What Can I Expect on a Firefighter Written Exam?

18 October 2022
Chief Brent Collins, President, www.FirePrep.com

What can I expect on a firefighter written examination?

For the cognitive subjects, written examinations commonly consist of approximately 150-200 multiple-choice questions.  The subjects for the written examinations could include any of the testing subjects listed below:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Human Relations
  • Problem Solving
  • Judgment
  • Math
  • Memory
  • Charts
  • Inductive Reasoning
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • Visualization
  • Verbal & Listening Comprehension
  • Spelling
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Oral and Written Communication

One of the biggest changes to firefighter written exams is testing on the subjects of stress tolerance, team orientation, motivation/attitude and exams that include life experience and work-related questionnaires.

99% of applicants have never taken examinations with these testing subjects; yet, this is the section on which candidates must score well or excel in order to achieve a high ranking on the eligibility list.

The key to scoring well on the written examination is preparation.  There are not many candidates who can walk into a written examination and score high on their first attempts without adequate preparation.  You need to practice.  What do we mean by practice?  By taking practice examinations.  It is like studying for any other test you have taken – you need to adequately study and prepare.  The competition for a firefighter position is intense. 

When you take a firefighter examination, you are ranked on the eligibility list from the higher score to the lowest score.  Obviously, you want to be at the top to dramatically increase your chances of moving onto the other parts of the testing process.  The more you study and prepare, the better your score.  Like we said before, you have to want it, and wanting it means you will put the required time in to adequately studying and preparing.  During your preparation, you need to fine tune the areas where you are consistently weak until you feel confident walking into an examination knowing that no one can beat you.

The key to your success on this portion of the hiring process will be how much time you put into preparing for this important first step.  You can do it – you just have to want it!

Good luck in your pursuit of the greatest job on the face of the earth!  Remember – luck goes to the prepared!