How to Study for the Ohio Civil Service Exam

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Ohio's civil service exam concept dates back to Imperial China when efforts were made to extend public service opportunities to all social classes. By upholding a rigorous standard, the state's exam process ensures that candidates for vital government and public safety functions are academically prepared, self-disciplined and qualified. Test scores blindly measure accurate answers to fundamental questions regarding language proficiency, math skills, logic, memory and job skills, ensuring equal opportunity for everyone with the highest scores. By the same token, however, no matter who you are in Ohio, you have to study to compete for government employment.

Studying for the Ohio Civil Service Exam

Learn how the civil service exam is executed. Government examinations are difficult on purpose. You are measured not only on what you know, but how you can apply your knowledge. Some cities, including Cincinnati and Cleveland, offer objective guidance that is helpful, but the state does not publish detailed study guides. Use your local library as a resource for published, expired test questions and civil service exam study guides. If you have questions about finding the right resources, ask the reference librarian for assistance.

Review the exam job description. State and regional governments administer civil service exams according to job type. Each exam will have a section of questions related specifically to the job you are seeking. Use the job description as a template to review and hone skills that meet the detailed requirements listed for the position.

Drill basic grammar and language skills. Every candidate for a civil service exam in Ohio should review basic grammar. Use a grammar study guide to practice language rules and prepare yourself to analyze test questions based on the precise way they are written.

Review basic math skills. The use of math testing to evaluate logic, reasoning and computation skills is a core component of most civil service exams. Use a comprehensive study guide that contains a review of basic math through advanced algebra. To improve your performance under pressure, start with "one plus one" and drill through to advanced concepts for speed, accuracy and ability to compute without pencil and paper.


Each city government and the state's employment office has its own exam application requirements and procedures. Any exam you complete successfully will only place you on the eligibility list for the particular job that interests you. Successful exam scores do not guarantee employment.


Before applying to take a civil service exam, be certain that you meet the minimum qualifications for the job. Review the exam application. If you cannot prove your background qualifications, do not apply for the test.



About the Author

Smokey Yokems has been teaching through writing and performance since 1982. Yokems' strength is translation. Her publications include work-for-hire children's stories, corporate video scripts and a tri-annual newsletter for a nonprofit educational foundation in Maine. Yokems holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and performance from Oberlin College/Lesley University.