Having trouble passing fire department CPS tests?
More specifically; is the Oral Passage section holding you back from scoring high?

Not to fret.

Below I’ve listed 5 key points that candidates can follow in order to pass the oral passage section.

CPS testing has been widely used by departments across Canada for years. It has however faded of recent in Ontario due to the OFAI testing departments now use.

With that being said, there are still lots of departments that use the CPS testing as their main testing format to sort through candidates in recruitments.

Unfortunately the internet doesn’t provide many resources to learn more about CPS Testing. However if you are planning to write in the near future and need guidance, than check out my firefighter mentoring page here where I’ll sit down with you and guide you on how to pass.

For those of you who are familiar with CPS Testing and have written before, or are going to be writing in the near future; this post if for you.



1. Practice With A Partner


This is where having a study partner helps out big time!
When studying, I would have my partner create an oral passage with 20 questions. I then had him read it out load and pass me the questions when he finished.

This helped me get used to the testing format and how to retain certain information form the passage. Doing it over and over will help you develop tricks overtime.

A great book that helped me get things started was Barron’s Firefighter Candidate Exams. It has practice oral passages with questions to go through. Keep in mind that the actual oral passages in the CPS tests are tougher than the one’s in the book, but it’s a good way to get your feet wet.

Here’s a link to purchase it off of amazon: Barron’s.



2. Improve Your Short-Term Memory.


When I had an upcoming test, I would always consciously work my short-term memory as much as I could.

You may be wondering how that’s even possible…

Let me explain.

Throughout the day I would make an effort to memorize certain things that I came across. Some examples may be reading license plates and testing myself minutes later to see if I remembered the plate number, memorizing street names on a map, anything that I can come across!

The idea is to get yourself in the zone and start working your mind weeks prior to your test date.



3. Paint A Picture In Your Head


On test day when the passage is being read out, sit at your desk with your head down, eyes closed, and insert yourself into the story being read. The oral passage will have a general story behind it. It’s not just a bunch of random numbers and names thrown at you.

The best thing you can do is imagine yourself in the passage as it will be easier for you to remember certain things when it comes time to answer the questions.

Having your head down and eyes closed will help you concentrate and block out everything else in the room. Who cares what you look like, nobody will be paying attention to you.



4. Take Note Of Certain Information In Passage.


When retaining all the information you can in the passage, it’s important to focus on certain points in the passage.

Focus on memorizing street names, classroom numbers, number of people, colour of clothing, locations, time, etc.

Most of the questions will be relating to the points above.



5. Incorporate Daily Health Practices.


I was always cognizant of maintaining a healthy mind and body, and still am to this day.

The truth is, if you treat your body like garbage, it won’t perform at it’s best. That’s why it’s important to implement daily health practicies to your life to ensure your mind and body are performing at it’s best.

I would always load up on fish oil weeks before my testing (and continue throughout the year) as fish oil has been shown to help improve brain function and memory.

There’s several habits I have implimented in my daily life that ensure I perform my best day in day out.

Here’s a link to an article that lists several things you can do today to start improving your memory. Of course, some of these may seem strange to you and you may not beleive some of theses strategies even work.

I hoever found that regardless if certain health tactics work for me or not, the power of placibo is strong enough to improve my performance.



So there you have it! I hope these 6 tips help you pass the dreaded oral passage and I wish all of you the best of luck.

As always, comment below or send me some feedback on whether or not this helped!