What is the Firefighter Exam?
What is the Firefighter Exam?
To become a firefighter, a firefighter exam developed by the Firefighter Candidate Testing Center of the agency they are testing for must be carried out. This test is administered to check the aptitude of each candidate with respect to their retrieval accuracy, cognitive abilities, and speed of completion. The test is customized and designed to provide a practical demonstration of your capacity to think and process information.
The Firefighter Exam deals with skill sets ranging from math to personality assessment. It consists of multiple examinations, which are part of a multi-tiered hiring process designed to find the “best of the best” applicants, whom fire departments find ready and qualified to enroll and train to become a firefighter in a fire academy.
How are firefighters hired?
Applicants vying for a place within the fire department can expect to take multiple qualifying exams after completing their initial application for a firefighting job. The following table summarizes the forms of tests you will undergo and gives you a brief overview of what to expect from each test:
|Exam Type||What to Expect|
|Written Exam||A multiple-choice examination in a variety of subject areas that lasts at least 2.5 hours|
|Physical Ability Test||Usually, a timed test that measures the physical fitness of applicants, including strength, stamina, and versatility, to ensure that they are physically capable of starting a fire training school.|
|Oral Interview||An interview with the hiring panel, which may include fire department leaders, local government officials, and local business people.|
|Medical Exam||A complete physical activity conducted by a licensed physician to test applicants for a variety of medical problems and to guarantee that they are fit enough to train in becoming firefighters.|
|Psychological Evaluation||A personality assessment and/or interview with a psychiatrist or psychologist to guarantee that applicants can psychologically cope with firefighting stress.|
Firefighter Written Exam
Typically, the written firefighter test is the very first step in the firefighter application process once the application has been completed. Written firefighter examinations test candidates in a multitude of subject areas. The exam includes 100-150 multiple-choice questions and a true/false format that covers a wide range of skills. The exam will take about 2-2.5 hours to complete (depending on the district).
The firefighter test format may vary depending on the fire department to which you are planning to apply. You may find the info you need by getting in touch with the department of interest (possibly your local division). The table below details the most common topics and the types of questions related to each topic area.
|Reading Comprehension||Sets of passages and questions that assess your ability to comprehend and interpret what you are reading.|
|Verbal Expression||Questions that measure your skills in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.|
|Observation and Memory||Maps, diagrams, or passages that need to be studied for a certain amount of time; questions that need to be answered from memory.|
|Spatial Orientation||Questions that assess your ability to envision and navigate through maps, floor plans, and diagrams.|
|Reasoning and Judgment||Questions that require you to make decisions on the basis of sound judgment and logical reasoning based on circumstances in scenarios or lists.|
|Mathematics||High school mathematics, which includes algebra and geometry|
|Mechanical Aptitude||Questions regarding tools and simple machines|
Firefighter Physical Exam
The Firefighter’s Physical Exam, popularly known as the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT), is a recognized criterion for evaluating a person’s ability to cope with the physical requirements of being a firefighter. Candidates must follow a closed course of eight separate events within 10 minutes and 20 seconds. Each incident simulates the physical skill or task encountered by firefighters at work.
- Stair Climb
- Hose Drag
- Equipment Carry
- Ladder Raise and Extension
- Forcible Entry
- Rescue Drag
- Ceiling Breach and Pull
During the firefighter CPAT exam, the applicants wear helmets, gloves, and 50-pound weighted vests designed to mimic the weight of the firefighter’s protective gear. Applicants will be assisted by a test proctor, who will give directions for the test events and rate the candidate’s progress in real-time.
Firefighter Oral Exam
The interview is usually done after the written exam, although this may vary from one department to another. It is crucial to show up well-rested and prepared at your interview as you will have to impress the superiors of the department.
Fear of talking in front of a group of individuals is popular, and several firefighter applicants are stressing about the interview stage of the firefighter hiring process. However, if you keep in mind the following advice, you won’t have anything to worry about:
- Arrive on time or at least 10 to 15 minutes early.
- Be friendly and courteous.
- Sit up straight and maintain your focus during the interview.
- Listen attentively to what the interviewers are asking for, and seek clarification if you think you need it.
- Think before you speak.
- Be open with your answers, and be honest.
- Consider how each question or circumstance applies to your own personal experiences.
- Send a thank-you note to the interviewers after the interview.
Firefighter Medical Exam
The medical examination determines whether you are in the best physical condition and can do all that is needed in the workplace without endangering yourself or others. Candidates must undergo a complete physical examination by a licensed physician to rule out different medical problems and to ensure that they are safe enough to endure a strenuous firefighter training process.
Medical examinations do not just safeguard the firefighter; they protect the crew as a whole. The bottom line is that successful medical examinations are important. They provide a way to track health over time, detect illness before it spreads, and can be the perfect time for prevention.
Firefighter Psychological Exam
Psychological assessment may be made up of two stages:
- To be familiar with the test format and know how to answer with the right attitude, it is necessary to prepare for the test. The personality assessment may be part of a written test.
- A psychologist (or psychiatrist) evaluation needs to ensure you have the mental capacity to deal with firefighting stress.
Firefighter Exam Cost
|Fee Type||Amount of Fee||Note|
|Written Test||$50 per test||Must register and pay online.|
|Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)||$150 per test||The fee must be paid at the time the test is scheduled.|
|Rescheduling||$10 for the Written Test
$50 for CPAT
|Candidates can reschedule their testing date without charge for up to two working days in advance. Adjustments less than two working days prior to a scheduled check are subject to a processing fee.|
Note: The information provided above is based on the Firefighter Candidate Testing Center’s fees. All test fees are non-refundable.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the firefighter exam scored?
Every firefighter test is scored in its own special way. Depending on the material, the firefighter assessments are graded and weighted based on the particular needs of the specific department. For instance, if the ABC Fire Department has stated that they want applicants who score high in the personality and physical fitness portions of the test, they will tend to grade and weigh those parts of the test more heavily than the others.
What is the training of a firefighter like?
Training varies from a few weeks to a few months, depending on departmental requirements. Several departments have their own schools or “rookie schools” while other agencies send new hires to the state academy.
How long is basic training for fire fighters?
In the US, firefighter training is typically recognized as two components: Firefighter I and Firefighter II. Although they may vary slightly from state to state, they usually comply with the standards for basic firefighting as set out in National Fire Protection Association Standard 1001. Training takes about 130 hours for Firefighter I and about 50 hours for Firefighter II. It is basically a foundation for building and supplying you with minimum requirements.
What does a female wear to a firefighter interview?
Wear a tailor-made business suit or jacket outfit, not too feminine. Pick suits in solid conservative colors like brown, black, navy blue, beige or camel with conservative hemlines.
Should firefighting physical requirements lowered for women?
If the requirements are so low that everyone can get in, then it is a severe risk to take. Man or woman, if your fire crews are not up to the task at hand, then they are a liability to themselves, their colleagues, and the public.
Can I be a firefighter if I have asthma?
Asthma does not necessarily stop you from becoming a firefighter. However, as part of their job, firefighters are subjected to smoke as well as other toxic substances that can irritate the lungs and upper respiratory tract and may intensify the wheezing symptoms of firemen with asthma.
How do fire departments decide who drives the fire truck?
Each bureau has a list of licensed drivers for each truck. Since the response varies depending on the time of the day, the first qualified candidate who arrives at the station usually operates the truck.
How to prepare for the firefighter written exam?
Preparing for your firefighter exam is a great first step. There are several online practice tests and sample questions you can use to practice for firefighter exam. Other than the practice tests, you can also utilize the following resources:
- firefighter practice exam
- firefighter entry exam practice test
- firefighter written exam prep
- firefighter written exam sample questions
- firefighter written exam study guide
- firefighter exam study guide
What are Firefighter 1 and 2 exams?
You will be required to demonstrate your professional expertise and successfully complete the Firefighter 1 or 2 Test (FF2 is of higher accreditation) in order to earn one of the certifications provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and be qualified to start a career as a fireman. The FF1 and FF2 exams consist of 100 multi-choice questions based on the NFPA 1001 model, where you will be given two hours to finish the exam. You will need to score a total of 70 percent to pass the test, in addition to completing the practical skills test.
Firefighter Exam Prep Tips
You help yourself to familiarize yourself with your exam by reviewing and using the study guides and practice tests. With an effective early study plan to improve your strengths and to tighten up your weak ones, passing your upcoming firefighter exam will be easy. The following are surefire tips you can utilize for your preparation:
- Study your basic concepts.
- Know what you’re getting in. Be sure to look for your respected fire department and find out what kind of firefighters exam they use.
- Test your weaknesses and strengths. Figure out your weak subjects. Practice tests are the best way of identifying your weaknesses.
- Use practice tests to increase your confidence and awareness of the test.
- Schedule extra time to examine your weak points before the test date.
- Carry out a mock test under the real exam conditions.
- When studying the practice tests, make sure you understand why your answers were incorrect and correct.
Firefighter Exam Sample Questions
NFPA 704M is the standardized system for the identification of fire hazards associated with hazardous materials. This placard is a square (broken into quadrants) that is tilted up onto a corner (diamond) What does a blue quadrant represent?
- Specific hazard (special information)
- Health hazards
Ladders used in the fire service have many pieces and parts. Which part is not part of a fire service ladder?
At 212 degrees F water expands approximately how many times its original volume?
What type of extrication tools are above?
- Air chisels
- Power ram
- Hydraulic ram
- Highline pistol
If you want your tools to be in good repair, you will need to develop good maintenance habits. These, like all other habits, are formed by repetition. Remember: 1) Cleaning and lubricating tools make them last longer and work better; 2) sharpening tools make your work easier; and 3) storing them in the proper place lets you find them when you need them and helps prevent safety hazards.
According to the above paragraph, tools will last longer if
- Sharpened regularly.
- Stored in a cool place.
- Cleaned regularly.
- Replaced at set intervals.