With the average annual salary ranging from $44,500 for Administrative Assistant to $118,600 for Executive Director, getting employed in Canada’s public service offers both the stability of competitive government salaries and the diverse choice of career opportunities for seasoned job seekers and new graduates alike.
The Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) manages all pre-employment screening for job positions in the federal public service. As part of the recruitment process, the PSC administers public service examinations. The psychometrics of its civil service testing is geared to the demands of each given public service position and allows for the job seekers aptitude assessment.
What Canada Public Service Exams You May Have to Take
Depending on the type of public service work and on the set of key competencies required for it, the Canadian public service exams can be organized within the following major categories:
General Public Service Tests This category of public service exams evaluates your general aptitude for public service work. Within this category of public service tests, you may have to deal with the tests assessing your general intelligence and cognitive ability (such as the General Intelligence Tests GIT-310 and GIT 320), your general competency for public service work (such as the General Competency Tests Level 1 – GCT1-207 – and Level 2 – GCT2-314), your English language proficiency (such as the Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation Test GSPAT-120 and the Written Communication Tests WCT-345 and WCPT-351), as well as your general ability to use sound judgement and solve common work tasks experienced by civil service professionals (such as the Public Service Entrance Exams 371, Test of Reasoning 373, and Test of Judgement 375).
Office and Administrative Assistance Tests This category of public service exams assesses the areas of your public service aptitude relevant to your ability to effectively fulfill office and administrative assistance work duties. Within this category of public service tests, you may have to deal with the tests assessing your general familiarity with office skills and most common office practices and procedures (such as the Office Skills Tests Checking-203, Filing 201, Following Directions-206, and OST-200) and your general ability to deal with tasks of administrative nature (such as the General Administration Test GAT-380).
Officer-Level and Management Tests This category of public service exams evaluates your aptitude for public service positions that require fulfilling the work duties of managerial and supervising nature. Within this category of public service tests, you may have to deal with tests assessing your aptitude for middle management job positions in the public service (such as the Middle Management Situational Exercise MMSE-840, the Middle Manager Simulation Exercise 757, or the Middle Manager In-Basket Exercise 820), as well as your aptitude for senior management job positions in the public service (such as the Senior Managerial Simulation Exercise 861, the Simulation for the Identification of Senior Management Potential 862, the Simulation Exercise for Senior Executives Level 3, or the Supervisor Simulation Exercise 428).
Tests Specific to Certain Job Positions This category of public service exams allows for aptitude assessment when it comes to other job positions in the public service which are not included in the aforementioned categories. For instance, to have your aptitude for the job position of a human resources consultant assessed you will have to take the Human Resources Consultant Simulation Exercise 410. Some public service jobs may involve specialized public service exams of their own (such as the Internal Audit Tests for the public service job positions involving auditing work duties, or the Program Advisor Simulation 758 for those interested in filling job positions of program advisors in the public service).
Tests Specific to Certain Public Service Aptitude Areas Within this category of public service exams, you will find public service tests that help to determine whether you possess and can effectively apply certain aptitude areas at your workplace that are valuable in modern civil service work environments. This broad category may include such public service tests as the Team Leader Simulation 445, Situations for the Identification of Leadership SIL, the Reviewing Past Accomplishments and Experience Test, or the Candidate Achievement Record CAR.
Regardless of the type of public service examination, you will probably like to increase your chances of success during any civil service examination. How can this be achieved? There is a simple yet effective solution.
How to Prepare for Public Service Exams
One potent PSC test preparation strategy includes familiarizing yourself with the format of your Canadian civil service exam before you take the test. This can be achieved with the help of online public service exam prep materials such as Canadian public service exam books and sample practice tests for government jobs, made available by various assessment centers.
Online public service test prep materials allow you to acquaint yourself with the format of the Canadian public service exam through regular practice with free examples and explanations of the most common public service exam questions and answers.
As a result of your PSC exam practice, you will experience greater confidence with the format of your written exam for government jobs, and will have much less exam-associated anxiety affecting your performance during the examination itself – allowing you to score as high as you possibly can on your public service test.