The firefighter written test can include reading comprehension and writing ability, spatial orientation, mathematical reasoning, observation and memory, mechanical reasoning, map reading, observational and situational judgment, and interpersonal and practical skills. Not all firefighter's written exams contain questions from all categories, but studying all the different areas is recommended to prepare for the exam. This test prep guide will prepare you for the mathematical reasoning section that may be found on the firefighter written exam.
Before you can get hired by a fire department, you must first pass a written aptitude test and a physical abilities test. The firefighter written test can include reading comprehension and writing ability, spatial orientation, mathematical reasoning, observation and memory, mechanical reasoning, map reading, observational and situational judgment, and interpersonal and practical skills. Not all firefighter's written exams contain questions from all categories, but studying all the different areas is recommended to prepare for the exam. This test prep guide will prepare you for the mathematical reasoning section that may be found on the firefighter written exam.
Firefighter aptitude tests do not require previous firefighting knowledge or particular college degrees. The test will be at a skill level based on the requirements in the job announcement. For example, if the job requires a high school diploma or equivalent, the test will have questions that a high school student could answer.
Most firefighter aptitude tests are timed, ranging from 1 minute to 3 minutes per question, with 100 questions or more. So, you can count on spending several hours on each written test you take.
A mathematical reasoning test is designed to test the mathematical abilities of the firefighter candidate. This section measures your ability to perform the basic math functions required of entry-level firefighters. It consists of fire-related problems and formulas that call for you to use addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Some problems call for simple algebra and square roots. Most fire departments use fire-related questions without getting too technical since you are not required to have firefighting knowledge.
Fire departments use mathematical reasoning tests because basic arithmetic, geometry, and algebra are necessary in the fire service. A firefighter will measure and mix gas and oil mixtures for portable tools, determine the correct placement of ladders with proper climbing angles, monitor gallons per minute (GPM) flowing through hose lines, and calculate the square footage of buildings.
Each department will have a dedicated location where the tests are administered. Some departments may have onsite testing at their training facility, while others might hire a firefighter testing center to administer the aptitude tests.
Remember, the mathematical reasoning test may be included in the firefighter's written aptitude test. However, it is most likely it will since math is used every day in the fire service. Here are some common questions you might have about the firefighter mathematical reasoning test that may be included in the aptitude test:
You can expect to receive your results within one to two weeks, depending on the fire department.
The firefighter's written aptitude test is the first test you will be invited to when applying for a firefighter position after your application has been submitted. Upon successful completion of the test, you will be asked to participate in the physical abilities test. After passing the physical abilities test, you will be invited to an oral interview.
With most departments, a passing score is 70%. However, the higher score you receive will place you higher on the firefighter candidate list, so you want to achieve as high a score as possible.
The first step is to take the Mock Questions mathematical reasoning practice test. In addition to taking that test, there are many firefighter test prep books that are good resources to use to prepare for the firefighter's written aptitude test. Test prep books cover all the different sections that might be on a firefighter's written aptitude test. Some departments will offer a testing packet to firefighter candidates that have sample questions. If a department offers a testing packet, study the packet before taking the written test. It is also recommended timing yourself while taking the practice exams to get an idea of how long it will take you to answer each question.
If you do not know the answer to a question, skip over it and move onto the next question. Since the test is timed, you want to answer as many questions as possible. It is not recommended to leave any questions blank, so after you complete the test, go back to the unanswered questions and choose the answer you believe to be most accurate.
The questions are based on basic knowledge, but it is recommended that you study for the exam if you want to achieve a high score. Those who spend time familiarizing themselves with the content on the test and the imposed time limits tend to feel more confident on the day of the test and have a better chance of achieving the highest possible score.
In addition to studying the materials and taking firefighter practice tests, here is some more advice to candidates preparing for the mathematical reasoning section of the firefighter's written exam:
After completing the Mathematical Reasoning practice test, check out the Mechanical Reasoning Section here. This section measures your understanding of how various devices work and the principles behind how they operate. Firefighters use various mechanical equipment and tools, and they must understand how these items work and know how to use them correctly, especially in an emergency. The Mechanical Reasoning Section will cover tools and devices such as gears, pulleys, and levers, and will describe the formula for mechanical advantage.