You must not only pass the written exam, but you must score very well on it to advance in the process.

Most modern fire departments begin their candidate selection process with a written test. While fire department tests do vary, most of them have similarities that candidates can plan and prepare for. Most municipal fire departments operate under some form of local government, usually city, county or state, so passage of a civil service exam is often required.

Typically, the civil service exam and the fire department exam are given at the same time. Generally, the civil service exam will be a pass/fail exam requiring a certain score or percentage to pass. In these cases, your performance on the actual fire exam will not matter unless you pass the civil service exam. Once the civil service exam is passed, it generally has no bearing or weight in your fire exam score.



We will start with the civil service exam, since passing this is really the first step in successfully getting through the hiring process. Most civil service exams are meant to measure or ensure a basic knowledge of general education topics such as math skills, reading comprehension and writing ability.



Those candidates who pass the civil service exam will have their fire department exams scored. The score on the fire department written test is important because this score combined with your interview score will determine your place or ranking on their hiring list.