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Mastering the Texas Civil Service Exam: Study Guide & Key Tips for 2024

Careers in the civil service include any position that requires working for or with a government organization. Among the most well-known government servants are police and fire department officers. Although, librarians, parks and recreation workers, and Health Department personnel are also represented.

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A city in the state of Texas that wishes to have a civil service agency must have a population of at least 10,000 people. They will advertise employment opportunities in the public sector on the websites of the local cities. Each municipality will have its own set of operating hours and requirements, which may differ slightly from one another.

Each city may have different information about its benefits program, but the benefits that are available to government officials are:

  • Medical and dental coverage
  • Retirement Benefits
  • Child care assistance
  • Vacation days
  • Sick leave

Texas Civil Service Exam

Texas doesn’t have a standardized civil service examination. Civil service applicants must pass a range of assessment examinations and interviews which are administered by the cities in which they wish to work. Engineers are required to be licensed by the state, code enforcement officials are required to pass a licensing test, and librarians are required to pass an assessment test to show their understanding of the Dewey Decimal system.

For other positions in the public sector, it is possible that further skills-based assessments will be required. Prior to being hired, applicants for the police and fire departments, in particular, are subjected to not just skills-based but also psychological examinations.

It is possible that the examinations will differ from city to city, but all officers must pass a test to determine their reading level, math skills, and reasoning ability. As an example, police officers in Austin, Texas, must complete a vocabulary and reading comprehension test before watching a video and documenting their findings. Most police departments in Texas will employ a testing procedure.

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TCOLE Licensing Exam

The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) requires that all individuals wishing to become officers complete a comprehensive state licensure exam before being considered for employment. He or she must demonstrate command of all procedural and practical knowledge that was covered during the mandated basic officer training course.

Two and a half hours will be allotted to the licensing exam, which will have 250 questions. The following will be on the exam:

  • Stress management
  • Professional policing
  • Professionalism and ethics
  • Stress management, fitness, and wellness
  • Professional policing
  • Professionalism and ethics
  • U.S. and Texas Constitutions, bill of rights, and criminal justice system
  • Multiculturalism and human relations
  • Code of criminal procedure
  • Arrest, search, and seizure
  • Penal code
  • Traffic
  • Intoxicated driver and SFST
  • Civil process
  • Alcoholic beverage code
  • Health and safety code, controlled substances act
  • Family code, juvenile issues
  • Written communications
  • Spanish
  • Force option
  • Mechanics of arrest
  • Firearms
  • Emergency medical assistance
  • Emergency communications
  • Professional police driving
  • Communication and problem solving
  • Patrol and consular notification
  • Victims of crime
  • Family violence and related assaultive offenses
  • Crisis intervention training and mental health code
  • Hazardous materials awareness
  • Criminal investigation
  • Racial profiling
  • Asset forfeiture
  • Identity crimes
  • TCLEOSE rules

E.V.E.L Testing

Law Enforcement Validated Entry Exam (also known as L.E.V.E.L. or Law Enforcement Validated Entry Test) is a test that is used by several Texas police departments. This is a multiple-choice test with 100 questions, and you will have 2.5 hours to finish it. They divided it into seven components, each of which tests fundamental arithmetic, grammar and punctuation, vocabulary, and reading comprehension skills.


When the San Antonio Police Department hires new officers, they take the San Antonio Entry-Level Law Enforcement Exam. It’s divided into two parts: Cognitive Ability and Behavioral Orientation.

The portion on Cognitive Ability of the test is concerned with language, visualization, and reasoning abilities. This portion will comprise 100 multiple-choice questions that you will need to answer.

Behavioral orientation will present you with a series of questions that you must answer by ranking them from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Each question in this section has a possible answer and you’ll have 3 hours to finish the test in total.

Personality Inventory Exam

The personality tests administered by police departments are designed to assess the mental health of prospective officers in order to ensure that they can handle the obligations of the position and that it does not predispose them to certain undesirable characteristics. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is a psychological exam that is often used (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory).

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How to Prepare for Texas Civil Service Exam?

Being recruited in a civil service position requires passing the online exams, which is especially important if you are applying to work for the police or fire departments, among other positions. If you want to be prepared for the job, you need to study all of the prerequisites.

Prepare for the test by brushing up on the skills you’ll be tested on. Word searches and logic puzzles are excellent ways to improve your reasoning skills and reading comprehension skills.

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The best way to prepare is by using online resources from an online test prep company. Our favorite is Job Test Prep, which has a variety of Texas Civil Service Exam practice materials.

If you have completed a program that is linked to your intended employment, it is also good to go over the course material again. Good time management skills are equally important as they are on the job. Use your time to avoid feeling pressured and to allow yourself enough time to review your answers a second time before answering the question(s).

If you feel a question is causing you problems, skip it and go to the next question so you can complete as much of the test as you can.

For FREE practice tests, Job Test Prep also has some great general Civil Service resources for you to go over. If you are applying for a civil service position, the recruiting process can be lengthy and demanding; completing the assessment tests can help you ensure your efforts will be worthwhile.

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