New York State
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ITS Overview

Welcome to the Overview of the Examination Process for:

20-786   Information Technology Specialist 1
20-787   Information Technology Specialist 1 (Programming)
20-788   Information Technology Specialist 2
20-789   Information Technology Specialist 2 (Programming)



The Process
The Application
The On-line Test
The Questionnaire
Tracking your progress
If you have questions or problems

You may also want to view:

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility Expiration Frequently Asked Questions




I. The Information Technology Specialist Examination Process

The examination process for these four open-competitive examinations is unlike that used for most other open-competitive New York State Civil Service Examinations, and thus requires some explanation. This overview, including the Frequently Asked Questions, is ten pages long; you may want to print it to use as a reference.

All applications for these titles must be completed on-line. Because the entire examination, including the approval process, is completed on-line, you will be approved or disapproved for these examinations immediately after completing the application process.

Approved candidates will then have access to a questionnaire with approximately 500 education and experience elements. The questionnaire includes detailed questions regarding education, work experience, and competencies covering a broad range of Information Technology topics.

When filling positions, state agencies will use the same questionnaire to describe the background for a specific Information Technology Specialist position. The job description the agency submits will be compared to the stored responses of approved candidates to produce a list.

Candidates will be scored each time an agency submits a profile of job elements. Those candidates whose education and experience closely matches an agency's needs (for the specific position being filled) will receive proportionately higher scores than candidates with less of a match to the agency's needs. Candidates' scores may be different when rated for other jobs. Other jobs would be described with different combinations of education and experience. Because of this, candidates' ranks could vary for different positions that use the same title. Agencies will canvass candidates on the resulting lists. Candidates ranked highest must be considered for appointment before those ranked lower for a specific job. This scoring process will help you receive consideration for a position that best matches your own background.

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II. Applying for the Information Technology Specialist Examinations

When you have finished reading this overview description, you will have two options from which you may choose. One is "Return", which will return you to the Examinations Page; the other is "Continue". If you select "Continue", you will be taken to a screen that offers two options: "I want to apply for Information Technology Specialist Examinations" or "I want to complete an Information Technology Specialist Examination application or test". By selecting the first option, you will proceed to the announcement for the four Information Technology Specialist examinations. Please read the entire announcement before you apply for these examinations.

After you have read the announcement and determined that you have the required education or experience, you may apply for any number of these examinations that you choose. You will select which examinations to apply for by checking the box next to the title for which you are applying. At the bottom of the announcement screen, you will need to click "Apply On-line Now" to continue. Before you select this option, you will want to assemble any information you need to refer to regarding your education, course work, certifications, and work experience.

In order to apply, you will first have to complete a log-in process, which will require that you obtain a Civil Service ID and Password. This will become a permanent ID and Password for any other NYS examinations for which you apply as well. If you have previously applied for NYS Civil Service promotion examinations on-line, you already have established your ID and Password.

Your log-in session will remain active as long as you save information or refresh any page within 60 minutes. After 60 minutes of inactivity, you will be required to log-in again. If you were in the process of filling out a form but did not save the information within 60 minutes, any information on that page will be lost. Only the information on that one page will be lost; any information you saved earlier will already have been saved.

Make sure that the examinations listed are those for which you intended to apply, and then select "Complete the Filing Process". This will take you to the Application Submission Checklist. This checklist will guide you through the standard open competitive application. This application collects the following information:

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III. Taking the Test

When you have completed and submitted the application, you will be able to select "Continue" to begin the on-line test. The test consists of the following parts:

The Information Technology Specialist Minimum Qualifications Test

Your responses to the questions regarding the qualifications for these four examinations will be reviewed; only candidates who meet the minimum qualifications will be able to continue on to fill out job preferences and the questionnaire.

Job Preferences

These questions allow you to identify where in New York State you would accept employment, as well as preferences regarding shifts; part-time and full-time employment; and temporary and permanent appointments.


Training and Experience Questionnaire

Topics include:

These 5 main topics include 74 subtopics and 500+ separate questions. No one is expected to have expertise in all of these subtopics; many qualified candidates will have expertise in only two or three subtopics. It is important to report your work experience and education accurately. The chances of finding a position that will best suit your skills are greater if your responses are very accurate. Moreover, agencies will verify your credentials at the time of interview. If you cannot substantiate your responses, the Department of Civil Service will remove your name from any lists on which you were placed based on inaccurate responses.

It is possible that you may possess experience, coursework or certifications that are not included in these topics. The questions were selected to identify only those areas for which agencies have an ongoing need. This questionnaire may be revised annually, to include emerging technologies, and to eliminate those that have become obsolete. When revisions are made, you will have an opportunity to update your responses.

We will score all candidates each time an agency submits a profile of job elements. Those candidates whose education and experience closely matches an agency's needs (for the specific position being filled) will receive higher scores than candidates with less of a match to the agency's needs. Candidates' scores may be different when rated for other jobs, because other jobs may have different combinations of education and experience. Because of this, candidates' ranks could vary for different positions that use the same title. Agencies will canvass candidates on the resulting lists. Agencies must consider for appointment candidates ranked highest before those ranked lower. Agencies will contact the highest scoring candidates on the list each time a vacancy occurs, but there will be hundreds of candidates on the lists, and not all candidates will be interviewed each time an agency fills a vacancy. This scoring process will help you receive consideration for a position that best matches your own background.

Agencies will verify your credentials at the time of interview. If you cannot substantiate your responses, the Department of Civil Service will remove your name from any lists on which you were placed based on inaccurate responses.

We hope that you will be successful in obtaining employment with New York State through this examination process. The accuracy and completeness of your responses throughout this process will be your best assurance of that success.

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IV. Tracking Your Progress Through the Application

Throughout the on-line examination process, a "progress bar" will appear that identifies your current location in the examination. On any page, you can click on the progress bar to view this instruction page. It will open in a separate window.


Sample Progress bar:

Sample Progress Bar

You should also note that on some pages, there is a key that explains the symbols used within the application and the questionnaire. These symbols will help you to track your progress in completing this examination.


Sample Key:

Key to symbols used on this page

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V. If you have questions or problems

If you have any questions or encounter problems regarding the completion of these examinations, please contact the New York State Department of Civil Service, Information Technology Exams Unit at:

Email: cs.sm.InfoTech@cs.ny.gov

Telephone: (518) 486-6564

Weekdays between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM

Please be as specific as possible when describing any problems. Be sure to include what you were doing, or attempting to do, at the time you encountered the problem.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility Expiration Frequently Asked Questions
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Q. Do I already have a Civil Service User ID?

A. You have a Civil Service user ID if you are a public employee who uses Department of Civil Service applications. You will use the same ID here. You may also have a Civil Service user ID if you have previously applied on-line for Civil Service exams.

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Q. How do I get a Civil Service ID?

A. On the Civil Service Login page, click on the link that says, "Need a Civil Service ID?" You will be asked to provide some personal information. At the same time, you will select a user ID (of up to twelve characters) and a password that only you will know.

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Q. I forgot my Civil Service ID. How do I find out what it is?

A. On the Civil Service Login page, click on the link that says, "Don't know your password?" If you provide us with your name and Social Security number, we can send you your ID and reset your password.

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Q. I forgot my Civil Service Password. How do I find out what it is?

A. On the Civil Service Login page, click on the link that says, "Don't know your password?" We will provide you with the hint you gave regarding your password.

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Q. I don't remember what the answer to my hint was. How do I find out what it is?

A. On the Civil Service Login page, click on the link that says, "Don't know your password?" If you provide us with your name and Social Security number, we can send you your ID and reset your password.

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Q. Am I required to supply my Social Security number as part of my application?

A. If you do not supply your Social Security number, an identification number can be provided for you. Leave the Social Security Number field blank and submit the rest of your personal information. You will be told that the Social Security Number is missing, and given a link to use. Click on the link to have us generate an identification number for you. It is very important that you save the number because you will need it for future identification purposes. PLEASE NOTE that the generated identification number is ONLY for use for this examination.

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Q. I started to apply, but I left my computer and when I came back, I was signed out. None of the information I completed appeared when I signed back in. What happened?

A. Your log-in session will remain active as long as you save information or refresh any page within 60 minutes. After 60 minutes of inactivity, you will be required to log-in again. If you were in the process of filling out a form but did not save the information within 60 minutes, any information on that page will be lost. Only the information on that one page will be lost; any information you saved earlier will already have been saved.

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Q. I hit the back button to return to an earlier part of the application, and now I can't continue. What happened?

A. This application is not designed to handle use of the back button. Please use the navigation provided on each page.

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Q. I applied for all four exams. Why won't the system let me complete questionnaires for all four?

A. In order to complete the questionnaire(s) for these examinations, you must meet the minimum qualifications. If you received a statement that you did not have the minimum qualifications for some of the examinations, you would not be able to complete the questionnaire(s) for those examinations.

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Q. I completed an application and signed out, but when I returned none of my information was saved. What happened?

A. As you completed each page, you were prompted to "Save" before you continued. If you did not save at the end of each page, you will have to re-enter the information.

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Q. I filled out my minimum qualifications information incorrectly and I was disqualified. How can I correct this?

A. You may reapply 30 days from the date of your submission. Before you re-submit your minimum qualifications, be sure to click on "Review the Application" to verify your responses.

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Q. Why can I change my answers to one set of questions after I apply, but not the others?

A. Once you submit your responses to the questionnaires for either one or multiple examinations in this series, you will be able to change only your responses to the location and employment preference questions. You will be able to update your answers to the training and experience questionnaire 90 days from the original date of your application. This option will continue at 90-day intervals as long as you remain active on any of the lists for these titles.

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Q. How long will it be before I receive my score?

A. Because these are position specific examinations, your score may change each time an agency requests a list. Therefore, you will not receive a score by mail, but you will be contacted by agencies when your score on a specific list is reachable. To see your scores, log in at http://www.cs.ny.gov/pstit/itsoptions.cfm.

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Q. How long will it be before I have an interview?

A. Most appointments happen at scores of 95 or higher. New York State agencies will canvass you by phone or letter when your score is high enough for consideration. This contact does not guarantee you an interview or an appointment. If you have questions about a canvass letter or phone call, you must contact the New York State agency that canvassed you.

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Q. How do I know if my questionnaires have been submitted correctly?

A. Before you submit your questionnaires, you will be prompted to review your choices. You will also have the option of printing a copy of your responses to keep for your own records. This will allow you to check the information before your final submission.

When you submit your Training and Experience questionnaire(s), you will receive a confirmation that lists the examination numbers associated with your Training and Experience questionnaire(s). If the examination number(s) are not shown on this confirmation, notify us by sending an email to cs.sm.InfoTech@cs.ny.gov.

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Q. How can I change my address and/or phone number?

A. Email us at cs.sm.InfoTech@cs.ny.gov with your old and new contact information. We will send you a confirmation email once updated. Lists that we send out from that point on will have your new address. You may continue to receive canvass letters at your previous address for up to 3 months as lists that have already been sent to agencies are active for 90 days.

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Q. How can I inactivate my name?

A. If you no longer want to go out on lists, send us an email at cs.sm.InfoTech@cs.ny.gov requesting to be inactivated, including your full name the exam numbers you no longer wish to be considered for. You will receive a confirmation email once completed. You can email us again if you would like to start going out on lists again.

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Q. Why am I no longer active on an Information Technology Specialist list?

A. There are four possible reasons

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Q. How can I reapply? When I go to the My Scores page, it says my eligibility has expired or is about to expire.

A. Completing this process consists of four distinct parts: Application Information, Minimum Qualifications, Preferences and the Questionnaire. To successfully reapply, you must complete each of these sections, including the veterans' credits questions, and submit the information on each page, as you did the first time you applied. A check of the "Review/Continue" page will show if you have any incomplete sections. Appeal of ratings will not be allowed as the opportunity for retest exists.

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Q. What will my status be on lists after the date my eligibility expires?

A. We notify State agencies of the date your eligibility expires. Agencies cannot hire you from a list after that date, because your name will be inactive on the list after the Eligibility Expiration Date has passed. Your name will appear on new lists created after you reapply; your new Eligibility Expiration Date will not show on these lists until you are near the end of your eligibility on the list (currently one year).

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Q. Why does my Eligibility Expiration Date only show for one exam when I was approved for two examinations?

A. If you apply for exams on different dates, you may have different expiration dates for the exams. Your Eligibility Expiration Date for an exam only shows when you are nearing your expiration date for the exam. To see your eligibility date for all of the exams you have applied for, check the "Expiration Dates" page.

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