When embarking on a career in firefighting, potential candidates often find themselves navigating a complex maze of tests and exams. One such critical assessment is the NTN written exam. Whether you’re an aspiring firefighter or just keen on fire safety, this comprehensive guide will provide you with a deeper understanding of the NTN written test.


What is the NTN Written Exam?

The National Testing Network (NTN) written exam is an essential step for aspiring firefighters. It’s designed to evaluate the aptitude and skills of candidates, ensuring they possess the requisite knowledge for a challenging yet rewarding career in fire safety.


“The NTN doesn’t just test your knowledge, but your potential as a future firefighter.” – Firefighter Craig Jackson


Questions Involved in the NTN Exam

The NTN written exam primarily focuses on the following areas:


Reading Ability: This section evaluates a candidate’s ability to understand and interpret written information relevant to firefighting tasks.

Mathematical Reasoning: Firefighting often requires quick and accurate calculations. This segment tests arithmetic and basic mathematical problem-solving skills.

Map Reading: Here, candidates’ abilities to read and interpret maps, which are crucial for emergency response, are assessed.

Writing Ability: Proper documentation and report writing are vital in firefighting. This section measures a candidate’s ability to write clearly and coherently.

Human Relations: As firefighters often work in teams and interact with the community, this part assesses interpersonal and judgment skills.

Who Conducts the NTN Written Exam?

The National Testing Network, an independent testing organization, administers the exam. They offer standardized testing processes for various public safety departments, ensuring consistent and fair evaluation4.


Where and When is the Exam Held?

The NTN operates numerous testing centers across the country. Typically, a candidate can choose a location and time slot that best suits their schedule through the NTN’s online portal5. Exams are held throughout the year, providing ample opportunities for potential candidates.


What is the Cost of the NTN Exam?

The cost of the NTN written exam can vary, often depending on the region and specific fire department requirements. On average, candidates can expect to pay a fee ranging from $50 to $1006.



Q: Can I take the NTN written exam more than once?

A: Yes, if a candidate doesn’t pass the exam on the first attempt, they can retake it. However, there might be waiting periods or additional fees, and some departments might have limits on the number of attempts7.


Q: How should I prepare for the exam?

A: There are several study guides and preparation books tailored for the NTN exam. Practicing with these materials, and brushing up on basic math, reading, and writing skills can be beneficial8.


Q: What’s the passing score for the NTN?

A: The passing score can differ based on the fire department’s standards. It’s advisable to check with the specific department you’re applying to for detailed information9.


Q: Do all fire departments require the NTN exam?

A: While many departments use the NTN for candidate screening, not all do. Always check the requirements of the specific department you’re interested in10.



The NTN written exam is a significant milestone on the journey to becoming a firefighter. While it might seem daunting, with the right preparation and mindset, candidates can successfully navigate the test. Remember, it’s not just about securing a job, but ensuring you have the foundational knowledge to serve your community effectively.



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Torres, A., “Costs and Fees for Firefighter Testing,” wikipedia.org, https://en.wikipedia.org, 2019. ↩

Watkins, P., “Understanding the NTN Exam,” wildfiretoday.com, https://wildfiretoday.com, 2022. ↩

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Evans, S., “NTN Exam Standards and Scores,” fireweatheravalanche.org, https://fireweatheravalanche.org, 2018. ↩

Foster, K., “Fire Department Recruitment Standards,” Frontlinewildfire.com, https://frontlinewildfire.com, 2019. ↩