Civil Service Exam Practice Test: Free Questions & Tips [2024]
Shir Enzer

Shir, Civil Service Assessments Expert at JobTestPrep.

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Free Civil Service Exam Practice Test Questions

Civil Service Exam - Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension questions include a text (either a paragraph or longer), followed by single or multiple questions. The questions vary – some ask to summarize the text, others for specific details, and a few require reasoning abilities to infer information from the text. Let's look at a few examples.

1. Lots of people start running in their 30s or older, and it is one of the few sports in which you can improve with age. One example is the great Jack Foster, a self-styled "ancient marathoner”, who ran for the first time at the age of 32, and by the age of 40 found himself picking up a silver medal at the Christchurch Commonwealth marathon in 1974.

Of course, while we all may hold secret hopes of uncovering a latent talent, most of us are unlikely to progress to an elite level. But, whether we like to compete on a weekend or prefer to go on solitary excursions through the countryside, the message is that age is far less of a barrier in running than it is in other sports. With running, even if taken up later in life without any previous experience, it really is realistic to expect improvement with age.

Which of the following best summarizes the main idea of the second paragraph?

A. It describes people's hopes to uncover their talents.
B. It compares solitary runners to competitive runners.
C. It highlights the message that running has no age.
D. It emphasizes the importance of running when one is older.


To answer this question, we must read paragraph 2 carefully. Once we do, we can see that the answer is obvious in the paragraph, starting with the words: ”the message is…” The message of this paragraph is that running has no age and therefore answer choice (c) is the correct answer.

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2. Based on the text, which of the following is definitely correct?

A. Many people start running at an older age.

B. Older runners generally receive more medals.

C. More people prefer to compete than to run alone.

D. Older runners are faster than younger runners.


In order to conclude which of the statements is definitely correct, we must locate them in the text and find which of them is explicitly mentioned there:

Answer choice (a) - The passage begins with the words: ”Lots of people start running in their 30s or older…”, corresponding with this answer choice and confirming it as correct.

Answer choice (b) - While it is true that Jack Foster received a medal for his running achievements, we don't actually know whether older runners receive more medals than younger runners. This is not necessarily a correct statement.

Answer choice (c) - The second paragraph describes two types of runners: people who like to participate in races and those who like to run without competing. It does not, however, compare the number of runners per category. Thus, this answer choice is not necessarily correct.

Answer choice (d) - Again, similar to answer choice (b), we do not have information regarding the qualifications of younger versus older runners, and therefore this answer choice is also not necessarily correct.

Therefore answer choice (a) is the correct answer.

3. Which one of the following is definitely true regarding Jack Foster, based on the text?

A. He ran in his 20s.

B. He ran a marathon.

C. He is from Christchurch.

D. He is stylish.


To conclude which of the statements is definitely true, we must locate them in the text and find which one of them is explicitly mentioned there.

In this case, it is easy to locate the section in the text corresponding to the answer choices, as the question provides us with a clue (”Jack Foster”) leading us to our answer.

This is the section that refers to Foster:” One example is the great Jack Foster, a self-styled "ancient marathoner”, who ran for the first time at the age of 32, and by the age of 40 found himself picking up a silver medal at the Christchurch Commonwealth marathon in 1974”.

It is said that Foster: (1) ran for the first time at the age of 32 – this eliminates answer choice (a). (2) ran a marathon in Christchurch – however, we do not know if he actually lived there, thus eliminating answer choice (c). (3) he is a self-styled ”ancient marathonist,”- which does not mean he is stylish, eliminating answer choice (d). Since the text states explicitly that Foster ran a marathon, answer choice (b) is thus the correct answer.


Reading Comprehension requires thorough reading, verbal abilities, understanding of context, and summarization techniques. Some of the texts may be longer, contain more details, or be at a higher English level. The questions and answers may vary – not only in the questions themselves but also in the format. For comprehensive practice, including guides and different types of questions, you can buy our all-inclusive PrepPack. 

Reading Comprehension is a very common module in different civil service assessments. It can be found in most positions, including the Police exam, Firefighter exams, NYC Sanitation exams, Clerical exams, ASVAB test, PiCAT testMCOLES Test, and Civil Court Officer exams. 

Reading Comprehension is hardly the only verbal questions type, as can be seen in the next type of question, the Written Expression:


Civil Service Exam - Written Expressions

Written Expressions are a group of different question types – all of which measure your English skills. Some measure vocabulary, such as analogies or sentence completions, while others measure grammar, such as rephrasing. Let's look at a few examples.

1. After Rachel and Sara finished watching the movie, ________ turned off the TV.

Which of the following pronouns correctly completes the sentence above?

A. her.

B. them.

C. they.

D. themselves


The correct answer is (C).

The missing word is a subject pronoun. Only answer (C) is a subject pronoun. The rest of the answers are object pronouns.

2. Any recent ____ in jobs is likely to have been ____ in the south.

A. increase, concentrated

B. increese, concentration

C. increases, concentrated

D. increasing, concentrated

E. None of these


The correct answer is (A).

Any recent increase in jobs is likely to have been concentrated in the south.
Incorrect Answers

B: increase is spelled wrong.

C: because recent is singular, increase needs to be singular as well.

D: The sentence is written in present tense, not future so you do not need the suffix-'ing'.

3. Which of the following sentences is grammatically incorrect?

A. Schools have officially banned the consumption of candy, soda, and chips on their premises.

B. The surgeon general has been known to make unannounced visits to the hospitals to ensure that patients are receiving appropriate care.

C. The new office dress codes includes no jeans, closed toe shoes, and collared shirts.

D. Children playing in the skate park must wear helmets for safety reasons.


The correct answer is (C).

You can say "the dress code includes" or "the dress codes include" but an s is not needed in both words.


Written Expression questions are not like one another. Three examples were provided here: Sentence Completion, Grammar and Spelling, and Written Communication. There are many more different types of questions, which cover different aspects of the English language – a trivial part for any worker in the civil service. Many types of questions, including guides and practice, can be found in the All-Inclusive PrepPack.

Written Expression is also a highly common module in the different tests. It can be found in Police exams, Caseworker exams, 911 Dispatchers exams, and Clerical exams, among others.

Next, we’ll be looking at another “master category” – Reasoning Skills – which will test your logical abilities.


Civil Service Exam - Reasoning Skills

Reasoning skills require inductive abilities. You must be able to infer information from a text, a set of rules or statements, and answer accordingly. You may find Agree/Disagree questions, Seating Arrangements, and additional question types. Let's look at a few examples. 

1. Review the facts below.

  • Tim lives in a big apartment.
  • Abby lives in a small apartment.
  • There are no big apartments in Tinyville.
  • Small apartments have one bedroom.

Based on the information above, which of the following MUST be true?

A. Tim lives in Tinyville.

B. Abby's apartment has one bedroom.

C. Abby lives in Tinyville.

D. Tim and Abby live in the same town.


The correct answer is (B).

Abby's apartment has one bedroom.

We know that Abby lives in a small apartment, and we know that small apartments have one bedroom. Therefore, we can conclude that Abby's apartment has one bedroom.
Let's go over the rest of the answer choices:

Answer choice (A) – since we know Tim lives in a big apartment, and we also know that there are no such apartments in Tinyville, the conclusion that Tim lives there is illogical.

Answer choice (C) – all we know about Tinyville is that it has no big apartments. We do not have any information to contradict the suggestion that Abby lives there, but we cannot corroborate it, either.

Answer choice (D) – we know that Tim does not live in Tinyville. While it is perfectly possible that Abby lives elsewhere as well, we cannot be certain of that for sure, and even if we did, it is still impossible to deduce that they both live in the same place.

2. Please choose the correct answer to the following series.

civil serivce reasoning skills test q1

 A.civil service reasoning skills test answer 1

B.civil service reasoning skills test answer 2


civil service reasoning skills test answer 3


civil service reasoning skills test answer 4

The correct answer is (C).

The line rotates clockwise around the little square, increasing the number of steps between one diagram to the other in the series. Betweendiagramsm 1 and 2, it moves a single step. Between diagrams 2 and 3, it moves two steps, and so on.

The answer is - 

civil service reasoning skills test answer c


civil service reasoning skills test q1

Choose the correct answer:


civil service reasoning skills q3 answer1


civil service reasoning skills q1 answer 2


civil service reasoning skills question 3 answer c


civil service reasoning skills question 3 answer d


The correct answer is (D).
In the exemplar analogy, the figure on the left rotates 90 degrees right. Additionally, its parts (the empty and the full triangle) rotate 180 degrees each. In the question analogy, the whole figure rotates 90 degrees right, and the two parts of the figure (an empty and a full square) look the same after being rotated 180 degrees. 


The examples provided here are the more common from the Reasoning Skills: Deductive and Inductive. However, many more types of questions are found under that category, including Information Ordering and Problem Sensitivity. Logical strategies and further practice can be found in our All-Inclusive Civil Service PrepPack.

Logical questions are very common in Firefighter and Police exams, as well as Secret Service and FBI Special Agent assessments. These questions can vary not only in content but also in format and difficulty for each position, and we recommend practicing according to the specific position.


Sharpen your reasoning skills with one of the practices on our comprehensive Free Aptitude Tests Page.


New York Police Department (NYPD) Written Entrance Test

The admission exam for all candidates to the NYPD is one of the most important parts of the hiring process. The test includes challenging questions in verbal, reasoning, memory, and spatial questions.

Many of the questions resemble those presented here in the Civil Service Free Test Online, with additional unique questions that vary in content, format, and difficulty.

Preparation is crucial for succeeding in the test – especially practicing questions resembling the NYPD test, not only in content but also in narrow time frames. To preare and succeed in your NYPD Test, start preparing and practicing our NYPD PrepPack Now! 

Next up are the Spatial Abilities questions, which aim to test your orientation skills.

Check out our Free Cognitive Ability Test and sharpen your cognitive skills.

Civil Service Exam - Spatial Abilities

Spatial Reasoning questions center around shapes and figures. In these questions, you must be able to visualize in 2D and 3D, folded objects, directions, completing shapes, and more. Let's look at a few examples. 


civil service spatial abilities test question 1

1. A.

2. B.

3. C.

4. D.

5. E.


The correct answer is (A).

civil service spatital ability test question 1 answer 2

2. Which of the following options is a rotation of both figures in the upper box (consider the dots)?

civil service spatial ability test question 2

1. A.

2. B.

3. C.

4. D.

5. E.


The correct answer is (D).

Notice that figure '8' is symmetrical when horizontal but not when vertical (the two holes vary in size); therefore, option D is correct (the comparable corner is marked in red), and option B is not (the correct corner is marked in green).

civil service spatial ability question 2 solution



Spatial Abilities will require you to pay attention to small details in 2D and 3D objects, to answer different questions. Practicing specific techniques is the go-to for these questions in terms of practicing, and can be achieved using our All-Inclusive PrepPack.

These questions are common in Sanitation exams and DCAS Special Officer assessments and can be found in other positions as well.

We hope you are still in focus because next are the Memorization questions: 


Civil Service Exam - Memorization

Memorization questions measure, as their name suggests, your memory skills. The questions can be pretty straightforward – such as listening to a set of letters and number and repeating them, or looking at a picture and answering regarding different details from it. However, the questions can be more difficult, including full texts or audio recordings, and responding to questions regarding the story/scenario. Let's look at a few examples.

1. Click the play button in order to listen to the sequence of letters and numbers.

What was the sequence in the audio?


The correct answer is: JS97QR

2. Click the play button in order to listen to the sequence of letters and numbers

What was the sequence in the audio?


The correct answer is: 25LZ6O




Memorization comes in very different levels of difficulty – the longer, more detailed the written/audio passage is, the more difficult it is to remember and answer questions afterward. Unique memorizing tips and practice can be found in our PrepPack.

This module is usually associated with 911 Dispatchers. However, other positions, including NYS Corrections Officer and Clerical exams, may include different versions of memorizing questions.

After covering verbal, logical, abstract, and memory abilities, another basic cognitive ability remaining to practice is the Number Facility:


Civil Service Exam - Number Facility

Number Facility is a different name for numerical/mathematical questions. These questions measure basic arithmetic operations in different formats. You may require to analyze tables and graphs, answer word problems, include percentages and fractions – or just do basic math. Let's look at a few examples. 

1. Which of the numbers below is closest to the correct answer?

62 x 14 x 13 ~

A. 391

B. 752

C. 1600

D. 9100


The correct answer is (d).

The optional solutions offered for this question vary greatly in magnitude; therefore, by a simple estimation, we can solve this problem. We can even try to round down number 14 and number 13 to 10(!). In this case, we would have the following equation 62 x 10 x 10. 10 x 10 = 100. If we multiply 62 by 100, we get 6200. This number is already significantly larger than the first three options. Since we rounded down 14 and 13 to 10, this means that the result should be even greater and in the region of 9000. The correct answer is 9100.

2. "Most preferred food" Survey (percentages)
The column 'Males & Females' refers to the percentage of males and females preferring a certain type of food.

civil service number facility test question 2

For which type of food do females' and males' preferences differ the most?

A. Salad

B. Hamburger

C. Steak

D. Cheese

E. Chocolate


The correct answer is (a).

Calculate the differences between genders for the categories that stand out.
Salad is 19% (25-6), steak is 17% (25-8), and hamburger is 14% (18-4).
The correct answer is, therefore, salad at 19%.

16. A mountain trail is 12.1 miles long. If a hiker walks along the trail at a rate of 1.96 miles per hour, in approximately how many hours will the hiker walk the entire trail?

A. 6

B. 12

C. 14

D. 24


The correct answer is (a).
12.1 miles are approximately 12 miles. 1.96 miles per hour are approximately 2 miles per hour.
Since time (in hours) equals distance (miles) divided by velocity (miles per hour), the hiker will walk the entire trail in approximately 12/2=6 hours.


Numerical Skills can be measured in a lot of different ways. The examples here include Numerical Reasoning (applying logic in numeracy), Graphs and Tables, and Word Problems. Number Facility can be improved only after covering the basics (arithmetic rules, quick calculations, graph reading, etc.) and then consequent practice. Read the guides and practice different types of questions in our Civil Service All-Inclusive PrepPack.

Probably most, if not all, Civil Service positions include a numerical segment. Find specific numerical practice for Police, ASVAB testFirefighters, 911 Dispatchers, ElevatorClerical exams, and more.

CPS (Cooperative Personnel Service) Firefighter Test
– The test is a major part of the admission process for firefighter positions. The test includes mathematical, memory, map reading, verbal, and Situational Judgement questions.

The questions differ in number and time frame – but all of them require previous knowledge and practice. The questions on this free test resemble the content of the actual test – however, many of them are more specific and therefore should be practiced accordingly.

To succeed in your CPS Firefighter Test, start practicing our CPS Firefighter PrepPack Now! You can register and find the specific test dates here. If you're looking for different firefighter tests, practice our Free Firefighter Exam and find your tailor-suited PrepPack here.

Not only cognitive questions are used in the Civil Service exams. Both your values and personality are usually measured in the assessments, using different tests than those presented so far. The first presented is the Situational Judgement test:


Civil Service Exam - Situational Judgement

Situational Judgement (SJT) questions are some of the most challenging types of assessment tools. These questions require rating responses to different dilemmas or choosing the best course of action for different scenarios. The answers must be in accordance with the specific values required from employees of the position to which you are applying. Let's look at a few examples. 

1. You have made plans to go on an outing with friends. You have spoken with your manager and team in advance, and you've arranged for you to leave early and your colleague Jim to stay and close the store. It is now nearly the time when it was agreed you could leave, and you are finishing up your paperwork. However, a large group of customers has just entered the store and are trying out products, creating disarray in the product displays. Jim is helping them with their inquiries, but you know that organizing and closing the store will now take him longer than usual. What would you do?

A. Tell Jim that you appreciate his help and will return the favor.

B. Cancel your plans and stay at the store.

C. Call your friends and let them know that you will be late; stay a little longer and help Jim.

D. Leave at the agreed time, but ask Jim if there is anything he needs you to prepare or do before you go.


The correct answer is (c).

In this question, your personal needs conflict with the needs of your team. On the one hand, you want to help your teammates. On the other, you don’t want to cancel your personal plans. In this kind of question, you want to look for a response that balances the two needs.

Telling Jim that you will return the favor (answer choice A) is not very helpful to him at this moment. By choosing this response, you put your needs above those of your team without showing flexibility.

Canceling your personal plans (answer choice B) is extreme in the other direction. You are putting your team’s needs above your own, without flexibility. This is not an emergency that requires you to sacrifice your personal plans and neglect your commitment to your friends.

Staying a little longer (answer choice C) is a good balance between the two needs. You help your teammate without canceling your plans.

Asking Jim if there is anything he needs you to do (answer choice D) is a reasonable response. You show consideration for your teammate’s needs without neglecting your own.
Considering answer choices C and D, both demonstrate teamwork competency. However, answer choice C shows more proactivity and a willingness to be flexible when you are needed by your team.

2. You have worked with a client accounts team for a few months. In the past few months, you and the team have solved many problems and achieved many of your goals. You have also grown very fond of your teammates, and you consider them good friends. Your manager just approached you, telling you that he would like to transfer you to a different team, as your skills and experience can be useful for the types of tasks they are trying to solve.

What is the least and most effective response to this situation?

A. Tell your manager that you agree to the move. Ask for information about how you might contribute to the other team.

B. Tell your manager you understand that the other team needs you, but you wish to remain part of your old team. All of your friends are there, and you feel like you are more comfortable working with them.

C. Ask how your skills can benefit the other team before agreeing to the move.


Most Effective: A
Least Effective: B

Response A suggests that you agree to the move, and then gather information about how you can use your skills to contribute to the other team. By agreeing to the move, you are also showing organizational understanding and that you understand your skills can be used effectively in a way you may not yet comprehend.

You are also showing adaptability by proving you can deal with change in your work environment. Here, you are showing a willingness to put the organization’s needs before your own. It is, therefore, the most effective response.

Response B shows that you understand why you are needed, yet you decide not to cooperate with the move because of your personal preferences. Here, you lack organizational understanding by not truly accepting that the organization may need your skills elsewhere. You also show a lack of adaptability by being unwilling to adjust to a new situation. Note that you are currently in the position of applying for jobs. This response shows that you have a problem adjusting to new work and social situations -- qualities employers try to avoid. This is, therefore, the least effective response.

At first glance, response C seems like a good response. You are showing some independent thinking by trying to understand how your skills can benefit the team you are supposed to move to. However, note that you do not agree to the move until you get an explanation for how your skills can benefit the other team. This is tricky, as here you are showing resistance to change, which suggests you might lack adaptability skills. This response might also suggest a lack of organizational understanding by not accepting that sometimes your supervisor knows better than you are how your skills can benefit the organization. This is not the least effective response. Nonetheless, it is still less effective than response A.

3. It is 11:30 pm and you are on patrol. You hear a burglary alarm and notice two unarmed men suspiciously running away from the scene. What do you do first?

A. Enter the house and see what has been stolen.

B. Call for backup and immediately chase after the men.

C. Radio in a description of the men.

D. See if there are any witnesses who can identify the suspects.



The correct answer is (b).

Before making a decision, you need to consider all of the facts of the case. There are only two men, they are unarmed, and they are running away from the scene of the crime. It makes sense that you would first call for backup, as the suspects outnumber you, and to then chase after the suspects (response b) before they manage to get away.

Entering the house to see what has been stolen (response a) may seem reasonable to you as you may not be certain something has in fact been stolen. Nevertheless, hearing the burglary alarm and seeing the men running away from the scene should allow for enough suspicion to cause you to act. Furthermore, you are asked about your first response; establishing what has been stolen is something done later in the investigation.

Radioing in a description of the men (response c) may also sound like a good idea as it allows for other police officers to identify the suspects. However, this should not be the first course of action. You would only do this once backup had been called so that the joining officers would be able to identify the suspects and chase after them.

Seeing if there are any witnesses who can identify the person or suspects (response d) may also sound like a good thing to do as you probably didn’t get a good glance at the suspects. They were running away when you saw them, and witnesses may have a better description to provide. Nevertheless, this is again an action you would take later and not as a first response.


Situational Judgement is different from any other examples presented so far. The main difference is that there’s no absolute right answer. The answers may include rating the most or least “correct” answer from a set of options, and sometimes more than one answer is acceptable. Also, many questions have various responses, which must be ranked on a scale – creating an even more challenging test. We provide answers which, by our understanding, serve the attributes and values which the position demands best.
Another key difference is that the same questions may have different answers, depending on the position the assessment is taken for. I.e., a question may have different answers if considering a general worker position than it would have for a manager position – which focuses on different traits and abilities.

The options provided here include administrative SJT, which can be found on our All-Inclusive PrepPack, and an example of a question for the Police exams. There are different questions for Firefighter exams, Secret Service, FBI Agent, FBI Phase 1Supervisory Skills, and more.

The final segment, which can be found in most assessments, is the Personality Test. Like the SJT, as having no wrong or right answers, it presents a unique assessing tool and format:


Civil Service Exam - Personality

Personality Tests are a very common assessment tool, used to measure different personal traits, motivations, and preferences. You must choose to which degree you agree with a different statement, not all of which may immediately seem relevant to the position. Let's look at a few examples. 

1. It doesn't bother me a great deal if others make fun of me and taunt me

A. Strongly Disagree

B. Disagree

C. Neutral

D. Agree

E. Strongly Agree


This question refers to the Self-Consciousness trait. While having no absolute answer – since questions accumulate to a specific score among a range for each trait, it is negative when considering the trait (answering a or b will increase the overall score of the trait).

2. During discussions, I usually lead most of the conversation

A. Strongly Disagree

B. Disagree

C. Neutral

D. Agree

E. Strongly Agree


This question refers to the Assertiveness trait. While having no absolute answer – since questions accumulate to determine a specific score among a range for each trait, it is positive when considering the trait (answering d or e will increase the overall score of the trait).

3.  I make an effort to be polite to anyone I encounter

A. Strongly Disagree

B. Disagree

C. Neutral

D. Agree

E. Strongly Agree


This question refers to the Altruism trait. While having no absolute answer – since questions accumulate to a specific score among a range for each trait, it is positive when considering the trait (answering d or e will increase the overall score of the trait).


Personality Assessments such as the BIG5 are essential for employers to evaluate different traits and aspects of your personality, predicting how well you will fit into your potential role – socially, professionally, etc. While it is always recommended to be honest when answering personality questions, understanding the test and the way different answers reflect on you is highly recommended prior to taking the test. The full personality test, along with a comprehensive guide, can be found in many different PrepPacks for different positions, including our All-Inclusive Civil Service PrepPack

While some law enforcement agencies may incorporate cognitive aptitude tests like the Pellet B Exam into their hiring process, the specific exams required can vary significantly depending on the agency and jurisdiction.



List of Civil Service Exams by Location

If you’re looking for a list of civil service exams by location we have got you covered. JobTestPrep provides Civil Service exam preparations for various US cities including New York, Texas, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California, Ohio, and many more.


Continue Practicing for your Civil Service Exam

Our All-Inclusive Civil Service Practice PrepPack includes comprehensive preparation material, including:

  1. Hundreds of verbal questions, including Reading Comprehension and Written Expression.
  2. Extensive Logical, Spatial Reasoning, Memorization, and Attention to Details preparation.
  3. Guides and practice questions and tests for Number Facility.
  4. 5 Administrative SJT practice tests and guides.
  5. Full Personality Test, accompanied by an extensive guide.



How Long Should I Expect a Civil Service Exam to Last?

A diverse range of employers use diverse civil service exams but the normal average is expected to last between 2-3 hours.

What Counts as Good Passing Scores?

You can expect plenty of variation depending on the civil service career you are pursuing.

However, to provide a specific example, candidates aiming for clerk positions need to have a score of at least 33 on the verbal reasoning section, alongside a minimum general score of 80.

Are there More Requirements in the Application Process for a Civil Service career?

You need to keep in mind that any of the civil service exams we've mentioned might entail just one part of the whole application process. 

It is worth considering that some of the civil service roles you apply to may also require additional experience, training or education.

It is known that firefighters and police officers need to endure additional physical fitness examinations  We highly recommend you check the requirements of the jurisdiction that interests you.

Are There Any Fees to Take the Civil Service Exam?

Yes. Most of the time the fee will variate according to each jurisdiction. 


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