How to Take the Civil Service Exam in California

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The California civil service exam is a necessary hurdle for anyone wishing to become a postal worker or obtain a government job. If you're transitioning from another career into civil service, you may wish to purchase a study guide to brush up on algebra, vocabulary, logic and other skills you may not use in your present career. Before you take the test, you need to submit an application; if you don't meet application deadlines, you'll need to wait for the next exam date.

Check to see that you meet the minimum requirements before you sign up for the exam. California requires a completed 12th grade education, but if you have a GED or have passed the California High School Proficiency Test, this can substitute for a high school diploma.

If you have worked part time, make sure you have enough job experience to take the exam. If you work part time, you will need two years of work experience to equal one year of full-time work.

Obtain a State application, known as Form 678, from the Employment Development Department or State Personnel Board near you. Complete your application for an exam, making sure to write legibly and demonstrate how you meet the requirements.

You will need to list your education and employment experience, and provide basic personal information on this application. Send your application to the testing agency listed on the exam bulletin before the application date. Some applications must be filed in person, so follow the instructions if this applies to you. Wait to receive a test date.

Study for the civil service exam using the Written Test Scope in the exam bulletin. PSE-net.com lists sample civil service exam questions so you can practice (see Resources). Areas covered on all tests include statistics, arithmetic, reasoning, vocabulary, spelling and English.

Take the exam on the appointed date. Wear comfortable clothing and leave enough time to arrive at the test site early. During the test, read all instructions carefully and answer all questions. Keep track of time. If you finish the exam early, review your work.

Wait to receive your test results.

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