Civil Service FAQs

How are test scores on a written civil service test determined?

First, the raw score is determined which is generally the number of questions the candidate answers correctly. After the results are analyzed, a band score table is constructed for the test. The band score table is then applied to the raw score to determine the final score. Typically, a band score covers a range of scores and bands are reported in five point increments. This method of scoring is called band scoring.

Example: A range of raw scores from 45 to 47 are assigned a band score of 80.

If you received a raw score of either 45, 46 or 47, your final score would be 80.

Some candidates are entitled to veterans' credits. In accordance with the New York State Constitution, these credits are added to the final scores of passing candidates. Veterans' credits cannot be added to failed scores. On open competitive examinations, which are those open to the general public, qualified non-disabled veterans receive 5 points and disabled veterans receive 10 points.

Why are tests band scored?

Band scoring provides a more realistic assessment of a candidate's performance on written tests than point-by-point scoring. It takes into account that no test can measure a candidate's abilities with perfect confidence or assess all the abilities relevant to a given job. Also, increasing the use of band scoring on civil service tests considerably opens the field of candidates who can be considered for appointment.

How can I have the same score as someone else and be ranked differently?

Municipal civil service rules provide that candidates on an eligible list be ranked. For information on the method used to rank candidates with the same score, candidates should consult the agency responsible for administering the examination.

Who can be considered for appointment from a civil service list?

Everyone ranked above or tied with the third candidate on the eligible list can be considered for appointment. This is sometimes referred to as the Rule of Three.

In accordance with Civil Service Law, appointing authorities may elect to give preference in appointment to residents of their jurisdiction. In these instances, a list of resident eligibles is considered first for appointment. The Rule of Three is applied to this resident list.

How could I get the same failing score on two different tests?

Using the band scoring method, all failing scores are reported as "60." For instance, say a test has 90 questions, and the minimum passing score is set at 54 raw score points. If you answered less than 54 questions correctly, your final score would be reported as "60."