New Jersey Firefighter Entry Exam Overview

The New Jersey Civil Service Commission tentatively plans to give the firefighter entry exam in or around September of 2022. Applications are expected to be available online in June or July. The content for this multi-part written comprehensive exam has previously included the following components:

Situational Judgment Section

The situational judgment section contains scenarios which involve job-related situations. The questions will place candidates in situations which have four possible answers to choose from. Candidates must prioritize their responses by picking the first or most appropriate thing they would do, followed by the next best, next best, and then least appropriate.

To obtain the maximum amount of points in this section, candidates will have to show good judgment. They will have to rank order their answers, from most appropriate to least appropriate. Candidates who select the most appropriate order, earn the most points!

Personality Assessment Section

The personality assessment is designed to reveal aspects of an individual’s character or psychological makeup. By gaining insight into a candidate’s personality, it’s possible to identify which candidates will be a good fit for the fire service. Numerous studies have validated this.

The studies have shown that ideal candidates possess certain desirable skills and personality traits. They are assertive, have good interpersonal skills, and are team-oriented. They have good judgment and decision-making, as well as high ethics and integrity. They manage their stress well, are flexible, and solve problems well.

Candidates who attend my class will take diagnostic personality tests to determine their strengths and weaknesses. They then work to improve on their weaknesses before test day. When they do, they score higher on the personality test.

Personal History Data or Biographical Data Section

The personal history or biographical data section consists of a series of questions about a candidate’s background. Candidates can score points or lose points, depending on how they answer. The answers in this section are weighted. There is usually one answer that is worth the most points. This type of testing has been around for about 100 years. The questions usually focus on your prior school and work history. So, you should expect some questions from these areas. Many firefighters have asked me “Why do they use the Bio-data test?” The theory is this. If you had good grades in high school or college, you should get good grades in the academy. If you came to school and work on time, you will come to your public safety job on time. If you got along very well with your co-workers in the past, you should get along with your future public safety co-workers. By looking at your past, the test tries to predict your future.

Cognitive Abilities Section

The cognitive abilities section measures six areas. These areas include deductive reasoning, number facility, spatial orientation, visualization, written comprehension, and written expression.

The cognitive abilities testing looks at skills that were determined by a consultant to be important for New Jersey Firefighters. The test questions look at things like reasoning, reading comprehension, written communication, decision-making, and problem-solving. Candidates can expect questions in this section involving applying rules and regulations, mathematical reasoning, map navigation, firefighting equipment, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

The new test will no doubt be challenging for candidates. After candidates take the written exam, they will be rank ordered. That list will then be sent to the appointing authorities. Those who score high will be called to take the physical exam first. The physical exam will be a pass/fail. So, doing well on the new written exam will be the key this year to getting hired as a New Jersey Firefighter.

On the most recent firefighter exam, the Bernstein students had the highest scores in the state! The majority of students who took the Bernstein course are now New Jersey firefighters today. If you ask ANY New Jersey firefighter, they will simply tell you “Go to Bernstein!”

In order to prepare NJ firefighter applicants for the new exam, Bernstein & Associates will be giving a series of paid test prep seminars. The seminars will cover “How to best prepare for the new firefighter entry exam.” All serious candidates should attend.

Watch Dr. Bernstein explain the upcoming NJ Firefighter entry exam below:

Click here for our two-day preparation seminar schedule.