Sabado, Enero 24, 2015

Tips for Passing the Civil Service Exam

Taking the Civil Service Exam this May 3? How's the prep going? 

The Civil Service Exam is tough, especially since majority of the exam is Math and English - the former was dreaded by many in their school years, whereas the latter was ignored until it was found that English skill is pretty important even out of the academe. 

So does this mean that passing the CSE is impossible? 

Of course not! With the right preparation, anyone can hit that 80% passing mark. Here are our #TatakIAS tips for passing the exam.

1. Basics + Techniques.

The CSE is an exam of academic content, laws and treaties, and logic. Since it's an exam, then typical exam techniques would apply. One classic technique is quickly looking through the questions and working on the ones you find easy, to get as many points as you can. You can then work on more difficult questions later. Other people, however, feel that they get better scores if they work on difficult questions first. Find out which technique suits you better. 

There are many other techniques that you can use to help you gain more points. However, techniques alone won't get you through the test with flying colors. But you can't really expect that you will get a question a hundred percent right if you don't now the answer.

Your preparation should be a practice of techniques and a review of the content. 

2. Build test-taking stamina.

There are about 170 questions in the CSE and you're given 3 hours to finish everything. It's going to take a LOT of willpower and stamina to finish. In fact, many people fail the CSE because they get mentally and physically tired in the middle of the exam. Build your stamina by taking practice examinations as part of test prep.

3. Be smart and guess. 

Can't answer a question? Don't leave it blank! Remember the stats: If there are 4 options, then there's a 25% chance that you'll get it right. If it's five options, then your chance of hitting the correct answer is 20%. If you skip the question and not answer at all, then those numbers drop to 0%.

Here are some tips on guessing smart:

  • Choose the longest answer.
  • Choose the shortest answer.
  • If there are two opposite options, then the answer might be one of them.

4. Get help when you need it. 

Need a little extra boost to help you reach that passing score? Ask a friend who's good in math for some coaching or someone who passed the CSE for tips on the exam. If you think you need more push, enroll to a review center so you can strictly dedicate hours to studying and getting expert help especially on the topics you're having difficulty with. 

5. Remember that the difference between a pass and a fail is YOUR effort.

Real Talk: Help from review centers, friends, and family would be futile, however, if you don't do your part of the work. At the end of the day, you'll be the one to sit the examination. Do your best to prepare. Set aside time for studying and study seriously.  Don't be daunted when you make mistakes during your practice test and take each mistake as a learning opportunity. Nobody gets it perfectly right the first time anyway, unless you're an utter genius. 

Test prep isn't just what's in your head, it's attitude too. :)

Coming up! 

Top Tips to Ace English in the CSE
Top Tips to Ace Math in the CSE
Sample CSE Questions

Related Articles:

Sabado, Disyembre 20, 2014

FAQs: Philippine Civil Service Exam

Hello there, friends and neighbors! It's only a few days before 2015. What do you say we spend the remaining days learning new things?

Today's topic is the Civil Service Exam. Want to know more about it? Keep on scrolling because we'll be answering some frequently asked questions.

What is the difference between the professional and subprofessional exam level?

The most important difference is between these two is the exam content. 

The professional level includes the following: vocabulary, grammar and correct usage, paragraph organization, and reading comprehension in both English and Filipino; analogy; logic; and numerical reasoning (aka Math). 

The subpro level has almost the same coverage, but it does not have analogy and logic,although it does include clerical operations. 

Both levels will have questions on the Philippine Constitution, Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials and Employees (aka RA 6713), peace and human rights issues and concepts, and environmental management and protection. 

What is the passing percentage of the CSE?

Test takers need to get 80%. Given that the exam is about 170 items, this means that the passing score is 138/170. However, there's a bonus of about 20 points, because items 1-20 are stuff about the test taker.

What are the qualifications needed to take the CSE?

According to the CSC website, the following qualifications are required.:

1. Filipino citizen; 
2. At least 18 years old on the date of filing of application; 
3. Of good moral character; 
4. Has not been convicted by final judgment of an offense or crime involving moral turpitude, or disgraceful or immoral conduct, dishonesty, examination irregularity, drunkenness, or addiction to drugs; 
5. Has not been dishonorably discharged from military service, or dismissed for 
cause from any civilian position in the government; and 
6. Has not taken the same level of Career Service Examination in less than three (3) months from the date of examination

What are the requirements needed to take the CSE?

1. Fully accomplished Application Form (CS Form No. 100, Revised November 2012). The spaces for “Signature of Applicant” and “Right Thumbmark” on the form should be left blank. These shall be accomplished in the presence of the CSC processor.

2. Four (4) copies of identical I.D. pictures with specifications, as follows:
a. Passport size (4.5 cm x 3.5 cm or 1.8 inches x 1.4 inches)b. Colored, with white backgroundc. Taken within three (3) months prior to filing of applicationd. Printed on good quality photo papere. In standard close-up shot (from shoulder level up with the head and face occupying at least 80% of the picture and with the name tag positioned at approximately 1 inch or 2.54 cm below the chin)f. In bare face (with no eyeglasses or any accessories that may cover the facial features)g. Showing left and right earsh. Taken in full-face view directly facing the camerai. With neutral facial expression, and both eyes openj. With full and handwritten (not computer-generated) name tag inthe format: First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name, and Extension Name (if any), and signature over printed name

3. Original and photocopy of any valid ID containing applicant’s clear picture, date of birth, signature, and signature of the authorized head of the issuing agency such as Driver’s License, SSS ID, GSIS ID, Philhealth ID, current Company/Office ID, current School ID, Postal ID, BIR ID, Barangay ID, Voter’s ID, Valid Passport, or Police Clearance (Note: Any other ID not included in the list shall NOT be accepted)

4. Examination fee of Five Hundred Pesos (Php 500.00).

Where do file my application?

Test takers may file their application through the CSC Regional Office (CSCRO), or at any of the CSCRO’s Field Offices, where they intend to take the examination. 

BTW, please make sure that when filing your application, you stick to the dress code: no sleeveless shirt/blouse, short pants, or slippers.

Head's up! Here are important dates for the CSE:

How do I know where I will take my exam?

About two weeks before your scheduled exam, you will be informed of your school assignment through the Online Notice of School Assignment (ONSA).

What do I need to do to prepare for the exam?

Reading up on the constitution and various topics covered, like human rights and environmental issues, as well as current events, is helpful to prepare for the test. Answering sample exams will also be quite helpful. Reviewing with dedicated teachers who are experts in Math and English would also boost chances of passing, since these two comprise majority of the test items. Stay tuned because IAS will be publishing some sample questions to help you out!

Check out IAS CSE Review Program for more details about how we can help you pass the CSE. 

Hope this has been informative!

Miyerkules, Disyembre 17, 2014

IAS Civil Service Exam Review Program

Program Description

The IAS Civil Service Exam Review is a comprehensive 49-hour test preparation program for the Professional and Sub-Professional categories. Designed by the IAS Program Development Team, the review covers all the essential subjects of the Civil Service Exam, focusing on the most difficult aspect of the test - Mathematics and English usage. Merging the basics with tried and tested test-taking strategies, the IAS-CSER is sure to help turn test-takers to top-notchers.

Program Schedule

Wave 1 IAS-CSER shall commence on March 21, 2015 in preparation for the May 3, 2015 exam date. 

Below is the schedule the review.

The IAS Difference

  • Maximum of 25 students per class
  • High-class program developed by industry leaders and veteran educators from top Philippine universities
  • IAS-CSER instructors are experienced educations specializing on 
  • Simplified concepts and tried and tested test-taking strategies
  • Combination of classroom-based and home-based learning
  • Conducive learning space
  • Comprehensive review materials
  • FREE Final Coaching session

Enrollment and Registration

Course Fee: PHP5,000.00

To reserve your slot,  you must pay half of the total course fee. Payment can be made through depositing fee to prescribed bank account or through meetups. 

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

Get in touch!

Like us on Facebook or e-mail us at

Keep in touch!

Save cash for your Civil Service Review. IAS will be having promos in the next few days.