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How to Register for the Civil Service Exam

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Government office building. Before Nauryz celebration. image by Igor Zhorov from

Depending on the governmental agency, civil service examinations are not mandatory. For example, clerical and administrative positions are exempt from the test. However, governmental agencies still have the right to request scores from a civil service examination. The civil service examination schedule is usually determined by the hiring agency.

Select the civil service position you want to pursue. Law enforcement officers, firefighters, postal workers, military and government employees are civil service positions. Each job type has different test requirements. A postal worker may not take the same test as a law enforcement officer.

Visit the USA Jobs website for government positions. Postal jobs are listed on the United States Postal Service website. Find a job announcement in your area that meets your area of interest.

Apply online with a resume. Applications must be submitted before taking the test. The hiring government agency gives the time, date and location of the civil service examination. Missed tests will have to be made up at the next available testing date. The agency will send an admission card in the mail. Complete the form and send it back.

Wait for the form to arrive that contains the examination date and location. A list of materials to bring will accompany the form. Bring everything listed on the form to your examination. This includes, but is not limited to, two forms of identification, such as a photo ID and a Social Security card.

Prepare yourself for the examination by ordering study guides online or using civil service preparation books. These guides also prepare applicants for the interview process.


Based in Dallas, Kelly Taylor has been writing freelance articles since 2000. Her articles have appeared in "Town Talk" magazine, "Advocate" newspaper, and "Stash Magazine." She holds a Master of Arts in English from Louisiana State University.