ACT Fire Brigade Aptitude Test

ACT Fire Brigade Aptitude Test Blog

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So you’ve applied to become a firefighter with ACT Fire and Rescue, congratulations! Now you face the second stage of the application, the Aptitude test.

It’s one of the most challenging parts of the process and a hurdle that plenty of candidates struggle with. The good news is you don’t have to!

I’m Brent C, an active firefighter with over a decade of experience in Fire Service recruitment. I made this guide to maximise your chances of acing the ACT Fire Brigade Aptitude test.

ACT Fire & Rescue Aptitude Test – Video Example


Free firefighter practice aptitude test with ACT Fire Brigade aptitude questions

Why do Fire Services use Aptitude Testing?

Firefighting is a competitive career but also an extremely demanding one. Candidates need to be up to the high standard set by the Fire Service.

To be a great firefighter, you’ll need to be a quick thinker and make effective decisions under pressure.

The Aptitude test will explore a range of your capabilities. It identifies candidates with the character traits needed for the challenging demands of the Fire Service. Think of it as a tool that helps recruiters see who’s got what it takes to become a firefighter.

Why do People Fail the ACT Aptitude Test?

Helping people pass firefighting aptitude tests is my job. Every year I get candidates joining my coaching program after they tried passing on their own and failed.

I always end up wondering one thing. How did they not pass before coming to see me? They’re enthusiastic and passionate about firefighting, so why didn’t make it through the aptitude test?

I’ve noticed two common pitfalls

  1. They lacked the preparation required to pass.
  2. They made an effort to prepare but focused on the wrong areas.

I never rest until my students have every bit of information needed to ace the ACT aptitude test.

I focus on the specifics, right down to:

  • Identifying the areas that candidates are being assessed on.
  • Helping you focus on your weak points.
  • Details of the company carrying out the test.
  • Examining trends in recent questioning to determine what might come up this time.

Often it’s this extra guidance and confidence that helps get my students across the line, and it’s one of the most rewarding feelings to see their hard work pay off.

What’s in the ACT Aptitude Test?

This year’s test provider is Pearson TalentLens and it’s been announced that the Aptitude Test will be conducted online, with a face-to-face verification if you’re successful. So what are they testing and why? Let’s take a look at each section of the test.

Verbal Testing

A test of your English to check how quickly and accurately you process information. In Fire and Rescue effectively interpreting information can save lives, so it’s obvious this part of the test is vital.

Verbal testing can include tasks like defining words and extracting information from long paragraphs.

Numerical Testing

This section of the test involves assessing your ability to use maths to solve problems. Maths isn’t one of the skills you would usually associate with firefighting.
However, being able to process numbers quickly aids decision-making; a key part of the job. Questions can vary from extracting numerical data from graphs and statistics to non-calculator arithmetic.

Abstract Testing

This tests your ability to understand relationships and patterns between shapes and objects. Measuring your lateral thinking, this section of the test assesses your ability to efficiently predict future outcomes based on the information at hand. Another key skill that benefits Fire and Rescue teams.

Spatial Testing

This is one of the most difficult parts of the Aptitude test. People often get Abstract and Spatial testing mixed up.

They are similar, but rather than recognising patterns, Spatial testing judges the applicant’s ability to visualise movements in shapes. As well as assessing the form they would take after being rotated or folded.

Question Format

Pearson TalentLens have given two example questions on the CORE test section of their website. The images below give you a clearer idea of how the questions will be set out.

Pearson TalentLens Abstract Reasoning sample question

Pearson TalentLens Verbal Reasoning sample question

The test provider considers the Core Abilities Assessment an ideal complement to other tests such as personality assessment and behavior-based interviews. So, it’s no surprise that the test doesn’t end there. You will also be required to prepare a written response to a question that could relate to health and safety, diversity, or participative work practices.

You need to be ready for this question. The principles of respect and diversity are something you either have or you don’t. However, I recommend familiarising yourself with government workplace health and safety guidance which you can find here.

Health and safety might seem boring but this extra preparation could be the difference between passing the test or crashing out of the recruitment process.

How to Pass the ACT Fire Brigade Aptitude Test

To have the best chance of passing the ACT Aptitude test, you need to know what you’re up against. This means doing your research and for determined candidates, even getting help from professionals.

Whether you’re going it alone or invested in a coach to improve your chances of passing, having the right information at hand is key. Here are some tips to give yourself the best chance of passing:

Research the Terminology

The application process is new to many so there’ll be unfamiliar wording that can be confusing.

Aptitude testing is often referred to in other ways, such as psychometric testing or cognitive reasoning. This can leave applicants feeling unsure about what to prepare for and damage their chances of passing.

Researching the terminology is time well spent. It will help you get an understanding of what the test’s got in store for you.

Mentally Prepare Yourself

Becoming mentally ready is an underrated aspect of the Aptitude test preparation. It’s easy to feel nervous and overwhelmed by the thought of an exam.

Plenty of my students say nerves played a part in them failing the first time around. Sometimes to get through the psychological barriers a support network is needed to provide reassurance.

Without guidance, it’s difficult to know how much preparation is enough. Unfortunately, you never know how well you’ve prepared until you see your test result.

So many of my students are good enough to pass the test but don’t believe in themselves. It’s amazing to see what a little encouragement and guidance can do for your test score.

Need help settling the nerves? Book a call today and get the confidence you need to smash the Aptitude test.

Use Practice Questions

One of the most important parts of your preparation involves practice. Practice questions such as the ones below help you become familiar with the wording and style of the test and calm your nerves on the big day.

ACT Aptitude Test Sample Question 1

Act Aptitude Test Sample Question 2

I’d recommend checking out this useful ACT recruitment guide which is a good place to start. After familiarising yourself with the guide, another resource with some handy example questions is this practice Aptitude test.

For more revision material head over to our products page for all the resources you need to pass the ACT aptitude test.

Practice Under Pressure

Practicing questions with no pressure, and sitting the real exam are different ball games. If you haven’t practiced under pressure it’s likely that when you’re faced with the real exam you could crumble.

Try giving yourself limited time for each question and gradually reduce it, making your practice harder. The key here is to emulate the feeling of stress while you practice. When the big day comes, if you’re feeling stressed or anxious it won’t be the first time you’ve experienced the discomfort.

Get Support During the Recruitment Process

Getting support throughout your application is an excellent way to improve your chances of passing the aptitude test and makes the recruitment process less daunting.

Friends and Family

Supportive friends and family members are always useful. They can help you stay on track, and offer support should you need someone to vent to about the pressures of the application process.

Hire a Coach

With years of experience, coaches are a surefire way to fast-track your chances of passing the exam.

Sometimes you need someone to hold you accountable and unlike a friend or family member, if you haven’t put the work in your coach will be able to tell right away.

Not everyone has time to do their own research and gather learning materials. Coaches have all the resources you need to pass the aptitude test and will check on you regularly to monitor your progress.

If you’re looking to hire a coach, I’d love to hear from you!

Book a call and join the other happy students on course to passing the ACT Fire and Rescue Aptitude test.

Brent C

After becoming a Firefighter, I developed a massive interest in the Fire Services Recruitment and Selection Processes. I've been in the fire service working since 2007 to learn everything about how Fire Services Recruitment works. I've tested and refined proven methods to help people get the edge over the competition. Today, over 300 of my former students are living their Firefighter dream.

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