You’ve been preparing for your fire department promotion test for weeks or months, completed your firefighter promotional exam study guides and the big day has finally arrived. You sit down to take your test with your nerves in full tilt. Here are some tips and very important information to pay attention to as you begin the written exam.
This may seem like a no brainer, but read the instructions…..THOROUGHLY. If you don’t quite understand what they are asking for, read them again. Read all of the instructions, even the ones that may seem unnecessary or redundant. Even be sure to be clear on the test instructions that tell you how to write your personal information onto the test sheet. There could be some specific thing they ask you to do and you do not want to lose points or be disqualified for some weird fluke like writing your information wrong on your scantron.
Now that you have filled out the scantron and are moving on to the testing portion, make sure you understand what is being asked of you. Are they asking you to choose the BEST answer, or the RIGHT answer. If they ask for the best answer, that means more than one answer may be right but one may be better than the other. If they are asking for the right answer, only one answer will be correct. It is important to look for small words within the instructions on your multiple choice test that may be intended to trick you.
If there is important details or information that you want to be able to reference later then take the time to circle, highlight or underline the important details (unless writing on the test is prohibited by the instructions you previously read). It never hurts to go back and check on the instructions later on in the test if you aren’t clear on something. Don’t guess with instructions, take the time to be sure you are clear. Clarity is everything!
This may seem obvious but I am going to say it anyways, make sure you have the correct writing utensil and a backup in case the inevitable happens. You should find this information in the instructions we spoke about above. Your whole test will be unreadable by the scantron machine if you do not use the correct writing utensil. You need to be clear on this item before you even sit down to take the test. You should be given instructions beforehand on what kind of writing utensil to bring, be sure to read any material given to you beforehand so you can be prepared. Do not fail your firefighter promotional exam for not using a number 2 pencil (or blue or black pen).
If you have any questions or concerns, ask your proctor. Their main job is making sure no one cheats and ensure a fair testing process, but they are also there to answer any questions you may have. They obviously cannot help you answer the test questions on your firefighter promotional exam themselves, but they can help clarify instructions. If you are unsure about an instruction do not be shy, ask them. Worst case, they say they can’t help you but they may be able to help you better understand a confusing instruction. Also, if you brought the wrong writing utensil they may be able to supply you with the correct one, or ask someone else if they have one you can borrow for you.
When you sit down to take your firefighter promotional exam you may feel nervous and overwhelmed, take a deep breath, and start reading the directions slowly and deliberately. You may feel the pressure because it is a timed test, but take your time and read the instructions thoroughly. You don’t have to miss points because you read the instructions wrong as long as you slow down and take your time to fully understand what is being asked of you. Now take another deep breath and dive into the test questions!