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Firefighter Situational Judgement Test Preparation – 2021


The process of applying for a firefighting position usually involves a psychometric assessment. Many fire departments require candidates to complete a Situational Judgement Test (SJT). The SJT may be given alone or as part of a larger written test. The goal of the SJT is to measure the candidate’s ability to make appropriate decisions in stressful situations.

Some fire departments use a combination of an SJT and a personality test to determine whether a candidate is a good fit for the job. There may also be an in-person psychological evaluation.


What Is the Firefighter Situational Judgement Test?

The SJT for firefighters consists of multiple-choice questions each based on a scenario or dilemma. Candidates read the scenario and then select their answer based on how they would respond. Each question gives four or five answer options, but the specific answer format varies. Candidates may be asked to:

  • Select the most appropriate action
  • On one question, select the most appropriate action, and on the next question, select the least appropriate action
  • Rank the actions from most to least appropriate

The questions describe a range of scenarios. They might relate to emergency situations, interacting with the public, or working with other firefighters or superior officers. The scenarios are usually hypothetical but relate to realistic situations that firefighters might encounter.


How to Prepare for the Firefighter Situational Judgement Test?

Some candidates find the SJT difficult because the scenarios aren’t always black-and-white. There may be multiple responses that seem appropriate. Keep in mind that your goal is to determine the most appropriate response, not the only appropriate response. If the question format requires you to choose the least appropriate response, there may be two or more options that seem inappropriate. Consider the possible outcomes of each response and choose accordingly.

Some test-takers have noted that there is often one obviously incorrect answer, but multiple answers that might seem appropriate.

Some people assume that this kind of test is impossible to prepare for, but that is not the case. Online practice versions of the SJT will help you know what to expect and understand the kinds of answers fire departments prefer. You can take the practice test multiple times until you achieve a good score. This practice will help you feel confident and prepared on test day.