Can You Reschedule Your Civil Service Exam? 

   Civil Service Examinations are assessments implemented in various countries as part of the admission process for any civil servant role. They are usually used to screen candidates’ skills for specific jobs — including government officials, police officers, firefighters, public school teachers, postal officers, and more.  

Hence, if you are looking to fill a position as a civil servant, you might be required to take a civil service exam. To do so, you must register online with the agency you are interested in working with or with a designated testing center. Once you have registered, you will receive an e-mail with the date, time, and location of your evaluation.  

In case you cannot report for your civil service exam on the date you are scheduled, you may reschedule. To reschedule an exam, you usually have two options: 

  1. Request a new date through the same online portal you registered the first time around. 
  2. Show up at a different time for walk-in testing. 

Nonetheless, keep in mind that, as a walk-in candidate, you may only take the exam if some else does not show up for the test (and there are slots available.) 

A civil service exam is the first step in a long process! Below we will clarify doubts and share useful information, so you know what to expect.  

Civil Service Requirements 

Can You Reschedule Your Civil Service Exam? 

A few years back, there was a general Civil Service Exam to evaluate all candidates interested in filling a civil servant position. Nonetheless, as years passed, institutions realized that examinations needed to be less broad and target specific skills. Today, there is no single test for civil service applicants.  

As a result, pre-requisites vary greatly depending on the position. Below a list of a few of the most common requirements: 

Education and Licensing 

For example, those sitting for an exam to become police officers in the State of Texas must have at least 60 hours of college credits. And those candidates applying to become marine engineers in New York must have already obtained a license from the U.S. Coast Guard. 

As a rule of thumb, most posts require at least a high school diploma or GED.  


Most civil servant roles require that applicants be at least 18 years old. Nonetheless, some states set higher age requirements for some posts. For instance, if you wish to be a Correctional Officer in New York, you must be 21 years old.  


To take a civil service exam, you will have to prove you are a legal U.S. resident. Additionally, some locations demand that only candidates that are permanent residents of the city or state in which they apply can take the test.  

Language Proficiency 

It might seem like a no-brainer but, since the evaluation is conducted in English, all candidates must be able to speak, read, and write in English.  

Criminal Background Check  

Most, if not all, civil service job comes with significant responsibilities. Thus, it is not unusual that agencies request all applicants to pass a background check before even sitting down to take the examination.  

Furthermore, in some cases, simple misdemeanors such as trespassing or reckless driving can void a candidate’s application.  

Other Examinations 

Some civil service exam roles require that you first pass other evaluations that assess knowledge, fitness, or even medical practices. For example, firefighters in Massachusetts must first take a physical fitness exam. While police officers in Colorado must undergo psychological testing before they can seek certification to become an officer and register for a CSE.  

If you are unsure as to what other requirements you need to meet before taking a civil service exam, visit the agency’s website.  

Civil Service Exams 

Can You Reschedule Your Civil Service Exam? 

As we mentioned before, there is no ‘master test’ when it comes to civil roles. Each test is specific to a job or a class of employment. More so, exams might vary from state to state. Meaning, that a firefighter in Chicago will have a different evaluation than that of a candidate in Florida interested in the same post.  

However, most Civil Service Assessments can be group into one of the following test formats: 

Written Examinations 

Written examinations usually consist of multiple-choice questions that measure a candidate’s knowledge and abilities on a variety of subjects. Depending on the job, the topics range from reading comprehension and language proficiency to logical reasoning, numerical reasoning, and other aptitudes. 

Supplemental Questionnaires 

In some cases, your civil service exam may come with a supplemental questionnaire. In general, this questionnaire will complement the test by measuring additional qualifications. Here, you can expect inquiries about prior training, education, and previous employment. 

Performance-Based Assessments 

Although performance-based assessments are not part of the test itself, many civil servant roles require you to take additional evaluations (before or after) the primary examination.  

This type of assessment is especially common for positions that require a specific set of skills for the job. For instance, police academies and medical departments, usually need you to take different examinations where you demonstrate physical abilities (e.g., weight lifting, shooting, first aid practices) 

Wondering what other exams there are? Find out here:

Pros & Cons of a Career in Civil Service 

Just like with any other job, public servant roles come with a set of pros and cons. Thus, if you are interested in pursuing a career in this sector, consider the following advantages and downsides: 

Pros of Civil Service Jobs

Government Benefits

Most civil servant roles have a long list of government benefits, including vacation days, a retirement fund, a good health plan (for you and your family), life insurance, flexible spending accounts, employee discounts, and more.  

Job Security

Can You Reschedule Your Civil Service Exam? 

As you are filling a much-needed position, job security is high —especially if you are used to working in the private sector where you can lose your job without prior notice. Plus, civil service jobs have a tight adherence to labor laws. Thus, you may rest assured your payments will always be on time, and it will be easy to exercise employment rights. 


As a public servant, the possibilities are endless when it comes to location. Given that there are positions at local, regional, and even national levels, you can find a job in your hometown or virtually anywhere in the world.  

Steady Work Schedule 

As a civil servant, you most likely will have fixed hours that allow a good work/life balance. This fact does not always apply to some jobs in the army, police force, or fire departments.  

Cons of Civil Service Jobs

Low Earning Potential

Although there is plenty of room for promotions and growth, civil service roles are not high pay. Nonetheless, note that this is sometimes compensated for with other benefits and freedoms.  

High-Risk Jobs

Almost all civil servant roles with a few exceptions (e.g., teachers, postal service workers, subway drivers) are very high-risk jobs. Plus, it entails a great deal of responsibility.  

Think about how firefighters and police officers expose their life every day when rescuing citizens from flaming buildings or conducting raids in dangerous neighborhoods.  

Hiring Process is Lengthy

Another essential thing to consider is that the hiring process for almost every civil servant job usually takes time. There are thousands of candidates applying daily, so 3-6 months may pass before you receive an answer and start training.  

Low (or no) Control Over Your Work 

As a civil servant, you genuinely have no control over your work as you are there to follow instructions and get the job done. Hence, expect all major and many minor decisions to go through approval processes and other bureaucratic practices.  

As you can see, there are plenty of ‘good’ reasons as to why you should pursue a career as a civil servant. But, note that in general, these positions are not as breezy as they appear to be. Being a civil servant requires a high degree of commitment and sacrifice on your part.  

Can You Reschedule Your Civil Service Exam? Related Questions

Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions related to civil service jobs: 

How do you find a civil service job?

Civil servant jobs are regularly posted on official websites. Applicants may apply online by submitting a resume and completing a basic questionnaire. There are usually two types of civil service job announcements: 

  • Continuousadministered periodically and are open to all applicants. 
  • Open to State Employees –involve positions that are only available to current employees of the state. 

How much does a civil service job pay?

Civil servants make up 9.9 million people in the United States. And although salaries may differ based on location, role, and experience, most civil servant professionals earn an average of $24.62 per hour. In other words, up to $51,220 per year. However, it is vital to note that this salary does not involve elected officials, such as governors, mayors, senators, etc.  

Moreover, keep in mind that working as a civil servant comes with a long list of advantages that might compensate for the low salary — such as a good health plan, employee discounts, and other benefits.

Related Articles

Is It hard to be a Female Firefighter?

To learn how to best prepare and study for your civil servant exam click here!

Interested to learn more about the civil service? Check out our free guide here: 

Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.