Why You Need to Make a “Cheat Sheet” Prior to Taking Your Firefighter Promotional Exam

Have you ever taken a test where you were allowed to take a certain size cheat sheet with you to the actual test? Well unfortunately you won’t be able to do that for your firefighter promotional exam but you should make it a part of your firefighter promotional exam prep anyways. 

What is a Cheat Sheet

A cheat sheet is exactly that, a piece of paper you can write whatever you want on and use when you take an exam. I can tell you now, you absolutely cannot bring a cheat sheet to your firefighter promotional exam, but there are many benefits of making one anyways. I encourage you to make a cheat sheet by hand and keep it to a single piece of paper, front and back. Keep reading to find out why.

Benefits of a Cheat Sheet

  1. Improves Memory

When you make your cheat sheet I urge you to hand write it. This is because students that handwrite notes, versus taking notes on a computer or phone have a “stronger conceptual understanding” of the material and are able to better approach the material come test time. Even though writing your “cheat sheet” is a much more laborious task, it will increase retention and overall understanding of the material because you are really forced to think about the material as you write it, as opposed to quickly typing away on a computer. 

  1. Instant Mobile Study Guide

Creating a cheat sheet that you won’t actually use to cheat also creates study material for you that you can take anywhere. Putting the most important information down in one piece of paper gives you an instant study guide at your fingertips. Since the study guide is a single sheet of paper it is also easy to carry around with you to look at when you have down time. You can even take a picture of it on your phone after you make it and study it that way. 

  1. Focus On Areas That Need Improvement

Another benefit of the cheat sheet is it allows you to figure out what you need help with. If you were actually using the cheat sheet on your firefighter promotional exam you would include the information you are struggling with the most on it. You should do just that when you make your fake cheat sheet. This allows you to get the extra studying just by writing the material you need to focus on, on paper, and also creates a study guide for you to use that includes the information that you need the most help on. Even if after creating the cheat sheet you never look at it again you gave yourself another opportunity to study the material just by writing it down. 

  1. Focus on the Most Important Topics

Another benefit of a cheat sheet is the limited space makes you focus on the most important topics that will be on the exam. Just like using the limited space on your sheet to write down where you need help, the limited space also forces you to write only the most important topics down. This allows you to study them more, and then you can use other study methods such as online study guides to help you get down to the tiny details you need to study. 

The Takeaway

Creating a cheat sheet you can’t actually use may seem like a waste of time, but just the act of creating one will help you pass your firefighter promotional exam. Creating a cheat sheet forces you to focus on the main points of study and areas you need to work on, giving you an instant study boost as well as a small study guide you can take anywhere. Give it a shot so you can ace your firefighter promotional exam.