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Thread: Civil Service Exam ... Planner

  1. #1
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    Civil Service Exam ... Planner

    OK, folks. I've gotten mixed replies from collegues via face-to-face or phone messages. Now it's time to put it up for the throbbing brain:
    * How should I study for my Planner Civil Service Exam?

    I have a Career Examination Series Passbook from 2000 that seems ok. But on the first practice test I received a 50%. I understand that the basic civil service stuff is a lot of common sense, but now I'm nervous that I won't know any of the planning questions. Are there other books out there?

    (I've been in the field now for 4 years -- 2 of which were during school. Should I be worried??)
    How do I know you are who you think you are?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    I've never heard of anybody taking a civil service exam for a planner job. Sorry, I can't help ya.

  3. #3
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cch View post
    I've never heard of anybody taking a civil service exam for a planner job. Sorry, I can't help ya.
    I think it's unique to NY State...perhaps some of the New Yorkers will chime in...
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  4. #4
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmmm.....

    Way way back...I applied for a job with the City and County of Denver (social services) and they wanted me to take a civil service exam of some kind.......didn't end up going that direction.....sorry, can't help..... Do they have practice tests?
    Skilled Adoxographer

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    its ridiculous for a professional planner with a masters to take a civil service exam. I suggest stearing clear of any state or municipality that holds this mindset.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Like those above can't help you.
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    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    I once took an civil service "exam" for a environmental planner position at Cal Trans and it was more of a survey of your qualificaitons and past experince and not specific knowledge. I wouldnt be suprised if thats what it turns out to be for you too.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian solarstar's avatar
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    I'm stumped on this one - I don't think it's a requirement anywhere in our jurisdiction for ANY job (not just planning). (?) I wandered over to the NY Civil Service Commission website, or something like that, and they said that they have specific test guides for specific job types and that the job announcement should provide test guides for each listing. Maybe there is a link in the HR part of the website where you are applying?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    NYS Planners???

    Quote Originally posted by solarstar View post
    ...I wandered over to the NY Civil Service Commission website, or something like that, and they said that they have specific test guides for specific job types and that the job announcement should provide test guides for each listing. Maybe there is a link in the HR part of the website where you are applying?
    I've asked HR and they said there is no official test guide for the Planner category. I also think it's ridiculous that I have to take the test, and I'm getting mixed answers from others that I've talked to that have taken it.
    In this office, the others are telling me not to worry about it. But collegues from school are telling me to get old textbooks back out and think of 'planning' as a concept 30 years ago, not today and not necessarily applicable to NYS.
    Any NYS planners that have some sound advise??
    How do I know you are who you think you are?

  10. #10
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Add me to the "relax - it's no big deal" column.

    You'll do fine. Review The Green Book and some of the NYS Dept. of State publications, and you'll do fine. Maybe even the Pace University/NYMIR/NY Planning Federation training materials.

    Don't forget your calculator.

    Breathe in......... Breathe out........
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    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    I have taken many NY Civil service planner tests. The passbooks are good for getting used to some of the civil service type questions. Where are you taking your test and for what position? Are you taking the general starting planning test or something like environmental planner? The general test will have about 20 questions on planning,,, to include some general history questions, to standard road widths....interpreting maps (poorly drawn maps). The tests have a NYC twist to them...although some issues don't pertain to upstate cities....you have to consider that when they ask a question (especially transportation) that you have to consider alternatives like the subway.

    drop me a line if you have more ????

    Quote Originally posted by SGB View post
    Add me to the "relax - it's no big deal" column.

    You'll do fine. Review The Green Book and some of the NYS Dept. of State publications, and you'll do fine. Maybe even the Pace University/NYMIR/NY Planning Federation training materials.

    Don't forget your calculator.

    Breathe in......... Breathe out........

    And,, feel free to bring snacks, drinks etc. ....they give you a ton of time to take the test.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 30 Oct 2006 at 8:52 AM.
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  12. #12
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by tsc View post
    I have taken many NY Civil service planner tests. The passbooks are good for getting used to some of the civil service type questions. Where are you taking your test and for what position? Are you taking the general starting planning test or something like environmental planner? ...And,, feel free to bring snacks, drinks etc. ....they give you a ton of time to take the test.
    I'm taking the basic planner test for the CNY County position that I've held for almost 2 years now. (Right now, I guess I'm still in that limbo-don't-actually-work-here-gray-area according to the union.) Thanks for the advise. If there's only 20 or so planning questions, I feel much better about it. The rest of the exam, based on common sense (although certainly not all that common) should be fine, I think.
    Also, my exam specifically says no food or drinks allowed -- which is a big rip off, since they give me 8 hours to take the test!
    How do I know you are who you think you are?

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Before I moved I took one for an planning job and passed. No guide to study from. Questions were kind of stupid so anyone's cousin/uncle/aunt/brother/brother's friend's cousin could maybe pass to get that sweet guberment job. Some planning questions, not many. They sent a letter for an interview, but I knew they were just going through the motions to hire someone they already had on staff as a temp.

    Here's a study tip. They let you go to the bathroom if you need to, so bring your cheat sheets with you. Not that I would advise you to do that
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

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