5 Ways to Improve Your Firefighter Written Exam Score Right Now.

The Written Exam is the first of the Fire Department Entrance Exams.  Its most often used to set a cut off for who will go forward to the Physical Agility and then Oral Board Examinations.  In these cases, it allows the department one is applying for to reduce the field of candidates to make the process more time and cost effective.  At other times, the score is added to other scores achieved in the testing process to determine an overall score and placement on the hiring list.  The best candidates think of their minimum score on this exam as above 90%.  The top 10 percent of the field will actually score 95% or above in many cases.  It is for these reasons that you should train yourself to excel at taking them if you wish to begin setting yourself apart from the rest of the competition.

Here’s how to ace the Written Exams:

1.  Consider anything below 90% a failure.

No, this doesn’t mean that you should quit the process if you score below a 90%.  It does mean that on all future tests, you will commit to study time that guarantees you achieve above 90%.  You drop all other aspects of studying before your next written exam until you can take the exam in your sleep and score well.

2. Learn how to take a multiple choice test.

If you understand and utilize  the best strategies in multiple choice testing, you should be able to expect a 10 to 15% increase in your overall score.

3.  Take a practice test to see where you’re at.

Take it giving yourself two hours to complete.  A few days after sending you the test, i’ll send you the answers. This will give you a good idea where you need the most work.

4.  Take information gained from the practice test and begin work on the sections that give you the most trouble.  Rinse.  Repeat.

Understand that these exams aren’t designed to trick you or necessarily be difficult.  The goal of the exam is to measure your basic knowledge in mathematics, reading comprehension, judgement/reasoning, mechanical aptitude, and information ordering.  Some tests will also ask basic fire science and fire tool questions that are far from difficult.  All but those with the most difficult learning disabilities should be able to master the fundamentals of any section in under two hours of study.

5.  Take preparation for test day as seriously as the test itself.

Test day should arrive with you already having scouted the location and made sure that you showed up well rested, at least thirty minutes early, well-dressed, and sitting at the front of the auditorium.  There are often Chief Officers and other decision makers at the auditorium where the test is to be taken.  If you’re early, you’ll be less stressed, you may be noticed by people who affect your ability to get hired, and you will be set up for success by being obviously prepared and serious about the endeavor.

None of it is particularly complicated, but following the above will give you an unbelievable advantage on the Written Exam and a head start on the rest of the process.  Imagine yourself arriving with plenty of time to the exam, extremely relaxed because you’re so well prepared.  Imagine yourself speaking politely and respectfully with everyone you meet and impressing a member of the department you dream of joining by your appearance, demeanor, and obvious preparedness.  Next, imagine yourself crushing the physical agility!

I’m here to help…


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3 Responses

  1. Paul Card Says:
    February 27th, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    Hi Brent-

    You should have received your info. Let me know if you haven’t received them.



  2. Tommy Tang Says:
    November 3rd, 2012 at 7:05 AM

    Hey Paul, could I request a practice test?


  3. Paul Says:
    November 6th, 2012 at 7:41 AM

    Hi Luke, Tommy, and Alexander! Sure! Send me an email at and i’ll get you guys hooked up right away!