Written Selection Test

The written selection test is designed to assess your suitability to undertake the academic content of the recruit firefighter course in addition to your ability to deal with the subsequent demands of the job.  The tests comprise a number of elements including verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and abstract reasoning, which measure general abilities such as problem solving, critical thinking, deduction and logical reasoning.

MFB uses the Vocational Selection Test (VST) developed and administered by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER).  MFB reserves the right to vary these tests at any time as required.


The Written Selection test is a multiple-choice format and comprises of the following core subjects:

  • Verbal reasoning – measures how well you understand and interpret written passages
  • Quantitative reasoning – measures your numerical skills with questions using maths in an everyday context
  • Abstract reasoning – measures your ability to identify and complete sequences and patterns
  • Mechanical reasoning - measures your ability to understand basic functioning of mechanical devices

The tests are pen and paper tests in a multiple-choice format.

To be selected to progress to the next stage of the MFB selection process candidates must obtain a score of at least 50 (on a scale of 1-100) on each of the four components of the tests.


The following information is provided to assist in preparing for the above tests and should be used as a guide only.

Exam technique

As all of the tests are timed, it is important to allocate sufficient time to each question to ensure that the maximum number of questions is answered.

The skills assessed by the Vocational Selection Tests are learned over time through different types of experiences.  The best preparation is to read widely and think critically, it may also be beneficial to refresh your knowledge of arithmetic principles and practice calculations without using a calculator.

There are a number of websites and books relating to career selection tests which provide practice items and hints on how to better prepare and improve your exam technique.

Practice material can help candidates become more familiar with the multiple choice format of the questions on the Vocational Selection Tests.

  • VST Sample Collection of Questions - The sample collection contains a set of 43 test questions, similar in style and content to the core VST.
  • New VST Sample Collection of Questions Volume 2 - A new volume of 64 practice questions which includes mechanical reasoning.


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