Skip to main content

How to Become a Firefighter - Typical Firefighter Written Exams

By Douglas Hanna

The firefighter written exam is basically make or break -- get a high score, and you will qualify for the next step in the hiring process. But get a low score and you can kiss that firefighting career goodbye, at least until the next exam is held.

This is why many experts suggest you take several different tests in different municipalities. Do this and you will not only get a good idea of what to expect, you will build your self-confidence.

The examination

On the average, a written firefighter examination takes about 3 1/2 hours. It will most likely include seven or more different kinds of questions. Here are the most typical types:

1. Recalling, visualizing, and spatial orientation questions.

2. Reading and verbal/listening comprehension questions

3. Questions on understanding and applying basic mathematics and science

4. Questions relating to tools and equipment

5. Questions about dealing with people

6. Questions relating to mechanical devices

7. Questions that test judgment and reasoning

Note: The first section, recalling, visualizing and spatial orientation questions, will most likely be broken into three subsections.

Six typical firefighter tests


This testing was developed primarily as a way to prescreen entry-level firefighter candidates and save the hours and hours of staff time that was historically spent on oral board interviews. This test measures your skills and abilities in four categories: Teamwork, public relations, mechanical aptitude and reading ability.

FireTEAM Video-Based Human Relations Test

A second FireTeam test is the video-based human relations test. This test is multiple choice. Its goal is to test your skills in human relations

The video-based human relations test covers many performance dimensions related to being an excellent firefighter, including:


-Positive versus negative influence on station internal relations

-Professional responses in difficult situations

-Situational judgment

-Positive relations with supervisors and management

-Professional behavior and bearing

FireTEAM Reading Test

This reading test completes the elements in the FireTEAM testing battery. It is designed specifically for firefighting, a job which requires the ongoing study of difficult and technical materials. It addresses the reading competency that you need to have for this job.

ErgoMechanical Animated Aptitude Test

This test, which represents the most dramatic update for IE testing in 60 years, is designed to assist your mechanical common sense. It addresses:

-Analytical problem solving

-Adapting and improvising

-Working with complex systems and sequences

-Understanding the physical world

-Anticipating predictable occurrences

Cooperative Personnel Services (CPS)

This test was used extensively in the early 1990s, but has been superseded in most cities by the FireTEAM tests. The most common CPS written tests you might run in today are:

-#2129: Entry Firefighter

-#2150: Entry Firefighter

-#2158-A: Entry Firefighter (EMT / Paramedic requirements only)

-#2179: Entry Firefighter

-#2199: Entry Firefighter

A fire department may also use one of the following supplemental tests designed to test specific skills


-Firefighter Essentials

-Ground Ladder Practices

These supplemental tests generally consist of 30 questions..

WH management Solutions - Selection Solutions Entry-level Firefighter Written Test

This entry-level, written examination has been used and validated by fire departments across the country. It is said to provide the most powerful selection process possible. It incorporates research on multiple intelligence and conditional reasoning as well as a broader range of job related abilities than traditional written test. While most entry-level written tests simply measure cognitive (knowledge) skills, this test also assesses several other dimensions that are important for success in fire service. These include interpersonal skills, self-awareness and emotional skills and practical skills.

You can visit the CMS website,, for more information on this test.

There may be several months between the time you take the exam and when the final answer key and the official list are published. When the final list of candidates is established, you will be notified by mail of your number on the list. The next step will be the announcement of appointments for physical and emotional tests but it may be several months before this happens.

Douglas Hanna is the publisher of the popular website, This site offers much valuable information about becoming a firefighter, how to find a firefighting job, sample firefighter exam questions and much more.

Hanna lives in a Denver suburb. He has written more than 200 ezine articles on a variety of subjects.

Article Source:


Popular posts from this blog

Firefighter Websites For Kids

There are some great interactive site for kids related to firefighters. Here is a list of a few of my favorites.

Scholastic Firefighter Community Club
You can input up to 25 names and print Junior Firefighter badges for students.  There is also an interactive learning quiz and a teacher's guide.
Smokey Bear
Smokey Bear has his own website. Kids can play action-packed campfire games such as Put Out the Fire and Smokey's Trail Blaze. They will also learn tips for fire prevention and campfire fun.
Sparky's Homepage
Kids can tour Sparky the Firedog's website, which is packed with safety-related tips, crafts, and games all especially for kids. Kids will love to hear a real fire bell in the truck photo gallery. There are also instructions on how to make an origami Sparky puppet.Help Sparky get from classroom to playground in a mock fire drill.
U.S. Fire Administration'…

Tactile Helmet Could Help Firefighters Find Their Way

A specially-adapted 'tactile helmet', developed by researchers at the University of Sheffield, could provide fire-fighters operating in challenging conditions with vital clues about their surroundings.
The helmet is fitted with a number of ultrasound sensors that are used to detect the distances between the helmet and nearby walls or other obstacles. These signals are transmitted to vibration pads that are attached to the inside of the helmet, touching the wearer's forehead. Rescue workers, such as fire-fighters, who might be working in dark conditions or in buildings filled with smoke, will be able to use the signals to find walls and other obstacles that could help guide them through unfamiliar environments.

It is anticipated that a lightweight version of the technology could also be useful to people with visual impairments, acting as an additional 'sense' to guide users or to help them avoid hazards.
Invented by a team of researchers at the Sheffield Centre for …

Emergency's Randolph Mantooth At Fire-Rescue Med

I headed out again this year to Las Vegas for Fire-Rescue Med. I attended last year and found it well worth the trip. I really wanted to go again this year so I made sure I put in my training request early. I recommend EMS Personnel and Narcotics Tampering: Awareness and Prevention, interesting stuff. I saw Randolph Mantooth at the conference last year and am looking forward to seeing him again. Below is a nice interview with the actor by about the conference.

ParamedicTV is powered by