Illinois Civil Service Exam – Ultimate Study Guide With Practice Tests
Does the security of working a government job in Illinois appeal to you? If so, you may be interested in applying for one of their open positions.
If your application shows you are eligible for the job, you can expect an invitation to take the civil service examination. This is the main obstacle that stands in the way of starting a career in the civil service, so don’t underestimate its importance. The test can be tricky and competition is tough, but with the right preparation, there is no reason you can’t pass.
To find out more about the Illinois Civil Service Examination and the resources you need to prepare for it, continue reading.
Table of Contents
What is the Illinois Civil Service Examination?
The Illinois Civil Service tests are tests given to candidates applying to work in the Civil Service in Illinois. They are the civil service’s way of narrowing down the number of applications they receive for any post. Getting a high result in the examination increases your chances of getting that coveted job.
Because of the wide variety of jobs in the civil service, there are many different tests, all focusing on specific job roles. However, you can expect to be tested on some or all of the following:
- Logic/Critical thinking skills
- Clerical skills
- Personal Skills, i.e., personality tests
- Professional skills that apply to the particular role you have applied for
How can I prepare for the Illinois Civil Service Examination?
Preparing for any job test can be demanding. You need to find accurate information about the test as well as reliable preparation materials.
For this, we recommend using the services of Job Test Prep, a company with many years of experience preparing applicants for pre-employment testing.
They will provide you with accurate information about the testing process and supply you with the resources that will help you ace the test.
When you get a test prep pack from them, you will receive:
- Sample test papers modeled on the real test
- A means of checking your scores as you complete the sample tests
- Detailed explanations of questions and answers
For an idea of the types of tests they give you, try your hand at the following free sample civil service test.
As there is such a wide range of civil service tests, you need to clarify which tests you will be doing before starting preparing.
If you need to do a number of tests, Job Test Prep can supply you with all-inclusive prep packs that hold everything you need for the assessments.
What is the format of the Illinois Civil Service Test?
The tests are administered by computer and are in the format of multiple-choice questions.
The time allowed for the tests ranges from 90 minutes to 2-4 hours, depending on the complexity of the test.
You may receive tests in English, math, logic/critical thinking skills, clerical skills, personality, and role-specific professional skills.
The personality tests that are given for many roles can be daunting for many candidates. You can expect to get a straightforward personality test or a Situational Judgement Test (SJT).
The purpose of the personality test is to decide if you are a good fit for the workplace, if you are a team player, or even if you have the ability to prioritize tasks.
You can expect questions along the following lines;
On a scale of 1-7, to what extent do you agree with the following statement?
I lose my temper quickly but regain composure quickly too.
Situational Judgement Test
The SJT looks at your personality as well but in a slightly different way.
You are presented with a scenario that might arise in the workplace. In a multiple-choice question, you are asked how you would respond to it.
In each of these assessments working on sample tests will show you how to tweak your answering and present the persona you could see working in a civil service role.
Factors you need to remember when doing the personality test:
- You are not presenting your free time personality but rather the personality you would present at work.
- Personality is judged by behavior.
- You present the behavior in the test that an ideal employee would present.
If, for example, you were asked how you would respond if you saw a colleague struggling with a task, would you select 1 Report him to a supervisor 2 Take your coffee break 3 Smile behind your hand 4 Offer to show him an easier way of doing the task?
Try the following free tests to get a headstart on your preparation for this type of testing.
To get an idea of the type of testing you may face, try your hand at some of the following free civil service sample tests: a Civil Service Clerical Test or a Logical Inductive Test. These tests can be classified as job-focused tests as they decide if you have the skills needed for a particular role.
Study and preparation tips
You need to take an organized approach to your preparation.
To get the most out of the work you will be doing, try the following pointers:
Work to a timetable: Ensure you can leave the day before the test free for last-minute reviews and to rest in preparation for the assessment.
Use proven study techniques: Limit each study session to 50 minutes, followed by a 10-minute break.
Get adequate sleep, nutrition, and fresh air: Your brain will work better as a result.
Use your sample papers
Your sample papers should be the center of every preparation session. This ensures that:
- You are becoming familiar with the real tests each time you do a sample test
- You can hone your answering skills from test to test
- You can monitor your progress as you work through the tests
- Areas you are having difficulty with become obvious very quickly and you can work at improving on them
- You learn to do the tests within the time allowed.
Doing the Illinois Civil Service Test
Your approach to the real tests should be as organized as the work you put into preparing for them.
You need to approach the tests:
- Well-rested and clear-headed. An all-night study session before the assessments will sabotage the efforts you have made to do well in the tests. A good night’s sleep will work in your favor.
- With the confidence of knowing you have done the work and can do this.
If you have a civil service examination coming up for the Illinois civil service, you will find all the resources you need to prepare for it here.
- California Civil Service Test Guide
- Ohio Civil Service Test Guide
- Pennsylvania Civil Service Test Guide
- Texas Civil Service Test Guide
With 25+ years’ experience as a teacher and state examinations corrector, Elizabeth now writes for the education and careers industry. Her experience preparing students for examinations and running an academy for supplementary education give her invaluable insights into what it takes for job seekers and graduates to succeed in assessments.