All employers (public or private) want to select the best candidates for each position. There are several ways to find good candidates. Often when private companies select candidates, they ask about previous work experience, they look at resumes and school records, but more and more often they rely on pre-employment examinations. The State Universities Civil Service System mirrors many of these business processes. This includes using past work experience and educational background to rate each candidate and providing specific knowledge examinations that are tailored to the occupational area and responsibilities of each position.

The State Universities Civil Service System was created in January, 1952. The Statute states “The purpose of the University System is to establish a sound program of personnel administration for the Illinois Community College Board, Southern Illinois University, Chicago State University, Eastern Illinois University, Governors State University, Illinois State University, Northeastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Western Illinois University, University of Illinois, State Universities Civil Service System, State Universities Retirement System, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, and the Board of Higher Education. All certificates, appointments and promotions to positions in these agencies and universities/institutions shall be made solely on the basis of merit and fitness, to be ascertained by examination, except as specified in Section 36e”.

In addition, this Statute states that all examinations given under the University System shall be open to all applicants who are citizens of or residents in the State of Illinois and who can qualify by training and experience (Minimum Acceptable Qualifications as listed in our class specifications) for employment.

A civil service examination in our System may consist of a written examination, oral test, physical test, aptitude test, or other appropriate tests and/or a rating of experience and training or a combination of any of these examination aspects. The civil service examinations are used to determine the rank of all applicants seeking a civil service position.

All State Universities Civil Service System employers use civil service examinations to help determine if applicants possess the basic knowledge, skills and ability to perform the functions of the position. Written (Knowledge and Understanding and Following Directions) and oral tests (Oral Boards) present questions and problems that test candidates for the critical knowledge, skills, and abilities needed in the position. Training and Experience (or Credential Assessments) examinations are used to evaluate the candidate’s work experience and education background for determining requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform in a position. Performance tests (Physical Fitness, Typing, Transcription) measure candidates’ ability to perform job-related tasks, such as being physically fit for police work, typing or entering computer data.

Examinations provide a system that is fair and objective for all applicants. For a particular examination, applicants answer similar questions or are asked to submit information. Applicants receive a score or scores based on the same examination components. This gives all candidates an equal opportunity to be placed on an employment register, the possibility for an interview and the potential to be selected.

After you have completed an examination, you will receive a score. Veteran’s Preference points for those who qualify may be added to your final score. (For more information on Veteran’s Preference, visit our website link Examination Procedures Manual Section 3, Veterans Preference).

Finally upon examination, a “Register” is composed of one or more names of candidates who can potentially be referred for a job interview. Each employer (university/agency) uses a register for their specific employment location to certify (refer) candidates for position interviews. Scores are ranked on the register in numerical order. So a rank of “1” is better than “40”. The employer shall certify the three names of the candidates standing (ranked) highest on the register(s) at the time a vacancy is declared. Please note all applicants receiving the same score will be given the same ranking. From these employment registers you may be referred for an interview.