text only siteskip to main contentskip to main navigation
State of New Jersey, Civil Service Commission
Governor Phil Murphy • Lt. Governor Tahesha Way

Before taking your exam, it is recommended that you become familiar with the types of exams and the evaluation methods that are used to grade them.

Rationale for Selection Mode Determination

All Civil Service Commission (CSC) tests are designed to measure the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform the duties of a particular title. The Division of Agency Services looks at how the title is used in the hiring agency and how many candidates are competing to determine the most appropriate test format. Sometimes we use more than one format.

Evaluation of Education and Experience

For this type of Evaluation, your application is the test. No written or physical test is administered. An examiner evaluates the education and experience shown on your application against the job requirements. Only relevant experience gained within the last 10 years is assigned credit.

Questionnaire/Supplemental Application

Our questionnaire/supplemental application is a "self-report" of background and experience that you complete at home and submit to CSC within a designated timeframe. The questions are based on the significant aspects of the position being tested.

Written Test

A written test is usually a multiple-choice test or an essay test measuring job-related knowledge, skills, and abilities.

You can view general information about studying for Multiple Choice Tests by going to the Multiple-Choice Exam Orientation Guide.

Supervisory Test Battery

The Supervisory Test Battery (STB) is a computer-based test that measures supervisory skills and abilities.  It is sometimes combined with a test of technical knowledge in an exam for a particular title.  For more information on the process, download our STB guide [pdf].


Once you establish a score on the STB exam, your score is valid for up to five years.  Your score may be applied to future announcements tested under this program for up to five years, as long as the same version of the STB test is in use.  Test score duration does not affect the duration of eligible lists issued.  These lists will remain in effect until their established expiration date.

You may retake the STB after one year.  If you choose to retake the STB after one year, your score is based solely on that latest test administration.

Management Test Battery

The Management Test Battery is designed to measure a candidate's ability to effectively handle a variety of management-level situations. For more information on the process, download our MTB guide.

Computer-Based Testing

Some examinations will be administered on a computer, where candidates can use a mouse and keyboard to input their answers.  Test questions and answer choices will be displayed on the computer screen, but in some circumstances, supplemental material may be provided in a printed format for easier reference. You can watch a video that provides an overview of the computer testing process here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKv918R5Pcc

The Civil Service Commission’s computer-based testing sites are located throughout New Jersey.  They include Community Colleges in Bergen, Camden, Mercer, Middlesex, Mercer and Gloucester Counties, as well as the CSC’s test facility in Trenton.

Once the test has been scored, you will be mailed a notification with your final score and rank on the employment list.

Bilingual Skills Testing

For bilingual titles, we test bilingual skills with a Bilingual Communicative Ability Test (BICAT).  You must pass the BICAT, in addition to passing the base test for the title, in order to be appointed to a bilingual title.  There are three levels of foreign language proficiency used by the Civil Service Commission: Basic (Level 1), Intermediate (Level 2), and Advanced (Level 3).  The passing proficiency level is linked to the job title for which you apply.  Most clerical job titles and some aide job titles require a Level 1 proficiency to pass, whereas most other job titles require a Level 2 proficiency to pass.  Before you apply for a job announcement, you'll want to check our Chart of Bilingual Levels to see what level of proficiency is required to pass the exam. 

Here is an illustration of the differences in foreign language proficiency:

Level 1 candidates can hold routine, repetitive, and casual conversations, direct clients to various locations, and express general ideas.  Candidates at this level usually don't have questions or comments from clients that are out of the ordinary and can get by with a smaller vocabulary and less knowledge of grammar, as long as their comprehension skills are serviceable.  Examples: Be able to say in the foreign language, "Mrs. Smith is absent today because she is very sick," or "Your appointment is this Tuesday at 2:00 pm.  Please go to room #5 and bring all of your papers with you."

Level 2 candidates can express the policies of an organization and have more meaningful and autonomous interactions with clients on in-depth, imperative, and/or non-routine matters.  Examples: Be able to say in the foreign language, "Mr. Smith will not be eligible for that welfare program because his income has increased," or "Your parental rights have been terminated because you put your child in danger several times."  In some law enforcement fields, candidates may also be expected to respond to imperative situations for their own safety and the safety of others, such as being able to say in the foreign language, "Freeze!  Drop the gun!"

Level 3 candidates are interpreters who may need to use specialized terminology or technical concepts.  They have the greatest stake in the welfare and outcome of their clients, and often have to keep up with rapidly-speaking clients who are under stress.  Examples: Be able to tell a client in the foreign language, "Your mother was diagnosed with severe damage to her spinal cord; she may never walk again," or "The defendant will plead guilty to the charge of involuntary manslaughter."

If you applied for a Spanish/English bilingual title in June 2014 or later, you may be scheduled for a multiple-choice BICAT exam. This exam is usually scheduled for the same night as your base test.  If your Spanish bilingual job title is non-competitive or you did not take a base test, you will be scheduled for the multiple-choice BICAT as soon as possible.

Browse the Orientation Guide for the Spanish multiple-choice BICAT here.

If you

  • Applied for a bilingual job before June 2014;
  • Are on a list that was previously certified; or
  • Applied for a foreign language other than Spanish,

you may be required to take a former, oral and written test format.  If you are subject to this format, you will receive a notification letter in the mail shortly after the time of certification that will explain the exam and notify you of your test appointment.  

OPRA - Open Public Records Act NJ Home Logo
Department: CSC Home  |  Job Seekers  |  Current Employees  |  Appointing Authorities and Employers  |  About Us
Statewide: NJHome  |  Services A to Z  |  Departments/Agencies  |  FAQs
Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996 - 2021