Learn About Civil Service Exams, Jobs, & the Hiring Process Here!


What is a civil service job?

A civil service job is any job position in which the government provides. Civil service employees often work in areas that highly affect people's everyday life. Take a look at our large variety of civil service exam practice tests.

What are the different types of civil service jobs?

There are different kinds of civil service jobs: federal, state and local. Within those jobs there are specific job titles.

How do I get a civil service job?

To get a civil service job you may be required to take and pass an appropriate civil service examination in order to qualify as a candidate for employment. These exams are the first step in the process, and are specific to a job or a class of jobs.

How do I apply for a civil service job?

Application instructions can be found on the exam announcement/job listing. Candidates are required to follow the instructions exactly as they are featured. What is featured on the job announcement? There are a few different sections on a job announcement and each state or local department may have varying features. Here is a list of various possible sections found on a job announcement.

  • Job Title
  • Approximate Salary
  • Job Type
  • Department
  • Location
  • Publish Date
  • Filing Date
  • Minimum Qualifications
  • Subjects of Exam
  • Exam Date

You can download your job announcement from your state or local government website.

How to submit an application?

Most applications can be or are required to be filled out and submitted online. In certain cases, a paper application may be filled out and mailed to the department offering the vacancy. This information can be found on the job announcement and on the government department’s website.


What is on the civil service exam?

There is no singular civil service exam, instead exams are generally geared towards the skills required in order to preform the job effectively. So, an applicant taking a administrative assistant civil service exam will have an entirely different exam from the individual applying for a sanitation worker. Learn more below about the different types of exam sections and categories.

What are the different types of civil service exams?

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.

What is the supplemental questionnaire?

Training & Experience Evaluation: Also known as the supplemental questionnaire or the experience and education evaluation, this evaluation is less of an exam and more of an addition to your application and resume. You will be asked to document your past education and work experience, commenting on your level of comfortability in certain fields. A reviewer will read your answers and will be able to better decide your suitability for a position. There is no way to practice for this section and complete honesty will get you farther than over exaggerating skills and knowledge.

What are the testing sections?

There are a few different types of civil service exams you may encounter while applying for a job. Below we have listed the most common exams you may face.

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.

Computer Administered or Written Multiple Choice Exams: Many 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.

How often can I take an exam?

Each state has its own rules in regards to retaking a civil service exam. It may be that after you have taken your exam you will have to wait somewhere between 3-8 months before retaking your civil service exam.

Can I take multiple civil service exams?

Yes! You can apply for multiple exams at one time. But often times exams may be scheduled at conflicting times, so make sure that if you intend on taking more than one exam that the dates don't overlap.


What is a passing score?

A passing score will most likely be in the 70% range, however, tests scores are different between each state or local government.

What is an eligible list?

Ranking is where you fall on the Eligible List. The higher you are on the list, the most likely you are to proceed in the hiring process.

What does my ranking mean?

Candidates who take and pass a civil service exam are placed on an eligible list, which is ranked by test score. Those that score the highest will be at the top of the list and will be the first candidates considered for any available positions.

How do I find out my exam score?

You can find out your exam score on your government site or it will be mailed to you.

What happens after I receive my results?

Once you receive your results the department to which you applied to will contact you with a date for an interview.


How do I prepare for a civil service exam?

Preparing for your exam is easy with JobTestPrep's online practice materials. We offer a wide range of products that cover the related materials and help prepare you for the actual timed civil service exam. You can view the links below and navigate to a page with a list of exams by state or profession. Or try our free practice tests and get a better idea of how JobTesPrep.com can help you improve your civil service exam score.

Where can I take the exam?

Your civil service exam will be held at a civil service testing center located within the city or county where the position is open. The location and time of your exam will be given to you either by email or mail usually a couple of weeks before the exam date.

What legal documents are needed to take the Exam?

In most cases you will be asked to provide two valid forms of identification. If it is not already mentioned on the job announcement, it is better to still come prepared with multiple forms of identification just to be safe.

Will there be drug testing?

While it is not common practice, you should not rule out being asked to pass a drug test before receiving a civil service job offer. Often times if a drug test is required, it will be mentioned on the job announcement posting. 

Preparing with JobTestPrep

If you are searching for the best way to prepare for your civil service exam then you have come to the right place. At JobTestPrep we offer a wide range of comprehensive civil service exam online preparation packages. Start preparing today with our exclusive study materials!

What is the All-Inclusive Package?

Looking to prepare for more than one exam? Practice for a wide range of civil service exams with our all-inclusive package. The all-inclusive package gives you access to over 3000 online civil service practice questions.

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