Should I Apply and Test Just to Practice the Written Exam?
I've never gone through the testing process before, but wish to switch careers and become a firefighter. Within 8-10 months I plan to have gained my FF certs and EMT-B, and while these aren't necessarily prerequisites for hiring by many departments across the country, they happen to be for the majority of those that I'm eligible for here in Texas. This is due to the fact that most medium to large cities in the state are civil service with a 35-36yr age max (I'm 40) and most small towns require certs in hand to apply.
That said, I've been told to start testing as it's the best way to practice. Because Texas is the way it is, the majority of opportunities to apply and test right now would be out of state. However, due to family considerations, I'm not willing to relocate until I've exhausted all options in Texas first. Besides, I'm not yet 100% ready to take and pass CPAT anyway.
Keeping in mind what I've outlined above, my options for applying and testing for practice are essentially non-existent in Texas and traveling out of state for that purpose would be too expensive, except for maybe making some drives to neighboring states.
Should I bite the bullet and apply and drive out of state departments just to take the written exam for practice? Or are there practice tests or test prep software packages out there that would offer the same benefit without the cost? Any other suggestions for test prep?