Learn How To Succeed At The Firefighting Aptitude Test


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Firefighter Aptitude Test in Australia

A variety of personality traits may be found in people who want to become professional firefighters.

Performing the role of a professional firefighter requires confidence, diligence, and the ability to remain calm and clearheaded in an emergency situation.

Because this is such a challenging and sought after job, those who wish to become firefighters must pass the firefighting aptitude test.

Australian firefighters provide a wide range of services to the community, aptitude testing is the fire services most commonly used test to see if you might be worth looking at as a potential candidate.

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Why Do Fire Services Use Aptitude Tests?

Taking the aptitude tests may seem daunting, but all of the tests involve skills, knowledge and abilities that each service has decided firefighters will need in order to do the job.

The reason why the services use aptitude tests is twofold 1. It is an effective way or reducing the applicant pool by thousands in 1 go 2. The firefighter aptitude test is a reflection of the reasoning abilities that have been deemed necessary to execute the job efficiently & effectively.

There is much competition among applicants, and it is not uncommon for people to fail at this testing stage, in fact the firefighter aptitude test is the single biggest point of failure in every fire services recruitment.

Failure to move past this level means that one cannot progress to become a firefighter. Fortunately, coaching is available to help applicants pass the tests.

The aptitude test is divided into a written portion and a physical portion. Although the physical part of the test is essential, the written section of the test is also important. In addition to being in great physical shape, applicants should possess qualities such as excellent reasoning ability, as well as the capacity to comprehend and follow instructions. Because fighting fires requires more than physical ability, it is important that applicants pass the written section of the test. Applicants are tested on their mechanical reasoning, their capacity to solve problems, and their ability to make decisions efficiently.

 Firefighter Aptitude Test By State – 2024

Fire & Rescue NSW – Criteria

Fire Rescue Victoria – Pearson VUE WST – Firefighter Aptitude Test

SAMFS – Safe Select


Fire & Rescue ACT – Hudson Psychometric

Tasmania Fire Service – Cognify and Safe Select

QFES – Pearson VUE

DFES – Criteria’s Cognify

NT Fire & Rescue Service – Safe Select


 Firefighter Aptitude Test Providers & Practice Firefighter Aptitude Test

Criteria Practice Tests

Cognify Practice Test

Emotify Practice Test

SafeSelect Practice Test Questions

Pearson VUE WST – Practice Aptitude Test

Pearson TalentLens

SHL Test Practice

Hudson psychometric test

Listen To this PODCAST –  Firefighter Aptitude Tests – How to Get The Edge

For firefighter aptitude test practice we have a free test suite available that has test questions from each service. firefighter aptitude test practice questions from each service and provider in Australia designed to give you an idea of your strengths and weaknesses.

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 Take This Practice Firefighter Aptitude Test

see how you compare to your competition – aim for 7 or higher

 WPreliminary & Supervised Aptitude tests

With some services you may get a preliminary aptitude test that is usually taken online from anywhere that has an internet connection like your home. The purpose of this exam is to quickly and roughly assess applicants abilities so they can narrow the field of applicants quickly.

This can be followed up by a supervised aptitude test to verify your score later in the recruitment process. This can be done in person at a test location or supervised by proctored exam online.

An online proctored exam is supervised by a live person who watches you while you do the test, they will sometimes make you do a sweep of the room and other things to ensure you are not cheating.

Here is some more information on how to deal with online proctored exams or Fire Service Supervised Aptitude tests.

 How Difficult are Firefighter Aptitude Tests?

Firefighting is an intensely difficult profession to obtain employment in, and passing the aptitude test is crucial if you are ever going to get a look in at getting on a recruit course.

There are several different types of firefighter aptitude tests that you may be required to take depending on the year you apply and the service you apply to.

As to the question of how hard are the actual aptitude tests, this really depends on your situation, background and how long you have been away from academic work like school.

If you haven’t done a test for a while and you decide to wing it I’d suggest the test will be extremely difficult unless you’re naturally very good at tests.

The spectrum of difficulty between the test providers and services can be staggering, for example someone that just passes the most recent SAMFS Safe Select test has zero chance of passing the ARFF SHL test without significant training.

When I’m teaching someone how to pass the firefighter aptitude test we first look at

  • Which company is providing the aptitude test?
  • What types of reasoning are they assessing
  • What types of questions has this company used in firefighter tests most recently
  • Does this company provide different test types for different services (trap for young players) i.e. in 2021 Pearson VUE provided testing for both QFES & FRV but the tests were much different.

Once we know what’s going to be on the test it makes preparing so much easier and in-turn makes the test much easier to pass. When you insert this knowledge into my aptitude improvement blueprint framework this is the

quickest way to increase your aptitude test score and easily pass the test.Aptitude test Terminology

It is important not to get confused by the terminology that may be used around aptitude testing for firefighters.

You may hear it being referred to as Psychometric testing, Cognitive abilities test or a more recent versions is the Written Selection test or Pearson VUE WST.

The important thing is that you understand what test you are going to face so you can give yourself a fighting chance.

Firefighter Aptitude test Math – This is also known as “Numerical Reasoning”, firefighter aptitude test math is the most common reasoning ability for people to struggle with.

Firefighter Aptitude test Spatial – This is similar to  “Abstract reasoning”, firefighter spatial reasoning questions can be extremely difficult for some people. With spatial reasoning you need to be able to manipulate shapes in your head and visualise how they will unfold or roll over and Abstract reasoning is more around recognising patterns. These two although similar get confused quite a bit.

Firefighter Aptitude test Mechanical – “Mechanical Reasoning” Fire service test providers over the years have used mechanical reasoning from very easy to extremely difficult, these come in such a vast array of types so it is important to know what you’re going to get. It could be an electrical circuit or a set of cogs or something even more detailed.

Firefighter Aptitude test Verbal – “Verbal Reasoning” fire service test providers use verbal reasoning on every test for obvious reasons. It is essentially english from school and your ability to interpret written information. It could be the understanding of a specific word, finding information from a large body of text quickly or spotting spelling and grammar mistakes. Some services may even assess your ability to communicate through text.

You can listen to me and an aptitude test coach go into detail on how to get the edge in your firefighter aptitude test in this podcast

How to Pass the Firefighter Aptitude Test

  • Any applicant who is serious about becoming a firefighter will want to prepare for the tests
  • If you don’t prepare your almost certainly destined to hang out with the 95% of people that never pass because they don’t see the value of preparing properly.
  • When I’m working with a client in my coaching program we work through the specific 5 step process outlined in the aptitude improvement blueprint.
  • We then turbocharge the speed of results by using the best cognitive coaches in the fire service testing industry. This is the simple system you can use to make sure you get a chance to attempt the rest of the recruitment process.

I designed this specifically for firefighter aptitude tests for every service in Australia,

Since creating the program I have had as many as half an entire recruit course come through this program in 1 intake which means it works.

If you have any questions about aptitude tests for fire services around the country or anything else to do with becoming a professional firefighter just reach out.



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Firefighter Aptitude Test Infographic


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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