Civil Service Exam Practice Questions

In the United States, governments at all levels (city, county, state, and federal) have become major employers, and the pay and benefits are often very good.


It used to be the case that a person had to know the right person in order to obtain one of these jobs. Political parties who won elections also won the right to hire their friends, relatives and associates for government jobs. This often led to incompetence and corruption, and over a hundred years ago most governments ended this practice.

Instead of letting politicians hand jobs out to their cronies, governments began using civil service exams as the foundation of the hiring process. This practice is still in effect in many areas today, so getting a government job usually requires taking and passing a civil service exam

In some areas a person can make an appointment to take the civil service test, but in most cases they are given only on certain dates, and you must register in order to be able to sit for the exam. There is no one rule that governments follow when it comes to testing dates, so you’ll need to check with the government entity you hope to work for to find out what their protocols are for testing.

What’s on the exam? Again, that varies widely, depending on what kind of job you’re applying for. The exams for some positions, such as Civil Engineers or Plant Pathologists, will require highly technical or advanced levels of knowledge because a person will need them in order to adequately carry out the job functions.

Some civil service exams will have performance tests, measuring typing speed, physical fitness, transcription skills, etc. Some exams are taken orally instead of on paper. However, for general administrative jobs the test is usually given in writing subject matters are usually standard ones such as English, grammar, math, etc.

The website of the government entity you want to work for should have the specific information about what to expect on the test. Once you have the information, you should start preparing for the test well in advance, because they aren’t easy, and you will be competing against many others, so you’ll need a very good score to be considered for employment.

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