Civil service employment in the State of New Jersey rests on the principles of the merit system. According to its tenets, the civil service hiring process must facilitate the selection of only the most capable candidates. As a pre-employment screening procedure, civil service testing does just that, being free from biases typical of an interview.
The New Jersey Civil Service Commission is the main civil service authority in the state of New Jersey. It determines the schedules of exams and administers various types of civil service tests. As a result, its assessment centers assist government agencies and offices in NJ State with personnel selection and recruitment. Due to this, civil service exams for most civil service positions in New Jersey are similar throughout the state. As such, they tend to be predominantly computerized, multiple-choice and time-limited assessments.
What Type of NJ Civil Service Exam You May Have to Take
Although most New Jersey civil service tests adhere to a similar format, there are important distinctions to consider among the types of tests that you may have to deal with. The framework of your exam can be either job or role specific.
Job-specific types of civil service exams tend to create the least amount of confusion among civil service job seekers. The format of these civil service tests is clear from the unique demands of their corresponding jobs.
The psychometrics of role-specific civil service exams, on the other hand, may not be as easy to grasp. Many job positions can fit within one professional role, and each of those job’s demands can influence test design.
The sections below examine both of these types of civil service tests closely.
Job-Specific NJ Civil Service Tests
The design of job-specific civil service tests relies heavily on what each specific profession requires. For instance, you may apply for a job that involves very distinct work duties. In New Jersey, these can include jobs in law enforcement, such as a police or correctional officer. Your NJ civil service test, then, will depend on what your employer is looking for.
One example of a job-specific civil service test in New Jersey is the New Jersey Law Enforcement Exam (LEE). It places the applicant’s aptitude for the demands of work in law enforcement under assessment. This particular civil service exam consists of distinct sections. Here are some tips on what they are:
Ability Test – This section of the exam evaluates your general cognitive ability. Can you comprehend written materials and express yourself in writing? Are you able to reason using your deduction and induction skills? If you can process information and approach problems constructively, you won’t have issues with this part of the test.
Work Style Assessment – The answers you provide in this section of the exam will demonstrate what your individual work style is like. Your work style plays a huge role in how well you can perform the duties your job requires. Here your behaviors and manner undergoes assessment to see that they meet the challenging demands of law enforcement work.
Life Experience Questionnaire – This part of the test evaluates your previous life and work experience. This tells a wealth of information about you as a person and helps to assess your ingrained behavior patterns. As a result, this section of the test determines how likely you are to succeed in law enforcement.
Role-Specific NJ Civil Service Tests
Role-specific civil service tests do not depend on the demands of any specific job position. Instead, their format encompasses the aptitude areas crucial for a distinct professional role. As a result, role-specific tests can determine whether you have the aptitude for multiple job positions at once as long as they fit within the same professional role such as a manager or a supervisor.
In the State of New Jersey, there are two good examples of role-specific civil service assessments. They are the Supervisory Test Battery and the Management Test Battery. According to the NJ Civil Service Commission, taking both of these is a requirement for supervisory and managerial positions.
The Supervisory Test Battery (STB)
As part of this test, you will have to acquaint yourself with background information about a fictitious organization. You will then have to assume the role of a supervisor in this imaginary work environment. Up to 30 minutes will be available for you to go through these steps.
Afterward, you will have to provide your answers to 89 multiple-choice questions. You will have up to 3 hours and 15 minutes to accomplish this. Upon completion of the test, you will immediately receive your score.
The questions will contain a variety of work-related scenarios typical of supervisory work environments common in civil service. Your answers will determine how well you can deal with these various issues, tasks, situations, decisions, problems, and conflicts.
The State of New Jersey Civil Service Commission both determines and administers this examination. For this reason, you can expect its format and content to remain similar throughout the state, regardless of the exact supervisory job position you pursue in New Jersey and whether it is at the local or state level.
The Management Test Battery (MTB)
Similar to the STB exam format, you will also have to assume a management role in a fictitious organization. You will have up to 30 minutes to review this background information. You will then approach the main part of the test.
In the central part of this test, you can expect to answer 80 multiple-choice questions. You will have up to 2 hours and 30 minutes available to complete the test. Almost immediately after your completion of this exam, you will receive your score.
The questions within this test consist of various work-related scenarios that are usual for civil service managers to face. Your answers to these questions help to assess crucial areas of your managerial aptitude. They may include such areas as your ability to use effective interpersonal communication skills or constructively deal with conflicts.
As with the STB exam, you can expect this test to remain the same throughout the state. Both the format and the content of this test will in all likelihood be uniform regardless of the managerial job in NJ’s civil service you pursue or where in the state you take the test.
How to Prepare for Your NJ Civil Service Test?
First, start by contacting the NJ Civil Service Commission about the scheduled NJ civil service test dates available. Once you know the test dates, you will have a set amount of time to prepare for your NJ civil service exam. What do you do next?
Being a graduate with a relevant degree may be nice, but it doesn’t help to alleviate the exam-associated anxiety. What seems to help increase your confidence during examination, is prior practice with the format of the test. The following study aids can help you to do just that: