Berkeley Fire Department Recruitment Homepage
Berkeley Fire Department Recruitment Homepage

Written Exam Preparation:

The entry-level test will examine your ability to read and solve basic problems. This test will not assess your knowledge of firefighting practices or response to emergency medical situations. The test includes 100 multiple choice questions, each with four possible answers.

You should select the best, or most correct answer for each question. There is only one correct answer per question. This will be a timed test. One minute is allowed for each question, but you will need to monitor your use of time. Carefully read the question, and all four possible answers before selecting your response. Following are samples of the types of test questions that you will see in your entry-level Firefighter written test.

Sample 1. Reading Comprehension

Read the following, and answer Question 1: Caution: May be harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Avoid breathing any spray mist and provide good ventilation of area being treated. Avoid contact with skin, eyes, or clothing. Do not allow children to touch treated area until all surfaces are dry. Avoid contamination of food, utensils, and food prep areas. Do not use in commercial food prep areas. Remove pets from areas to be treated. Wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling.

  1. According to this paragraph, you should not use this product:
    • near a flame.
    • in a kitchen.
    • if you have pets or children
    • in a damp or wet place.

Sample 2. Problem Solving

  1. Your fire station normally has 1,500 feet of 2½ inch hose. By policy, ¼ of the hose has to be cleaned every 6 months. How many feet of hose would be cleaned after one year?
    • 500
    • 750
    • 1,000
    • 1,500

Sample 3. Interpersonal Skills and Teamwork

  1. Members of the public should be treated with respect, kindness, patience, and consideration:
    • under all circumstances.
    • unless they are rude or verbally abusive.
    • when it is a time of crisis or emergency.
    • except if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Sample 4. Mechanical Ability

  1. On a 4 gear in line configuration, gear 2 turns clockwise. What do the other gears do?
    • All of the other gears will turn clockwise.
    • All of the other gears will turn counter-clockwise.
    • Gear 4 will turn clockwise, while gears 1 and 3 turn counter-clockwise.
    • The immediately adjacent gears will also turn clockwise.

Answers: b, b, a, c


Following is a list of additional resources that can be used to sharpen your skills for the written exam:

Basic Math:

Reading Ability and Comprehension:

Preparation for the written exam should also include sharpening your skills in taking multiple-choice tests. Following are some books that can provide you this practice.

Quick Links

 Application Process

 Testing Process

 Department Selection Process

 Pre-Employment Medical Exam

 How To Prepare

 Career Overview

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