Starting a career as a civil servant generally requires taking a civil service exam. Most governmental agencies that give these exams rank the candidates according to test scores, from high to low, and use the ranking to make hiring decisions. While the actual tests differ depending on location, the exams generally offer standard questions in categories such as: following instructions, human relations, math, reading comprehension and problem solving. There are many civil service exam preparation books but few structured exam courses.
To get municipality-specific study materials for a civil service test and/or professional licensing/certification exam, it is best to go to the department or agency that is offering the exam and ask for the reference materials covering the test. Often local public libraries have reference materials covering their local civil service exams with multiple copies of them in their collections. Keep in mind that most libraries don't allow for reference material to be checked out.
LearnATest.com offers an online general civil service sample test. The site also offers more specific tests and test guides for firefighters and United States Postal Service applicants. The website offers preparation materials that apply to all civil exams and provides practice material for reading, writing and math skills review.
The PSE-NET website offers civil service test study guides and courses online. Although the selection is limited in terms of states, the prep work is extensive. States and municipalities with materials available on the website include: California, Illinois, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Texas.
The DocNMail.com website offers free and affordable civil service test study guides and practice materials online. The site offers information on general civil service exams, firefighter exams and law enforcement exams. When no free or affordable material is available for a specific exam area, the site has information on where to find online study guides for the exam in question.