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Firefighter Situational Judgement Test I

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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.

How to Prepare for a Situational Judgment Aptitude Test for Firefighters

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 situational judgment 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.

What is a Situational Judgment Test?

A situational judgment test assesses the firefighter candidate's decision-making capabilities, aptitude, and suitability for the firefighter role. Situational judgment questions will give a brief description of a situation you might be faced with at work, including firefighting operations, fire prevention inspections, firehouse duties, and interactions with the public. Then you will be given a list of possible actions or responses that might be taken to respond to the situation. The questions are designed to assess your reasoning, judgment, moral character, common sense, and problem-solving capabilities. Some situational judgment tests are a type of personality test where there may not be a "correct" answer. Still, the employer will gain an insight into how you analyze and respond to a given situation based on your personal opinion.

Why do Fire Departments use Situational Judgment Tests?

Fire departments use situational judgment tests to analyze a candidate's ability to make sound decisions in stressful situations, behavioral tendencies, conflict-resolution skills, following orders, and public interaction. In addition to the situational judgment tests, some departments administer a personality test or an in-person psychological examination to determine if the firefighter candidate will be a good fit for their organization.

Where are Situational Judgment Tests Taken?

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.

Common Questions About Situational Judgment Tests.

Remember, the situational judgment test may be included in the firefighter's written aptitude test. However, it is most likely since situations arise every day in the fire service, and firefighters must know how to appropriately intervene and respond. Here are some common questions you might have about the firefighter situational judgment test that may be included in the aptitude test:

How quickly do I receive the results of my test?

You can expect to receive your results within one to two weeks, depending on the fire department.



At what stage in the testing process is the firefighter's written aptitude test given?



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.



What is a passing score on the firefighter's written aptitude test?



With most departments, a passing score is 70%. However, the higher score you receive will place you higher on the firefighter candidacy list, so you want to achieve as high a score as possible.



How do I prepare for the situational judgment section on the written test?



The first step is to take the Mock Questions Situational Judgment 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.



What do I do if I do not know the answer to a 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.



If the questions on the test are based on basic knowledge, do I really need to study?



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.

Helpful Advice for Candidates Preparing for the Situational Judgment Test.

In addition to studying the materials and taking firefighter practice tests, here is some more advice to candidates preparing for the situational judgment section of the firefighter's written exam:

After completing the Situational Judgment practice test, check out the Observation and Memory Skills Section here. This section assesses the firefighter candidate's observation and memory skills, which are essential skills for a firefighter. Before approaching a fire, firefighters must assess hazards, observe and remember details and characteristics of the structure, smoke, and fire. Firefighters need to identify entry and exit points, suspicious activity by bystanders, and indications there may be victims trapped in a building. When responding to medical emergencies, firefighters need the same observation and memory skills. When approaching a medical emergency, firefighters will assess the scene to ensure it is safe to enter, assess hazards, determine the number of patients, remember information given to them, and treat patients using memorization of first aid skills they were taught.