How to Become a Firefighter: Understand the Verbal Test

Want to know how to become a retained/volunteer firefighter? Read on as we take you on a journey through a national firefighter understanding information test example to give you a taster of our preparation pack.
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National Firefighter Selection Tests Verbal Sample Question

Below is a sample question. Let’s go through each aspect of the question and answer options to give you a full understanding of this verbal test.

Dealing with wildfires

Fires in the open can be difficult fires to fight, often due to their remote locations and the availability of water. By taking heed of the helpful tips and advice below, you can reduce the number of incidents and damage to the environment.

How to reduce the risk of wildfires 

Dry ground in the summer means there’s an added risk of a fire starting, but you should take care at all times of the year. Follow these tips to reduce the chance of a wildfire in the countryside: 

  • Extinguish cigarettes properly and don’t throw cigarette ends on the ground – take your litter home. 

  • Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows. 

  • Avoid using open fires in the countryside. 

  • Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodland – sunlight shining through glass can start fires (take them home and recycle them). 

  • Only use barbecues in a suitable and safe area and never leave them unattended. 

  • If you see a fire in the countryside, report it to the fire and rescue service immediately. 

  • Don’t attempt to tackle fires that can’t be put out with a bucket of water – leave the area as quickly as possible.

Which of the following statements about reducing the risks of wildfires is correct?

Option A: If the ground is muddy you can throw cigarette ends on the ground. 

Option B: Leaving bottles on the ground is a risk to animals cutting their paws. 

Option C: Always try to have a bottle of water with you to extinguish a fire if you can. 

Option D: Don’t think other people will report a fire in the countryside. If in doubt, just call.

Let’s go through the different answer options to find out which one is correct.

Option A 
essentially tells us that when the ground is muddy a fire will not start. There are a number of places in the text where we see this isn’t the correct answer. First of all the text states that you should take care at all times of the year, not just in the summer when the ground is dry. Moreover, one of the bullet points states: Don’t throw cigarette ends on the ground. Hence this cannot be the correct answer.

Top Tip: Even if you think that an answer may be correct, if you don’t see it in the text don’t ever assume it is correct answer.

Option B: This may be the correct answer as factually it is correct. However, the question asks about reducing the risks of wildfires, not about animal safety. Hence it cannot be the correct answer.

Option C: Although this may be a good idea, the text states that you shouldn’t try and deal with a fire that can’t be put out with a bucket of water. Whilst having the means to put out a fire is important, in fact you could argue that this should be in the text, it isn’t so we cannot assume that this is the correct answer.

Option D: This is the correct answer as the text states: If you see a fire in the countryside, report it to the fire and rescue service immediately.

Some tips on passing this firefighter test and becoming firefighter include:

  • Read the text carefully, very carefully. It provides the answers to the questions. What this means is that you will almost always find a line in the text that mirrors one of the answer options.
  • Make sure you understand the text. Sometimes in verbal reasoning tests there are words that you may not have come across before. Therefore try to brush up on your vocabulary as much as you can before the firefighter test, listen to the news, read a broadsheet newspaper and to give yourself good preparation with our verbal application pack.

Focus on your dream of becoming a firefighter!

The most important tip to remember is to practice. Then practice. Then practice a bit more. Focus on getting every single question correct without worrying on the speed of your performance. Your speed will increase over time and as long as you focus you will be able to complete the verbal test in the time allowed.

Becoming a retained firefighter is a dream many have. You can do a normal job and then in your spare time help save lives! However, becoming a retained firefighter isn’t so simple and you have to go through a difficult application process. We hope you have found this blog helpful and look forward to helping you get through and becoming a firefighter.

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