3 Study Strategies for Success in Fire Department Promotion Testing


It’s a rare soul who can wing a fire department promotion exam without any preparation whatsoever. For the rest of us, studying is critical to success (along with a few other best practices). If you’re preparing for a fire department exam to promote to an operator, driver, officer, or even a chief, you’re in the right place. We looked high and low for the very best study strategies. Read them, learn them, and apply them for success in your fire department promotion test. 

Identify Your Learning Style — And Use It

People learn in different ways. Some of us are visual or auditory. Others are verbal or logical. If you can’t readily identify the method by which you best learn and remember, spend some time online. There are a number of assessment tests that will help you figure it out. Once you understand how you learn best, you can choose study materials that suit your personal style. The goal is better retention for your fire promotion test, and this is a big key.

Make a Study Plan — And Stick to It

Like almost anything in life, having a plan is half the battle. You may have a goal of getting promoted, but how are you going to make it happen? Ask yourself the following:

    • Are there classes you need to take to qualify or improve your knowledge in a certain area?
    • What kinds of study materials do you need to prepare for the test?
    • Where are you going to study so you can focus?
    • Do you have all the study materials and tools you need?

You can make a study plan just like you would a strategic or project plan. Just start with your goal and work backwards to build out your plan. Be specific and realistic when setting your milestones, and be clear that setting a timeline is critical and can be used to organize your studying on a daily basis. There’s a lot of information to learn, so break down large groups of information into smaller, more manageable bites. And put your plan down in writing — all the better for accountability.

Set a Schedule — And Follow It

This is where you can set yourself apart from others. A thoughtful, organized, and realistic study schedule that complements your study plan can be the difference between failure and success. There are a few methods for this, but we recommend creating a schedule for the entire timeframe leading up to your fire promotion test. Here’s a handy outline:

    • Pick the number of days you plan to study each week.
    • Schedule a realistic amount of time per day you can commit to studying. Note that ideal study blocks are between 60 and 90 minutes, so don’t overdo it!
    • Mark your study times on your calendar and prioritize them as you would any other appointment.

Break down the different subjects or books that are included in your study materials to avoid missing something important. And keep in mind that as you get closer to your test date, you may want to add more study time. The trick is to plan your study time in advance to best avoid the possibility of life getting in the way.

Smart Strategies for Success

There’s no need to limit yourself to just these strategies when you prepare for your fire promotion exam. But make a plan to get your studying in — our fire promotion exam practice tests are a good place to start.