8 Challenges to Overcome in a Civil Service Exam

8 Challenges to Overcome in a Civil Service Exam

Working for the government is an excellent opportunity to serve your community and country. Not to forget the other perks that come with it like better pay, job stability, fulfillment, and security. This is why hundreds and thousands of people aspire to become civil servants. However, only a few make it to the end.

So many applicants fail to get the job because they don’t pass the Civil Service Exam. It is one of the most challenging examinations that require a lot of practice and preparation. Most applicants do not take this test too seriously, and we don’t want you to make the same mistake.

So, we have prepared a detailed guide that can help you overcome the top challenges in NYC Civil Service Exams.

Understanding the Basics

Before you start preparing for your exam, take some time to understand the basics such as eligibility, exam format, marking scheme, and so on. Once you know what you’re getting into, you will prep yourself accordingly. In addition, you can manage your time effectively.

Understanding the exam format and qualification requirements will allow you to practice time management and attempt different questions to impress the examiner. Quite often, people jump right into exam preparation without knowing what they are expected to do, which is why they fail.

Fulfilling the Rigid Criteria

Another challenge to overcome in the civil service exam is to fulfill the demanding criteria. There are specific prerequisites to appear in an exam that you need to meet. Here are a few of many requirements for eligibility:

  • Having a valid driver’s license
  • Being a US citizen
  • Being 18 years or older
  • Being a high school graduate

In addition, when you fail an exam, you won’t be allowed to take it for the next four years. This condition makes most applicants ineligible for the test because they also have a maximum age limit. So before applying, you must take a look at the official notice of examination that the government offers to have all the information regarding the exam.

Massive Competition

NYC is undeniably an enormous city with almost 19.8M people, and the government has the highest number of employees in the country, hence the competition.

Due to the massive competition, becoming a civil servant is not an easy task. You are up against thousands of applicants; many are more qualified or experienced than you. However, you can score high enough to get your dream job with the proper preparation and practice.

practice test for exam preparationPreparing for the Exam

Preparing for the civil service exams is itself a challenge. Unlike your regular exams, you can’t ace them by studying a few books and taking a practice test. It requires months of dedication and hard work.

Most applicants are out of practice while the others don’t have enough time to study. Therefore, you need to create a strategy that includes your study routine and resources for preparing for the exam.

Each civil service exam has a different format and questions, including multiple-choice questions, practical/physical exams, education and experience (E&E), and more. So you must create a strategy according to your exam type.

Paying the Exam Fees

Each civil service exam has a specific fee to pay, depending on the annual salary you will receive. Many of you may be unable to pay the fees, but don’t let that stop you from applying. The NYC government offers various options like unemployment insurance benefit payments to waive the fees.


There are many distractions in today’s era, such as social media, gaming, TV shows, and more. All of this may distract you from preparing for your exam. It might not seem like a big challenge, but overcoming it will be the hardest because you are so used to such distractions.

One way to remain focused is to have a strict studying schedule and stick to it. Once you have adequately studied each day, you can return to other activities to save yourself from burnout.

A person studyingRelying Entirely on Self-study

While your success relies on your hard work and persistence, you shouldn’t entirely rely on self-study. Considering how challenging and competitive this exam is, it’s best to enroll in a school that offers preparation for NYS Civil Service Exams, like ours.

This will ensure that you get the precise guidelines and resources to prepare for the exam. When studying on your own, you will struggle with finding the answers you’re looking for. In a school setting, you will be motivated and have many people to ask and discuss questions that enhance your learning.

Performing Well on the Exam

The goal isn’t only to prepare well for the exam, but also to perform well. Most candidates are anxious, stressed, and nervous during exams, and the fear of failure stops them from giving their 100% on the test. Even after knowing the answers, they make silly mistakes that have bad consequences.

From time management to understanding the question and answering correctly, this also requires practice. One way to prepare yourself for this is to take a sample test multiple times. Being in a school setting among many other students will allow you to experience a similar situation and be prepared when the final day comes.

NY fire department firetruckWant to Ace Your Civil Service Exam?

Exams are stressful, primarily when your job and passion depend on them. Preparing for a civil service exam doesn’t only involve studying but expert tips, insights, valuable resources, and a lot of practice, all of which you can get from Civil Service Success. We’ve taught thousands of students over the past 40 years, most of whom are now working or have been employed in the best positions. Our talented and expert instructors facilitate you from creating comprehensive strategies to performing exceptionally well in the exam.

Whether you want to pass an exam for Suffolk county police or the NYS court officer, we offer preparation classes for all the Civil Service Exams.

Get in touch with us and register now!

By |2022-02-25T19:54:44+00:00February 22nd, 2022|Blog|0 Comments

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