24-Hours to Civil Service Exam 2nd ed (Master the Civil Service Exam)
Arco  More Info

Math for Civil Service Workers
LearningExpress Editors  More Info

Civil Service Handbook, 15/e (Arco Civil Service Test Tutor)
McKay  More Info

Civil Service Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Get a Civil Service Job
Macmillan General Reference  More Info

Master the Civil Service Exams
Peterson's  More Info

The Federal Civil Service System and the Problem of Bureaucracy: The Economics and Politics of Institutional Change (National Bureau of Economic Research Series on Long-Term Factors in Economic Dev)
Ronald N. Johnson  More Info


A college degree is your edge in any civil service exam process.

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Find the Perfect Degree for a Police Officer

A large majority of government jobs, including police and fire, are filled through the competitive civil service exam process.  Here you will find original articles designed to give you a tactical and strategic advantage during the civil service exam process.  We provide valuable information on the civil service exam process for both hiring and promotion.

Five Tactics for Civil Service Exam


You can increase your score on almost any multiple choice civil service exam or test by employing five simple "tactics for exam taking."  In fact, it is likely that you could increase your final score by between five and ten percentage points by using these exam taking tactics!  That means if you studied enough to score eighty, these tactics can get you a score of eighty-five or ninety.


These tactics aren't about studying (a subject of later articles), they are about actually taking a civil service exam.  You wouldn't approach a robbery-in-progress, burglary or traffic stop without a plan.  The same is true for a civil service exam.  Like any other tactical problem, the more you know about the problem, the more planning you can do.  The first task is to understand a little more about the nature of the problem a civil service exam or multiple choice test.


The Strategy of Preparing for a Promotional Exam


In our first article we looked at five tactics for taking a civil service exam.  These tips were classified as tactics because they were immediately deployable to the situation.  Like field tactics, they are something you learn and then use when they apply.  Studying for promotion is significantly different from the actual civil service exam process.  It calls for longer term planning, preparation and implementation.  In this article we will look at five test preparation strategies.


            A successful study plan is a strategic plan.  A good strategic plan starts with an assessment of the enemy, competition, market or in this case, the test.  Several basic questions need to be answered:


What is Civil Service?

A civil servant or public servant is a civilian career public sector employee working for a government department or agency. Many consider the study of civil service to be a part of the field of public administration. Further workers in non-departmental public bodies may also be classed as civil servants for the purpose of producing statistics. Examples in this category include some employees of so-called QUANGOs. Collectively they form a nation's Civil Service or Public Service.

In the British Civil Service, civil servants are career employees recruited and promoted on the basis of their administrative skill and technical expertise, and as such do not include, nor are appointed by, elected officials or their political advisors. Civil servants are expected to be politically neutral, and may be prohibited from taking part in political campaigns. However, the extent of this political neutrality in practice - especially within the ranks of the most senior of Civil Servants - has sometimes been questioned.


Master the Civil Service Exam, 3rd edition
Shannon R. Turlington  More Info

According to one reader of Civil Service Exams said, “I took 4 civil service tests after reviewing the questions in this book. I have been out of high school for a good many years and needed something as a review for the tests. The book gives sample questions and does excellent job of explaining answers. A good book to hold on too for future reference.”

Civil Service Clerical Exams (Barron's How to Prepare for the Civil Service Examinations)
Jerry Bobrow Ph.D.  More Info

According to the book description of Civil Service Exams for Clerical Works, “Civil Service exams are competitive, and this manual helps job applicants get good test scores that lead them to job offers. The book covers the following Civil Service job designations: clerk, stenographer, and typist. Five diagnostic tests are presented, plus four model tests that cover verbal ability and clerical skills. All tests come with answers and explanations. Hundreds of practice problems are also included to sharpen test-taking skills.”

According to the book description of Kaplan Civil Service Exams, “The government is the largest employer in the United States, with nearly two million workers, a number that is growing every year. Kaplan Civil Service Exams, Second Edition helps government employment applicants master the material they need to succeed. Applicants are required to take and pass a comprehensive civil service exam, including people interested in specific government careers such as law enforcement, clerical work, air traffic control, as well as the majority of postal jobs. Features: A review of the information covered on the civil service exams; Kaplan's unique score-raising strategies; 6 practice exams; Detailed answer explanations; and, Advice and resources for all types of civil service exams.”

Assessment Center 101


Assuming your either a police officer or firefighter, imagine yourself either driving through the dark streets, the police radio finally quiet after a night of breaking up fights, wrestling drunks and mediating family quarrels, or as a firefighter, racing through the streets, responding to three-alarm fires, lugging hoses and pumping water until your arms feel like rubber. Finally, you have a moment to think about your future with the department.


You know the next promotional civil service exam is coming up soon, and you have made up your mind that you are ready to promote.  You feel you have demonstrated to the department that you are "ready" for a promotion. After all, haven't you volunteered for all the last minute overtime assignments and "special projects", just to show your boss that you had what it takes?


Just what are Assessment Centers?


The term "assessment center," connotes a location where one goes to be "assessed."  In truth, it is only a method, not a location. The method itself is basically a series of exercises where each participant is given an opportunity to demonstrate his or her skills to a group of skilled observers who carefully monitor the candidates behavior.  The observers are called "assessors."  Usually, the assessors are at least one to three ranks above the candidates.


However, a trained assessor need not actually be a higher rank, but must be thoroughly familiar with the assessment center method, the dimensions and behaviors required of the position being tested for and trained in observing and recording behavior.


Assessment Center Specifics


Several basic exercises have become fairly standard in today's assessment centers.  They are:


The In-Basket

The Group discussion/Leaderless group

The Interview Simulation; often called the

Role play Employee counseling session

Oral presentation (often a personal biography)

Written exercise

Panels/Oral Boards


Actually, the exercise could be almost anything as long as it can be shown to be job related.


Civil Service Exam (Civil Service Exams)
LearningExpress Editors  More Info

According to the book description of Civil Service Exam, “From researchers to mechanics, librarians to lumberjacks, the government employs nearly every kind of professional imaginable. Whether trying for employment at the federal, state, or local level, Civil Service Exam provides the critical strategies needed to find the right career and the crucial skill practice required to pass the civil service exam. This book contains three, complete practice exams, covering all the commonly tested skill areas: mathematics, written communications, and civil service-specific skill sets such as memory, customer service, and coding, as well as free access to online practice tests with instant scoring and individualized feedback - it's like having the test in advance!”

Civil Service Arithmetic & Vocabulary, 15th edition (Arco Civil Service Test Tutor)
Haller, & Stein Erdsneker  More Info

According to the book description of Civil Service Arithmetic & Vocabulary, “A crucial step in getting a civil service job is a great score on the entry-level civil service exam. Basic math and English usage are two skill areas where many test-takers could use the most help. Detailed subject review and up-to-date practice material make this self-tutorial the first choice for job seekers looking for work with federal, state, local, and municipal governments.”

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