Why take the civil service exam?

By Pancho Parian

(CSC/Manila Bulletin file photo)

The Career Service Exam, commonly known as the Civil Service Exam (CSE) is a bi-yearly test conducted by the Civil Service Commission (CSC). It is a test to determine those qualified to work in public service.

Having Civil Service Eligibility means one can apply for permanent jobs in the government, and be entitled to a number of benefits such as competitive salaries, career growth, and insurance among many others.


The CSE has two levels of tests: Sub-professional and Professional.

The Sub-professional CSE are for high school graduates, or those who finished a course that’s less than four years. Sub-professional civil service eligibility is required for jobs such as clerical, trades, crafts, and custodial work in public offices.

Those who have completed a four-year college course are qualified to take the Professional CSE. Passing this professional CSE will qualify one to apply for first-level and second-level government positions like professional, scientific, managerial, technical, and higher posts of clerical jobs in public offices.


There are two options in taking the exam.

First, is the pen-and-paper test (PPT), which is taken through a text booklet and answer sheet. It costs P500.

The PPT application starts with the submission of requirements to the CSC regional office or local field office to those who are based in remote areas. The requirements are listed in the Civil Service Commission website.

The second option is the computerized examination (COMEX), which is conducted through a computer and costs P680. The application is done online through the CSC COMEX website.

The applicant, however, is still required to make an appearance at the CSC office for biometrics.

The CSE passing score is 80 percent.


There are some who are exempted from taking the exam and are eligible to directly apply for certification by passing the required documents because of special laws.

According to information from the Civil Service Commission website, included in the exemptions are Bar and Board exam passers, honor graduates (under Presidential Decree No. 907), barangay officials (under Republic Act No. 7160), barangay health workers (under Republic Act No. 7883), barangay nutrition scholars (under Republic Act No. 1569), Electronic Data Processing specialists, scientific and technological specialists (under Presidential Decree 997), natural sciences, engineering sciences, mathematics, Information and communication technology, categories I, and II – skills eligibility, and those with veteran preference rating.


The basic qualifications are: Must be a Filipino citizen; at least 18 years old; no criminal record; no record of dismissal from military or government service; has not taken the same-level exam within the last three months before the exam date.


According to a post on the official Facebook page of the CSC, the application period for both levels of the Career Service Examination-Pen and Paper Test (CSE-PPT)’s Batch 1 was from Dec. 22 to Jan. 25, 2023. Its exam will be conducted on March 26.

Meanwhile, for Batch 2, its application period will be from May 15 to June 14, and the exam will be conducted on Aug. 13, 2023.


Some local government units (LGUs) conduct free test reviews to employees and residents. Find out if your LGU offers test reviews by communicating directly with respective offices.

Passing the CSE can open doors to many career opportunities that are not limited to the government sector. It will also offer the chance to serve the public.

More information regarding the civil service exam is at the CSC website.

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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