NFST - National Fire Select Test Preparation
Yedidya Lixenberg

Yedidya, Firefighter Recruitment Expert at JobTestPrep.

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The National Fire Select Test (NFST) is a written exam created by Fire & Police Selection Inc. (FPSI). Passing this test is a requirement for moving on to the next phase of the application process. JobTestPrep offers a comprehensive preparation program that includes study guides and NFST firefighter practice tests. These materials are focused on optimizing your exam score. Do not confuse this test with Stanard and Associates' National Firefighter Selection Test.

Format of the National Fire Select Test (NFST)

The NFST firefighter exam is a timed, multiple-choice test. Your score is based solely on the number of correct answers, without penalty for wrong responses. Therefore, it is to your advantage to answer every item. Feel free to guess if necessary.

Fire & Police Selection Inc. Firefighter Test Content

The general aptitude portion of the FPSI firefighter written exam consists of six sections. Additional details about each section can be found below:

  • Reading Ability Section – You are presented with a fire-related passage that you must read. Five questions follow the passage, each of which houses four response options. All correct answers are provided within the passage. Some of the questions require basic math calculations.
  • Math Reasoning Section – This section of the NFST involves basic math functions: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and percentages. Each question is followed by four answer alternatives. Some of the items are formatted as job-related word problems, while others involve basic charts.
  • Map Reading Section – A street map with "one-way" or "two-way" labels and building identification is presented. The tasks concern directions to locations or finding the most direct route.
  • Writing Ability Section – There are various item formats within this section. One type of question requires you to find the word that best completes a given sentence. A second format requests the selection of the most appropriate sentence in terms of grammar, punctuation, spelling, and English usage. Identifying the type of error contained in a given sentence is the third format. The fourth question type involves picking the option that contains the synonym of a given word.
  • Human Relations Section – Some Fire & Police Selection, Inc. tests title this section "Interpersonal Competencies," while other FPSI exams use the term "Contextual Simulation. A short paragraph is presented, followed by two questions, both containing the same four answer options. The first question requires the selection of the most appropriate response, while the second question requires the selection of the least appropriate response. Among the skills measured in the Human Relations section are honesty, integrity, teamwork, commitment, and emotional stability.
  • Reasoning Skills Section - The NFST firefighter exam includes a variety of different question formats, arranged in the "Reasoning Skills" section:
    • Spatial reasoning
    • Error checking - items requiring the identification of exact duplicates
    • Job-related basic math word problems (travel questions)
    • Sequencing, identifying the next number in a series
    • Cube rotation - geometric shapes, identifying the original item after a rotation

All of these questions are designed to assess a candidate's reasoning skills, and they usually appear as a sixth section in the NFST.

Individual fire departments determine how many of the test's sections to use in their tests. Many include all six sections in their NFST firefighter exam.

In addition to the six areas of the Comprehensive Examination Battery (CEB), which are outlined above, some Fire & Police Selection, Inc. tests also include a Work Style Inventory (WSI) exam. The WSI is a personality test that assesses the traits, work preferences, styles, and methods essential for success as a firefighter.

Prepare for the NFST Firefighter Test

Preparing for NFST firefighter pre-employment test increases speed and accuracy as you become familiar with the types of questions on and the format of the exam. JobTestPrep's comprehensive NFST preparation package includes a National Fire Select Test study guide as well as an FPSI practice test. These coupled with helpful exam strategies and sample questions are guaranteed to provide you with a successful testing experience. 

North American Fire Services Using the NFST

In the US and in Canada, many fire services use FPSI’s services and administer the National Fire Select Test to all candidates. Here are some of the known fire departments: Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency, Tucson Fire Department, Unified Fire Authority, West Pierce Fire & Rescue, and Vancouver Fire Rescue Services. The OFAI (Ontario Fire Administration Inc.) also include the NFST as part of their recruitment process, however, not all Ontario’s fire departments use this selection process.

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