In recent years many cities have gone to psychological testing as part of the examination process. Fire applicants are failing at a 60% rate because they don't know what is expected of them in these types of exams. One fire applicant recently wrote us with the following question; One of the questions I am never sure how to answer on a psychological exam is whether a question should be answered "uncertain" or "not sure." There are questions that I have encountered during testing that I feel should be answered that way. My scores are not reflective of the individual I am and I was wondering if you have any insight into whether these questions could be making a difference in my score. Jim from California

Answer: This is one of the most frequently asked questions from fire candidates taking psychological examinations. When you encounter a question that you aren't sure how to answer, we strongly urge you not to answer "uncertain" or "not sure." Doing this gives the impression that you are a fence-rider and not sure of decisions you make. In a psychological profile of a firefighter (on which many of these questions are based), they are looking for an individual who is very confident of the decisions they make. We hope this helps.

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