1230 SCHEDULING AND ARRANGEMENTS
1230(A) Alternate Date For Written Test
.110 Legal Basis
§70.4 of the President's Regulations (Chapter V, Title 4 NYCRR) Examination security and test scheduling states:
To facilitate the security of examination materials, a test shall be administered only on the announced date (if any), with due provision being made for religious observance; provided, however, the State Department of Civil Service may provide for rescheduling the administration of a test to a candidate under such circumstances of personal hardship and under such conditions as may be defined by that department.
It is the policy of the Department of Civil Service to provide alternate test dates to those candidates who are unable to appear on the announced scheduled dates for written tests because of religious beliefs, emergencies, or scheduling conflicts beyond their control. However, with respect to each written test administration, this policy will be weighed against the overriding need of the Department to maintain the security and integrity of the written test. Because written tests require considerable planning, preparation, and expense, candidates are expected to make every effort to take tests on the scheduled dates. When an alternate test date is requested, appropriate documentation acceptable to the Department of Civil Service must be submitted to verify the need for the alternate test date.
An alternate written test date will be provided for a candidate who can establish one of the following:
- A death in the immediate family or death of a member of the household in which the candidate resides within the week immediately preceding the announced written test date.
- Religious beliefs which preclude a candidate from taking an examination on the announced date.
- Military duty.
- A conflict with a previously scheduled commitment to participate as a member of a ceremonial party, such as a wedding, baptism, bar or bat mitzvah, or graduation, or as a member of the family or household of the individual for whom the ceremony is being held.
- A conflict with a professional or educational examination. Examples of professional examinations include the Certified Public Accountant or Professional Engineer examinations. Examples of educational examinations include the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Graduate Record Examination.
- A conflict with a previously scheduled vacation, professional conference, or retreat for which a deposit of at least $100 (one hundred dollars) was made prior to the date the examination announcement was issued.
- A conflict with a court-ordered appearance.
- Hospital confinement or medical emergency or health problem of the candidate or member of the immediate family or household in which the candidate resides, if documented by an attending physician.
- Emergency weather conditions, verified by the local public safety agency, that result in the closing of specified roads, highways, or independent transportation services which prevent a candidate from reaching the test center.
+ Note: In the event that a test is rescheduled by the Department of Civil Service due to weather or other conditions, these same alternate test date criteria will be used to evaluate requests for an alternate to the rescheduled date. Exceptions may be made where the candidate’s plans for a vacation, professional conference, retreat, or event, which otherwise meet the criteria, were made after the announcement issue date but before the candidate was notified of the rescheduled test date.
.410 Notification of Need for Alternate Test Date
+ .411 As soon as a candidate is aware of a conflict prior to the scheduled test date, the candidate should notify the Test Administration Unit in writing or by phone call. The address is: Test Administration Unit, NYS Department of Civil Service, Alfred E. Smith State Office Building, Albany NY 12239. The telephone number is (518) 474-6470. The request should contain a complete explanation of the reason the candidate cannot take the test on the scheduled date and include appropriate supporting documentation. It is essential that the Test Administration Unit receives these requests before the date of the written test. Requests received on the date of the written test or thereafter will not be considered, unless they involve unforeseen emergencies. Medical emergencies or illness occurring on the date of the examination must be documented by a medical professional seen on the date of the examination.
+ .412 For emergency situations which occur on the scheduled written test date, the candidate must notify the Test Administration Unit ((518) 474-6470 in the Albany area or toll free at 1-877-697-5627 [press 2, then press 1] no later than close of business the Monday following the Saturday on which the written test was held. If the candidate is unable to call because of serious illness, or because of a death in the candidate's family or household, a family or household member, or, if the candidate is a state employee, a representative from the candidate's personnel office may, on the candidate's behalf, notify the Test Administration Unit of the need for an alternate test date.
+ .413 If a serious illness or injury renders a candidate physically unable to take a test for a lengthy period of time, that candidate may still request an alternate test date provided a candidate for a promotion examination is tested prior to returning to the workplace.
.414 Notification of Need for Alternate Test Dates for Candidates on Military Duty
- A candidate scheduled for short term military duty (which typically requires a weekend or two-week training commitment) must request an alternate test date prior to the scheduled test date.
- Any qualified person on military duty may request an alternate test within 60 days of return from active duty, provided the candidate filed an application for the examination during the appropriate filing period (Article 11, §243-b, NYS Military Law).
- A public employee in New York State (including state and municipal employees, employees of public authorities, public benefit corporations, commissions, or boards, or of any other political or civil division in the state) on military duty who is eligible for a promotion examination may request a comparable examination. The employee must make such request within 60 days after restoration to his or her public position (Article 11, §243.5, NYS Military Law). An employee requesting an alternate written test date under this provision need not have filed an examination application prior to restoration to his/her position.
+ .421 A candidate who is granted an alternate date has a responsibility to avoid exposure to the test content and to take the test as soon as practicable following the announced test date. The pre-rating review and regularly scheduled alternate test date are a Saturday following the announced test date, generally the next Saturday. The risk of exposure to test content is increased after the pre-rating review, and processing is significantly slowed by candidates who are tested on an alternate test date. Thus, an alternate test date will generally not be granted later than the date of the pre-rating review/alternate test date.
If because of extraordinary circumstances a candidate is granted an alternate test for a date occurring after the regularly scheduled pre-rating review/alternate test date, arrangements will be made to test a candidate for an open competitive examination on the first available, regularly occurring test date as is practicable and a candidate for a promotion examination prior to the candidate's return to work. Under no circumstances, however, can a promotion candidate be tested after they have returned to work following the pre-rating review or regularly scheduled alternate date.
.422 A candidate approved to take the test on the alternate date will be required to sign an affirmation that the candidate has not discussed the test content with any individual. If the affirmation is found to be false, the candidate will be disqualified.
.423 When a candidate requests an alternate test date because of an emergency, the candidate will be required to provide documentation proving the emergency nature of the event which prevented him or her from taking the written test on the scheduled date.
.424 If two or more members of the same household are candidates for the same examination, and one member is granted an alternate test date, all members of the household participating in the examination will be required to take the written test on the alternate date. If any member of the household has taken the test on the scheduled date, no other member of the household will be permitted to take the test on an alternate date.
.425 If an alternate test date request can only be accommodated by administering a test on an individualized basis, the candidate may be assessed the cost of the monitoring services. The candidate will be advised of the approximate cost when such arrangements are made.
+ Questions from candidates regarding alternate test date policy should be referred to the Department of Civil Service Test Administration Unit at (518) 474-6470.
TM-62 - Replaces TM-55 issued 3/02; + = Revised Material 7/09
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