The Importance of Mixing Up Your Study Location When Studying for Your Firefighter Promotional Exam

Finding a place and time to study as an adult with a full time job and other obligations can seem impossible. There’s good news though, according to recent studies changing up your study location can be beneficial to your firefighter promotional exam prep and ultimately acing your firefighter promotional exam. 


When people begin studying, whether in college or you, as you prepare for your firefighter promotional exam, there is a tendency to study in the same location. There are so many reasons to do this, it’s convenient, you don’t have to lug your books around, you are (or should be) comfortable in the location and so on. In the past, this may have been true, but now scientists have determined there is one major benefit of studying in different locations as you begin your firefighter promotional exam journey: increased recall and retention of information because your memory becomes independent of your environment. 

When you study in the same location over and over you are creating “environmental cues” for your memory without even realizing it. So unless you are able to study in the room you are taking your firefighter promotional exam in, which I doubt you are allowed to, mix up your study location. Studying in different locations allows your brain to remove those environmental cues you need to recall the information, making it easier to recall everything you have learned in any setting. Not only is better retention beneficial for when you take your firefighter promotional exam, but also beneficial when you get promoted and need this information as you start your new career. 


Other than your increased retention you have the huge benefit of being able to study anywhere! By anywhere, I mean anywhere that is suitable for studying. You still want to be in an environment that is conducive to studying otherwise you will just be wasting your time, but you will not be tied to one location when you want to study for your firefighter promotional exam. 

Don’t let the thought of changing study spaces every study session overwhelm you. The changes in space do not need to be major, you can go from your living room to an office to a dining room and so on. You can even study out of the house at a local library, coffee shop, or even at your station house (if allowed) and simply change seats or rooms each time you study there to avoid creating environment cues.  

The Takeaway

Help yourself pass your firefighter promotional exam on the first try by switching up your study space every study session. It doesn’t need to be more work for you, just get yourself a backpack, put all of your study gear in it and take it with you everywhere you go. This way you will be able to study anywhere, which is not only convenient, but increases your overall retention and recall of the information resulting in a high score on your firefighter promotional exam and a higher chance of promotion.