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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Jun 2004

    Default Written test question

    I will be taking my first written test in a little over 1 month from now. What suggestions do you have for me to prepare? I already ordered a book with some practice exams. For those of you who have taken a (or several) test, what is the most difficult part?

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jan 2004


    Everybody is different. Some guys can comprehend what they read better than what they're told. Some are better at the technical thing than others. And for the most part it depends on what style of test they will be giving you.

    I for one have always had to focus more when tests included tape recorded scenarios of about 2-3 minutes, followed by several questions on what you've just heard. It may sound like a breeze but they pack alot of information into each one of them and just when you feel you have what you believe to be the most pertinent details memorized, they ask a totally different question.

    As for resources on test taking strategies, I would download every article off this site regarding any aspect of the testing process that you can. I haven't had any regrets with anything that I found. My only regret was that I didn't become a member sooner.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    San Francisco Bay Area

    Default Written

    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.

    Brent Collins is Assistant Fire Chief, Cleveland Fire Department and President of Don McNea Fire School. Visit his website www.fireprep.com for more information on test taking strategy and advice.

    You can find more on testing secrets in the Career Article section from the Jobs drop down menu just above this posting.

    Fire "Captain Bob"


  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Memphis Tn,USA-now


    Here is a sea story about why you should follow all the directions in test taking.
    During my "A" school in the Navy,we had an instructor relate the story of a class full of guys fresh out of basic training along with two fleet returnees taking school to change their rating.
    The first direction was"Read each question before answering."
    The fleet guys looked at their papers and then laid down their pencils and left the room.
    The new guys looked at them sure that the class had just been reduced in population and went about the tests answering each question after reading it.
    The final question was really a directive:"Lay down your paper,answer no questions.Leave the room.This is now your break time."

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber ffbam24's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004


    Sorry. Totally off the original post, but I remember that test from fourth grade! I remember watching a lot of students making a lot of erasures who had thought they were getting ahead.

    Okay, now back to the topic; my quick two cents. Do a search on "understanding oral information" too. Some tests out there (CPS) have an oral comprehension portion. www.firecareers.com had a recent thread on that.

    Good luck,

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Cleveland, Ohio


    If you are looking for info on ' understading oral information' go to the link below. Good luck !!!


    Brent Collins is Assistant Fire Chief, Cleveland Fire Department and President of Don McNea Fire School. Visit his website www.fireprep.com for more information on test taking strategy and advice.

    You can find more on testing secrets by Chief Collins in the Career Article section from the Jobs drop down menu just above this posting.

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