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  • Getting hired already...geez


    I have all the qualifications and then some to be a firefighter. Heck I even amd a reserve and a paid per shift firefighter with 2 differant departments. If I ever get to an oral I think I am golden.

    My problem is passing the danged tests. I pass some and I fail most. SOme I get all the way there and my scores just are not high enough. I have several books to help me. but I needa sure fire way to pass all my test and be able to retain the teaching. I always get nervous in test and blank and it's usually in the math area, but I am not immune to failing other sections.

    What books or classes can anyone recommend to help me retain info learned and pass tests like a champ. I am in the bay area of california...anything can help.


  • #2

    I live in the bay area too. This might help:

    Written Test

    Having Trouble with the Written?

    "Luck is given to the prepared", Thomas Jefferson

    If you are having trouble passing the written test, try to find out what portion you are having problems with. Is it the math, mechanical, aptitude, or word comprehension? You don’t need to take a college course to get ready.

    Still the top program for getting ready for the written test is the Encyclopedia of Firefighter Examinations from www.Fireprep.com.
    For the math or word comprehension, candidates tell us the Firefighter Entrance Hand Book is the best. For math, you only need to know about twelve formulas. Those formulas are in this book. Once you have the formulas down, you just plug in the numbers or convert the word math problems into the formula and you can't be fooled. Once you gorilla your way through the 279 pages, your score will be higher. One candidate told us it made his head hurt, but he got hired in Seattle.

    Of all the books out there for the mechanical aptitude, the ARCO Mech. Aptitude & Spatial Relations book will give you more than you will ever need. Perfect Firefighter has it @ firecareers.com.

    Try this approach. Instead of taking the sample tests in the written test books cold, go to the answers in the back and go through the first time with the answers. Then you'll know what they are looking for in the answers. It will cut your learning time. There are only so many ways they can ask a question on the same topic. You will get to the point where you can look at a question and go right to the answer. It will become scary.

    Top Scoring Examination Strategies From www.Fireprep.com

    1. Read the directions very carefully and listen closely to the moderator or instructor if directions are given orally. If at any time you are unsure of any of the directions, raise your hand and a test monitor will come over and explain your question to you. Many types of these examinations differ from one section to the next. You should pay particular attention to the instructions for these types of examinations.

    2. Before you begin, make sure you have all the pages in the examination. In most examinations you will be told the number of pages in your booklet; check to make certain that you have all the pages or sections. If any page is missing, immediately raise your hand and inform the test monitor.

    3. Make sure that you are marking the right answer to the right question. All it takes is skipping one question and not skipping the corresponding number on the answer sheet, to cost you the examination. Every five questions or so, it is a good idea to take a look at the number in the test booklet and the number on your answer key to insure they match. Also pay strict attention to whether the answer key numbers are vertical or horizontal. You don't want to find out that you have been answering the questions on the wrong numbers.

    4. When marking your answers, make sure that you mark only one answer for each question. Do not make exceedingly large markings on your answer sheet; most of these examinations are graded by computer. If the marking is too close to another marking, it will be double keyed and you will lose credit for that question.

    5. If you need to erase an answer, be sure you erase it completely. Do not leave any shadows that could possibly show up when the computer is grading the examination.

    6. If you come across a question during the examination that you find difficult and you are spending too much time on it, skip over the question and leave a mark on your answer key. Do not mark in the area where you will be answering; mark to the left of the number so that you know to come back to this number. It is also a good idea, if you are allowed to mark in your test booklet, to mark out choices you have eliminated as being incorrect. This allows you, when you come back at the end of the test, to go back to only the choices remaining when you are seeking the best answer. If you come across a question on the examination that you find difficult, don't allow any more than two minutes on the question. If you don't know the answer, mark it, skip it, and return to it after you have completed the remainder of the test.

    7. Check the time during the examination. For example, if there is a 200-question test and a three-hour time limit, you should be on question 100 with 1-1/2 hours left. You should check the remaining time every 10-15 minutes to ensure you are on an appropriate time frame.

    8. Do not change answers unless you are absolutely positive. Time after time, studies have shown that when you change answers, 75-80% of the time you change it to a wrong answer. The only time you should change an answer is if you are absolutely positive or if you have miskeyed an answer. (For example, you intended to mark "C" and you inadvertently marked "B".)

    9. Don't be afraid to guess at an answer. Most firefighter examinations are scored based on the number of correct answers. On most examinations, there is no penalty for a wrong answer. If you have three minutes remaining on the examination and 15 questions to answer, try to answer as many as possible, but if time does not allow, at least put an answer down for every question.

    Reading Comprehension Test-Taking From Fireprep.com

    Asst. Chief Brent Collins

    When you are reading a short passage for the first time, read it carefully. A short passage is one that is only seven or eight lines long. You can retain all of the main ideas and remember where particular things are mentioned from one careful reading. Hence, you do not want to waste time reading this passage twice.
    Besides wasting time, another bad consequence of reading a short passage very carelessly the first time is that it may leave you with some false impressions of what you have read. Wrong ideas can get stuck in your head from a careless reading. Then it will be more difficult to get the correct answer.

    For long passages, look ahead to see what is being asked. Take a look at the "stem" of the question, the sentence that precedes the answer choices. And look at the kinds of choices that are being offered. Sometimes reading passages are long but the questions are asking only for particular details. In that case, you can often skim a long passage to find the particular detail.

    Keep forging ahead. Do not get bogged down if there is a word or sentence you do not understand. You may get the main idea without knowing the individual word or sentence. Sometimes you can sense the meaning of the word from the context. Sometimes the word or sentence may not be the basis of any question. If there is some idea you need to answer a question but do not understand, read it one more time. If you still do not understand it, move on. You can come back to this question later if you have more time at the end of the test.

    Picture what you read. Try to form a picture in your mind as you read. Schoolbooks used to teach reading contained many pictures because pictures aid comprehension. When reading material without pictures, it will aid your comprehension if you use your imagination to picture in your mind what you are reading. Read as if you were a professional illustrator who has been hired to do an illustration for the passage.

    Ask yourself questions as you read. When you finish reading a sentence, ask yourself what the author was saying. At the end of a whole paragraph, ask yourself what the point of the whole paragraph was. If you ask yourself questions, you will find that you are paraphrasing the passage in your mind. That will help your understanding. Know where the author stands. Sometimes a passage will contain an evaluation of some ideas of tools or procedures. The author may want to make the point that certain practices or procedures are bad or that certain tools may not be right for a particular job. Be sure you know if the author is accepting or rejecting something.

    Circle keywords and phrases. In a reading comprehension test you are not reading for just a vague general understanding of the passage. You usually have to read for detailed understanding. There will be individual words that are important for grasping a point exactly. You do not want to write so much on a passage that it is hard to read a second time if you need to go back to check a detail. But you do want to circle key words or phrases that will enable you to zero in on precise points needed to answer a question.

    Brent Collins is Assistant Fire Chief, Cleveland Fire Department and President of Don McNea Fire School. You can learn more testing secrets from his articles in the career section of this Firehouse.com web site by clicking here: http://cms.firehouse.com/content/sec...sp?sectionId=8

    Captain Bob

    Call Now Thousands are now firefighters after using our program of proven time-tested inside secrets gained from over 40 years of experience " This program is dedicated to those who possess the burning desire to acquire a firefighter badge and become one of
    Last edited by CaptBob; 10-10-2003, 08:10 PM.

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:

    Fire "Captain Bob"



    • #3
      Its not for the most part if you know the answer you have to learn how there asking the question first. Kinda like the national regestry test for emt, unless your just a everyday enstine, there is no need in trying to answer thre question unless you know what there asking.


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