Candidates hoping to begin a career in the fire service must undergo a rigorous physical and written testing process that is used by departments to determine their potential for success as a firefighter.
While the tests are meant to be difficult, adequate preparation in the weeks and months leading up to your CPAT or Written Test can increase your odds of success.
In order to prepare candidates for the Written Test, FCTC has created a study guide that covers the four sections of the exam, providing study tips and sample questions for prospective test takers.
In addition to FCTC’s study guide, there are numerous online sites that are designed to help you improve your math and mechanical scores, as well as books at the library or on Amazon that cover all of the subject matter contained on the test.
If you are still in school, keeping up on your studies, particularly in English and math, will greatly enhance your chances.
The IAFF/IAFC standards for the Candidate Physical Ability Test states that each candidate must have the opportunity to attend at least two orientation sessions within eight (8) weeks prior to taking the test.
During orientation, candidates will receive instruction on the test and the test events, and will have the opportunity to try out the CPAT testing equipment to better understand what will be required.
Participation in one or more orientation sessions is strongly encouraged. Candidates who take advantage of orientation consistently have a higher passage rate than those who do not. The two orientation sessions are included in the $150.00 testing fee.
FCTC also provides a complete online Orientation Guide, with detailed information about the test events.
In addition to orientation, candidates have the option to sign up for at least two (2) timed practice runs prior to the test itself. Unlike orientation, practice tests are a full-scale simulation of the test. There is an additional fee of $25 per practice test. Like orientation, candidates that take at least one practice test consistently pass at a higher rate.
If you choose not to participate in this pre-test program, you will be required to sign a waiver acknowledging that you are aware of the pre-test program and have declined to include it in your preparations to complete the CPAT.
Like firefighting, the key to success in the CPAT is preparation. FCTC's CPAT Preparation Guide will help you prepare, with detailed information on: