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Our Bundle Practice Pack covers the common tests you will probably face in the civil service exams.
The pack includes:
  • Basic Math, Numerical Reasoning & Series
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Logical Reasoning (Inductive & Deductive)
  • Situational Judgment Tests
  • Personality Tests
  • Spatial Reasoning Tests
  • Mechanical Reasoning
  • Error Checking Tests
  • Memory Tests
Tests: 149 Questions: +2100

Preparation and Tips for Civil Service Examinations

A civil service career is an attractive option for many people due to the large benefits that accompany working for the government. Workers can rejoice in the ability to grow, medical and retirement benefits, above average earning potential, and the overall ability to help their community.

These flexible positions always attract hundreds of applicants, so how do hiring managers narrow down their search?

Like with most modern, highly sought-after positions, employers rely on affective pre-employment testing to weed out applicants with no potential of succeeding in the position. In this case, applicants can expect to be met with a Civil Service Exam.

What are Civil Service Exams?

Civil service exams are a collection of job specific evaluations that help hiring agents find the best applicants for their open candidacies. Depending on the actual position to which you’ve applied, there are varying types of civil service exams. Some examples are:

  • Standard/ Open Examination
  • Multi-Departmental Examination
  • Continuous Examination
  • Performance Examination

Standard/ Open Examination

A generalized examination for anyone applying to a civil service position. The examination is scored competitively and applicants with higher scores have a far higher chance of moving forward toward landing the job.

Multi-Departmental Examination

This examination type is geared toward specific departments and is given to those already holding a  civil servant position. The exams are typically intended to gauge qualification for promotions, raises, and other similar job advancements.

Continuous Examination

Some civil service jobs are always hiring, meaning they consistently test and interview individuals to keep as choices for upcoming open positions. These areas of civil service require a full workforce and managers may call someone from the pool of applicants and get them started within  a few short days. Since the hiring process can be so quick, they use a standard exam for all incoming applicants.

Performance Examination

In addition to the standard civil service examinations, applicants might be required to take performance examinations which take account of their ability to handle the specific details of a job. In addition, performance examinations typically include personality and customer service tests.

These performance exams take a lot of preparation and may include both a written and oral examination.

Typically, the civil service exam will have at least three main sections. These are arithmetic, clerical ability, and verbal skills. However, the performance specific examinations will add additional length and time to the overall exam.

Will I Have to Take the Civil Service Exam?

Essentially every single civil servant will need to pass some form of the civil service exam, but you might be surprised at what jobs are actually government-based. Here are just a few examples of jobs that can be held at the government level:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Fire Safety Service
  • Accounting
  • Administration
  • Foreign  Service
  • Transcribers/ Translators
  • IT
  • Biologist

If you aren’t sure whether your position is considered a civil service, check out the employer’s website and the details and requirements for the position.

Free Civil Service Exam Question Samples

Though the questions on a civil service examination can vary depending on the specific position, there are some areas that are considered standard across the board. Here are some free sample questions for each section.


The grammar portion of the civil service examine will take a look at your ability to understand English grammar and utilize its function in writing.

Question: Which sentence is punctuated properly?

  1. Johns mother brought us to school, and brought us home.
  2. John’s mother brought us to school, and brought us home.
  3. Johns mother brought us to school and brought us home.
  4. John’s mother brought us to school and brought us home.

Answer: D

Question: Which word best completes the sentence:

“I was _______ by the loss of my beloved pet.”

  1. sad
  2. approached
  3. devastated
  4. shocking

Answer: C


The spelling questions also look at your grasp of English, but from the point of view of accuracy in spelling and how that can affect message intent.

Question: Which word is spelled correctly?

  1. Definitely
  2. Definatley
  3. Definitly
  4. Definately

Answer: A

Question: Which word is spelled incorrectly?

  1. Apparel
  2. Positively
  3. Appropriate
  4. Pasttime

Answer: D


For most basic civil service examinations, you will only be judged on your basic arithmetic skill. You will need to know adding, subtracting, multiplication, division, and the basic order of operation.

Question: Solve for Y

10Y – 5 = 5

  1. Y = 5
  2. Y = 10
  3. Y = 1
  4. Y = -1

Answer: C

Question: Janet makes purchases for her company at four different stores.  Here are her four individual totals: $11.10, $5.20, $6.75, $12.50.

Approximately how much did Janet spend in total?

  1. Less than $30
  2. Between $30 and $35
  3. Over $40
  4. Between $35 and $40

Answer: D

Graph and Chart Interpretation

The ability to understand graphic representations of information is important for many civil service roles. To answer these questions, you will be asked to examine a chart or graph and answer questions related to their content.

Question: How many dogs went to Karen’s camp on Wednesday?

  1. 5
  2. 3
  3. 4
  4. There is not enough information

Answer: C

What Is a Passing Score?

When taking the civil service exam, you will need to score high enough to get on the eligibility list. This list ranks all applicants who pass the test and orders them by score. This makes the testing process very competitive.

As a rule of thumb, the passing score is 70%. However, depending on the specific location, position, and hiring party you may find that a higher score is required to find yourself on the eligibility list.

After testing, you may be able to request your score from the company website or it may be mailed directly to you. If you score high enough, the hiring manager may choose to move forward with an interview.

Civil Service Exam Details

Here are a few additional key details about the civil service exam:

  • The exam time will depend on the position but can take up to several hours.
  • Depending on your location, you may be able to take the test online.
  • Passing the test does not guarantee a job, but failing the test guarantees you won’t get the job.
  • There may be a fee to take the exam.
  • Veterans can apply to have bonus points added to their test scores thanks to the Veteran’s Recruitment Appointment Rule.
  • If you fail, you may have to wait 3-8 months to retake the civil service exam.

How Can I prepare for Civil Service Examinations?

The best way to prepare for any pre-employment test is through consistent studying and the application of practice exams. What makes the civil service exam different is that there are a lot possible test areas to choose from.

Don’t waste time practicing the minimum number of subjects only to be surprised later.

At JobAssessmentHelp, our civil service exam bundle considers all the testing possibilities. We have created an in-depth study system full of educating lectures and accurate tests. The bundle includes 14 tests with over 1600 unique questions.

If you truly wish to be prepared for your civil service exam, check out JobAssessmentHelp, today.

Civil Service Exams by State

New York State Civil Service Exam

California Civil Service Exam

Louisiana Civil Service Test

Pennsylvania Civil Service Exams