After the Examination

Below are common questions that you may have after participating in an exam.

After I take the exam, how long will it take to get my score?

The amount of time varies depending on the exam; however typically scores are sent within approximately 99 days of the exam date. Your final score will be mailed to you at the same time the list of passing candidates is established. This list is called the eligible list.

I've received my score, what happens next?

Agencies request the list and send out "canvass letters" to enough high scoring eligibles to fill their jobs. A canvass letter is an inquiry into your interest in the job and its location, and your availability. Canvass letters are not job offers. If you receive a canvass letter, do not leave your present employment. Do return the canvass letter by the return date if you are interested in the job. If you return the canvass letter late, the agency is not required to consider you for that job. However, your name will remain active for future canvasses. While the law does not require agencies to canvass or conduct interviews, in most cases they do. However, agencies are required to hire from the eligible list according to the rule of three.

If you are undecided about accepting a particular canvass inquiry, you should indicate that you are interested in being interviewed. If you are called for an interview and after you have found out more about the job, you can always decline. You may call or write (or e-mail-coming soon!) the department to re-activate your name for agencies, locations, or types of positions you have declined.

How is the eligible list used?

The eligible list ranks candidates according to their scores. Those with tie scores are given the same rank. The lists are provided to State agencies where the job openings are located. They must follow the rule of three when selecting candidates to interview for a position.

If I pass the exam will I get an interview?

The higher your score the better your chances for getting an interview. Agencies first send out canvass letters to determine who is interested in the type of appointment at a certain location. Only those who reply on time and say they are interested and who are "reachable" within the rule of three may be appointed. As the list is used to hire people, and as people on the list indicate they are not interested in a position, agencies make their way down the list in score order.

Will I get the job if I get the highest score?

If you are the top scorer you might be considered for the job, but having a high score does not guarantee that you will be hired. (See the "rule of three" below.) The canvass and interview are equally important parts of the selection process. If you are interested return your canvass letter or telephone canvass call promptly and do your best to make a good impression during the interview. The interview is also an opportunity for you to learn if this is the job for you.

What is the "rule of three?"

All candidates at the highest score are immediately eligible for consideration for appointment. Candidates at lower scores can be considered only when there are fewer than 3 candidates at higher scores.

Any candidate's eligibility for appointment depends not only on his or her rank (all eligibles who received the same score are equally ranked) but also how many other candidates are tied at that and higher level ranks. The following two examples illustrate how this might work:

Example One:
Score
Number of candidates at this score
Rank of candidates
100
1
1
95
1
2
90
1
3
In this case all three candidates at all three scores and ranks are equally eligible to be appointed. People may use the word 'reachable' to describe this.
Example Two:
Score
Number of candidates at this score
Rank of all candidates at this score
100
10
1
95
10
11
90
10
21
In this case, only the ten candidates at score 100 and rank 1 are eligible for appointment. If, however, through hiring or declinations the number of candidates at 100 is reduced to 2, then all 10 candidates at the score 95 (rank 11) can also be considered. Only if there were only 2 or fewer candidates at the scores of 100 and 95 (ranks 1 and 11) can any of the 10 candidates at the 90 score be considered.

How long will my name be on the eligible list?

Most eligible lists last for up to four years. However, a list can be superseded by a new list after one year. If you decline a canvass by either letter or telephone, or at the interview, your name may be inactivated for the type of appointment, or agency or location. You may remain eligible for other jobs, however you should ask about the effect of your declination on your future eligibility. If you decline or are unable to accept a job at the time you may later reactivate your name. However, if you receive a permanent appointment from the eligible list, your name will be removed.