Firefighter Written Exam

The firefighter aptitude test is designed to measure two main areas: cognitive aptitude and oral direction. The cognitive aptitude section of the written test is generally comprised of six tests: Mechanical & Mathematical reasoning, Spatial Orientation, Memory & Observation Skills, Reading Comprehension and Situational Judgement Tests. Both the cognitive and oral parts of the exam are essential for success in the firefighting position.


Interview

The interview is usually after the written exam, although this may vary among different departments. It is important to arrive at your interview well-rested and prepared, as you will need to impress the department superiors. Make sure to have well thought-out and structured responses ready.


Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)

The CPAT is a high level physical endurance test, designed to measure your physical abilities during the pre-employment process. Tested abilities may include stair climbing, hose dragging, carrying equipment, ladder raising and extending, forcible entry, searching, rescuing, ceiling breaching, pushing, and other firefighting related work. It is important to be physically fit and to come to the CPAT prepared for the tasks you may need to perform.


Medical Examination

The medical exam determines if you are in top physical condition and able to fulfill all that is required on the job without putting themselves or others at risk. You must undergo a complete physical by a certified physician to rule out various medical conditions and ascertain that they are healthy enough to go through the grueling firefighter training process.


Psychological Evaluation

The psychological evaluation may be comprised of two stages:

  • Written personality test in order to be familiar with the test format and learn how to answer with the correct attitude, it is important to prepare for the firefighter personality test. The personality test may be part of the written exam.
  • Evaluation by a psychologist (or psychiatrist) needs to make sure that the you have the mental ability to cope with the stress of firefighting.

Background Check

This part of the recruitment process will likely include your personal history (including criminal records) obtained from the background check in addition to the information that you supply during the firefighter test process. There may also be a required drug test. It is advised that you be honest and straightforward in providing information during this process, as any misrepresentation may be grounds for disqualifying you from being considered for firefighter positions.


Firefighter 1&2 Tests

After you have finished all the steps mentioned above, you will be required to prove your professional knowledge and successfully pass the Firefighter 1 or 2 Test (FF2 is of higher accreditation) to receive one of the certifications required by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and be eligible to start a career as a firefighter. The FF1 and FF2 tests consist of 100 multiple-choice questions based on the NFPA 1001 standard, where you will be allotted two hours to complete the exam. To pass the test, you will be required to score a minimum of 70% in addition to successfully completing a practical skills exam.


Chances of Becoming a Firefighter

The firefighter testing process can be extremely difficult and competitive; therefore, it is important to stand out from the competition and be as unique as possible. One way to improve your chances is by getting involved with your (local) fire department and other organizations to gain experience and perhaps additional firefighter training, for example:

  • Take a firefighter course, such as the Pre-Service Firefighter Education & Training Program (available at many community colleges)
  • Volunteer at your local fire department (or become an Emergency Medical Technician and volunteer at your local ambulance corps)
  • Network with organizations connected to your local fire department as well as organizations such as the Red Cross
  • Get to know all about the fire service and always be up-to-date with the current news and information within the service

Prepare with JobTestPrep

The tough competition for the job makes its available only for those who really desire it and willing to take the extra mile to get it. To make the best of yourself, you must prepare for the exam. We provide practice tests and study guides to help you successfully pass the exam.


Related links

Firefighter Requirements Firefighter Practice Test
Firefighter Written Exam Learn More about Firefighter Civil Service Tests
Firefighter Exam by Assessment Company Firefighter Test by State