Written Exam Assistance
Written examinations are usually given by a neutral third party other than the fire dept. hiring. The written examination generally takes approximately 1-3 hours & includes questions on: Reading comprehension, Basic mathematics, Basic science, Mechanical aptitude, & Communication skills. The amount of fire service knowledge depends on the dept. Passing scores are generally 70-80%, however successful candidates are generally in the 90% plus range. If a candidate has served active duty in the armed forces and has been discharged under honorable conditions, they might be eligible for veteran's preference points. These points are generally added to the final score.
TIPS ON IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION
Reading comprehension is required so one can improve his/her knowledge base. From the time a candidate begins the fire academy through each promotional step, a vast amount of material will be studied, interpreted, & applied to the job. Much of this material is technical & requires sincere effort to retain the information. Therefore, in most firefighter exams, reading comprehension is an expected element. Candidates have stated this is the most difficult of all parts of the exam. Verbalizing what you're reading helps in retaining that information.
A recent survey of firefighter examinations given nationwide indicates that there is a wide variation in the subject matter of these exams. The single topic that is common to all exams is reading. Some exams include classic reading comprehension questions that present a passage & then ask questions on the details of the passage &, perhaps, on its meaning. Other exams require candidates to indicate proper behavior based on their reading of printed procedures & regulations. Still another type of reading-based question requires candidates to reason & predict next steps on the basis of information presented in a reading passage. Of course, questions of judgment in emergency and non-emergency situations rely heavily on reading as well. Actually, there are nearly as many variations of the reading-based question as there are test-makers. Before you begin to devote attention to strategies for dealing with reading-based questions, give some thought to your reading habits & skills. How well do you read? Do you concentrate? Do you get the point on your first reading? Do you notice details? Reading comprehension on exams is different than most normal daily skimming reading, speed reading or relaxing reading. Things taught in high school may not apply. Reading comprehension as tested on exams is concentrated, focused, understanding fully what is being said. It requires questioning the author meaning of what is being said. Between now & the test day, you must work to improve your reading concentration & comprehension.
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