New York fire truck

FDNY Firefighter Exam – Ultimate Study Guide With Practice Questions

Last Updated on October 4, 2022

If you’ve always wanted to be a member of New York’s Bravest, this may be the first step toward the most rewarding job you’ve ever had.

To mention a few benefits, the FDNY offers world-class training and opportunities for advancement. We invite you to learn more about joining the FDNY if you have the confidence, passion, and ambition to lead. Everyone is welcome to take the exam, to aid our lovely city. With a competitive salary.

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The Mission of The FDNY

The NYC Fire Department defends and saves the lives and property of New York City residents and tourists as first responders to fires, public and fire safety, medical emergencies, disasters, and terrorist attacks.

The Department’s fire safety and prevention, investigation, and education efforts contribute to public safety. The fire department delivering these services allows it to contribute to New York City’s safety and homeland security missions.

Joseph Curry, Deputy CHIEF, New York Fire Department

What to Expect After You Pass the Exams

The starting wage for a New YorkFire Department firefighter is $45,196. However, you might receive additional remuneration in your pay period, with overtime and holiday pay, which are frequently needed. A Firefighter may earn more than $100,000 after five years of service, including overtime and holiday pay.

You have deemed an NYC Firefighter Applicant once you have passed training, your name will be placed on a civil service list depending on your performance and other circumstances. After that, the physical section of the exam will be taken by the candidates. The applicant is also subjected to a physical and psychological examination, a drug test, a background check and will be required to provide references of good character.

After enrolling and passing the test and the Candidate Physical Ability Test, the new fire academy graduate receives an excellent benefits package and a competitive income after their probationary period.

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About The Exam

The FDNY test is held every four years and draws a large crowd. The exam’s most recent session, which ended in 2017, saw a record number of candidates. There were 46,355 applications for the exam, with over half of them being people of colour and over 4,000 of them being women, demonstrating the city Fire Department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The minimum requirements to take the exam are:

  • Be between the ages of 17-29.
  • Possess a 4-year high school diploma or equivalent.
  • 15 college semester credits from an accredited institution.

a person taking an exam

To take the Firefighter test, you do not need prior experience with firefighting or the Fire Department. The test contains multiple-choice questions that measure reading, problem-solving, and the application of rules and ideas. After passing the written exam, you must additionally conduct an in-person interview with FDNY officers.

In addition, at the end of your probationary term, you must have obtained your Certified First Responder with Defibrillation Certificate (CFR D Certificate). During the probationary Firefighter training course, the fire department offers a CFR-D curriculum.

Please note applicants for employment as an NYC firefighter will be called based on the list number and need, which can be up to multiple years. Please also note that candidates on the Promotion to Firefighter Exam list get called before candidates on the Open Competitive Exam list.

For people on active military duty: The time spent on active military duty will be subtracted from your age at the time of the application.

The latest updates on current and upcoming tests is available from the Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS)

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Different Types of Questions Asked in The Exams

The test is extensive and essential since it is the first stage in the FDNY recruitment process. You must pass this test before proceeding to the physical and medical exams; hence, all successful applicants must first pass the written exam regardless of physical fitness.

The FDNY exam has two portions, the first of which is a written test. It is a computerised examination with a four-hour time limit.

The test includes questions on reading and answering passages or seeing videos and answering questions. This exam measures language, numeracy, logical reasoning, vocabulary, memory, and other abilities. Problem-solving is the subject of this primarily multiple-choice question-based test.

a person dragging a hose

The second part of the FDNY exam is the Candidate Physical Ability Test, after passing the written. This test is made up of eight sections, which are:

  • Stair climbing
  • Hose dragging
  • Carrying equipment
  • Raising ladders and extensions
  • Entering forcibly
  • Searching
  • Rescuing
  • Breaching or pulling ceilings

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Preparation Tips

  • Learn everything there is to know about the test.
  • Recognize the types of questions offered (multiple-choice, true/false, essay, and matching).
  • Check to see whether your notes are complete. Compare and contrast with your classmates.
  • Make preparations ahead of time.
  • Figure out how much time you’ll need to spend on each answer.
  • Recognize the consequences – How will this test affect my overall grade?
  • Prepare pre-tests from Jobtestprep (access here). Use quizzes, practise tests, and other similar tools.
  • Gather all necessary materials (pencils, paper, calculator, etc.)

calculator, papers and pens

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Have to Be a New York City Resident to Be an FDNY Firefighter?

You must live in one of the five boroughs; Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, or one of these New York counties: Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Nassau, or Suffolk County.

Can You Receive Extra Points if You Live in New York City?

Yes. Each exam year, applicants living in NYC will receive extra points.

Do the 15 College Credits Have to Be in Any Special Area of Study?

No, any course of study is acceptable. However, these credits must be obtained from a university, institution, school, or college accredited by the U.S. Department of Education.

How Can I Get More Information?

If you have questions regarding scheduling, support, or academy recruitment and retention, please send an email to [email protected]

How Has COVID 19 Impacted the NYC Fire Department?

Many firefighters train for the New York City Fire Department, often volunteering in small towns or looking for ways to improve their prospects. City workers faced the potential of being laid off this summer as the fiscal crisis deteriorated.

Even though the layoffs were avoided, the budgetary situation remains dire. Most city departments, including the FDNY, were reduced in 2021. Representatives from City Hall and FDNY said that these cuts will not reduce NYC’s firefighting operations and services.

The exams are normally offered every four to five years, according to the FDNY recruiting website. But there is no guarantee. And it is not clear what impact the virus will have on opening the next round of testing.

Can I Transfer From Another Fire Service to the FDNY Without Taking the NYC Test?


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Final Thoughts

The benefits of joining the FDNY academy and becoming an NYC firefighter are:

  • Lifelong medical coverage for you and your family
  • Growth opportunities
  • Flexible work schedules
  • Up to four weeks paid vacation per year
  • Generous pension

More importantly, you will get the deep satisfaction and sense of pride that comes with making a difference in your city and community.