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FPSI Test Preparation Manual,...FPSI making a quick buck or what?

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  • FPSI Test Preparation Manual,...FPSI making a quick buck or what?

    I applied for Kenosha, and got notification of my test date, which is June 27 at 10:45 am. In the application material, I found a paper with Fire and Police Selection Inc.'s letter head on it, and below it reads "FPSI test preparation manual (TPM) 9th Edition for entry level firefighters order form." It goes on to read "DO NOT attempt to prepare for this exam with previous editions of our TPM. Doing so will result in a lower test score." It also stated below that "the only way to obtain a TMP and/or a practice test is by mailing a money order only."

    I thought to myself "hmm? Must be a unique test format or something such as that?" So, I got curious and snooped around online and found the FPSI website. Sure enough, there's their website and you could actually order the practice test (a number of tests, actually) online. I thought, what the heck, I broke out the credit card, and ordered their Firefighter test. I took the test and uh...no suprises re: content and subject matter. It's basically 50 multiple choice questions covering 1.) Fire Safety and Behavior, 2.) Construction, PPE, and Extinguishers 3.) Ropes/Knots and Rescue/Extrication 4.) Ventilation and Firehose and 5.) Fire Streams and Fire Control.
    I scratched my head, took the test, got my score back (90%), then it forwards me to a page where it suggests I purchase a number of other products they offer to improve my score.

    I sat back for a second, processed what just happened...I basically got fished into thinking this Kenosha exam was something unique, took a Firefighter 1 test, they scored it, then sent me to their 'catalog' where they tried to get more $$$ out of me, by suggesting I buy some of their entry level books. I kinda' feel like I got ripped off as the test didn't prepare me for anything I didn't already know would be on the test. Unless someone can tell me otherwise, I am thinking the 9th edition prep manual will be nothing more than a intro to firefighting handbook and a multiple choice test. I went to my email, saw my reciept from the co., emailed them back told them I felt they ripped me off, and would like my $$ back. Now, I'm not entirely confident I will even get a response from them, let alone my $$ back. Whatever.

    Unless anyone has had a better experience with FPSI, I guess anyone who considers buying any test prep guides n' such from this co. should beware.
    Last edited by Breech31; 06-07-2009, 06:56 PM.
    "If the ladder goes up, the building goes down."

  • #2
    Originally posted by Breech31 View Post
    I applied for Kenosha, and got notification of my test date, which is June 27 at 10:45 am. In the application material, I found a paper with Fire and Police Selection Inc.'s letter head on it, and below it reads "FPSI test preparation manual (TPM) 9th Edition for entry level firefighters order form." It goes on to read "DO NOT attempt to prepare for this exam with previous editions of our TPM. Doing so will result in a lower test score." It also stated below that "the only way to obtain a TMP and/or a practice test is by mailing a money order only."

    I thought to myself "hmm? Must be a unique test format or something such as that?" So, I got curious and snooped around online and found the FPSI website. Sure enough, there's their website and you could actually order the practice test (a number of tests, actually) online. I thought, what the heck, I broke out the credit card, and ordered their Firefighter test. I took the test and uh...no suprises re: content and subject matter. It's basically 50 multiple choice questions covering 1.) Fire Safety and Behavior, 2.) Construction, PPE, and Extinguishers 3.) Ropes/Knots and Rescue/Extrication 4.) Ventilation and Firehose and 5.) Fire Streams and Fire Control.
    I scratched my head, took the test, got my score back (90%), then it forwards me to a page where it suggests I purchase a number of other products they offer to improve my score.

    I sat back for a second, processed what just happened...I basically got fished into thinking this Kenosha exam was something unique, took a Firefighter 1 test, they scored it, then sent me to their 'catalog' where they tried to get more $$$ out of me, by suggesting I buy some of their entry level books. I kinda' feel like I got ripped off as the test didn't prepare me for anything I didn't already know would be on the test. Unless someone can tell me otherwise, I am thinking the 9th edition prep manual will be nothing more than a intro to firefighting handbook and a multiple choice test. I went to my email, saw my reciept from the co., emailed them back told them I felt they ripped me off, and would like my $$ back. Now, I'm not entirely confident I will even get a response from them, let alone my $$ back. Whatever.

    Unless anyone has had a better experience with FPSI, I guess anyone who considers buying any test prep guides n' such from this co. should beware.
    Have you thought about conatcting the City of Kenosha about this?? Chances are the city itself is spending a lot of money to use this test and if they are charging candidates as well for test prep stuff there could be some issues at hand here, especially if claiming not to use any older test preps.

    As for test prep stuff out there, I would not waste any money. Most tests are the same type of stuff, either it is basic reading, writing, math, map reading or basic FF testing. If a dept requires a certain cert for testing such as FF1, they can use FF1 questions in the test. If the dept doesn't require any certs and is just 18, DL, HS/GED, then they can't ask specific FF questions. The questions can be termed into FF examples, like you are a FF assigned to an engine and you need to pump pressure at 162 PSI, what gauge represents this..A, B, C, D and so forth. Whereas if FF1 is a perequsite, then they could ask what the expansion rate of water to steam is and so forth.

    I have a couple test prep books and truthfully, they never really helped me out on any test, even FDNY which they were designed for.
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks, Jccrabby3084. I appreciate the feedback. I felt something might be up. Unfortunately, I'm getting alot of "I TOLD YOU SO'S" From the Girlfriend. You live n' learn. LOL!!
      "If the ladder goes up, the building goes down."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Breech31 View Post
        Thanks, Jccrabby3084. I appreciate the feedback. I felt something might be up. Unfortunately, I'm getting alot of "I TOLD YOU SO'S" From the Girlfriend. You live n' learn. LOL!!
        The "I told you so's" only go so far. What sticks out to me is that it doesn't seem as though this test prep stuff is really helping you but keeps offering more and more "fees" in order to get an answer. That is why I would raise the issue with the city. If the city is using this vendor for their testing, the city probably paid out money for them to do the test. If the vendor offers a "study guide" but then keeps pointing to more and more "pay for info" stuff, I find that shady. There is also the Better Business Bureau you can also contact. You probably won't get money back, but someone may check in to the vendor's conduct. Things may be on the up and up, butyou may never know.
        Otherwise, be leary of any test prep guide that is offered for a fee.
        The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

        Comment


        • #5
          FPSI Tests

          I have absolutely loved the FPSI tests when I see them as a part of the application process. One, it allows people who are motivated to study for an entrance exam and do well. Two, it allows departments to guage who was more devoted to becoming a firefighter. I believe in the concept of those who prepare more, deserve a shot. General knowledge exams seem to eliminate several quality candidates. FPSI allows ANYONE to determine on their own how well they will do on the test.
          Last edited by chawk12; 07-11-2009, 01:12 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm certainly not going to disagree with some of the things you've said, Chawk. For those of us who have some knoweledge, experience, and certifications, though..it's a waste of money. I can get the same info..or in my case 'brush up' on my knoweledge in my Firefighters Handbook-Essentials in Firefighting. For those with little or no experience, you have the opportunity to do well.....on the written test, that is. We all know a written test and real world, or just applying what you have learned in a controlled drill setting are two different animals.
            "If the ladder goes up, the building goes down."

            Comment


            • #7
              Breech31....

              They switched to a private testing service a few years back because of their Chief wanting to save overtime from using their own personnel and equipment for testing. Not the best system but it works.

              For guys like you have actually have a clue, no, it won't help and it's just the company trying to make a buck. For others who have no clue of what the job is like, it does help. It is designed for Joe Blow off the street who doesn't have a clue to do well on a test.

              Good luck with the testing process. I know the DC there. Last I talked to him they were hiring 8 to replace retirements and stuff. GOOD LUCK!!
              Jason Knecht
              Firefighter/EMT
              Township Fire Dept., Inc.
              Eau Claire, WI

              IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
              http://www.cheddarvision.tv/
              EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

              Comment


              • #8
                Thought this was a firefighter exam?

                So, I took the Kenosha Test today. 80 questions, multiple choice...very few 'fire related' questions. I think I recall maybe 3 remotely related to fire... a couple related to ropes, and the rest were EMT related. Should have been an EMT test. I know we, as firefighters may sometimes be asked to conduct EMT duties, but jeez.
                "If the ladder goes up, the building goes down."

                Comment


                • #9
                  I thought to myself "hmm? Must be a unique test format or something such as that?" So, I got curious and mcts exams snooped around online and found the FPSI website. Sure enough, there's their website and you could actually order the practice test (a number of tests, actually) online. I thought, what the heck, I broke out the credit card, and ordered their Firefighter test. I took the test and uh...no suprises re: content and subject matter. It's basically 50 multiple choice questions covering 1.) Fire Safety and Behavior, 2.) Construction, PPE, and Extinguishers 3.) Ropes/Knots and Rescue/Extrication 4.) Ventilation and Firehose and 5.) Fire Streams and Fire Control.
                  I scratched my head, took the test, got my score back (90%), then it forwards me to a page where it suggests I purchase a microsoft 70-536 number of other products they offer to improve my score.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    FPSI as a general knowledge firefighter entry test

                    I know this is an old thread but I want to shed some light on the FPSI product.
                    First of all, make sure you read the disclaimer for each chapter of the test preparation manual. Some of the information in the manual is actually accurate but much of it is made up and not factual information. The terminology does not match IFSTA, NFPA, or any other fire education organizations' terminology. The test that is administered based on the FPSI test preparation manual is designed to test purely reading comprehension. It is designed to put every person that takes the test on an equal playing ground. The problem is, it does not to this very well. In fact, it puts anyone with a fire service related education at a disadvantage because it uses inaccurate information that is similar and related to fire service knowledge.
                    So why do some departments use FPSI for their entry-level evaluations? They use companies like FPSI because it transfers the liability for a test that might be challenged as possibly discriminatory against a protected group away from the organization that is hiring, and to FPSI. And because FPSI is not a government body, it is held to a different standard than a city, county or district government.
                    So in answer to this thread...if the department you are testing for is using FPSI, buy the book...the edition specified, and study your little hiney off and get every resource offered to you regarding the edition specified. Memorize the book word for word and start studying as soon as you possibly can. Why? Because the people that really want the job...they will be doing just that!!!!! And if you have any fire service experience or knowledge, flush all of that down the toilet and consider the FPSI book the gospel for the test you will be taking.

                    Comment

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