Only 1 out of 10 people pass the Civil Service Exam.
Before you panic and back out, know that we are neither trying to scare you nor discourage you. (If that’s how you’re feeling now, sorry. We’re trying to help you. Promise!) In fact, we want you to let this number sink in and take it as a challenge to not just be part of the passing statistics but even ace the exam. Because tbh, you can do it!
The Civil Service Exam (CSE) is an annual eligibility exam for aspiring civil servants. In simple terms, passing the CSE is required before you can serve in a government office. While there are thousands of people taking the test every year, only a small percentage actually make the cut.
Ever wonder what you can do to make sure you pass the CSE?
We say, study hard and study smarter! If you’re going to take the CSE, be strategic in your review and let these tips and reminders help you prepare for the big day. Ya ready?
1. Read, read, read.
We cannot overemphasize this enough: read. There’s no better way to review for the CSE than getting into the habit of reading. Not only does it get your brain cells (and reading comprehension) working, but it also helps familiarize yourself with a wide range of topics that might be included in the exam. After all, where will you pull that stock knowledge you oh so trust without reading up first, right?
Check the CSE coverage, and allot enough time to understand the concepts. Questions about the Philippine Constitution, code of conduct and ethical standards for public officials and employees, peace and human rights issues and concepts, and environment management and protection will be included in the General Information section, so be sure to brush up your knowledge on these topics!
Be careful not to waste your precious time memorizing the nitty-gritty details since the exam will be multiple choice. So repeat after me: read, not memorize.
2. Take mock exams.
We get it! Reviewing for the exam is one thing, and taking it is a completely different story altogether. There are such things as exam jitters, unnecessary pressures, and distractions in all forms that you have to face come exam day. Good thing, you can come prepared!
After reading up on the CSE coverage, challenge yourself by doing mock exams. There are A LOT of free online reviewers you can take, which can give you the feels of what to expect in the actual test. Taking simulations will help acquaint you with the exam format and type of questions so you’ll know how to pace yourself in the actual test, and of course, gauge whether your mock test result meets the 80% passing rate for the CSE. Then you know better where to adjust and focus your efforts in studying. Hooray for practice!
PS. When taking the mock exam, do so in a way that trains you to answer the easy questions first and skipping the difficult ones for later. Unlike other exams, the CSE is NOT a right-minus-wrong test so take your chances and never leave an item blank.
3. Ask people who took the exam.
Exam tips and reminders are good, but exam tips and reminders from actual CSE takers are better! Learn tried-and-tested advice to pass the exam straight from those who experienced it firsthand. Do you know a friend or an acquaintance who took the CSE? Their experiences are valid, whether they passed or failed the exam, so go ahead and ask ’em about it!
Get insights on what they did to prepare for it, and how the exam really was. While you can listen intently like you have all the time in the world, ask important points like which parts of the exam they found easy, difficult, confusing, or all of the above. So you can take the necessary actions and prep for it yourself!
4. Involve people in your review.
Whether it’s for a short quiz on Algebra or a major exam like the CSE, studying is better together! If you know friends who will also take the CSE, invite them to a study group or a quick refresher course. Given that you’ve done your homework and read up on the exam coverage yourself, reviewing in a group setting allows you to better understand the topics, gain additional insights, and even clarify concepts you find confusing. It’s a win-win situation!
And if you need a lil’ more convincing, studying together is a fun way to be accountable about your review progress. Because tbh, there’ll be days when you won’t feel like studying and you’ll be glad you’ve friends who will remind you and push you (literally and figuratively) towards your goals. Para sa bayan? Para sa bayan.
5. Prepare yourself for the big day.
Reviewing for the exam isn’t just about being mentally prepared. It involves preparing your whole being for the CSE (okay, this is an exaggeration, but you get the point!) This means making sure you have a sound mind and sound body ready to ace the exam. And it doesn’t just happen overnight!
As part of your review process, maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating brain-boosting foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. After all, it’s a fact that when your body is in a good condition your brain functions at its best too. Not to mention, you’ll look great while taking the CSE! How’s that for motivation?
Reviewing for the CSE will not be easy, but it’ll definitely be worth it. As you study hard and smart for the exam, we do hope you keep these tips and reminders in mind, and that they’ll help inch you closer to passing the exam—with flying colors. Hey, we’re claiming it already!