Civil Service Exam Process

Individuals interested in Civil Service employment must be residents of the State of Illinois. Current status employees may be admitted to any examination based on their current status appointment irrespective of their current residence.

Applicants must take and pass a different civil service examination for each civil service position/class title. After you have completed an examination, you will receive a score and your name will be placed on a list called registers. Scores appear on a register in order, from highest to lowest. Registers may change each time new scores are added or removed. When a vacancy occurs in a department, those eligible to interview are referred in accordance with civil service rules. Typically, the candidates with the top three scores are contacted for an interview.

Steps in the Process:

  1. Applicants
    Once you have completed an application (must be current), including attaching transcripts (s), Military discharge papers with legible status of discharge indicated, and copies of any applicable licenses or certifications, a member of Human Resources will review your application materials to determine if you qualify for the related exam. Applicants will be contacted via e-mail and invited to test on a specific date. If special accommodations are required to complete an examination, please notify HR at the time the exam is scheduled.

  2. Current Employees
    After you have completed an Employee Exam Request form, submit your completed form, along with an updated resume to the Office of Human Resources. Your resume will be reviewed to determine if you qualify for the requested exam. Employees will be contacted via e-mail with a specific test date. If special accommodations are required to complete an examination, please notify HR at the time the exam is scheduled.

Important Note:

Applications are accepted for open positions only. Current employees may take an exam within their promotional line at any time or as a result of a desk audit, but will only be allowed to take an exam outside of their promotional line when an open position exist.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1. When are exams administered?
Q2. What are the exams like?

Q3. What do I need to bring with me to the exam?
Q4. How much time do I have to take the exam?
Q5. How many tests can I take in one day?

Q6. How are the exams scored?
Q7. How will I receive my test results?
Q8. What is on the exam?
Q9. Can I look at my exam?
Q10. Can I retake the exam?

Q11. How long does my score stay on the register?
Q12. Is my score transferable?


Q1. When are exams administered?
A.
Exams are administered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Times may vary depending on space and testing.

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Q2. What are the exams like?
A. Most of the exams have a multiple-choice component. Some exams only have an education and experience component. Many exams are a combination of both multiple-choice and education and experience. Other exams are characterized as credential assessments. A credential assessment is a rating by the Office of Human Resources of an applicant’s/employee’s resume, cover letter, official employment application, college transcript, copies of license/certification and any other relevant material.

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Q3. What do I need to bring with me to the exam?
A.
You must bring your photo ID. All exam materials including pencils and scratch paper will be provided.

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Q4. How much time do I have to take the exam?
A. Each examination has a time limit associated with it. The exam are either 1 ½ , 2, 3 or 4 hours in length

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Q5. How many tests can I take in one day?
A. The number of examinations that you can take in the course of one day depends on the time limits of each exam and you. Everyone works at a different pace, and we do not want you to rush through the exams. Every effort is made to accommodate multiple exam requests, but circumstances may prohibit us from accommodating.

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Q6. How are the exams scored?
A. All paper-based exams are individually scored in the Office of Human Resources. Computer-based exams are electronically scored via the program used at the State Universities Civil Service System (SUCSS). A score of 70 or higher is considered passing. Veteran’s Preference points for those who qualify may be added to your final score.

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Q7. How will I receive my test results?
A. Your test results will be emailed to you. The Notice of Exam Score will indicate how well you did in each section. Once you have received your exam score, you may contact the State Universities Civil Service System to request a breakdown of your score.

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Q8. What is on the exam?
A.
The examinations are specific to each civil service classification/job title. For test tips, to the State Universities Civil Service System website.

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Q9. Can I look at my exam?
A. No one is allowed to look at their examination once it is turned in after completion. All applicants are encouraged to answer each question to the best of their ability.

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Q10. Can I retake the exam?
A.
Yes, you can retake the exam within 30 days of the initial exam date, and three times within the course of a year. Your highest score is always kept on the register.

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Q11. How long does my score stay on the register?
A. Exam scores are valid for up to two (2) years. Your score may be removed for a variety of reasons in accordance with the civil service statue and rules, such as upon hire, at the applicant/employee’s request, failure to respond to correspondence from Human Resources, or under directive from SUCSS.

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Q12. Is my score transferable?
A. Yes, you may request, in writing, that your exam score be transferred to another employer within the State Universities Civil Service System.