A civil service test or exam is given to a job candidate who is entering any type of governmental or state position. This includes positions such as postal workers, air traffic controllers, law enforcement and other entry-level federal and state jobs.
Civil service exams are not knowledge or intelligence tests, but can be more likened to extensive background checks. They will cover a person's criminal history or lack thereof, in addition to job skills and previous employment held. Civil service exams are usually free of charge and are mandatory before a person is considered to be a candidate for any type of governmental or state position.