Civil Service Fact Sheet #6
Examinations


Definition
:  An assessment of the merit and fitness of an applicant for positions which, as classified in the competitive class, shall be ascertained by such examinations as may be prescribed by the state civil service department or the municipal commission having jurisdiction.

Announcements of Examinations
:  The state civil service department and municipal commissions shall issue an announcement of each competitive examination set forth the minimum qualifications required, the subjects of the examination, and such other information as they may deem necessary, and shall advertise such examination in such manner as the nature of the examination may require.

FAQs


Q:             What are the different types of examinations?
A:            
There are two types – Open Competitive and Promotional.

Anyone is eligible to take an open competitive examination as long as they meet the basic qualifications of the title.  Only individuals already employed in a title that promotes to the title for which the exam is being offered are eligible to take that promotional exam.

Q:             What are the forms of examinations?
A:

  1. Written - may be either multiple-choice or essay
  2. Education and Experience (E & E)
  3. Oral
  4. Practical/Physical
Q:             How do they score multiple choice examinations?
A:             The score for a written multiple-choice exam is calculated on a point value for each question based on the number of questions on a test.  (100 questions – point value is 1.00, 80 questions – point value is 1.25 and 85 questions – point value is 1.7647) for an open competitive exam multiply the number of correct answers by the point value to get your tentative multiple choice test score.  For a promotional exam the multiple choice score is 85% of your score and the remaining 15% is your seniority test score.  Multiply the number of correct answers by the point value to get your tentative multiple choice test score and then multiply that number by .85 to get your adjusted tentative multiple choice score.  Multiply the number of years of service (maximum is 15 years) by 2.00 to get years of service points and add that to 70 to get tentative seniority test score.  Multiply that number by .15 to get adjusted seniority test score. Add adjusted tentative multiple choice test score and adjusted seniority test score to get tentative adjusted average test score.

Q:             How do they score an Education & Experience (E & E) examination?
A
:             To be credited, the education and experience must be of the nature, duration and quality described in the Notice of Examination and must have occurred during the prescribed period of time.  Unless otherwise specified in the Notice of Examination, all requirements must be met by the last date of the application period. You receive a score of 70 points for meeting the education and experience requirements listed in the Notice of Examination. Additional points up to 100 may be awarded for additional experience as specified in the Notice of Examination.


Q:             Can you take both promotional and open competitive examination at the same time for the same title?

A
:             Yes you can; you must pay for both application fees and meet the eligibility requirements for both the promotional and open competitive exams.


Q:             How do I protest a test question?

A
:             On the day of the test you will be provided with a Candidates Record of Answers on which you record your answers for your personal use.  This sheet also describes the protest procedure.  The protest period usually begins the 5th week after a test is given.  The proposed answer key is published.  You have 30 days to submit your protest to DCSAS.  A Test Validation Board is established and reviews each protest.


Q:             How do I protest my test score?

A
:             The notification of your exam score and list rank also gives the procedure to protest your score.  There is a 30 day period after the exam results are released during which candidates are permitted to appeal the calculation of their final score.


Q:             If I am on probation in a lower title, am I eligible to take a promotional examination for a higher title?

A
:             Yes, however you must have completed your probationary period in the lower title at the time of promotion to the higher title.  Refer to the Notice of Examination (NOE).


Q:             If a judge determines an examination to be discriminatory can the results be thrown out? Such as what occurred within the NYC Fire Department?
A
:             Yes.


Q:             Should a candidate bring their cell phone into the examination building with them?

A
:             No, the Notice of Examination indicates the items that are prohibited.  You are not permitted to enter the test site with cellular phones, beepers, pagers, cameras, portable media players, or other electronic devices.  Calculators are permitted; however, they must be hand-held, battery or solar powered, numeric only.  Electronic devices with alphabetic keyboard or with word processing or data recording capabilities such as planners, organizers, etc. are prohibited.  If you are found to be in possession of any of these devices, your test score may be nullified, you may not receive your test results, and your application fee will not be returned.


Q:             What can you do if you are disqualified by DCAS after taking an exam
?

A
:             You may not have met the eligibility that is required for the title as specified in the Notice of Examination (NOE).  You can appeal the disqualification to DCAS and if the appeal is denied, you can appeal to the Civil Service Commission.


Q:             What can you do if you have a serious and documented illness on the date of the scheduled exam?

A
:             An applicant who is unable to take or complete an examination may apply for a refund of the application fee by submitting a written request to the Examining Service Section of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services within 30 days of the date of the first test in the examination at which he or she was unable to appear with verification that such absence was due to hospitalization.


Q:             What can you do if you have a death in the family?

A:            
If unable to take the examination as scheduled, upon a written request a special exam may be given.  Absence from the test within one week after the date of death of a spouse, domestic partner, mother, father, sister, brother, child or child of a domestic partner of such applicant where such applicant is an officer or employee of the City.


Q:             What can you do if you cannot take the exam on the scheduled date because of Religious observance
?

A
:             There are specific instructions on the Notice of Examination (NOE) informing you that if you are unable to take the test on a Saturday or on the scheduled test date,  you must request an alternate date no later than 15 days prior to the scheduled test  date.


Q:             What can you do if you cannot take the exam on the scheduled date because of a disability?

A
:             There are specific instructions on the Notice of Examination (NOE) informing you that if you have a disability which will interfere with your ability to take the test without special accommodation(s) or other assistance, you must submit a written request for specific special accommodation(s) postmarked no later than 30 workdays days prior to the test date.


Q:             What is the Legacy Credit?

A
:             The Legacy Credit is for (Open-Competitive Examinations only):  Ten points will be added to the open-competitive examination score of a candidate who qualifies for Parent or Sibling Legacy Credit.

For Parent Legacy Credit: A candidate shall qualify for PLC if his or her parent was killed in the line of duty as a firefighter or police officer in the service of New York City.

For Sibling Legacy Credit
:
candidate shall qualify for Sibling Legacy Credit if his or her sibling was killed in the line of duty as a firefighter or police officer in the service of New York City as a result of the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attack, or as a result of the rescue effort that took place in response of the attack.

A candidate can receive Legacy Credit for no more than one parent or one sibling.  A candidate can, however, receive Legacy Credit for both a parent and a sibling; in which case, the candidate may be entitled to 20 points.


Q:             Do you get extra points on your exam score if you are a veteran?
A
:             Yes. You may use Veteran’s/ Disabled Veteran’s Credit only once for appointment or promotion from a City, State, or County civil service list from a jurisdiction within the State of New York. Veteran’s/ Disabled Veteran’s Credit will be added only to the final score of those who pass all parts of the examination


Q:             Can I get my Veteran’s Credit back?
A
:             Yes, when a veteran or disabled veteran accepts a permanent position from an eligible list by virtue of such additional credits, such person shall be deemed to have exhausted those credits unless:

  1. Prior to the expiration of the probationary term, such veteran or disabled veteran resigns from the position; or
  2. The services of such veteran or disabled veteran are terminated at the end of or during the probationary term; or
  3. At the time of establishment of an eligible list, the position of a veteran or disabled veteran on such list has not been affected by the addition of credits; or
  4. At the time of appointment from an eligible list, a veteran or disabled veteran is in the same relative standing among the eligibles who are willing to accept appointment as if the veteran or disabled veteran had not been granted additional credits.

Q:             Do you get extra points on your exam score if you are already serving provisionally in the same title as the examination is being given?
A
:             No.


Q:             If you are scheduled to work on your NYC job the date of the Civil Service exam, are you required to use your annual leave to take the exam, or is your agency required to release you without being charged time in order to take your exam?
A
:             Your agency is required to release you.  You have to make your request in advance and provide documentation.

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