How do I Prepare for the Civil Service Test?

Study guides for a civil service test might be available at local bookstores.
It's best to get a good night's sleep the night before the civil service test.
Some test prep agencies may offer courses for the most popular civil service exams.
You shouldn't make an appointment for a civil service test until you're confident you know the material.
Certain strategies, such as process of elimination, can help test-takers prepare for multiple choice questions.
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  • Written By: Alicia Bodine
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 27 October 2015
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In order to pursue a civil service career in many countries, you must take a civil service test. This test will show the government whether you have the basic skills, as well as the character needed, to fulfill a certain position. It is best if you choose to prepare for this test ahead of time so that you increase your odds of passing the test. If possible, it's a good idea to get a civil service exam study guide. This guide will give you the information you need for the test along with some tips on what to expect.

The first thing you need to do before taking the civil service test is to choose a field. In most places, there are different exams for different fields, so knowing specifically which civil service career you are interested in is key.

If they are available in your country, obtain a study guide for the civil service test you plan on taking. You can contact your local library and ask if one available for your to borrow. You may be able to purchase a study guide from a bookstore. You may also be able to find a study guide online, which is the most likely to be up to date. You may want to download and print an online guide so that you can study it more easily.


Once you feel confident that you know the material, you need to make an appointment to take the test. Where you make this appointment will vary by country and which exam you want to take. For most US civil service exams, you should be able to submit an online application form with the agency you are interested in joining. The agency will send you more information on the exam, and a form to complete to reserve a seat for the exam. Once the form is received and your spot is reserved, you will receive confirmation.

After you have confirmed your reservation to take the civil service test, you need to prepare yourself for the test. Get a good night's sleep the night before the exam, and try to eat a healthy breakfast the morning of your test. You may feel a little nervous, but skipping breakfast can cause hunger pains and headaches which will distract you from doing your best on the exam.

You will probably need to bring a photo ID and any confirmation information that was sent to you in the mail. Bring sharpened pencils and any other writing implements you think you may need. Do not be late for the civil service test or they may not allow you to take it.


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Post 3

It hadn't occurred to me that I could get the information I need to study for a civil service test online. Twenty years ago trying to find all of the materials and all of the information and getting access to them was so much more complicated.

Post 2

For some of the civil service jobs you can find civil service test prep study groups where you can work on practice exams and share ideas and thoughts with other people who are in the same boat as you. This works best for me because when I try to study alone I can't stay focused for very long at all.

Sometimes when I am studying by myself, I will have to read a paragraph five or six times before I can understand it because my mind drifts before I can get to the end. Anyway, when I have other people to study with I am able to pick up the information more quickly and I don't get so frustrated, which is what eventually happens when I study alone.

The study group is something you might want to consider if you are like me.

Post 1

Pay close attention to what the last paragraph says about being late for the civil service exam. I have a friend who was trying to get a job at the post office and she had to take the civil service test. She was really nervous about taking the exam because she had heard that it was kind of hard, and a lot of people she knew had failed it.

She studied night and day for weeks getting ready for the test. And of course she tried to cram in all of the information she could on the final night before she had to get up the next morning and take to test. Well, to cut to the heart of the story: she was late for the exam because she overslept, and she was turned away.

She was so disappointed, and relieved to, I think. She never did sign up again to take the test.

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