Prepare for the NYS PCO Exam

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What Is the Professional Career Opportunities (PCO) Exam/Questionnaire?

The PCO Exam is a skill questionnaire used by state agencies in the New York State government looking for workers in many different areas such as Human Resources, Natural and Physical Sciences, Health and Human Services, and more. Job seekers only need a bachelor's degree to take the test and get a chance to get a great entry-level job in their field of choice.

The PCO questionnaire consists of questions from five sections:

  • Analytical Reasoning
  • Customer & Client Service
  • Professional Relationships
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Written Communication

For each question, you will be asked to declare your proficiency level and provide a reference that will verify this specific skill of yours, may it be a University professor or your previous boss.

A couple of weeks after you submit the questionnaire, you will get your overall score via email, so make sure to check your inbox during that time.


PCO Exam Sample Question

A question in the PCO Exam might look like this:

What experience do you have analyzing data?

- I have performed this task without guidance

- I have performed this task with guidance 

- I have not performed this task

 

References: [Here you should provide an actual name of a person that can verify this]

 

How should I answer this question?

Be truthful, but don't downplay yourself, and be sure to emphasize your strengths and experience. Even though Your reference will be keen to compliment you on your skills, don't say you have experience doing something you don't have experience in because it will put them in an uncomfortable situation.

 

Good luck!


What Does Those Who Score High Receive?

The PCO exam helps to fill more than 150 different civil service positions. You can improve your chances of gaining employment by scoring high on the exam. A yearly salary is between $34,838–$59,825, depending on your salary grade. Civil service jobs gained through PCO offer generous benefits—health insurance, paid sick leave, and paid holidays—as well as ample growth opportunities.


What Is the Public Administration Traineeship Transition (PATT) Test?

The Public Administration Traineeship Transition (PATT) Exam is the same as the PCO exam. It is designed to provide qualified clerical, secretarial, and administrative paraprofessional employees an opportunity to compete for various positions. The majority of these positions are two-year administrative traineeships, which can later lead to jobs in administrative operations, fiscal operations, human resources, or program implementation. This exam is only open to current New York State employees who meet the minimum qualifications outlined in the examination announcement.


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