Taking a written examination can be stressful, especially if it has been some time since you have taken one. Its natural to experience some degree of nervousness before taking a test. The best way to combat that nervousness is to properly prepare yourself to take the exam by knowing what you can expect during the testing process.
If your application, is accepted to participate in the written examination process, you will be notified by mail of the exact date, time, and location of the test. Many times the written test date is published in the job announcement. You should check the announcement for any scheduled dates and make a note of them.
Since all notification is done by mail, to insure timely receipt of your notice, all changes of address and phone number must be reported to the Human Resources Department immediately.
If it gets close to the test date published in the job announcement, and you haven't received your notice, you should contact the Human Resources Department immediately, prior to the test date.
If time allows and you are unfamiliar with the location of the test site, you may want to determine the exact location of the test site prior to the test date. This will prevent the possibility of showing up late and being denied admittance. It is expected that you will be on time, and it is always a good idea to arrive early. Parking and seating in the examination room is handled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Since you will be asked to show proof of identity in order to be admitted to the test, be sure you bring photo identification with you.
You should anticipate spending between 2-3 hours taking the test, which includes check in and instructions. Since you will be spending a few hours at the test, you will want to make sure you are comfortable. Business attire is not required in a written test environment...you may dress casually if you wish.
The test that you will take is usually of a technical nature related to the job. Therefore, you need to research the position by reviewing the job description and job announcement more thoroughly to determine what technical knowledge is needed for the job. Depending on the position, the test may include specific questions related to the job as well as questions covering, mathematical abilities, reading comprehension, human relations, etc. The examination may consist of any combination of multiple choice, true~false, or fill-in items. Most bookstores and libraries have excellent test preparation resources. With some research, you may be able to link the title of the position you are applying for with a sample exam. Taking a sample exam may better prepare you for the City exam.
All testing materials that are needed for the exam will be provided by the City. Testing aids of any kind, such as dictionaries or calculators, are generally not permitted.
After admittance into the examination room, the test proctor will give a brief orientation of the position being recruited for, describe the different components of the examination process, and describe the testing process you are about to take so that you will have a good idea of what to expect. If further testing dates have been established, an announcement will be made. The test proctor will be happy to answer any questions of a general nature that you may have. The proctor will also let you know when you can expect the results of the written test.
Scoring is generally based on the number of correct answers and you will not be penalized for incorrect answers. Its to your advantage to try and answer every question. If you don't know the answer to a question, make a guess. The trick is not to spend too much time on any one question -if you find you're stuck on a question, move on and go back to it later. Sometimes when you refocus on a problem question, the answer is obvious.
It's important to be sure that the test question you are answering is the same one you are marking on your answer sheet.
You will be informed by the proctor what conduct will be expected from candidates in the testing room. Once the test has begun, talking will not be permitted. If you have a question or need assistance during the test, raise your hand and the proctor will be there to assist you. Be aware that the test proctor cannot interpret or clarify a test question for you. You must answer the test questions to the best of your ability. However, if you feel that a test question is unclear or misleading, please notify the proctor after you have finished and turned in your test. The test item in question will be analyzed. If there is merit to your concerns, the test question will be eliminated. The Human Resources Department encourages this type of feedback from candidates.
Once the test has begun, the start and stop times will be posted within view. You will be alerted toward the end of the test of how much time there is remaining to complete the test. If you have lost track of time, this will be a chance for you to refocus your attention.
If you finish early, you may use that time to review your test materials, or you may leave. The test proctor will give you specific instructions on how this will be handled prior to the start of the test.
The most important thing to remember is not to judge your progress on how fast others finish the test everyone has a different testing style -- and it is important for you know your own personal style, relax and pace yourself throughout the exam. Only then will you do your best.
GOOD LUCK IN THE TESTING PROCESS!