While taking these practice examinations, highlight the areas and questions that you find difficult. Go back over these areas continuously until you understand the strategies and philosophies behind these questions. This is the time to find out what you don't understand and the time to correct any testing deficiencies you may have.
Find a comfortable area that is well lit. The area should be free from distractions, and located as far away as possible from any potential distractions, such as televisions, radios, or where conversations are taking place.
Set aside a time of day where your concentration is at its peak. For some individuals, this may be early morning, while for others it could be afternoon or evening. Try to study for 1-2 hour sessions, which are more productive than several 20-25 minute sessions.
For those individuals who are smokers, remember that during examinations, all smoking will be prohibited. This means that you will not be allowed to smoke for this entire 2-3 hour period. You should try eliminating smoking for 2-3 hour periods so that you will not have high anxiety or frustration from not smoking during the examination.
Exercise regularly and stay in good physical condition. People who keep themselves in good physical condition have a competitive edge over their competition. A good, physically fit body makes for a good, mentally fit mind.
Finally, it is important that you receive an adequate amount of rest, not only the day before the examination but also for the preceding period. If you are used to going to bed at 11:00 p.m. and getting 7 hours of sleep, do so. Do not think that if you go to bed at 9:00 p.m. the day before the examination, those extra two hours will help you. More than likely, you will wake up two hours earlier and this will cause you more anxiety and a tendency to be more tired during the examination.
About the author: Brent Collins is currently Assistant Fire Chief, Cleveland Fire Department and President of Don McNea Fire School. He is a very generous and helpful person and is always available to help with your goal to become a firefighter. Visit his website for more information on test taking strategies and advice.