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New York State Civil Service Exams Preparation & Tips – 2022

Solving Aptitude Tests

What Is NY State?

New York State is the fourth most populous state in the U.S. Despite this metropolitan image, it is the 3rd largest producer of grapes, and 2nd largest producer of wine in the U.S. A great deal of the New York State Economy revolves around agriculture. They are one of the top 5 states for agriculture, producing items such as apples, maple syrup, and cabbage. It contains four of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, Times Square, Niagara Falls, Grand Central Terminal, and Central Park. New York State has 200 colleges, 4 of which have been ranked the top in the nation, and the world. New York State contains 22 national parks, 27 National Natural Landmarks, and 262 National Historic Landmarks. There is ample opportunity to find a civil service career in New York. Whether it is at one of the National parks, or in a major city, there is a position for anyone who wants to join the ranks of government workers. New York State offers an attractive benefits package that includes:

  • Health insurance
  • Family dental and vision
  • Paid time off
  • Retirement Plan


What Is New York States Hiring Process?

NY Application Process

When beginning the application process for a job with New York State, the application you are filling out is an application to take a civil service exam. Passing the exam will place your name on an eligibility list from which job candidates are pulled. The exam postings include the name of the position, the type of exam you will be required to take, and the list of minimum requirements. To apply online, create a profile, this will also allow you to sign up for job alerts. With a profile, you can also save applications to be completed at a later date. Applications can be accepted through the mail if you can not complete them online. There are examination fees, which will need to be paid at the time the application is submitted. In some cases, the fee can be waived. There are several types of jobs posted which are competitive, and open to the public. These are positions that are only available once a year or less. There are continuous recruitment exams. These are for positions that are always hiring. Some exams are only open to current state employees. You will receive a letter after you apply that tells you the time, date, and location of the exam you have applied to take.


NY State Civil Service Tests

New York State and the provides testing for all it’s cities and counties, with the exception of Yonkers and Westchester County. The New York State Department Of Civil Service provides the exams, but Westchester County and Yonkers do their own hiring. There is no standardized civil service exam in New York State. The civil service tests will differ in the content they contain, based on the position. The exams are designed to measure the skill level of the applicant, and each position has different requirements. New York State uses several styles of tests to ensure that only the best candidates make it onto the eligible list. After the test, you will receive your scores within 90 to 120 days.

  • Written Exam – To see if the job candidate possesses the necessary knowledge for the job, they may be given a multiple-choice test. The questions are tailored to the position, so there will be variation based on the job title.
  • Oral Exam – For job-seekers who are required to speak a lot, the oral examination will help demonstrate verbal skills, your ability to think quickly, and how well you interact with people and deliver information.
  • Performance Exam – Positions Thethat require very specific physical skills may require a performance test. This will demonstrate how well you perform the necessary functions. This could be something like the fitness test required by the police department, to data-entry for an accounting position.
  • Training and Experience Evaluation – This will simply consist of filling out a questionnaire detailing your experience and education. You will be scored based on this information.

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Once you successfully pass the exams, you will be placed on a list of eligible candidates. Candidates will be selected for an interview based on the “Rule of Three. This means the candidates with the highest test scores will be considered automatically, and candidates who passed with lower scores will not be considered unless there are fewer than three candidates with high scores. The department or agency head will review the list and call in prospective employees for a behavioral interview. These interviews will dig into your work background, ask situational questions, and try to get a sense of who you are as an employee, and how well you will fit on the team. When answering, they will be looking for someone who can stay concise, while still providing enough information to give context to their answers. Behavioral interviews are based on the premise that past performance is an indicator of how you will react in the future, so providing concrete examples of situations and lessons learned will help round out your responses. There are a few questions that are common in a behavioral interview:

  • Where do you want to see your career in 5 years?
  • What made you decide you wanted to go into civil service?
  • What do you feel you bring to this position?


How to Prepare for NY State Civil Service Tests?

If you do not get a passing score on the civil service exam, you will not move onto the next stage, and you will have 90 days before you can attempt to test again. Ideally, you will not just get a passing score, and you will get the highest score. You will need to practice to make sure you make the eligibility list the first time. The New York State Department of Civil Service site gives a thorough description of the job qualifications. It also provides a description of the exam you will be taking, along with a list of the abilities they will be testing you for. With this in hand, it will be easy for you to determine which areas to focus on when studying and refreshing your skills. If you know you will be facing a performance exam, practicing the skills you will be tested on is vital. Read the testing information carefully so you don’t forget anything. You want to have your required paperwork and identification with you on the day of the test. Arrive slightly early so you have time to settle in. The exams will start promptly at their scheduled time. Read the directions thoroughly before beginning the test. You don’t want to make avoidable errors. With a thorough understanding of the skills you need and the job requirements, preparing for the exams should be simple. Taking a little time out of your day to study and practice will pay off when you pass the test and begin your new civil service career.