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quarrybay

Passbook for Civil Service Exams

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I realize that a number of people on the forum ask about civil service exam prep books.  Very few, if any, high quality civil service exam books exists.  The most popular and well known are the green civil service prep Passbooks from the National Learning Corp. (NLC).  These books contain obsolete questions that are no longer used for today's civil service exams.  

The NLC gets the civil service test questions from old exam copies located in the New York City Municipal Archives and Library at 31 Chambers Street (City Hall area).  In fact, NLC copies the questions verbatim from these old exams.  The Library has file cabinets of civil service test questions that were used before the 1970s for a number of civil service exams.  Although access to these old exams are free, these questions serve little value and do not reflect the difficulty and the type of questions that appear in today's civil service exams.  A case in point is I went to the NYC Municipal Archives and Library and made photocopies of the Motorman exam from the 1960s, while preparing for the train operator test.  When I bought NLC's Passbook for Train Operator, I discovered that the exam questions were copied directly from these old exams.  The NLC Passbook for Train Operator and old exams that I obtained from the Library proved to be useless for the real exam.

Check out NYC and NYS union websites that sometimes offer sample civil service exam questions or study resources (for example the Organization of Staff Analysts at www.osaunion.org) or the NYS Department of Civil Service that has a select number of specific exam prep study guides.  Otherwise, focus on reading high quality articles and books and practicing math questions from a good math textbook to prepare.

Edited by quarrybay
Grammatical errors

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Quarrybay,

You are 100% accurate.  I purchased four of these Passbooks and was disappointed when it was test time.  I always end up having a wth face when I opened the test booklet. However, they are good for practicing reading comprehension, which is on every civil service test! 

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