[IPAC-List] Problems with FDNY testing

Arbel, Eran Eran_Arbel at sheriff.org
Tue Apr 21 14:46:48 EDT 2009

I worked several years for the department in charge of the New York's
civil service tests. Promotional tests are multiple choice (what other
choice do you have to test 721 candidates). Based on my experience there
are a few possible explanations for this outcome:
1) The candidates did not study.
2) There was additional study material added to the testing material
which was not present in previous tests
3) The panel that conducted the review process did not review the
questions properly for relevance.
4) The arbitrary 70% pass point (a matter of civil service law) is not
realistic for this type of test.

A review of the score distribution and proper item analysis might give
some more answers regarding who or what might be the real culprit in
this situation, something I'm sure the department has done and the
reporters never ask about.

Eran Arbel, MS, SPHR
Human Resources Analyst - Selection & Assessment
Broward Sheriff's Office Human Resources Bureau
Phone: (954) 321-4408
Fax: (954) 321-4431

-----Original Message-----
From: ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org
[mailto:ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org] On Behalf Of Richard Arwood
Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 2:26 PM
To: IPAC-List at ipacweb.org
Subject: [IPAC-List] Problems with FDNY testing

See the link for a fuller picture, but I have wondered for years how
manage to get away with standardized multiple-choice testing as a sole
selection method (and I think that was what this was).


Here are the opening few paragraphs:

It was a massive medical failure for hundreds of FDNY medics who hoped
get promoted, as a measly eight out of 721 city Emergency Medical
workers passed the most recent lieutenant exam.

The 1.1 percent pass rate for the 2008 test is about 38 percentage
lower than the last time the exam was given, in 2004, when 1,044 medics
the test and 409, or 39 percent, passed, The Post has learned.

The FDNY was at a loss to explain how so many medics bombed the test.


In any case, I love retirement!!!!


Richard Arwood, Fire Chief (retired) -Memphis, TN

Collierville, TN


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