Civil Service Exam Philippines: What You Need to Know

Serving the country is just one of many callings one may have when venturing into their own career in life – whether if it is being a public servant, working for the government, or volunteering for non-profits.

It takes a lot of dedication to work in the government – but on the bright side, it also has a lot of benefits that most Filipinos would enjoy, including:

  • Competitive salary
  • Job security
  • Growth in career
  • Salary increase and bonuses
  • Retirement plan

It is no wonder why most Filipinos would love the opportunity to work in public service. If you are one of many aspiring Filipinos who would like to take on the job, then it’s best to read on!

Working in the government sounds plain and simple, however, there are a few things that need to be done before you even qualify to work in public service – one which includes passing the Civil Service Exam.

What is the Civil Service Exam?

The Civil Service Exam, otherwise known as the Career Service Exam, is an exam is conducted by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to determine which individuals are deemed fit to work in public service.

According to Civil Service Commission, Regional Office VIII, the Career Service Exam- Pencil and Paper Test (CSE-PPT) for the general public will be on June 19, 2022.

The CSC is one of three constitutional commissions in the Philippines with full responsibility for civil service. This is why the civil service exam is a requirement as the CSC needs to determine those who are eligible to work for the government.

Civil Service Exam qualifications

Aspiring applicants must meet the civil service exam qualifications given by the Civil Service Commission before they are allowed to take the exam:

1. The applicant must be a Filipino citizen.

2. The applicant must be at least 18 years of age on the application date.

3. The applicant must have good moral character;

  • He/she must have NOT been convicted by final judgment related to crimes such as dishonesty, moral turpitude, drug addiction, drunkenness, and/or examination irregularity;
  • Applicants who have a pending criminal or administrative case are still allowed to take the exam and can be conferred civil service eligibility if they have passed;
  • On the downside, if proven guilty, the civil service eligibility can be forfeited as indicated in the decision of the existing Civil Service Law;

4. The applicant has already previously worked in the government and has not been discharged dishonorably, or otherwise dismissed from a civilian position or military service.

5. The applicant has not taken the civil service exam within the last three months before the examination date.

6. Filipinos who have dual citizenship can also apply to take the exam. All they need to do is submit a copy of the Certificate of Retention/Reacquisition of Philippine Citizenship from the Bureau of Immigration.

The CSC strictly implements these rules, and if in case a civil service exam online application has already been processed, however, grounds for disqualification are found, later on, the applicant will then be prohibited from taking the civil service exam and the fees paid shall be forfeited.

Who is exempted from taking the Civil Service Exam?

Even though taking and passing the civil service exam is a requirement from the CSC before aspiring applicants can work for the government, there are other ways to acquire eligibility without taking the exam.

The CSC grants 11 different eligibility categories under special laws that qualify individuals to work for the government and automatically exempts them from taking the civil service exam. The categories are as follows:

1. College graduates who have passed their bar and/or licensure board examinations which are administered by the Supreme Court and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) respectively.

2. Barangay officials who have completed their terms in office. This includes elected officials from their respective barangays such as the Barangay Captain, Sangguniang Kabaan Chairman, Sangguniang Barangay regular members, and the Barangay Secretaries and Treasurers which were appointed by the Barangay Captain.

3. Health workers in barangays who have completed at least 2 years of a college education and have voluntarily rendered service in their respective community for at least 5 years; must be accredited by the Local Health Board.

4. Barangay nutrition scholars or volunteer workers who have voluntarily rendered service regarding nutrition, family planning, mental feeding, sanitation, and backyard food production for at least 2 years.

5. Those who have taken and passed training courses and/or proficiency exams on Computer Programming courses and/or Systems Analysis and Design courses (MS Access. Java, or Visual Basic) which are conducted by the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO).

6. College graduates with Latin honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude) from a state/local college or university or a well-established private educational institution in the Philippines.

7. College graduates with Latin honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude) from a reputable foreign school which is verified by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

8. Individuals who have served the public as vice mayor and vice governor – as well as Sanggunian Members of the Sangguniang Bayan, Sangguniang Palungsod, and Sangguniang Panlalawigan. The number of years you have served as a Sanggunian Member, as well as the number of units that you have completed to earn your bachelor’s degree will be determinants of the level of government position you will be eligible for.

9. Science and Technology Specialists who graduated with a four-year college degree in any field of specialization and furthered increased their knowledge by pursuing a master’s or doctorate degree or by acquiring a minimum of 3 years of continuous teaching or research experience.

10. Skilled and dependable workers who accomplished a minimum of 1 year of very satisfactory performance and whose credentials cannot be measured by written tests; mentioned as follows:

  • Draftsmen
  • Carpenters
  • Shrine Curators
  • Laboratory technicians
  • Plumbs
  • Plant electricians
  • Automotive mechanics
  • Heavy equipment operators

A reminder, however, that the eligibility for a specific skill is not equivalent to either a professional or subprofessional career service eligibility.

Also, veterans are also worth noting to be entitled in receiving a unique “career service” advantage.

Veterans, their spouses, and children, under the Veteran Preference Rating Eligibility (VPRE) can receive 10 points to be added to their failed exam rating which should not be lower than 70.

Through this, veterans or their dependents can obtain eligibility for civil service even if they fail any of the exams listed below:

  • Penology Officer
  • Fire Officer
  • Career Service Subprofessional
  • Career Service Professional

Civil Service Exam types

There are two types of Civil Service Exams that are conducted, which would solely depend on the eligibility of the applicant.

Subprofessional Civil Service Exam

For this civil service exam type, once you have passed this exam, you will get the Career Service Subprofessional Eligibility which qualifies you to work in first-level government positions, including clerical, trades, crafts, and custodial work.

First-level positions only require less than four years of a college education. So even if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, as long as you have passed this exam, you are already qualified to work for the government.

The Subprofessional Civil Service Exam covers topics such as General Information, Clerical Operations, English, and Mathematics. This exam has a total of 165 items and a time allotment of 2 hours and 40 minutes to complete.

Professional Civil Service Exam

Unlike the Subprofessional Civil Service Exam, the Professional Civil Service Exam qualifies to work for both first-level and second-level government positions. This Civil Service Exam offers you a wide range of jobs from clerical to managerial work.

The Professional Civil Service Exam, however, requires applicants to have graduated from a four-year college course.

This exam covers topics such as General Information, Analogies, Logical Reasoning, English, and Mathematics. It has a total of 170 items and a time allotment of 3 hours and 10 minutes to complete.

What are the modes to take the Civil Service Exam?

The Civil Service Exam can be taken in two modes: the Paper and pencil test (CSC-PPT) or ballpen-based, and the Computerized examination (CSC-COMEX).

You have the freedom to choose which mode of the exam you would like to take – which is solely based on whether you find yourself more inclined to the traditional pen and paper exams or being more tech-savvy.

Paper and pencil test (CSC-PPT) or ballpen-based

This mode of exam is for those who are more comfortable with the traditional method of answering exams; shading circles, flipping the exam paper, etc.

Computerized examination (CSC-COMEX)

However, you also have the option of taking a computer-based exam if it’s more of your forte which you can pursue through the civil service exam online application. This is also helpful if you want to get the results faster.

Key Takeaway

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what the Civil Service Exam is all about. If you’re now decided that working for the Philippine government is now a career path you want to venture into, you should now proceed to understand what are the requirements and steps you need to take to apply.

You can read further on the step-by-step process for the online application, the documentary requirements, as well as what you will be needing on the day of your scheduled civil service exam.