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How to Study for Civil Service Exams? – Ultimate Preparation Guide

Last Updated on May 14, 2022

There are many perks to being a civil servant. Your salary and benefits are guaranteed by the state. Undoubtedly, the civil service exams are one of the hardest on the job market. The exams aim to minimize the presence of possible bias in the candidate selection process.

Ranging from cognitive analysis, numerical reasoning, to innovative creation, various aspects and skills will be tested. You must pass the exams before you get invited for an in-person interview.

Studying for the civil service exams can be overwhelming. With the help of this preparation guide, you can tackle the pre-employment tests with confidence.

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What are the Civil Service Exams in New Jersey?

Regardless of the position, civil service exams across the state of New Jersey are quite standardized since they are all prepared by the New Jersey Civil Service Commission (CSC). The exams use a merit system, meaning no point will be deducted for wrong answers.

All the exams are meant to assess your skills and knowledge relevant to the position. On top of that, it measures if you have the integrity and work ethics to work in a government body. Therefore, you can expect the exams to be all-rounded. It includes general tests about working in the government as well as role-specific tests.

Exams are mostly monitored by the computer and taken online. Most exams include only multiple-choice questions. Physical interviews follow after a candidate has passed all pre-employment tests.

How to Prepare for the Civil Service Exams?

First, familiarize yourself with the types of exams provided. That way, you know exactly what you are dealing with. Then, tackle each exam by understanding the grading system and answer key.

The exams are mainly categorized into:

  • Role-specific exams
  • Job-specific exams

The two categories evaluate your skills and knowledge in different ways and should not be treated as the same.

To prepare, we highly recommend using some online preparation materials specific for the exam. Our favorite are Job Test Prep’s civil service study materials.

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Job-Specific Tests

Job-specific tests aim to measure your existing skills in correlation to the job you are applying for. It is an extremely specific set of exams that tests on the aspects related to your daily tasks. For example, if you wish to work in law enforcement, you will be asked to take an integrity test as well as tests about legal rights and interrogation strategies, etc.

These tests are designed to check your proficiency in the tasks you will handle. You will be given an aptitude test about some general knowledge and cognitive ability. Then, you will be given some real work assessments. These assessments mimic the daily operation and allow the system to estimate how likely you will excel at your given tasks.

A state employee needs to be an exemplary citizen. So, you will be given a personality test that assess your past experience as well as your psychological state.

Role-Specific Tests

Designed to measure how transferable your skills are, role-specific tests determine your candidacy for various jobs with the same role title. The best example would be the management roles in the government body. There are often openings at the management level. These tests check for your candidacy in the management role in general. The two most common tests include The Supervisory Test Battery (STB) and The Management Test Battery (MTB).

  • The Supervisory Test Battery (STB)

STB is used in over 200 jobs in New Jersey. With 89 multiple-choice questions, you have 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete the test. Leadership skills are the main focus of STB.

Work-related scenarios are given to test your agility and adaptability towards situations. You will need to be resourceful and creative when solving some questions. A score is instantly released upon submission.

  • The Management Test Battery (MTB)

Similar to STB, MTB contains 80 multiple-choice questions and has an allotted time allowance of two and half hours. For management roles, you will be given work scenarios to assess your ability to facilitate department operation and strengthen team spirit.

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How to Pass the Civil Service Exams?

Take practice exams: Job Test Prep has the complete set of civil service exams in New Jersey for you to review. It is the best way to acquaint yourself with possible questions and familiarize yourself with the test style.

Time yourself: Give yourself a maximum time for each question so you will have time to go over everything.

Start the exam in a quiet environment with stable internet: Once you start the test, you will have to finish it. Avoid any possible distractions.

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Summary

Working as a civil servant is fulfilling. Despite the lengthy hiring process, you can still secure your chance by studying the pre-employment exams. It does not have to be a dreadful experience. The best way is to sign up for Job Test Prep and get your study guide. Study smart in the most efficient way.

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