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FST Test (Firefighter Selection Tool) Online Preparation – 2024

Aptitude Employment Tests Prep

What Is the FST Firefighter Test?

The FST, Firefighter Selection Tool, was created by test development company Industrial/Organizational Solutions. IOS specializes in tests for public safety careers and also developed the popular National Firefighter Selection Inventory test.

The FST was designed to give a well-rounded view of all the traits necessary to becoming a firefighter. The exam evaluates different aspects of a potential firefighter’s cognitive abilities, and personality. It also uses some biographical data supplied by the applicant to assess your personal experiences.


What Are the FST Test Sections?

The FST is made up of 200 questions. You will have 2 1/2 hours to complete the test. The cognitive abilities section is 80 questions, and you will be given 2 hours to complete it. You will have 30 minutes to complete the 120 questions in the personality portion of the test.

The cognitive portion of the test is multiple-choice. For the personality section, you will be using a 5-point ranking system which ranges from strongly agree to strongly disagree. For most departments, the test is given online. There are a few places that still use pencil and paper tests, be sure to find out ahead of time the testing format to expect.


The FST measures your abilities in 4 different areas. These are:

  • Cognitive This section of the test measures your ability in 8 separate areas of cognitive function:
    • Deductive Reasoning This is your ability to apply rules and procedures to a situation.
    • Inductive ReasoningThis form of reasoning is your ability to put information together to come to a conclusion. For example, taking statements from witnesses following a fire and determining what happened.
    • Information Ordering – How well can you place directions in order? This portion of the test will have you placing a set of directions in the correct order.
    • Mathematical Reasoning These questions test your basic mathematics skills. You may be working with numbers given in charts or tables, and you will need to determine the correct function to solve the problem.
    • Spatial Orientation – This is a measure of how well you can orient yourself and get to the correct destination using a map or diagram of a building’s layout.
    • Written Expression – These questions will measure your command and use of English. The questions include correcting grammar and spelling, and vocabulary usage.
    • Written Comprehension – How well do you understand written information, and retain what you have read? You will need to answer questions using information given to you in several passages.
    • Visualization – This is a test of your visual memory. You will need to identify objects and people that have been changed slightly.
  • Personality Constructs These are areas of your personality that are essential to your ability to perform well as a firefighter.
    • Emotional Stability
    • Conscientiousness
    • Extraversion
  • Bio-DataThis area is where your life experiences come into play. Your biodata plays a role in how well the skills being evaluated in this section have been developed.
    • Adaptability/Flexibility
    • Leadership
    • Mechanical Operations
    • Physical Activity Orientation
    • Stress Tolerance
    • Teamwork/ Engagement with Others
    • Service Orientation
    • Initiative/Persistence/Dependability
  • IntegrityThese aspects of your personality help establish how you will work as part of a team. The questions here will establish your ability to follow safety rules, work with others, and care about how others on the team may be affected by your actions.
    • Safety Orientation
    • Orderliness
    • Socialization
    • Anti-Social Behaviors


How to Prepare for the FST Test?

You do not need prior experience as a firefighter to ace the FST. You do need to take time beforehand to study and identify the areas you are weakest in so you can strengthen them before exam day.

Most fire departments offer study guides. Use the guide to build a practice test to check your progress. Practice using maps to navigate your area so you can learn to navigate without relying on GPS. Reading and crosswords are good tools for practicing reading and comprehension. Matching games online can help with memory. Do not forget to work on those mathematics skills. Flash cards, practice problems, and practicing mental math will all benefit you at test time. Take our free firefighter practice test.

When it comes to the personality portion of the test, there is no way to prepare except to remember to be honest. People who attempt to “trick” the test often have bad outcomes as their answers come out unbalanced. Do not worry about picking the “right” answer on non-cognitive testing. Pick the honest answer. That will help prove you have what it takes to serve as a firefighter.