Page updated 1/24/2017
Civil Service Exams | Civil Service Jobs | Federal Civil Service Tests
Civil service exams are required for certain groups including foreign service officers, customs, some secretarial and clerical, air traffic control, law enforcement, postal service, and for some entry level jobs. The majority — approximately 80% — of federal government jobs are filled through a competitive examination of your background, work experience, and education, not through a written civil service test. It is important to read the job announcement thoroughly to determine if a civil service exam, self certification, or a skill is necessary.
Mandatory civil service tests for administrative careers were eliminated years ago. OPM and individual agencies advertise professional and administrative job vacancies and interested parties request and receive application material online. Now that most entrance written tests aren’t used, applicants typically complete an occupational questionnaire and a federal resume or an optional application form. Most agencies want applicants to apply online. Federal civil service jobs are posted online and individuals complete their application, federal resume, and questionnaire online. If a civil service exam is required, you will be notified of the testing date and location.