4 Skills You Will Learn Unrelated to Firefighting While Studying For a Promotion Test

The point of studying for your firefighter promotional exam is to ultimately pass the exam and get promoted in the fire service. While working on your firefighter promotional exam prep, you may be surprised that you learn a lot more than just the material that is on the exam. 

  1. Time Management

One of the major things you learn just by studying for your firefighter promotional exam is how to manage your time. Nobody has several extra hours in their day they can just fill while studying for their firefighter promotional exam. You have to go out of your way and schedule time to study, at least if you want to pass. You learn how to make tough decisions like should I go to the party tonight or should I use this time to get in a couple extra hours of studying. It may not be easy in the first weeks of your firefighter promotion journey but as you go you will get better and better at knowing exactly what amount of time you need to study and do other regular tasks. This will help you save time doing everyday tasks, because as you try to make time to study you will likely find spots in your day where you are wasting time and hopefully find better uses for that time. This time management skill will also transfer over if you get promoted because you will have a lot of new duties and have to figure out how to accomplish them all in your scheduled work day. 

  1. Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

Critical thinking and problem solving go hand in hand. You need to be able to think critically in order to problem solve because problem solving is the result of critical thinking. As you study for your firefighter promotional exam, you will use both critical thinking and problem solving to help you pass the test. For example, since the exam is multiple choice you will learn how to think critically and eliminate answers that are incorrect even if you don’t know the correct one. One of the best ways to heighten this skill is to use online practice tests that are also multiple choice as a study aid. The more you study and answer questions and do practice tests, the better you will get at critical thinking and problem solving. The more you sit with, analyze and think about those tough questions that just seem impossible to answer the easier they will become. Critical thinking and problem solving can be very useful going into your new potential career as well. You will likely be faced with problems that are new to you when promoted, as every incident is so very different. Your brain will already be prepared to think critically and find solutions to new problems that don’t have a straight answer because of how you studied. 

  1. Confidence

As you study for your firefighter promotional exam you will encounter a lot of challenges but with each challenge you should gain new confidence. Confidence is a key factor in passing your firefighter promotional exam and being a successful leader. Someone who is unsure and questioning themselves constantly is not going to be able to lead a team. It is normal that you are not full of confidence as you begin studying for your firefighter promotional exam, but as you progress that confidence should grow. You should be getting more answers right on those online practice tests, you should be zipping through your flashcards and study guides. You should stop second guessing yourself as you choose an answer come test day. Studying and practicing should build your confidence in yourself, so you can go into your firefighter written exam with confidence and so you can bring that confidence to every other step of the promotion process and beyond. 

  1. Perseverance

Surely as a firefighter you will have been in a lot of positions that are extremely challenging and difficult, and that have required perseverance to make it through.  Still, studying for your firefighter promotional exam is only going to strengthen that skill. At times, studying can get so incredibly boring that you will likely reach a point where you want to quit or stop short. You may be confronted by a lot of difficult questions that you don’t know the answer to and want to throw in the towel. You could even fail your first written promotional exam and be ashamed and not want to try again. By continuing on your promotion journey through all of these obstacles you are strengthening your mental perseverance. This is a little bit different from the perseverance you already have as a firefighter, but one that will make you a better leader. As you move up the ranks you will have a lot more “boring” administrative tasks to do and if you can pass your firefighter promotional exam, you can get through them too. 

The Takeaway

The main purpose of studying for your firefighter promotional exam is simply to pass it. However, you will gain so much more than a passing grade if you really dedicate time and energy to studying. You will learn not only the material, but you will also learn and build on life skills, like confidence, that will help you pass every step of the promotion process and succeed on your career path.