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National Testing Network
The National Testing Network (NTN) provides recruitment solutions and services to public safety and transit agencies operating throughout the US. Its pre-employment psychometric tests help employers in these sectors identify the most promising talent. As a candidate applying for roles that fall under these categories, you may be required to sit the relevant NTN exam.
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Firefighter – FireTEAM
In the NTN firefighter test, you’ll complete four sections measuring various abilities, as detailed below.
Human relations test: this is made up of two parts, both designed to test situational judgement. In part one, you’ll respond to video scenarios typically encountered by a firefighter. In part two, you’ll assess the behaviour of the professionals in those videos, answering multiple-choice questions on their character.
Mechanical test: the mechanical reasoning test looks at your understanding of mechanical principles. Questions revolve around things like water pressure and valves, the operation of certain systems, and troubleshooting scenarios.
Reading test: this is a verbal reasoning test based on technical written materials. The task is to pick words from multiple-choice options that best complete a sentence wherever there is a blank.
Maths test: finally, you’ll complete a numerical reasoning test, showing your numerical aptitude and grasp of basic arithmetic. All calculations must be done in your head, and include proportions, subtractions, addition, division and multiplication.
Emergency Communications – ECOMM
Also known as the 911 dispatch test, here you’ll complete three sections.
CallTaker video test: a situational judgement test designed specifically for emergency call handling, you’ll watch videos of call takers in action. Each scenario will end at a critical point, and you’ll select what you see as the right course of action. You’ll also need to take notes on each scenario for the next section of the test.
Recording pertinent information test: here you’ll see statements relating to the calls witnessed in the previous section. Referring to your notes, you’ll decide whether each statement is true or false, or if there is insufficient information to decide, much like you would on a verbal reasoning test.
Dispatcher test: a measure of your multitasking abilities, you’ll work through simulations of live situations, dispatching units to incoming calls based on their whereabouts and activity. You’ll also decide on the emergency of dispatch, and whether medical assistance is required.
Corrections – REACT
This test is comprised of four sections.
Human relations test: in this situational judgement test you’ll respond to video scenarios, choosing the most appropriate course of action for each. Questions are multiple-choice, and relate to teamwork, public relations and inmate supervision.
Reading test: in the reading, or verbal reasoning test, you’ll be presented with challenging written material such as you’d come across as a correctional officer, and will need to fill in blanks with accurate word selection.
Count test: a measure of basic mathematical aptitude and observation, this video test simulates the movement of inmates. You’ll need to keep an accurate tally and work at speed, with 10 seconds to answer each question.
Incident observation and report writing test: here you’ll compile written reports based on video scenarios. Your responses will be marked for structure, content and language skills.
Juvenile Corrections – IMPACT
This is essentially a shortened version of the Corrections test. You’ll complete the following sections:
Human relations test: a multiple-choice situational judgement test with video scenarios depicting common occurrences in a juvenile correctional facility. You’ll respond to each in the way you deem most effective.
Reading test: again, this verbal reasoning test involves the evaluation of written materials you’d likely come across on the job. You’ll need to fill in any words left blank to complete each passage.
EMT – MedicTEAM
The Emergency Medical Technician, or EMT test, includes:
Human relations test: a two-part situational judgement test in which you’ll watch video segments and pick the most appropriate response to a range of situations, as well as answering questions on the professional behaviour of individuals portrayed in those videos.
Written knowledge test: a 60 question, multiple-choice verbal reasoning test, in which you’ll be assessed on your understanding of basic life support functions.
Transit Operator – START
The shortest of the NTN exams, this one hour assessment includes:
Human relations test: this multiple-choice test looks at customer service skills, critical thinking and situational judgement. You’ll watch a series of videos and will need to decide on the most effective response to each scenario depicted.
Reading test: the second part of the test covers verbal reasoning. You’ll read through materials you’d typically work with as a transit operator, filling in any blanks with the most appropriate word choice.
Top tips to pass your National Testing Network test
1. Understand the role
You do not need any knowledge of rules and procedures to pass an NTN test, but you will be expected to demonstrate a high standard of professionalism. You’ll need a strong grasp of what constitutes effective behaviour in certain critical situations, so do plenty of research around the role.
2. Take plenty of practice tests
To perform at your best in your official exam, you’ll want to be comfortable with the format and understand what’s expected of you. Practice tests will help here, boosting your confidence and calming exam nerves.
3. Set up the right test environment
If taking your test remotely, find a space that’s private and quiet with a stable internet connection, and test your equipment thoroughly before starting. You want minimum disruption to ensure a high score.
4. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
Pressure can lead to test anxiety and impact your score, so try to stay relaxed. Remind yourself that you are able to resit your exam after three months, and it’s not the end of the world if you don’t meet the minimum criteria first time round.
How does the National Testing Network work?
The NTN testing process is straightforward. Once you’ve chosen your profession, select the departments you wish to apply to, then schedule and pay for the relevant test and any department application fees. On completion of your assessment, your results are automatically sent to your departments of choice.
How long does the National Testing Network test take?
Test durations vary. On average, you’re looking at 1 hour for the Transit Operator and 1 hour 30 minutes for the Juvenile Corrections. All other NTN tests take between 2 hours and 2 hours 15 minutes to complete.
How much is the National Testing Network test?
This all depends on the specific test you’re required to take. Prices start at $41 for the REACT and IMPACT tests, rising to $80 for the MedicTEAM test. This includes an application to one department, with a cost of $12 for every additional application made.
How are the National Testing Network tests scored?
Unfortunately, there is no information available on how the National Testing Network determines your final score. In fact, the NTN’s website states that its employees are forbidden to discuss scoring criteria with candidates.
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