upcoming FDNY Test is open for most of 2024. The next one after that will probably only be in a few years.

The FDNY Test, like most civil service exams in the City of New York, is provided by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, or DCAS. It's recommended that you check the DCAS website for upcoming test dates.

What Does the NYFD Test Consist Of?

The FDNY Test contains video learning questions, reading comprehension questions, and personality questions.

Sections Number of questions Maximum score
Video Learning 26 35
Reading Comprehension 31 15
Background and personality test 81 50
Personal details (bonus)   Up to 35


The Video Learning Section of the FDNT Exam is, in fact, three test sections rolled into one:

  • Short video lecture - A brief lecture presented on video. You will be able to jot down your notes. Following the video you will be asked to answer a few questions.
  • Slideshow - Several slides long and narrated. As with the previous section, you will be required to answer questions about the firefighter equipment discussed in the slides.
  • Dialogue - This section is also presented via video, this time you will need to pinpoint important information by listening to dialogue between an instructor and their students.

The videos and presentations will typically be about various protocols, procedures, and mechanical details.

The Reading Comprehension section will ask you to read a passage relevant to firefighting work and answer questions to show your understanding.

Lastly, the personality test section is intended to ensure you are stable and fit for the pressure involved in life-saving emergency work with the Fire Department of New York.

How Do I Pass the NYFD Exam?

New York City's system of running the test only once every few years has many disadvantages, but one strong advantage: you should have ample time to practice.

The exam evaluates abilities such as reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and attention to detail, all of which can be improved with training.

Do not miss the opportunity to score high on the NYFD Test. Make sure you come prepared on test day.

Looking for a different firefighter exam? Find it here:

Applying to be a Firefighter in the United States? 
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If you are looking for a different test or are interested in becoming a Police Officer, 911 dispatcher, Civil Court Officer, or Sanitation Officer, take a look at our free Civil Service Exam and CritiCall Assessment Practice Tests.

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What Are the Perks of Being a New York City Firefighter?

After taking the written test through the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and completing the other steps, you will finally be eligible to join FDNY.

You will be entitled to a competitive salary, up to four weeks paid vacation a year, a generous pension plan, flexible work schedules, lifelong medical coverage, and holiday pay.

Most importantly, you will be supporting the NYFD's mission and protecting the lives and security of the city's residents.

What Are the Requirements to Join FDNY?

To join FDNY and serve as a firefighter in New York City, candidates must meet requirements dictated by the city:

  • Be over 17-and-a-half and under 29 at the start of the application process.
  • Be over 21 by your appointment.
  • Take and pass the written exam and the Physical Ability Exam.
  • Have a high-school diploma.
  • They must either have 15 credits from an accredited college or educational equivalent, complete full-time military service with an honorable discharge or have six months of work experience at a full-time job.
  • Hold a valid driver's license from the State of New York.
  • Pass medical and psychological test exams.
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