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How to take the Civil Service Examination

The Civil Service Examination (CSE) is an annual exam for individuals who are interested in a career in public office.

Civil Service Exam
Source: CSE Reviewer

Many benefits are associated with a career in public service. Aside from being able to serve the Filipino people, one can also enjoy the benefits that come with working for the government like job security, a competitive salary, career, growth, a retirement plan, and bonuses and salary increases.

To qualify working for the government, you will have to take the Civil Service Examination.

What is the Civil Service Exam?

The Civil Service Examination (CSE), also known as Career Service Examination, is an annual exam for individuals who are interested in a career in public office. The Civil Service Commission (CSC) conducts the exam. 

The CSC announces the exam and application schedules through its official website and Facebook page. Pen-and-paper test for professional and subprofessional levels are conducted twice or thrice every year.

Any aspiring civil servant must pass the CSE. To pass, you must hit the 80% mark and score 136 points for the Professional level and 132 points for Subprofessional level if you want to pass.

Types of Civil Service Exam

  • Professional level  – this qualifies you for both first-level and second-level government positions. This gives you a wide range of options from clerical work to technical, managerial positions in the government. Examinees for the Professional level must be graduates of a four-year college course.
  • Subprofessional level  – this only allows you to take jobs in first-level government positions such as clerical, administrative work. Examinees who have less than four years of college education can take this test.

What is the coverage of the Civil Service Exam?

The Civil Service exam specifically tests your knowledge about the code of conduct and ethical standards for public officials and employees, environment management and protection, peace and human rights issues and concepts, and the Philippine Constitution. Here are the rest of the topics covered in the exam:

A. Professional Level

  • Analogy
  • Grammar and correct usage
  • Logic
  • Numerical reasoning
  • Paragraph organization
  • Reading comprehension
  • Vocabulary

B. Subprofessional Level

  • Clerical operations
  • Grammar and correct usage
  • Numerical reasoning
  • Paragraph organization
  • Reading comprehension
  • Spelling
  • Vocabulary

What are the eligibility requirements of the Civil Service Exam?

  • A Filipino citizen
  • At least 18 years old during application
  • No criminal record (civil service examination irregularity, dishonesty, drunkenness, immoral conduct, illegal drugs)
  • No dismissal record from the government or military service
  • Never taken the same-level of CSE within three months prior the exam date

Who are exempt from taking the exam?

There are those who are by default already qualified to be a civil servant and no longer have to take the exam. They just have to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility at a CSC Regional Office or Field Office. The following individuals are considered eligible for civil service and are therefore exempt from the exam:

  • Bar exam passers
  • Board exam passers
  • Career service examination for foreign service officer passers
  • Honor graduates (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude) in state colleges and universities, private higher education institutions with CHED-recognized degree, and foreign schools
  • Barangay health workers
  • Barangay officials
  • Sanggunian members
  • Barangay nutrition scholars
  • Electronic Data Processing Specialist eligibles
  • Scientific and Technological Specialist eligibles
  • Veteran Preference Rating eligibles

What are the application requirements of the Civil Service Exam?

  • CSE application form – Get a copy in any CSC Regional Office or Field Office, or download it from the CSC website.
  • Recent ID photos – Submit 4 colored, passport-size ID photos taken within three months before the application date, and with your name handwritten in a white background. However, no need to submit them if you’re taking the COMEX since your picture will be taken when you go to the CSC office.
  • Valid ID – Check the CSC website for a complete list of accepted valid IDs.

How to take the Civil Service Exam?

  • Manual Pen-And-Paper Test (PPT) – Submit your complete CSE requirements to the CSC Regional Office or Field Office where you plan to take the civil service exam. For both Professional or Subprofessional level, pay the exam fee of Php500. 
  • Computerized Examination (COMEX) – Apply for the CSE through the COMEX site. Sign up and follow the instructions for the application requirements. Reserve your exam slot in the COMEX reservation site and pay the exam fee of Php680.

Where to check the Civil Service Exam results?

The results for the pen-and-paper test comes out 60 days after the exam date. For the COMEX, results are available a week after. Access the Online Civil Service Examination Result Generation System (OCSERGS) to view the list of passers.

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