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NFSI Test (National Firefighter Selection Inventory) Online Preparation – 2024

Firefighter Job Test Practice

What Is the NFSI?

The National Firefighter Selection Inventory, NFSI for short, is a firefighter readiness exam developed by Industrial/Organizational Solutions. IOS is a leader in developing assessments for public safety positions. IOS tests are designed to eliminate testing bias and promote diversity in fire departments, law enforcement, dispatch, and correction agencies.

The NFSI is one of the most popular firefighter selection exams in the U.S. A few of the cities that utilize the NFSI are:

The exam combines cognitive testing with behavioral examinations to predict new firefighters’ job performance.


Taking The NFSI Test

The NFSI is a multiple-choice test. It will be administered in a testing center or other designated testing area. The test is often computer-based, but there are still some fire departments that prefer the pencil and paper version. You will not be allowed to bring any digital devices, including a calculator.

The test has a time limit of 2 ½ hours. There are two parts to the test, Cognitive Abilities which has 105 questions, and Non-Cognitive Behavioral Orientation with 50 questions. Each section is designed to measure abilities in these areas that indicate you have the general knowledge, and the right type of personality to perform a high-stress job that requires quick decision-making. 


Cognitive Abilities:

  • Verbal Comprehension – This is your ability to understand written information. To measure your comprehension there will be a passage related to firefighting. The questions will all be related to the passage you have read.
  • Verbal Expression – How well can you express yourself in writing? This area will measure that ability. You will be tested on grammar, spelling, English word usage, and vocabulary.
  • Problem Sensitivity – As a firefighter you need to be able to quickly find the most serious difficulty in a situation. In this portion of the test, that ability will be tested by having you detect the main problem in a given scenario.
  • Deductive ReasoningThese questions demonstrate your reasoning ability. The focus is on how well you can work within a set of rules and procedures. They involve situations like picking the right type of equipment for an emergency call.
  • Inductive Reasoning This section focuses on your ability to examine a situation and make connections. You will be given clues to work with to draw a conclusion about a given situation.
  • Information Ordering – Here you will be asked to place the steps of a procedure into the correct order.
  • Mathematical ReasoningIn this section your ability to use basic mathematical procedures and work with data sets is examined. You will need to be able to interpret charts and graphs and use them to solve a set of problems.
  • Numeric Facilitation – This area also focuses on basic math problems. These questions use word problems to test your ability to work with numbers.


Behavioral Orientation:

  • Stress Tolerance – Your ability to handle stressful situations and work under pressure is measured through these questions.
  • Team Orientation – Being able to work on a team is an important skill in firefighting. Your ability to work well with others is a strong focus of the NFSI.
  • Motivation/ Attitude – Your attitude and the things that motivate you help indicate if you will be a good addition to a fire department.


How to Prepare for the NFSI Test?

You do not need to go into the NFSI testing blind. You can access NFSI study materials through your department. Use these materials to find the areas you are weakest in, so you can focus on improvement. Use the materials to put together a practice test so you can check your progress. When you practice, remember the test is timed. Practicing time management will benefit you on test day.

Pay close attention to the instructions given to you regarding the test day. Be prompt, and only bring the materials that are allowed. Show up well-rested so you are able to focus and give your full attention to the exam. Studying, and showing up prepared and ready to test will help you stand out from the dozens of other candidates who will also be taking the NFSI.