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Civil Service Examination Information

  1. Do I have to be an Orange County resident to take a civil service examination?
    Most examinations do not require you to be an Orange County resident. For those positions that do have a residency requirement, the information will be stated on the exam announcement.
  2. How can I tell when a particular exam will be held?
    In order to determine when a specific examination is being offered, you must check the schedule of announced examinations. Examinations are prepared and scheduled by the New York State Civil Service Commission. Orange County Civil Service requests examinations to be scheduled based on factors such as the number of positions, the length of the current eligible list, the age of the list, and the turnover of employees within the title. Eligible lists are established for a minimum of one year up to a maximum of four years.
  3. I've applied for other examination(s) scheduled on the same date with other civil service agencies. What do I need to do?
    If you have applied for any other civil service examination(s) scheduled on the same date for other jurisdictions (excluding New York City), complete the Cross-Filer Form (PDF) and submit it with your application. You must make arrangements to take all exams at one site and notify all other agencies involved no later than 2 weeks before the test date.
    If you have applied for both State and local agency exams, you must make arrangements to take all exams at the NYS exam site by completing the Cross-Filer Form and submitting it with your application.
  4. Does the Orange County Department of Human Resources fill vacancies that exist within the cities of Newburgh, Middletown and Port Jervis?
    No – The cities of Newburgh, Middletown and Port Jervis, and the public schools found therein, function independently and have their own civil service commissions.
  5. Is there an application processing fee?
    Yes – A $25 ($50 for uniform titles) non-refundable application processing fee in the form of a check or money order payable to the Commissioner of Finance must accompany your application.  
  6. Will my application processing fee be refunded if my application is disapproved?
    No – Please read the exam announcement carefully to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications presented. Should you be disqualified for the examination, your fee will not be refunded.
  7. How do I request an alternate examination date?
    A written request with supporting documentation should accompany your exam application and will then be reviewed in accordance with the alternate test date policy established by this department.
  8. How do I request special arrangements?
    A written request for special arrangements relating to scheduling or specialized testing needs should be included with your application. You must clearly state the type of special arrangements needed and provide the appropriate documentation to support the request.
  9. Can I submit a resume in lieu of completing the employment experience section on the application?
    No – You must complete the employment experience section entirely, being sure to answer all questions, provide complete dates of employment (month/year), number of hours worked per week and a detailed description of your work experience.
  10. I've filed for an examination, but haven't heard anything?
    Applicants who do not submit sufficient documentation or fail to meet the qualifications presented on the announcement are notified by mail, approximately two weeks following the last filing date, and given a designated time period in which to respond. Otherwise, you should expect to receive an admission letter.
  11. When will I receive my admission letter?
    Approved candidates should receive an admission letter approximately one week prior to the scheduled examination date. If you do not receive your admission letter within 3 days before the exam date, please call the Exam Unit at (845) 291-2730.
  12. How do I know when I'm scheduled for a Continuous Recruitment PC-Administered Examination?
    You may call the Exam Unit at (845) 291-2730 approximately two weeks after you have filed your application to determine when you have been scheduled. Due to the amount of applications received and the need to occasionally deviate from the projected schedule, applicants should note any days that would present a scheduling conflict in their application. Approved candidates should receive an admission letter approximately one week prior to the examination date.
  13. Are examinations ever cancelled?
    It is very rare for an examination to be cancelled. Please call the Exam Hotline Number (845) 291-2707 and select Option 1 for the most up-to-date examination information.
  14. What is the difference between an Open Competitive and Promotional Exam?
    Open competitive examinations are offered to the general public and may be taken by candidates who meet the minimum qualifications presented on the examination announcement. Promotional examinations are restricted to current employees of the participating appointing authority who meet the service requirement and qualifying experience stated on the announcement.
  15. What are Continuous Recruitment Examinations?
    Continuous Recruitment examinations are those for which applications are accepted on a continuous basis – there is no last filing date. Some are administered on a computer while others are held on a training and experience basis. The scores for these examinations are inter-filed in rank order with existing candidate scores to form a constantly changing eligible list. A passing candidate’s name remains on the list for one year.
  16. What is a Training and Experience Examination?
    A Training and Experience Examination is a method of testing whereby a candidate receives a test score based on information submitted in their application and/or a questionnaire which is sent to the eligible candidate. In some instances, the candidate will be requested to complete a Web-based questionnaire. The score is calculated from weights given to various factors of education (training) and experience.
  17. What will be on the examination and how can I prepare?
    By referring to the examination announcement under the heading “Subject of the Examination”, you will see a specific series and subject areas listed beneath it. This serves as a guide for preparing for the exam. We suggest you print a copy of the exam announcement for future reference, as it is removed from the website following the last filing date. The Orange County Department of Human Resources does not endorse or provide recommendations regarding the test preparation guides that are published by many private companies. This department is not responsible for the content of such materials, and cannot attest to their relevance to any particular examination you may be preparing for. However, if the New York State Department of Civil Service has made a study guide available, then that information will appear on the examination announcement. Access the Guides. These New York State Department of Civil Service-developed Study Guides are available online.
  18. Do I have to be a United States citizen in order to be employed in civil service?
    Unless otherwise noted on the examination announcement or job specification, you do not have to be a citizen. You must be legally able to work in the United States.
  19. What if my name or address changes?
    Notify the Exam Unit immediately of any change of name, address or phone number by completing the Address Change Form (PDF) located under Civil Service Documents. It is your responsibility to keep this office updated with your current information.
  20. What is a civil service eligible list and how is it used?
    An eligible list is a list of candidates who have passed an examination for a particular title arranged in score descending order (highest to lowest). When an agency or department has a vacancy for a title that requires an examination, they request the certified list of eligible candidates and send out canvass letters to determine who is interested in the position. In accordance with civil service guidelines, the agency or department must choose from the top three interested candidates, following any canvassing, if appointing from the list.
  21. When will I be notified of my exam results?
    You will receive written notification of your examination score at the same time the eligible list is established. This is generally between three to six months following the examination date for regularly scheduled exams held on Saturdays. For computer-based examinations held on weekdays, you should expect to receive a score letter within a month or two following the examination. Test scores are not available over the telephone.
  22. How do I obtain a copy of information related to Orange County Civil Service Exams or my Civil Service employment history?
    All requests for information must be in writing and sent to:
    Commissioner of Human Resources
    255 Main Street
    Goshen, NY 10924
    Please include detailed information as to the nature of the documentation being requested. We will acknowledge receipt of your request within 5 business days; however, it can take up to 20 business days to provide the documentation requested. Call us at 845-291-2707 for further questions.