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About the New York State Civil Service System

New York State boasts one of the largest civil service systems in the United States employing over 1 million civil service employees. So, it’s no wonder that the New York State Civil Service Commission develops their exams with the expressed interest of hiring only the best and brightest civil service applicants. Preparing for your civil service exam is a must if you wish to contend for a civil service job within the state of New York.


New York State Civil Service Exams

The civil service exams administered throughout New York State are designed to test the knowledge and skills required to perform successfully on the job. Most commonly, civil service exams are administered on a computer in a timed, multiple choice format. Candidates who pass their New York Civil Service Exam have their names placed on the eligibility list for that job title. Positions are then filled from this pool of eligible candidates based in order of highest to lowest passing exam score. 

Exam Preparation

JobTestPrep has developed a selection of New York State specific civil service online practice packs, start preparing today.

NY Police Exam NY Firefighter Exam NY Correction Officer Exam NY Court Exam
NY Safety and Security Exam NY Identification Exam NY PCO/PATT Exam  

Applying for a New York State Civil Service Job

In most cases applying for a civil service position in New York will require you to take a civil service exam. You can browse a selection of open positions on either the New York State Civil Service Commission website or your local counties site. Once you find a position that piques your interest and review the posting will mention the position requirements and the test subjects of the required exam.

New York State offers some of the most comprehensive and competitive employment compensation packages in the United States. So much so, that on a whole NYS compensation competes with some of the leading private sector firms in the state. Excelling on your civil service exam improves your chances of receiving a job offer and access to a great career with amazing work benefits.

Navigating the New York State Civil Service Job Search

By visiting the New York State Civil Service Commission website, you can search, apply, and learn more about current open civil service jobs.

Simply create an account on the New York State government site, review the job announcement, and apply for an exam. Often times one exam can encompass several job announcements, allowing you to apply to more than one job with a single exam.

A week before your exam, an admissions notice will be sent alerting you to the date, time, and location of your civil service exam. Once you have taken and passed the exam, your test score will be compiled into a list with other applicants. The list will be arranged from highest to lowest score and applicants will be contacted in that order so, a high score is extremely important if you wish to be considered seriously for a position.


Common Civil Service Exam Testing Sections

Below are some common types of civil service exams that you may encounter.

There is no singular civil service exam for New York State, instead exam content is determined by the skills, knowledge, and experience required for the position. Generally speaking, there are several types of civil service exams administered within New York State.

Oral and Essay Exams: These exams test your ability to synthesize ideas and answers to critical thinking questions. Often times you will be required to present your answer to a committee of judges.

Performance & Job Simulation Exams: Often times you may be required to take a performance or job simulation exam to test skills as they relate to the nature of the job. For example, a typing test may be administered to ensure that your word per minute and typing skills are at a level high enough to meet job requirements.

Training & Experience Evaluation: This is less of an exam and more of an addition to your application. You will be asked to document your past education and work experience, commenting on your level of comfortability in certain fields. Learn more about experience and training ratings.

Computer Administered or Written Multiple-Choice Exams: Many New York Civil Service tests are multiple choice computer based exams, developed, administered and scored by the State. The exams are developed based on the job titles, requirements, skills, and related knowledge required to perform the job.

Candidates who pass their New York civil service exam have their names placed on the eligibility list for that job title. Positions are then filled from this pool of eligible candidates based on exam score.


New York State Job Announcement Categories

There are generally three different types of civil service job announcements; open competitive, continuous, and, open to state employees (promotional).

Open Competitive: Civil service job postings within the open competitive category uses exam test scores in order to find top candidates for the position. A higher the exam score means that an applicant will have a better chance of continuing through the application process.

Continuous: These job postings are for positions that the state or county is continually hiring. Additionally, the exams for these positions are administered on a periodic basis and are open to all applicants that meet the minimum job announcement requirements.

Open to State Employees (Promotional): Positions that are open to state employees means that these exams are only offered to current employees of the state. These exams are also known as promotional exams as they allow current state employees to advance through the civil service system by applying and competing for a promotion based on their exam score and past experience.


New York Civil Service Exams by Location

Each New York State county and city hires its own civil service employees to ensure efficient government operations. Below you will find a table with links to a selection of NYS counties, select your county to learn more about the civil service system and upcoming civil service exams.

New York Civil Service by County
Albany Buffalo Cattaraugus County
Chemung County Delaware County Dutchess County
Erie County Monroe County Nassau County
New York City Oneida County Onondaga County
Orange County Rochester Rockland County
Suffolk County Westchester County Yonkers

View the Full NY Exam Schedule Here


Prepare for Civil Service Exams with JobTestPrep

JobTestPrep has developed comprehensive custom-made civil service exam practice packages that include job specific civil service practice tests, score reports, study guides, and detailed answer explanations to help improve your score. Try our free civil service sample tests and get a better idea of how JobTestPrep can help you ace your New York civil service exam.


Related Links

Situational Judement Test (SJT) View the NYS Exam Schedule
NYC Civil Service Exams Civil Service Exams by State
Civil Service Exams by Profession Civil Service All-Inclusive Pack