What to Study for the Civil Service Exam

When taking the Civil Service Exams, it’s best to understand how to pass the civil service exam and answer the probable questions that could come up in the exam.

You can’t just show up in the exam room without any idea whatsoever of the questions that could come up. It would be a shame to come in unprepared and have wasted all this time, only to fail.

In this study guide, you’ll be provided with the general concepts you can focus on so you can maximize the topics you’ll be studying for the Civil Service Exams and make sure that you pass the Civil Service tests after just one take.

Preparation and Study…


The Civil Service Examination will encompass basic math concepts which were already taught during your high school years or even earlier. But still, it is best to study and brush up to refresh your mind with certain concepts and test your mathematical ability. Most questions will include Integers, Prime Numbers, Odd and Even Numbers, Place Values, Absolute Values, PEMDAS operations (Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction), Decimals, Fractions, and Percentages.

Algebra questions could also be included which could manifest in the form of Work Problems, Age Problems, and Distance and Time problems.

Since math can be quite complicated, and even dreaded by most, the only way to get better at it, is to get prepared and practice solving math problems. Take note, that during the Civil Service Exam, you are not allowed to use a calculator. So practice your math skills with the concepts above to prepare for the Civil Service Exam.

The more you practice tests you take in solving math problems, the easier it will be for you to answer similar questions related to numbers sentences, and math formulas on the Civil Service Exam.


Questions on verbal abilities and aptitude will only include words that are commonly used in day-to-day living, especially in articles and editorials that would confuse the majority. But rest assured, you will not be dealing with complex and fancy words.

However, if you feel like you are not confident with your English skills, you can simply study practice making it a habit to read periodicals such as news sites, magazines. Don’t rely on personal blogs or even social media posts, as they will most likely have a lot of errors in grammar.

Practice reading in your spare time, like in traffic or before going to bed. Rather than just scrolling through Facebook, you can read news sites instead. And if you’ve come across a new word and feel dismayed because you don’t know what it means, don’t be ashamed! Check dictionary sites like Merriam-Webster to know more about it – and once you understand the meaning of it, try applying it in sentence construction for mastery.


Items about grammar will usually be fill-in-the-blanks type of questions. Then you will be given choices to determine which answer is correct. In this section, there will also be Sentence Error Identification questions. This is meant to test your skills in understanding the various parts of speech. For example, your mastery of the subject and verb agreement.

For the subject and verb agreement, the number one rule is that if a subject is singular, the verb must also be singular. And if the subject is plural, then so must the verb. This is something you need to study intensely to ensure that you’ve mastered the topic.

Your grammar skills will also be put to the test by determining your understanding of how collective nouns, indefinite pronouns, conjunctions, modifiers, and compound subjects work with verbs.

Keep in mind that you must also know the different verb tenses and how they are used – simple tenses, perfect tenses, progressive tenses, and perfect progressive tenses.

Word Analogy

The Civil Service Exam will consist of single- and double-word analogy questions. To prepare and ensure you pass the Civil Service Exams, you need to study, understand, and master forming bridge sentences.


Logic is covered on the Professional Level Exam and does not appear on the Sub-professional Level Exam. This part of the Civil Service Exam has been expressed by former examinees as one of the toughest parts of the tests, so it’s best to prepare for it early on.

Some questions will include “Finding the Best Conclusion” and “Finding the Best Assumption” questions.

For Assumption-related questions, you must learn how to do Negation tests. This will be determined by testing if a statement required in an argument as an assumption by simply negating the statement.

For Conclusion-related items, you will be asked to draw and interpret a Venn Diagram. It is also beneficial if you also study and explore syllogistic fallacies which are usually taught in Philosophy class in college, or even in high school.

This can be quite a headache to some, so make sure you study for the Civil Service Exam as soon as possible.

Reading comprehension

In this part of the Civil Service Exam, before studying this since you will be asked what is the main idea of a sentence and how to separate this from the supporting details. Through Context Clues, and how they are used in the paragraph, you will also need to determine the meaning of the words mentioned.

Paragraph organization

For the paragraph organization of the Civil Service Exam, make sure you have studied and mastered the different types of paragraph structures (Process, Argument, Cause and Effect, etc.) You must also learn about Sequence Adverbs such as the proper use of the words: first, then, next, finally, etc. Transition words and Conjunctions: and, if, but, etc. are also important to note. Also, be mindful of how to use the choice of answers in your questionnaire when forming a coherent paragraph.

Number series

You’ll be required to study and be familiar with patterns for common number series (Squares or Cubes, Square Roots or Cube Roots, Patterns in adjacent/consecutive numbers, Patterns in differences, Complex Patterns, Prime or Odd Numbers).

You can always begin by learning first why two consecutive numbers in the series are different. Then repeat the same process until you have mastered this topic.

General information

General information in the Civil Service Exam will include the law. So, familiarize yourself with the Philippine Constitution and the Republic Act No. 6713. There will also be items in the test that will ask you about Territorial disputes, Indigenous People, and Environmental Conservation.