Preparation for your Psychometric tests to join Queensland Fire & Emergency Services (QFES) 2021

If you are applying to join Queensland Fire & Energy Services (QFES), you will be required as part of your application to take several challenging Psychometric tests:

Phase 1:

QFES will ask you to a complete a timed mechanical test that includes a list of test questions that are based on mechanical principles, such as pullies and gears. Upon successfully completing phase 1, you will be invited to complete phase 2.

Phase 2:

QFES will ask you to complete the timed Pearson's Vue ability tests that includes three types of test questions:

  • Abstract test questions
  • Verbal test questions
  • Numerical Sequences questions

Phase 3:

QFES will ask you to complete two special clinical personality and one emotional intelligence test to identify whether you have clinical issues that might prevent you from becoming a firefighter:

  • Standard personality test which measures 30 different personality traits.
  • A special clinical personality test measuring personality disorders
  • An emotional intelligence test measuring your EI.

Phase 4:

A group assessment and a clinical behavioural based interview.

What is the mechanical test with Queensland Fire & Energy Services (QFES)?

The mechanical test is a timed test that includes questions that measure your understanding of mechanical concepts, such as pullies, gears, weight distribution etc.

The main challenge of the mechanical test is the timer. The timer is set so only 2-3% of the population can complete this test on time and have all the questions right. Therefore, your task is to try to get as many test questions as you can correct.

What is the Core Abilities assessment with Queensland Fire & Energy Services (QFES)?

The Core Abilities test is a timed test that include 20 questions,to be completed in 15 minutes. The main challenge of this test is the timer. The timer is set so only 2-3% of the population can complete this test on time and have all the questions right. Therefore, your task is to try to get as many test questions as you can correct.

Verbal Reasoning test questions in the Core Abilities assessment:

The Verbal reasoning test questions in the Core Abilities assessment are designed to measure your verbal reasoning skills. The verbal test questions include two styles:

Style 1 – ‘Word list’ and ‘odd-one-out’ test questions

This type of verbal test question includes lists of words or phrases, and you are asked in each question to select one or two in the list that are dissimilar to the others (i.e. find the ‘odd one out’).

Let’s review the following verbal test question example:

Four of the following five options are alike in some way – select the one that is not.

A.   to acquit

B.   to esteem

C.   to exculpate

D.   to exonerate

E.   to vindicate

Most words in this list have a common theme: ‘to acquit’, ‘to exculpate’, ‘to exonerate’, and ‘to vindicate’ are all verbs that relate to being found or declared not guilty, or free from blame. However, ‘to esteem’ means to respect and admire and has a different meaning to the rest. Therefore, this is the odd one out.

Style 2 – ‘Word association’ test questions

In this type of verbal test question, you are given two words that are associated in some way (i.e. an analogy) and a list of options. Your task is to select which of the options is most like the given word association. 

Let’s look at an example:

Cane : walk, as eyeglasses ?

A.   taste

B.   hear

C.   colour

D.   run

E.   sun

The association between ‘cane’ and ‘walk’ is that the cane is an ancillary instrument to assist someone to walk. Therefore, we need to find a word in the list with a similar association to ‘eyeglasses’. ‘Eyeglasses’ are an ancillary instrument to help someone ‘observe’, so this forms the same relationship as exists between ‘cane’ and ‘walk’.

Abstract Reasoning test questions in the Core Abilities assessment:

The Abstract test questions in the Core Abilities assessment are forced-choice (which means that each question has between 4 to 5 answer options and only one is correct). All Abstract test questions are non-verbal problems, which means that there is no text to read. Each Abstract test question displays a group of shapes that have common patterns or rules. Your task is to quickly identify the patterns and logical rules for each group of shapes and then use them to select the correct answer. Each Abstract test question in the Core Abilities test has a different group of shapes and different patterns and logical rules.

Here is an example for an abstract reasoning test question:

Which figure is next in this series?


To answer this question, we need to determine the patterns in this group of shapes going from left to right. In this group, we have an outer square containing one of three shapes (circle, square and triangle) and a number of lines across the corners of the square. There are two underlying patterns to this series. The first pattern is that the three inner shapes always repeat in the same order. The second pattern is more complicated, as we need to count the lines. Given that the missing shape is in the middle, it is best to start from the shapes after the missing shape. In the first shape (left of the missing shape) we have 2 lines across the top left corner and one line across the other corners. In the next shape there is no change in the lines. In the next shape we see a drop of one line from the top left corner. Then in the following shape we see another line drops. This time from the bottom left corner. In the next shape there is no change in the number of lines. This means that the pattern is one line drops from the first shape. Then in the next shape another line drops. Then there is a pause in the next shape. Then the pattern repeats. Therefore, shape D is the correct answer.

The Numerical Reasoning test questions in the Core Abilities assessment:

There are 2 types of numerical reasoning test questions in this test:

Type 1 Traditional Numerical Sequences -

This type of numerical test question includes traditional number series, which are a list of consecutive numbers. Each type 1 numerical test question displays a list of numbers and your task is to identify the pattern and logical rules. Using the patterns that you identify, you can correctly select the missing number. 

Let’s look at the following example for a numerical test question in the Core Abilities assessment:

Find the missing number in the following set:

144, ? , 48 , 2 , 24 , 4 , 6

To answer this question, we need to identify the pattern in this number series. A pattern is a rule that explains why all numbers are positioned where they are. In this case, we would start analysing the numbers to the right of the missing number, as this side offers us more numbers to work with. First we look at the 3 following numbers - 48, 2 , and 24. Can we see some rule here? Yes, 24 multiplied by 2 is 48. Let's check if this rule applies to the other numbers - 24 , 4 and 6. Yes, as 6 times 4 is 24. If we apply this pattern or rule then 48 times ? is 144. Therefore, the missing number is 144 / 48 = 3.

Type 2 Numerical Sequences in grids - 

This type of numerical test questions include numbers sequences that are displayed in triangles or long grids.

Example Numerical Sequences type 2 test question:

To answer this question you need to find the patterns or number sequences in this example. If we examin the numbers in the top line: 4, 12, 36... we can see that each consecutive number is product of multiplying the previous number by 3. For example, 4 x 3 = 12 and 12 x 3 = 36. Based on this the next number will be 36 x 3 = 108. The numbers at the bottom are created by subtracting 3 from the numbers above. For example, 4 - 3 = 1, 12 - 3 = 9, 36 - 3 = 33 and 108 - 3 = 105. The missing number at the bottom will be 108 x 3 = 324 then 324 - 3 = 321. So the missing numbers are 108 and 321.

What is QFES' Work Safety test? 

The Work Safety test is a non-timed personality test that has just over 30 test questions. Each test question has a statement where you are asked to select the degree to which you agree with the statement..

The test measures risks in your work safe behaviour that might impact your ability to be a firefighter. The test measures your work safe behaviour using 5 scales:

Scale 1 – Risk Avoidance, or Risk Averse, or Cautious

Scale 2 – Safety and Personal Accountability/Responsibility

Scale 3 – Managing Stress, Emotional Resilience, or Being Strong

Scale 4 – Aggressive or Violent Behaviour

Scale 5 – Compliance and Obedience

Let's review the following example of a work safety test statement:

If a person is insulted, then he is entitled to be angry.

  • Strongly disagree
  • Disagree
  • Neutral
  • Agree
  • Strongly agree

The statement is designed to measure your ability to manage your anger and frustration in the work place. If you were to choose “agree” to this statement, then this would indicate that you are likely to approve of aggressive behaviour in the work place, which is likely to lead to accidents.

What are QFES' personality tests? 

The first personality test QFES will ask you to complete has 240 items and is not timed. Each item has 5 answer options. This test measures 30 different personality traits and offer a personality profile to identify personality risks about you.

The second personality test QFES uses is a special clinical personality test that measures personality disorders. The test includes more than 300 items and is not timed. The test report offers QFES a full clinical personality profile of you. this report focuses on personality disorders such as anti-social behaviour, bortheline personality and agressive behaviour. 

What is QFES' Emotional Intelligence test?

The emotional intelligence test has 144 questions and is not timed. This test measures 8 aspects of your emotional intelligence:

  • Ability to identify emotions in facial expressions
  • Ability to understand use emotions to facilitate behaviour in others
  • Ability to identify people's emotions based on their behaviour
  • Ability to understand how actions facilitate emotions in others and us
  • Ability to identify types of emotions when looking at objects.
  • Ability to associate emotions with colours, taste and descriptions.
  • Ability to understand how to use emotions to facilitate interactions/relationships with others
  • Ability to understand the structure of different emotions.

Example for emotional intelligence test questions:

The emotional intelligence test has a wide range of test questions type or style. In some you will be given faces and you will need to select the correct emotion and level of intensity of this emotion. In other questions, you will be given scenarios and be asked to select the most appropriate response. You will also be shown photos of objects and sceneries and be asked to identify the emotion/s that these photos are likely to elicit in people.

Let's review the following example test question for one of the emotional intelligence test’s sections:

Joan felt stressed, and became a bit anxious when she thought about all the work she needed to do. When her manager brought her an additional project, she felt ____.  (Select the best choice.)

a) Overwhelmed

b) Depressed

c) Ashamed

d) Self-conscious

e) Jittery

The correct answer is overwhelmed. Joan felt stressed before her manager brought her more work. The additional work given to her when she already was feeling under stress only increased the feeling and made her overwhelmed.

Another style of test questions in the emotional intelligence test is:

How much is each feeling below expressed in this picture?

Happy 1-5

Sad 1-5

Fear 1-5

Anger 1-5

Disgust 1-5

Here you need to analyse the content and colours to identify the correct emotions and the intensity of each emotion on a scale of 1 to 5.

Another example for a test question in the emotional intelligence is:


How much is each feeling in the list below expressed by this face?

Happiness (1-5)

Sadness (1-5)

Fear (1-5)

Anger (1-5)

Disgust (1-5)

Here you need to analyse the facial expression to identify the correct emotion and the intensity of the emotion on a scale of 1 to 5.

The Challenge with the emotional intelligence test:

Many job applicants find the emotional intelligence test very challenging due to the following reasons: 

  • The test questions are very different from what people are used to.
  • The test asks you to identify emotions using facial expressions and photos of sceneries, which is a task that people feel unequipped to complete.   
  • The test questions require people to deal with things outside their comfort zone.

Our Preparations for Queensland Fire & Energy Services (QFES) psychometric tests, group assessment and interview:

The Institute of Psychometric Coaching has developed a variety of tailored preparations to ensure you are ready for your tests with Queensland Fire & Energy Services (QFES),

Our professional preparations include:

Practice Mechanical tests, Core Abilities tests and Work Safety test online customised to QFES: 

  • A large pool of timed practice Mechanical tests online –
  • A large pool of abstract reasoning test questions based on the Core Abilities assessment
  • A large pool of verbal reasoning test questions based on the Core Abilities assessment
  • A large pool of numerical reasoning test questions based on the Core Abilities assessment
  • All practice tests are timed to give you a similar experience to your real tests.
  • You will have step by step solutions at the end of each practice test.
  • Practice Work Safety test based on real test questions.
  • Test scores  in comparison to others.
  • Feedback on how to improve.
  • Immediate Access.

Mechanical, Core Abilities (Abstract, Verbal & Numerical) tests and Work Safety test courses online for QFES:

  • Special mechanical, abstract, verbal and numerical tests' courses online with all the knowledge you need to pass QFES’ tests.
  • Abstract Reasoning Test Course online with some example test questions.
  • Verbal Reasoning Test Course online with some example test questions.
  • Numerical Reasoning Test Course with some example test questions.
  • Special Work Safety personality test course with all the knowledge you need to pass Queensland Fire & Rescue's Work Safety test
  • Immediate Access.

1-on-1 tutoring for your Personality tests, Emotional Intelligence test, Mechanical test, Core Abilities assessment & Work Safety test, Group Assessment & Interview:

  • Delivered by expert Australian Psychometric test trainers.
  • Face to face (In Melbourne and Sydney) or via Skype live.
  • You will learn with us how to get ready for your personality tests and emotional intelligence test.
  • You will get special material and practice questions for your personality, emotional intelligence and cognitive tests.
  • Includes an analysis of your weaknesses.
  • Working with you to ensure you demonstrate your full potential and capabilities in QFES’s tests.
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