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Civil Service Testing Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we give civil service tests?

To fulfill the PRC’s charter responsibility to ensure an employment system based on merit and fitness, we give civil service tests to determine if an applicant has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the essential functions of a job. Not only does this allow candidates to demonstrate their relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities that may not be apparent on a job application or résumé, but it also allows us to determine the most qualified individuals for the job.

Who develops the tests?

The tests are developed by the PRC’s Employment Testing Team. Each member of the team has advanced academic coursework in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and has extensive training and experience in developing employment tests. The team of highly-trained professionals takes the necessary steps to ensure the tests are job-relevant and measure the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are necessary to perform the job.

How do I apply to take a civil service test?

To apply to take a civil service test, you will first need to complete and submit a job application for a classified job posting. Your application for the job also serves as your application to take the test. You can find all open job postings on the Human Resources website. 

You MUST complete your application profile with all relevant details and information about your education, experience, licensures, certifications, and other qualifications. The application reviewer will only consider your application profile when determining if you are eligible to take a test. Submission of a résumé is optional and will not be used during the initial screening. If you leave your application blank or simply tell the reviewer to refer to your résumé, your application will be rejected.

What are minimum requirements?

Minimum requirements are the minimum amounts of education, experience, licensures, certifications, and other job-related requirements that must be met for an applicant to be considered for a position. In order to take a test or be considered for a job, your qualifications must meet or exceed the minimum requirements of the classification. If the application reviewer determines that your qualifications don’t meet the minimum requirements, the PRC will notify you of the rejection of your application.

What can I do if I believe my application should not have been rejected?

If you believe your application should not have been rejected, you may make a request for reconsideration. Please visit the PRC’s Requests for Reconsideration page for complete information on what you must do to make a request.

What can I do if I cannot attend a test administration?

In certain circumstances, the PRC may allow for test rescheduling for legitimate, verifiable reasons. The exam notification email you received should state if rescheduling is available for your test. If it is, please visit the PRC’s Requests for Test Rescheduling page for complete information on what you must do to make a request.

Do you provide reasonable accommodations in testing?

The PRC will provide reasonable accommodations in testing for persons with verifiable Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-related disabilities. If you wish to request an accommodation in testing, please visit the PRC’s Requests for ADA Accommodation in Testing page for complete information on what you must do to make a request.

What are the content and format of the tests?

Each test is specific to the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the job. Tests can be written, oral, computer-based, or performance-based (such as a physical skills test). The exam notification email you received has details about the test content and format.

What should I bring to the test administration?

You must come to the administration with a valid form of photo identification. If you are requesting military service credit, you will also need to bring a photocopy of your DD-214 form to the administration. Everything else will be provided for you, and personal items will need to be put away during the administration.

How will I know my test results?

Once the test is scored, the PRC will post the eligibility list to our website. All candidates who took the test will be notified via email when the eligibility list has been posted.

Can I see my test results?

If your name does not appear on the eligibility list, you may contact the PRC to request your score. If the test had multiple sections, you may also contact the PRC if you want to know how you scored on each section of the test. However, the PRC WILL NOT release specific test content or answers.

What is a noncompetitive classification?

In some cases, the PRC may suspend competitive testing for a classified position. These are considered noncompetitive classifications. These determinations are made according to the PRC Administrative Rules. In the case that a position is part of a noncompetitive classification, the PRC will review your application to ensure you meet the minimum requirements. If you do, you will be placed on the eligibility list in alphabetical order.

What is an eligibility list?

An eligibility list is a rank-ordered list of all candidates who passed the test, as well as their final scores. Scores reflect each candidate’s exam score, plus any points added for military service credit. In the case of tied scores, those receiving military service credit are given priority. In the case of further ties, candidates who applied earlier for the position are given the higher ranking on the list. Candidates who do not pass the test are not placed on the eligibility list.

In the case of noncompetitive classifications, the eligibility list is an alphabetical list of all applicants who met the minimum requirements. It is not rank ordered.

The purpose of the eligibility list is to determine the pool of candidates who are eligible to be hired into the classification. As long as the eligibility list is in effect, appointments must be made from the names on the eligibility list.

How long is an eligibility list in effect?

Eligibility lists remain in effect for one (1) calendar year from the date the list is posted. However, at its discretion, the PRC may extend the duration of an eligibility list. The eligibility list will also no longer remain in effect if there are no remaining names.

Can the public see the eligibility list?

Yes. Eligibility lists are public records that contain the eligible candidates’ names. They are posted on the PRC’s website on our Civil Service Eligibility Lists page. 

How is the eligibility list used?

When an appointing authority wishes to fill a vacancy in a classification, it makes a request to the PRC to certify names from the eligibility list. The PRC certifies the top 25% or a minimum of 10 names remaining on the eligibility list, whichever is greater. Only those candidates certified from the eligibility list may be considered to fill that particular vacancy. If your name is certified, you may be notified by the appointing authority and/or Human Resources to determine your availability for any additional steps in the hiring process. Failure to appear for an interview may lead to your removal from the eligibility list. In the case of noncompetitive classifications, everyone from the eligibility list is immediately certified.

How can I check on my status in the hiring process?

Once names are certified to an appointing authority, the PRC is NOT involved in any further decisions made regarding appointments to classified positions. If you want to know your status in the hiring process, you should contact the County’s Department of Human Resources.

Can I be removed from an eligibility list?

Yes. Per the PRC’s Administrative Rules, candidates may be removed from an eligibility list for a variety of reasons. These reasons, as well as the procedures to request that your name be restored to an eligibility list if you have been removed, are available on our Request for Eligibility List Restoration page. 

Do veterans receive hiring preference?

Yes. Candidates who pass civil service examinations and have requested military service credit will receive an additional credit of five (5) numerical points or 5% added to their scores, whichever is greater. Please remember that military service credit CANNOT be used to turn a non-passing score into a passing score.

In order to receive military service credit, you must request such credit prior to the close of the application period. Please follow the instructions on the job posting. Additionally, you will need to bring a copy of your DD-214 form to your test administration so we can confirm your service. Instructions for this are included in your exam announcement.

Can I retake a civil service test?

Once an eligibility list has been established, we do not allow retesting for that list. If the list expires or all of the names are exhausted, you may retest ONLY if a new test is scheduled in order to establish a new eligibility list, and then only if you reapply when the job posting appears again on the Human Resources website.