California Firefighter Exams

Each department may choose which exam it requires you to take to become a firefighter. The exam may be provided by an assessment company or by a specific department. Becoming familiar with the exam will help you to successfully pass it.

Los Angeles

To join the LAFD, you must take the Firefighter Candidate Assessment (FCA). The FCA is provided by PSI. The FCA is a computer-based exam, with video and audio components. The exam includes five portions, which you will have four hours in total to complete. Learn more about the LAFD Exam.

To join the LACoFD you must take the Los Angeles County Fire Department written test. Learn more about the LACoFD exam and start preparing today.


To become a firefighter in Sacramento, you must take the FCTC entry-level written test developed by the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (Cal-JAC). This test measures your knowledge in reading comprehension, the ability to recall detailed visual and verbal information, basic mathematics, and mechanical reasoning. The test starts with a 30-minute period in which you are given essays to read and study. You then have two hours to complete 100 multiple-choice questions.

The FCTC Written Test covers four subjects:

  • Recall and Comprehend Verbal and Visual Information –This section requires you to watch two short videos and answer questions based on the scenarios presented.
  • Apply Mechanical Reasoning – This section presents problems that evaluate your ability to use reason to identify details within specific mechanical examples. Some questions are presented in a video format and some are included in the test booklet. The topics may include, but are not limited to fluid dynamics, levers, belt and pulley systems, rope and pulley systems, and gears.
  • Solve Mathematical Problems – The math section covers areas such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, angles, area, volume, algebra, and geometry, as well as the use of decimals, fractions, and percentages.
  • Recall and Comprehend Technical Information from Written Materials – This section assesses your ability to recall detailed information and demonstrate comprehension. Some essays are provided during the first 30 minutes of the exam and some are included in the test booklet. The essays that you will read at the beginning of the exam process cannot be referred to during the test.

San Diego

To become a firefighter in San Diego, you must take a written test. The test has five sections: Mechanical Reasoning; Reading Comprehension; Oral Comprehension; Reading Charts, Graphs, and Diagrams; and Basic Mathematics. No prior knowledge of firefighting information is necessary to take the written test.

San Francisco

To join the San Francisco Fire Department, you must take the Ergometrics FireTEAM Exam. This exam is divided into four tests: Video-Based Human Relations, Mechanical Aptitude, Math, and Reading Ability. The exam contains around 160 questions and has a time limit of 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Preparing for California Firefighter Exams

Knowing about the test beforehand will help you succeed in passing it. JobTestPrep provides information about the test structure of California firefighter exams to help you familiarize yourself with them. Prepare for California firefighter tests with our practice tests, which are customized for the different firefighter exams in California.