WHAT IS THE LA CITY TEST ABOUT?
Although 100% of the score to get hired on for LA City is going to be in the oral board, you have to pass the written to be invited.
The study guide stated it would be reading comp., math mechanical, and pysch questions
Part 1 of the test measures mathematics such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, ratios, square roots, and the use of decimals, fractions, and percentages. Part 1 also measures reading comprehension. Part 2 measures job-related personal characteristics that have been demonstrated to be indicators of success as a firefighter.
CAN YOU STUDY FOR IT?
The test is not intended to be one you have to study for. Your high school education and personal experiences have given you training in reading and mathematics. If you feel you need improvement in these areas, you can study to improve. We strongly urge:
*When you read, concentrate on what you are reading. Try to understand its full meaning and implications.
*Read articles or books on practical subjects. Exactly what you read is not nearly as important as how well you use it to sharpen your reading skills. So choose a subject that interests you.
*After reading a paragraph or section, put it aside and test yourself on it. Ask such questions as:
· How can I state the main idea using different words?
· Why is the statement true?
· How could I make practical use of this information?
*Review and practice mathematics computations and applications.
*Of course, you can't "study for" your personal characteristics. The best thing to do on this part of the test is to answer the questions honestly. Your experiences, attitudes, and interests have built up over a lifetime and would be difficult, if not impossible, to change. Any attempts to "fake" the right answer may not be correct. So, again, the best advice we can give you is to answer these questions honestly.
More here: http://www.lacity.org/per/lafd_writprep.htm
The questions used on psychological examinations are determined by identifying major personality traits and characteristics of a successful firefighter. Knowing what personality traits and characteristics are being sought will improve your chances of scoring well on these examinations. .
Below are some of the personality traits that are key indicators of a successful firefighter. These traits include:
maintains effective and pleasant working relationships with superiors and peers
gets along well with others in a working relationship
is flexible, not rigid, in thinking
is a self-motivated individual
has empathy and is supportive of others in time of need
is able to control and keep emotions on an even keel
has a pleasant, good sense of humor
is willing to accept constructive criticism from others
knows that there is a chain of command and that following established department procedures is important in an organization
is willing to work as a team member
has a positive and enthusiastic attitude
uses judgment and common sense
has a positive attitude and believes that a successful outcome will occur in emergency situations
has strong values and ethics
good organizational skills
dependable being on time and being there when needed
able to speak clearly and audibly
ability to follow oral directions
ability to follow written directions
is able to handle stress and stay calm in emergency situations
works with little or no supervision
is able to take charge when the situation demands it
under emergency conditions, can handle critical decision-making
under emergency conditions is able to perform both repetitive and complex tasks with little or no supervision
is able to treat the severely injured and sick
is able to accomplish duties in tight time frames
does high quality work and makes suggestions to improve how things are done
realizes that safety is a top priority
has the sincere desire to serve the community and help people
willing to accept people as they are without regard to race, creed, or gender
can render emergency care to anyone regardless of who they are, where they are and what their beliefs are
understands that there are cultural differences and does not stereotype individuals
able to treat all people with dignity and respect
What is on the LA City Written?
LA City written exam will consist of:
Part 1: Reading Comprehension and Math
Part 2: Multiple choice questions regarding opinions and attitudes, self descriptions and experiences which have demonstrated to be indicators of successful firefighters. This section of the exam has a failure rate of 50% nationwide. In the coming days we will post questions to help you become familiar with this section of the exam.
The LA County and LA City will have psychological based questions as part of the exam. The LA City exam will have questions that are in the format below
The number one cause of failure on these examinations is not knowing what information these psychological tests are trying to retrieve from the fire applicant.
The questions used on psychological examinations are determined by identifying major personality traits and characteristics of a successful firefighter. Knowing what personality traits and characteristics are being sought will improve your chances of scoring well on these examinations.
Another problem many fire applicants have in taking these psychological examinations is that they answer the questions relative to their current career. For example, you may be a top salesman. You work alone, you are at the top of your field, you have a six-figure salary, and have been given many top awards.
You may describe yourself in a psychological examination as someone who prefers to work alone, is very successful at doing so, and is highly motivated and driven. These answers will not get you hired as a firefighter. A firefighter is an individual who is part of a team; they work as a team and not as an individual. This is just one example of someone who can be very successful in life yet fail the psychological profile of a successful firefighter.
Reading comprehension will be covered on both the LA County and the LA City fire exams. Below is a test taking strategy to help you improve your score and better your chances of becoming a firefighter in the LA area. Good luck !!!!
TEST-TAKING STRATEGY FOR READING OR VERBAL COMPREHENSION
Verbal comprehension measures your ability to read and understand the types of written materials a firefighter might be expected to read on the job. You will be presented with a reading passage and then asked to answer questions about the passage. All the information needed to answer the questions will be included in the passage itself.
In answering the questions based on the reading passage, it is important that you answer the questions only according to the information given in the passage. If you have information from your own experience and knowledge, you should not use it to answer a question of this type. Even if you think that there is a mistake in the reading selection, you must still answer the question on the basis of the information given in the reading passage.
The kinds of Reading Comprehension questions which appear on a civil service exam tend to be somewhat different from the reading comprehension questions on a school related exam. That is because there are different kinds of reading--skimming, reading for general understanding, reading for details, etc. Your exam will be based mostly on reading technical materials, not anything like a novel or essay. Hence, your exam will have more focus on exact grasp of details.
There are certain techniques that will help you do well on reading comprehension questions. Here is a summary of the most important techniques.
Use your pencil. To begin with, use your pencil as a pointer. Using the pencil to guide your eye along a line of text helps you to focus on the details in the reading; it holds your attention to the precise words in the passage. In a long test, attention may weaken. Fatigue may blunt your attention to details. But using your pencil as a pointer will help to preserve your attention to details.
Another benefit of using the pencil as a pointer is that it will probably speed up your reading. The steady flow of the pencil across the page with each line of text draws the eye along at a steady pace. Do not go faster than you can grasp the text, but do try to keep your reading going at a steady pace set by the pencil.
Circle key words and phrases. In a Reading Comprehension test you are not reading for just a vague general understanding of the passage. You usually have to read for detailed understanding. There will be individual words which are important for grasping a point exactly. You do not want to write so much on a passage that it is hard to read a second time if you need to go back to check a detail. But you do want to circle key words or phrases which will enable you to zero in on precise points needed to answer a question.
Read short questions carefully the first time. When you are reading a short question for the first time, read it carefully. A short question is one that is only seven or eight lines long. You can retain all of the main ideas and remember where particular things are mentioned from one careful reading. Hence, you do not want to waste time reading this passage twice.
Besides wasting time, another bad consequence of reading a short question very carelessly the first time is that it may leave you with some false impressions of what you have read. Wrong ideas can get stuck in your head from a careless reading. Then it will be more difficult to get the correct answer.
For long questions, look ahead to see what is being asked. Take a look at the "stem" of the question, the sentence which precedes the answer choices. And look at the kinds of choices which are being offered. Sometimes reading passages are long but the questions are asking only for particular details. In that case you can often skim a long passage to find the particular detail.
Keep forging ahead. Do not get bogged down if there is a word or sentence you do not understand. You may get the main idea without knowing the individual word or sentence. Sometimes you can sense the meaning of the word from the context. Sometimes the word or sentence may not be the basis of any question. If there is some idea you need to answer a question but do not understand, read it one more time. If you still do not understand it, move on. You can come back to this question later if you have more time at the end of the test.
Picture what you read. Try to form a picture in your mind as you read. School books used to teach reading contain many pictures because pictures aid comprehension. When reading material without pictures, it will aid your comprehension if you use your imagination to picture in your mind what you are reading. Read as if you were a professional illustrator who has been hired to do an illustration for the passage.
Ask yourself questions as you read. When you finish reading a sentence, ask yourself what the author was saying. At the end of a whole paragraph, ask yourself what the point of the whole paragraph was. If you ask yourself questions, you will find that you are paraphrasing the passage in your mind. That will help your understanding.
Know where the author stands. Sometimes a passage will contain an evaluation of some ideas of tools or procedures. The author may want to make the point that certain practices or procedures are bad or that certain tools may not be right for a particular job. Be sure you know if the author is accepting or rejecting something.
Another good reading comprehension strategy is to read the questions before starting the passage. This does not mean to read the answer choices at this time. By reading the questions, you will have an idea of what information you will need after reading the passage. This may alert you to certain details, ideas and specific areas in the paragraph where the questions are being drawn from.
Top Scoring Examination Strategies From Don McNea Fire School
1. Read the directions very carefully and listen closely to the moderator or instructor if directions are given orally. If at any time you are unsure of any of the directions, raise your hand and a test monitor will come over and explain your question to you. Many types of these examinations differ from one section to the next. You should pay particular attention to the instructions for these types of examinations.
2. Before you begin, make sure you have all the pages in the examination. In most examinations you will be told the number of pages in your booklet; check to make certain that you have all the pages or sections. If any page is missing, immediately raise your hand and inform the test monitor.
3. Make sure that you are marking the right answer to the right question. All it takes is skipping one question and not skipping the corresponding number on the answer sheet, to cost you the examination. Every five questions or so, it is a good idea to take a look at the number in the test booklet and the number on your answer key to insure they match. Also pay strict attention to whether the answer key numbers are vertical or horizontal. You don't want to find out that you have been answering the questions on the wrong numbers.
4. When marking your answers, make sure that you mark only one answer for each question. Do not make exceedingly large markings on your answer sheet; most of these examinations are graded by computer. If the marking is too close to another marking, it will be double keyed and you will lose credit for that question.
5. If you need to erase an answer, be sure you erase it completely. Do not leave any shadows that could possibly show up when the computer is grading the examination.
6. If you come across a question during the examination that you find difficult and you are spending too much time on it, skip over the question and leave a mark on your answer key. Do not mark in the area where you will be answering; mark to the left of the number so that you know to come back to this number. It is also a good idea, if you are allowed to mark in your test booklet, to mark out choices you have eliminated as being incorrect. This allows you, when you come back at the end of the test, to go back to only the choices remaining when you are seeking the best answer. If you come across a question on the examination that you find difficult, don't allow any more than two minutes on the question. If you don't know the answer, mark it, skip it, and return to it after you have completed the remainder of the test.
7. Check the time during the examination. For example, if there is a 200-question test and a three-hour time limit, you should be on question 100 with 1-1/2 hours left. You should check the remaining time every 1015 minutes to ensure you are on an appropriate time frame.
8. Do not change answers unless you are absolutely positive. Time after time, studies have shown that when you change answers, 7580% of the time you change it to a wrong answer. The only time you should change an answer is if you are absolutely positive or if you have miskeyed an answer. (For example, you intended to mark C and you inadvertently marked B.)
9. Don't be afraid to guess at an answer. Most firefighter examinations are scored based on the number of correct answers. On most examinations, there is no penalty for a wrong answer. If you have three minutes remaining on the examination and 15 questions to answer, try to answer as many as possible, but if time does not allow, at least put an answer down for every question.