The Ultimate Firefighter Aptitude & Character Test Guide [2022]
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What Is the Firefighter Aptitude and Character Test (FACT)?

The Firefighter Aptitude and Character Test, or the OFAI written test, evaluates different firefighting skills in several ways. It includes sections that test your reading, math, writing, navigation, and human relations.

It is important to note that while similar, the FACT test for firefighters has replaced the older exam called the National Fire Select Test (NFST). 

 

Reading Section: 

This section will include several written paragraphs, each followed by five related questions. 

For instance, you may be asked about topics like the physical properties of different substances. Why is this important? If you come to a site with the right explosive ratio of the air-to-fuel mixture along with a suitable ignition source, you will be able to better predict its explosive range. The paragraph will be filled with data relating to the physical characteristics of various liquids, like flash or fire points, vapor density, and specific gravity. 

You may also come across sections on the four fire classifications from class A-D. Each class fire contains different flammables, each carrying various hazards and demanding a different distinguishing method. For instance, Class A Fires usually involve organic materials and can be extinguished with water. On the other hand, Class D fires are much more complex because they involve metals and can react adversely to water. The latter type of fire needs special equipment and agents like dry powder.

As you can see, every subject presented to you in the reading section will directly relate to the job on hand. The test examiner wants to ensure can comprehend vital information within different formats (block text or graphs).

 

Math Section:­

The math section includes 12 math questions related to fire. Before we get into the question types, it's important to mention that calculators are not allowed. Below are some of the types of fire-related math questions that may be asked of you:

  • Graphs: After reviewing the graph, you will be asked some straightforward questions about the mix of materials most responsible for fires in commercial buildings. The initial question will be followed by a series of statements, with only one being true or false. 
  • Expenses: These questions relate to the purchase of team equipment within the budget allocated for the firehouse. This is a practical skill, as unit members are ultimately responsible for ensuring they have all the equipment necessary to fight fires and save lives.
  • Weight: These questions will use math to see how effectively and quickly you can calculate weight issues, which can mean the difference between life and death. You may be asked to calculate the weight of the number of people stuck in an elevator. Or the equipment on your back plus an injured party that you need to carry to safety. 
  • Statistics: Questions on statistics may also be thrown into the mix, which might relate to types of burn or road accident victims. As part of your job, and depending on the position you ultimately rise to, interpreting statistics and data can be instrumental in helping the organization to save more lives.

 

Writing Section:

Like so many other professions, the ability to write well is an important part of a firefighter's job. For instance, every incident has to be reported and documented (forms can take up to 30 minutes to complete). Additionally, all issues with equipment must also be properly recorded. Thus, the ability to write correctly is instrumental to the job. Let's take a look at some of the types of questions you might see in this section:

  • Complete the sentence: You will be provided with a broken sentence missing two words. Next, you will choose the right matching words from a multiple-choice list. Be careful, as many of the words will look similar even though they hold different meanings.
  • Grammar and Punctuation: These question types will come in the form of several multiple-choice options. Choose the most well-constructed sentence by looking at grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Alternatively, you might be provided one sentence and be asked to choose the problem from a multiple-choice list (spelling, grammar, punctuation, or no issue.)
  • Synonyms: You will be provided with a single sentence with one word underlined. You will have to find the Synonym for the underlined word from among a list of multiple-choice options.

 

Map Reading Section:

This section includes three questions related to a map. Being able to read a map is crucial when responding to an unfolding situation. While GPS-based devices are used today, there is always the possibility of a communication outage. So, firefighters must understand how to navigate the old fashion way, as every second counts. The questions will be designed to ensure that you can map out the most effective, safe, and legal route possible. 

 

Human Relations Section:

The last section is comprised of eight paragraphs with different moralistic scenarios both on and off the job. After reading each scenario, you will (1) choose your response from a multiple-choice list; and (2) choose which of the answer choices is the most or least appropriate response. It must be understood that values, human dignity, and trust are a significant part of the job. Fire companies want to ensure that the people they choose are of the highest caliber possible. 

  

Ontario Fire Administration Inc. (OFAI) Hiring Process

Now that you have a basic understanding of what you will see on the test, let's take a brief tour of the hiring process. 

Stage 1: CV

The OFAI will first review your Cover Letter and CV as the first step in the screening process.

Stage 2: Questionnaire

You will take a questionnaire, which will help the administration assess how serious and committed you are. 

Stage 3: Registration and Testing Process

Once you are pre-assessed and approved, you will go through a six-stage assessment process:

1. Firefighter Aptitude and Character Test (FACT)– See above.

2. Hearing Assessment- Hearing loss greater than 40 decibels (500 Hz/DB, 1000 Hz/DB, 2000 Hz/DB, and 3000 Hz/DB) in either ear is a fail

3. Vision Assessment – This is not conducted at the OFAI; you must see your private optometrist and return a form to the agency.

4. Encapsulated Treadmill Test – You will undergo a pre-screening by a doctor and an Aerobic Fitness Evaluation-Encapsulated Treadmill Protocol.\

5. Firefighter Physical Aptitude Job-Related Tests (FPAT) – These are six individual tests that must all be passed to continue.

  • Equipment Carry/Vehicle Extrication with a total walking distance of 105m, you will pick up tools about 20-44 kg (30 times in 3 minutes 45 seconds or less) and place them correctly on disks. 
  • Charged Hose Advance – Walking as fast as possible (you are not allowed to run), you must advance a hose to the finish line at 30M. You must complete this task in less than 27seconds.
  • Weighted Sled Pull – Pull a sled back and forth three times at 15.24 m per pull in less than 1 minute and 50 seconds.
  • Forcible Entry Simulation – Using a 4.5-kilogram sledgehammer, you must break through a surface safely in under 19 seconds.
  • Victim Rescue – Pickup and carry a mannequin weighing 83 kg 15 meters to the finish line. You will have 57 seconds to complete the exercise. 
  • Ladder Climb - You have 1 minute and 57 seconds to climb a ten rung later ten times while placing both feet on the top rung.

 6. Firefighter Technical Skills Assessment – These are six individual tests that must all be passed to continue. All tests are to be completed within 10 minutes each.

  • 10 Meter Ladder Climb, Ropes, Knots, and Tool Lift – After tying your knots properly, climb up to a third-floor balcony with an axe and come back down successfully.
  • Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) Proficiency Test – Crawl through a complex in full gear by following all search procedures. You only pass this test when you get to the exit on time.
  • Medical Skills – Wearing PPE, you must verbalize all treatments for any injury described to you and administer first aid in practice.
  • Roof Ventilation – Wearing PPE and SCBA, you must determine if the roof is safe, climb up, and cut a ventilation hole. If the hole is too big, you automatically fail; if the hole is too small, you will get a chance to correct it.
  • 7 Meter Ladder Raise/ Roof Ladder Deployment - Wearing PPE and SCBA and completing a beam or flat raise with a 7-meter ladder. You can only ask for assistance to stabilize the ladder.
  • Fine Motor Skills Hose Assembly – In PPE assemble an assortment of hoses and appliances safely while hooking it up to water supplies. After everything is assembled, you will be raised and must fire the hole into a directed hole.

 

After receiving a pass, you will be invited to apply for a position in various municipalities.

 

Firefighter Aptitude and Character Test Practice  

The Firefighter Aptitude and Character Test is your first step in the recruitment process, so it would be a shame to fail and throw away all your hard training. Instead, make sure you come fully prepared by taking advantage of JobTestPrep's comprehensive Firefighter Aptitude and Character Test practice. We provide accurate and timed testing with in-depth guides and explanations to learn your strengths and focus on your weaknesses with the most thorough practice experience on the market.

 

 

Reading Section:

This section will include several written paragraphs, each followed by five related questions. 

For instance, you may be asked about topics like the physical properties of substances.

The section of the exam serves as an assessment of several important metrics:

  • Understanding of the material
  • Distinguishing essential and secondary information.
  • Discovering minor textual nuances
  • Following the logical development of the text
  • Reading speed- due to the time limit

Passing this section of the test proves that you can be trusted to follow complicated instructions and process information in bulk.

 

Math Section:­

The math section includes 12 basic math questions- and calculators are not permitted. You should prepare to answer a wide range of questions, including:

  • Arithmetic – addition, subtraction, multiplication, division (including long division)
  • Percentages
  • Ratios
  • Time
  • Speed
  • Units of measurement – miles, feet, inches, etc.
  • Unit conversion
  • Word problems

 

Writing Section:

Like so many other professions, the ability to write well is an important part of being a firefighter- every incident has to be reported and thoroughly documented. All issues with equipment must also be properly recorded. Thus, the ability to write correctly is instrumental. Let's take a look at some of the questions you might see:

  • Complete the sentence: You will be provided a sentence with missing words. Next, you must complete the sentence with the correct words from a multiple-choice list. Be careful, as many of the words will look similar even though they hold different meanings.
  • Grammar and Punctuation: These question types will come in the form of several multiple-choice options. Choose the most well-constructed sentence by looking at grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Alternatively, you might be provided one sentence and be asked to choose the problem from a multiple-choice list (spelling, grammar, punctuation, or no issue.)
  • Synonyms: You will be provided with a single sentence with one word underlined. You will have to find the Synonym for the underlined word from among a list of multiple-choice options.

 

Map Reading Section:

This section includes three questions related to a map. Being able to read a map is crucial when responding to an unfolding situation. While GPS-based devices are used today, there is always the possibility of a communication outage. So, firefighters must understand how to navigate the old fashion way, as every second counts. The questions will be designed to ensure that you can map out the most effective, safe, and legal route possible. 

 

Human Relations Section:

The last section is comprised of eight paragraphs with different moralistic scenarios both on and off the job. After reading each scenario, you will:

(1) choose your response from a multiple-choice list.

(2) choose which of the answer choices is the most or least appropriate response.


Now that you have an understanding of the FACT's structure and demands, get the best Preparation tool available on the market today with the JobTestPrep FACT PrepPack.

 

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