What is the difference between a State government civil service examination and a Local government civil service examination?

State government civil service examinations are held by the State Department of Civil Service to fill positions in State government departments and agencies. Local government civil service examinations are held by local civil service agencies to fill positions in local governments such as counties, cities, towns, villages, and school districts.

How can I see eligible lists for positions in local government?

Eligible lists are local government records. The responsibility for establishing and maintaining an eligible list for titles in local government rests with the local civil service agency. Therefore, you can request to see an eligible list at the local civil service agency that announced the examination.

How are test scores on a written civil service test determined?

First, the raw score is determined by the number of questions the candidate answers correctly. After the results are analyzed, a band score table is constructed for the test. The band score table is then applied to the raw score to determine the final score. Generally, a band score covers a range of scores and bands are reported in 5-point increments. This method of scoring is called band scoring.

Example: A range of raw scores from 45 to 47 are assigned a band score of 80. If you received a raw score of either 45, 46 or 47, your final score would be 80. Some candidates are entitled to veterans' credits. In accordance with the New York State Constitution, these credits are added to the final scores of passing candidates. Veterans' credits cannot be added to failed scores. On open competitive examinations, which are examinations open to the general public, qualified non-disabled veterans receive 5 additional points and disabled veterans receive 10 additional points.

Why are tests band scored?

The use of band scoring on civil service tests considerably opens the field of candidates who can be considered for appointment. Band scoring provides a more realistic assessment of a candidate's performance on written tests than point-by-point scoring. It takes into account that no test can measure a candidate's abilities with perfect confidence or assess all the abilities relevant to a given job.

How can I have the same score as someone else and be ranked differently?

Municipal civil service rules provide that candidates on an eligible list be ranked. For information on the method used to rank candidates with the same score, candidates should consult the agency responsible for administering the examination.

Who can be considered for appointment from a civil service eligible list?

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 three candidates at higher scores.

Any candidate's eligibility for appointment depends not only on his or her rank but also how many other candidates are tied at that and higher scores. The following two examples illustrate how this might work:

Example One
Number of candidates at this score
Rank of candidates
In this case all three candidates at all three scores and ranks are eligible to be appointed.

Example Two
Number of candidates at this score
In this case, only the ten candidates at score 100 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 can also be considered. Only if there were only two or fewer candidates at the scores of 100 and 95 can any of the 10 candidates at the 90 score be considered.

In accordance with Civil Service Law, appointing authorities filling positions from an eligible list open to the public (open-competitive list) may elect to give preference in appointment to residents of their jurisdiction. In accordance with Civil Service Law, appointing authorities may elect to give preference in appointment to residents of their jurisdiction. In these instances, a resident certification (eligible residents only) is considered first for appointment. The "rule of three" is applied to this resident certification.

How can I find out how my score was determined?

An opportunity to conduct a computational review is provided for most civil service examinations. If a computational review is offered and you would like to review your answer sheet to determine how it was scored, typically you must submit a request in writing within 10 days after you receive your score to the local civil service commission or personnel office which administered the examination.

At the computational review you will be able to determine how many questions you answered correctly and the method by which your final score was determined.

In those few cases where a computational review is not available, the local civil service agency, upon request, can provide this information.

Why did I get the same score on the open competitive and the promotion examinations?

In band scored promotion examinations, seniority credits are added to passing raw scores. If the combined total of your raw score (generally the number of questions answered correctly) and your seniority credits is in the same score band as your raw score, your score on the promotion examination will be the same as on the open-competitive examination.

For example, if a final score of 80 is assigned to a range of raw scores from 45 to 48 and you received a raw score of 45 plus your three seniority credits, your total raw score would be 48. With or without your seniority credits, your final score would be an 80. If your received a raw score of 47 plus your three seniority credits, your total raw score would be 50 placing you into the next higher band. In this case, your final score would be 85.

Why are seniority credits not added to the final score?

Civil Service Law requires that seniority be given due weight. For examinations that are band scored, the addition of seniority credits to the final score would give undue weight to seniority.

Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff 

When is an examination offered for local Entry-level Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff positions?

The State Department of Civil Service offers local Entry-level Law Enforcement Officer examination services to local civil service agencies on an annual basis. Each local civil service agency determines how frequently to participate in the examination based on local hiring needs.

How do I know which local civil service agencies are offering a Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff examination?

You should contact the local civil service agency directly to find out when they are holding the examination.

How can I locate a test guide to help me prepare for the Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff examination?

Test guides for these examinations, as well as others, are available on the State Department of Civil Service website. Please be advised the most important document you should carefully read and consider is the examination announcement prepared by the local civil service agency that is administering the examination.

What age limits are there for Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff?

Individuals interested in provisional or permanent appointment to a competitive class Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff position should note that the maximum age established in Section 58 requires the candidate must not have reached his/her 35th birthday on or before the date of the written examination. New York State's maximum age for employing law enforcement officers was enacted by the New York State Legislature in April 1999. Individuals who participate in the written examination prior to reaching their 35th birthday and subsequently turn 35 years of age while their name appears on a valid eligible list continue to be eligible for permanent appointment for the life of that list.

Section 58 also imposes a minimum age of 20 years of age as of the date of appointment.

Are there any exceptions to the age requirement?

Section 243(10-a) of the New York State Military Law provides age deductions for military service for applicants who seek positions for which maximum age requirements have been established. Generally, an individual may have the period of military duty, as defined in Section 243(1-b), deducted from his/her chronological age to meet such age requirements. The maximum amount of time which can be deducted is seven years. However, there are certain limitations and restrictions provided in the statute.

What are the minimum qualifications needed in order to participate in a Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff examination?

Minimum training and experience necessary to participate in examinations varies from location to location. Please refer to the examination announcement for each agency participating in the examination to determine the minimum qualifications for that jurisdiction. There are several qualifications/standards that have been set forth by Section 58 of the Civil Service Law and the Municipal Police Training Council that must be met in order to participate in an examination for Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff.

They are as follows:

Are there residency requirements to participate in Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff examinations?

A local civil service agency may enforce residency requirements to participate in law enforcement examinations. You should carefully review the examination announcement to verify if you meet the residency requirements for a particular examination before filing and paying your application fee. Any questions regarding residency must be addressed to the local civil service agency that has jurisdiction.

Public Officers Law, Section 3, also contains residency requirements for Police Officers and Deputy Sheriffs. For more information about examinations and appointments of Police Officers/Deputy Sheriffs, please contact your local civil service agency.

Additional information about training requirements can be found on the website of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services - Office of Public Safety(External Link).

Director of Facilities 

Where can I find the most recent information regarding the Director of Facilities examination?

Information regarding the Director of Facilities examination can be found here.

How will I find out my score?

The results for the open-competitive examinations will be available online or by contacting your local civil service agency.

If you also participated in a promotion examination for Director of Facilities I, II or III, you will receive your score from the local civil service agency.

How will I find out about openings for a Director of Facilities position in a school district across the State?

The local civil service agency having responsibility for civil service administration for a particular school district in the State will canvass the eligible list established for Director of Facilities I, II or III when a vacancy occurs to determine if you are interested in a position. Pursuant to Civil Service Law, promotion eligible lists must be certified before using a statewide open-competitive eligible list.

How do I notify you of a change in address?

To change your mailing address, e-mail address, phone number and other contact information changes, it is your responsibility to notify local civil service agencies please notify local civil service agencies.

Where were the examinations held?

All examinations (promotion and statewide open-competitive) for Director of Facilities I, II and III will be held at test centers across the State; usually in schools or colleges. The tests are administered by State-appointed monitors who check in the candidates, explain procedures, distribute test materials, supervise the test administration and then collect all the materials for shipment back to the State Department of Civil Service for processing.

How do I apply?

If you are interested in participating in the next statewide open-competitive examination, visit our examination announcements page. Military service members who miss the application filing period and/or the examinations held on January 28, 2023, may qualify for a military make-up examination. To request a military make-up examination, please call (518) 474-0631. Questions about promotion examination applications must be directed to your local civil service agency.