QFES Core Abilities Test

Tests You Need To Pass In QFES Recruitment

The QFES core abilities test is a necessity if you’re looking to become a firefighter in Queensland.

At the time of writing this article, Pearson VUE is the test provider for QLD. The Pearson VUE suite of tests is the KEY to becoming a firefighter in QLD.

How does Pearson VUE work for QFES?

Stage 1:

Complete a timed mechanical test that includes a list of test questions, such as pullies and gears, that are based on mechanical concepts. You will be invited to complete phase 2 after completing phase 1 successfully.

Fore example tests questions based on the most recent exams from QFES, we have a FREE firefighter practice test –  Pearson VUE. For complete up to date Pearson VUE exams, just message me here.

Or check out the Products I have created to help you become a firefighter in QLD.

Stage 2:

QFES will ask you to complete the Pearson’s Vue timed skill assessments, which contain three kinds of test questions:

  • Questions from the abstract exam
  • Questions from verbal exams
  • Questions from numeric exams

As I said before, there are two phases to the online assessments: the QFES Mechanical Aptitude Test and the QFES Core Abilities Test.

These include mechanical reasoning, problem solving, abstract, verbal and numerical reasoning. Something to note is the format: Pearson VUE uses what’s known as a proctor for their testing. The idea of a proctored test is to authenticate that it is you and only you taking the test with no help from anyone.

Pearson VUE Proctored Test

More information on Pearson Vue Practice test firefighter

The assessments will be delivered in an online supervised (proctored) format, and it is important you read and understand all the information provided to you regarding the assessments, particularly the technical requirements. It is important you are prepared and well rested for these assessments.

How does Pearson’s proctored testing work?

In general, you will have a “proctor”. The purpose of the proctor in the test is to

“Proctor” = someone who watches examination candidates to prevent cheating.

How the proctor works: The proctor will do a sweep of the room you are taking the examination in as well as verifying your identity and watching you take the exam. They have the power to terminate or invalidate your exam so you need to be very careful you understand and comply with the rules.

The thing with the Pearson VUE test for QFES is it can be taken in your own environment usually at a strange time due to the location of the proctors.

The Key with the QFES online proctored assessment is that you want to get exposure to the test before the day. You also want to familiarise yourself with the environment of the proctored test and the facilities you’re allowed so that you can outperform your competition on the day.

These exams, providers, and nuances will change from recruitment to recruitment. For the latest up to date information, you can send me a message or book in for a chat. All the latest test material and training is kept up to date inside my membership training area.

This is where nearly everyone gets knocked out of the game.

TIP: Simply searching “pearson vue test questions” “qfes firefighter test” or “free test firefighter” will prove a waste of your time and may even lead you down a path of being locked out for 12 months.

I’ll briefly explain the 12 month problem that I have witnessed unsuspecting people get themselves into. Sometimes in recruitment you will do a search for some test materials and actually be able to take a test which may be terrific BUT in the case I have seen people do this and the result of what they think is a practice test is associated with them for 12 months with the test provider *just be careful*

qfes_recruitment_forum_2021_become_a_firefighter_QLDBrent wearing firefighter shirt


The Operational Focused Abilities Test (formerly known as PAT test)

Honestly, most applicants don’t pay a lot of attention to the OFAT test. This is a mistake unless you take into account the fact that most of the people that take it for granted are the same ones who will never actually make it to the OFAT anyhow.

Here’s the thing about the OFAT; it’s specific, so at a minimum, familiarise yourself with it. The OFAT is not something you want to fail after going through all the effort to get through the initial testing. It’s also the most transparent test you will face, as you know the benchmarks you’re required to meet.

My motto is always “control the outcome of what you can” and the OFAT definitely falls into this category, so why wouldn’t you make sure you can control the outcome of something so simple?

When I’m working with a client on the OFAT, we boil it down into a training method of the “minimum effective dose” so that absolutely every minute of effort is propelling you towards the goal and zero effort is wasted doing things that will not contribute.

Details of QFES OFAT

The QFES OFAT must be completed either in Brisbane or in Townsville. At the time of writing, there was an associated $50 fee for attending the QFES OFAT assessment.

The cost to participate in the OFAT  for QLD Fire and rescue recruitment is $50.

What to wear: For the duration of the OFAT, candidates are required to wear a sleeved shirt, long pants, and closed-toed shoes appropriate for exercise throughout the entire test. Candidates will be supplied with a protective helmet, harness, and gloves; these must be worn as instructed. All the required safety and personal protection equipment will be provided by QFES on the day.

What NOT to wear: Shorts, skins, leggings, and skirts are not appropriate. All shirts must have sleeves. Singlets and small capped sleeves are not appropriate. Watches and all types of jewelry are not to be worn. Shoes must be completely enclosed, such as sneakers, runners, or joggers. Open shoes and thongs cannot be worn.

OFAT Failures: 

  • Candidates must not run at any stage of the OFAT.
  • Candidates will receive one warning for running and the second infraction constitutes a failure.
  • Where a failure is identified, the OFAT time will conclude and the candidate will not continue in the assessment.
  • If any piece of equipment is dropped during the tasks, the assessment time will conclude, and the candidate will not continue in the assessment. This constitutes an overall assessment failure


PART 1 – Station 1: Road Crash Rescue Cutter Hold

PART 2 – Station 1: Low-Level High-Rise Stair Climb

PART 2 – Station 2: Forcible Entry

PART 2 – Station 3: Ladder Raise, Extend, House & Lower

PART 2 – Station 4: Equipment Haul

PART 2 – Station 5: Flaked Hose Drag

PART 2 – Station 6: Life Rescue

PART 3 – Station 1: Case 1 Hose Reel Drag

The QFES Beep Test 

For the updated material, check with me or in membership

QFES Interview Questions


QFES State Panel Interview is a critical part of the firefighter selection. You will be required to speak in front of a panel, which will include QFES operational and non-operational staff.

You will be required to inform the panel members about:

Your understanding of the role of a QFES firefighter.

The attributes and qualities you would bring to the role, your relevant or transferrable skills, experience and qualifications, and your motivation in becoming a firefighter.

Behaviour and scenario-based questions.

Quote from QFES recruitment——————————————————————————————————–

“QFES recommends you perform outside research into the role, such as visiting as station or speaking with firefighters about their experience.

Do not under-estimate the importance of the interview. Interview results contribute to your merit standing in the recruitment process. It is important you are properly prepared, dress and act professionally”


The QFES interview process is easily your biggest opportunity in the entire process to beat your competition.

See this podcast for a free debrief with our in-house interview coach

The interview is actually the least competitive aspect of the process, as usually at the interview they have culled hundreds or even thousands of applicants.

Do not assume that if you reach this stage, the interview is simply a formality; more candidates will be brought to the interview than there are positions available. It is a critical part of the selection process and is subject to rigorous assessment.

So at this stage, you might only have to be better than 20 or 30 other applicants.

It is at this stage of the process that I get really excited for the guys I work with because I know if they simply follow my training and show up to their coaching sessions, they are almost guaranteed a job.

auxiliary firefighter qld

Firefighter Psych Test

For detailed information on the QFES psychological assessment.

QFES Group Activity

not always part of the process

This exercise will assess your effectiveness at working within a team.

Here’s video on group assessment activities the group activity fundamentals apply across all services