Participants in the CPAT must navigate eight separate events on a closed course within a span of 10 minutes and 20 seconds. Each event simulates a physical skill or function that firefighters experience on the job.

  • Stair Climb
  • Hose Drag
  • Equipment Carry
  • Ladder Raise and Extension
  • Forcible Entry
  • Search
  • Rescue Drag
  • Ceiling Breach and Pull

During the test, candidates wear a helmet, gloves and 50-lb weighted vests, designed to simulate the weight of firefighter personal protective equipment. For the stair climb – the first event – candidates will don an additional 25-lb weight, to simulate the carrying of a hose pack into a high-rise fire.
Candidates will be accompanied by a test proctor, who will call out directions for the test events and score the candidate’s success in real time.
Each event must be completed exactly as prescribed – if a candidate fails any component of the test, they will fail the entire test. Candidates also fail if they do not complete the eight events within the 10-minute, 20-second time limit. For more information about the CPAT and how to prepare, visit FCTConline.org/cpat.

Different departments require candidates to pass different written tests. For instance, more than 115 California fire departments require a passing score on the FCTC Written Test. The FCTC Written Exam is a multiple choice test consisting of the following four sections:

  • Section 1 – Recall and Comprehend Verbal and Visual Information. This section requires candidates to watch two short videos and answer questions based on the scenarios presented.
  • Section 2 – Apply Mechanical Reasoning
  • Section 3 – Solve Mathematical Problems
  • Section 4 – Recall and Comprehend Technical Information from Written Materials

Candidates will then have 2.5 hours to complete 100 multiple choice questions. For more information about the CPAT and how to prepare, visit FCTConline.org/written-testing.