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How to Prepare for a State Job Exam

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According to the Public Service Employees Network, government jobs are available at the federal, state and city level. They are available in a variety of fields including health care, utilities and recreation. You may apply for a job via government websites or at government agencies; however, in order to be hired, applicants must pass an exam. The exams typically consist of multiple tests. These may be written, verbal or performance based. The written tests may have both multiple-choice and essay-based components. Content differs according to subject matter, but a general study strategy will help you pass any exam.

Obtain and read the job bulletin. Bulletins are available both online and in-person at government agencies. These provide specific details about skills that each job entails. They also list the details regarding job exams specific to the positions for which you're applying.

Highlight key words in the job bulletin. Key words include the topics to be addressed by the exam. They are also present within the description of the job. Some examples of key words present in a bulletin for a park ranger position are "first aid," "crowd and traffic control," "search and rescue," "public relations," "conflict resolution" and "interpersonal skills."

Research the key words you've highlighted and make sure you're familiar with these concepts. To supplement your research, make a list of experiences you've had with these key concepts. Then, seek out experience if you feel yourself to be lacking. For example, someone applying to the park ranger position, may enroll in classes in wilderness first aid.

Take practice tests. Sample multiple choice questions for most subject areas are available online. You may also purchase traditional hard-copy study guides or inquire about practice tests by calling or visiting local government agencies.

Have a mock interview. Give a teacher or friend your highlighted job bulletin and have them develop a set of questions which you can answer aloud in preparation for the verbal component of the exam.

Get in shape. Many government exams include a physical test. Developing a daily exercise routine will help you pass this component when it requires you to show physical strength and stamina.

Practice your skill. Exams for skill-based government jobs may require you to demonstrate your skill. For example, welders may be asked to complete some basic welding, and machine operators may be asked to drive equipment through a course.

About the Author

Kelli Karanovich was internationally published for the first time in "Adbusters" in 2006. She teaches online at the Christa McAuliffe Academy and contributes to the blog Mama's Musings. Karanovich holds a bachelor's degree in magazine journalism from the University of Georgia and a certificate to teach from Shorter College.

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