At some point, anyone preparing for a firefighter promotion exam has the same sudden, horrible realization — it’s going to take an incredible amount of time to get through all of the necessary study materials. Looking at the stacks of books, policies, and manuals is overwhelming enough, let alone committing the important stuff to memory. It’s intimidating enough to convince some firefighters to give up entirely. If only they knew the truth! The single best way to prepare for your written fire promotion test will actually reduce those hours of studying — while preparing you more thoroughly.
If you’ve ever done a high-intensity interval training workout, you know that the shorter the time period, the harder you work. The same concept applies to effective studying. Instead of spending hours upon hours reading and re-reading all the material, the key is quality over quantity. You need to increase the intensity of your studying, which is simply how focused you are on the material you’re learning. And to increase your focus, you need to limit distractions and avoid multi-tasking. Designate a window of time that’s dedicated entirely to studying (and make sure you’re using proven study strategies).
That means shutting off your cell phone, avoiding social media, not answering email, making arrangements for the kids, whatever you need to do to make time for one thing, and one thing only. Setting up a dedicated studying area can be helpful too. A coffee shop may sound like a good place to set up shop, but it’s full of distractions that may not make for the best study environment — especially when your goal is to focus.
The second part of quality over quantity relates to planning. Plan short study sessions — maybe even a few times a day —on your calendar that you can prioritize. There’s a psychological advantage to setting aside this time. These sessions are short and manageable so you can focus and retain, then move on with your busy day.
To get the most out of your short and focused study sessions, try the Make It Stick method. The combination of practice tests spaced out over specific periods of time combined with shorter, more intense study sessions will boost your retention and cut down on studying time for your firefighter promotion exam. The best online practice test software makes it easy, and you can get started at no cost right now.