What is a Situational Judgement Test & 3 Tips to Help You Crush This Portion of Your Firefighter Promotional Exam


Firefighters are faced with many unique situations and need to be able to react quickly. This is where the situational judgement exam comes in. Check out the tips below on how to prepare for your situational judgement test during your firefighter promotional exam prep, and ace it come test day. 

What is a Situational Judgment Test? 

Before we even begin, what is a situational judgement exam? Well, you will be presented with a situation that may present itself to you on the job, and it is your job to choose the most effective course of action to solve/resolve the presented issue in relation to job relevant duties. You will (most likely) be given a list of possible answers and you will be asked to choose the BEST answer in response to the given situation. You also may be asked to choose the worst answer or put the answers in order from best to worst. 

It is important to remember, situational judgement tests do not only measure your ability to do the job and handle a situation based on your job description, they are also looking to evaluate your interpersonal skills. Your ability to negotiate, your social intelligence, and how you work on a team; can you adapt, are you agreeable or confrontational, are you culturally aware. 

3 Tips For Success

1. Know the Position You Are Applying For

There is no black and white when it comes to studying for situational judgement tests. The best way to prepare is to become an expert on the position you are applying for. Know every possible duty and responsibility you may have. Once you have done that, research the organization/station you are applying to work at. What qualities are important to them, leadership, team work, communication; use those values to help determine the best answer in combination with the responsibilities of your new position.  

2. Take it Slow

Do not try to rush through the situational judgement exam. The responses may all seem correct, so now what? Really pay attention to both the question and the answers and get a full understanding of what they are asking of you. The answers may be very similar, it may be one minor detail that makes an answer correct over another. Read the question and possible responses thoroughly and figure out what makes each answer different, focus on those small details that separate each answer from the other. According to Psychology Today, it is important to think through each and every bit of information presented to you, instead of rushing to a conclusion. 

3. Process of Elimination 

Just like any other multiple choice test look at all of the answers and use your best process of elimination. Eliminate the answers that you know are wrong immediately and continue on to the next. Be sure to review how better guess on multiple choice tests using the tips outlined here before your situational judgement test to help you if you get stuck on an answer while taking the test. 

The Takeaway

The most important way to prepare for your firefighter promotional test, especially the situational judgement portion, is to know the job you are applying for and the values that the person in that role should possess. Use that knowledge, take it slow and you will succeed. Be sure to check these study tips to help you with your other areas of your firefighter promotional exam prep.