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Let’s start with a harrowing statistic:
10.71% or 1 out of every 10 examinees.
That’s exactly how many passed the civil service examinations conducted by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) in March 2018.
We can blame whoever created the questionnaires or even the deteriorating quality of education in the Philippines (as attested by our dismal ranking in a recent global survey for reading comprehension).
However, neither of these is within your control.
So instead of being discouraged, you can increase your chances of passing–or even topping–the civil service exam by preparing for it.
But you don’t need an ordinary preparation. With the limited time you have to review, what you need is time- and science-tested strategies that guarantee maximum learning.
In this free civil service reviewer, you’ll learn about these strategies and more.
But before we proceed, let’s go back to basics.
Table of Contents
- Why should I take and pass the civil service exam?
- What subjects or topics do I need to study to pass the civil service exam?
- How to ace the Civil Service Exam using our reviewer.
- The Ultimate Civil Service Exam Reviewer (with Free Practice Tests and Answer Keys)
Why should I take and pass the civil service exam?
The civil service exam is held twice a year to determine which individuals are fit to work for the Philippine government.
Passing this exam grants you Civil Service Eligibility which is one of the qualifications you need to meet if you want to work in a government office or agency.
This exam isn’t only for college graduates who want to become civil servants. If you’re already working in the government as a contractual/job order/casual/special project worker, passing the civil service exam gives you the chance to become a regular employee and be entitled to incentives and benefits that come with it.
Depending on what government position you’re aiming for, you may either take the Subprofessional level exam, which will enable you to apply for first-level positions like crafts, clerical, trades, and custodial service positions; and the Professional level exam, the more challenging exam given to those who want to qualify for first- and second-level government positions (up to Division Chief) that deal with professional, technical, and scientific work.
What subjects or topics do I need to study to pass the civil service exam?
It depends on what type of civil service exam you’ll be taking.
The professional level exam consists of 170 questions answerable in 3 hours and 10 minutes while the subprofessional level exam has 165 questions which you should finish in 2 hours and 40 minutes.
Both exams contain questions about the following subjects/topics:
- Personal Information (20 questions) like your name, birth date, etc.
- General Information (15 to 20 questions) which revolves around the Philippine Constitution, Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (RA 6713), Peace and Human Rights Issues and Concepts, and Environment Management and Protection
- Verbal Ability (50-60 questions in English or Filipino) which will test your knowledge of vocabulary, grammar, and correct usage, reading comprehension, and paragraph/passage/sentence organization
- Numerical Ability (40-45 questions in English or Filipino) which includes word problems, graph interpretation, and basic operations/simple arithmetic
While they have a lot in common, both types of civil service exam also feature a subtest that is unique to each of them:
- For the Professional level: Analytical Ability (30-40 questions in English or Filipino) which will measure your logical reasoning skills. It has questions on word association, number series, identifying assumptions and conclusions, single-word or double-word analogy, logic, and data interpretation
- For the Subprofessional level: Clerical Ability (30-40 questions in English or Filipino) which will test how familiar you are with different clerical operations like filing, alphabetizing, and spelling
To help you with your review, this civil service reviewer will dedicate specific sections for each of the subtests listed above.
How to ace the Civil Service Exam using our reviewer.
We all have our preferences when it comes to studying techniques. Some prefer to study alone while others absorb more information when they’re in a group study session. Some like to read, while others watch video tutorials.
But when it comes to preparing for an important test like the civil service examination, you want to ensure that whatever reviewing strategy you’re using will give you the optimal chance to succeed. In other words, you can’t afford to use the same old methods you’ve been using if it never got you anywhere or worse, it’s the reason why you keep on failing the civil service exam.
That’s why here in FilipiKnow, we have designed our reviewer around two effective techniques that are backed by scientific studies:
Strategy #1: Spaced practice/Distributed practice.
Instead of last-minute cramming, you should space out your study session over a specific period of time.
Let’s assume you’ve got 3 1/2 months to prepare for the professional-level civil service exam. Using the principle of spaced practice, you can assign one exam category for each month.
So for the first month, you’re going to review topics under Verbal Ability; the second month for topics under Numerical Ability; and the third month for Analytical Ability. You can allocate at least three hours of review each week, focusing on a singular topic/subject. Then, you can review your notes again at the end of each month and again for the very last time a few days before the scheduled examination.
By scheduling your review sessions this way, you’ll be able to jog your memory and recall what you learned the first time around. This process of forgetting and retrieval, according to researchers, helps cement the new knowledge in place thereby improving your long-term memory.
Strategy #2: Retrieval practice/Practice testing.
While spaced practice teaches you “when” to study for the exam, retrieval practice instructs you on “how” to study.
Rereading or restudying information is not enough. In fact, it only gives you a false sense of familiarity–you think you know the review material all too well even though you never tested how well you know it.
So what should you do? Take practice tests. Lots of them.
Testing helps strengthen your long-term memory, a finding that is supported by decades of scientific research. A recent study even shows that answering practice tests are more effective than rereading or highlighting your notes.
Practice tests are effective because it encourages deep learning. It enables you to retrieve a memory and each time you do it (which is exactly what happens when you take practice tests), it becomes more accessible in the future.
To get the best results, it’s also recommended to space your retrievals. This is why we’ve provided free practice tests in this reviewer which you can take as a diagnostic exam to help you figure out your weakest areas. The review notes we’re currently developing also have practice tests which you should take each time you finish studying a topic/subject.
Finally, our free mock exam which you can download in PDF format has the exact number of items as the actual civil service exam. Take this exam once you’re done with the study notes so you can gauge how prepared you are and brush up on topics that you might have missed during the review.
Now that you know when and how to review, let’s now proceed to the specific subjects that you need to study for the exam.
The Ultimate Civil Service Exam Reviewer (with Free Practice Tests and Answer Keys)
1. Verbal Ability.
Verbal Ability – Coverage.
- Correct Usage
- Identifying Errors
- Paragraph Organization
- Reading Comprehension
Verbal Ability – Review Tips and Tricks.
a. Grammar and Correct Usage.
- If you want to start from scratch and review the basics of English grammar, then this 2-hour video will help you. It tackles everything from nouns to verbs and even conducts grammar check-ups in between lessons to ensure that viewers will absorb the rules and correct usage.
- For a more advanced approach to the 8 parts of speech, you can watch this video instead to learn all the important rules and conditions on how to properly use nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and more in a sentence.
- To master all the rules on the subject-verb agreement, watch this video where lessons are also explained using the Filipino language.
- Watch this video to re-learn all the tenses used in English sentences. It tackles the rules on the present, past, and future tenses. It also teaches viewers about simple, continuous, and perfect tenses and how to use them correctly in a sentence.
c. Identifying Errors.
d. Paragraph Organization.
e. Reading Comprehension.
Verbal Ability – Practice Test.
Verbal Ability – Answer Key.
Verbal Ability – Mock Exam.