How to Take a Written Test
Why a Test?
The New York State Constitution states that public employees must be hired for jobs on the basis of merit and fitness. The constitution also says that, for most jobs, merit and fitness must be measured by examination.
In practical terms, hiring employees on the basis of merit and fitness means hiring people who will be able to do the jobs well. New York State and local governments are no different from private companies. Employers want to hire the best candidates for the jobs.
There are several ways to find good candidates. When private companies hire, they ask candidates about previous work experience, they look at resumes and school records, and they sometimes give tests.
New York State and local governments also use tests when they hire. All New York State civil service examinations include one or more tests which are designed to determine how people will perform on certain aspects of the job. Written and oral tests present questions and problems that test candidates for the critical knowledge, skills, and abilities needed on the job. Training and Experience examinations are used to evaluate whether candidates have the training and experience required to perform the job. Performance tests measure candidates' ability to perform job-related tasks, such as typing or entering computer data.
All civil service examinations are based on the jobs to be filled. Examinations provide a system that is fair and objective. Every candidate for a particular examination answers the same questions or performs the same task and receives a score or scores based on the same factors. This gives all candidates a fair chance to get the jobs and helps New York State and local governments find the people best able to do the jobs. This is the reason New York State uses the examination and testing process to fill its state and local civil service jobs.