May 23, 2014

Tips on Passing the Philippine Civil Service Examination

I took the PPT Professional exam last April 6, 2014 at Capitol University. I was alone at first but soon met my friends who were also assigned in the same school. The exam lasted the whole morning so by the time we were dismissed, I am already very hungry and absolutely stopped caring whether I passed or not. Now, less then two months from the exam, I am surprised to found out that the results are out early* and that I passed! For a first-time taker, it's fabulous and certainly made mah mother proud!


I'm so darn happy! Some people say that it's just an exam so one could work in a government office. That's right, but it's not just an exam. This babe has an 80% passing rate and this makes Civil Service Examination kinda prestigious. Thus, a huge congratulations to all passers!

Now I'd like to share a few tips on how to ace this! There would be a second exam schedule this October and I hope some of my observations might help. Now for the exam coverage:
"The Career Service Professional examination will cover the following subject areas: in English and Filipino: vocabulary, grammar and correct usage, paragraph organization, reading comprehension, analogy, logic, numerical reasoning, and general information.  
The Career Service Subprofessional examination will cover the following subject areas: In English and Filipino: vocabulary, grammar and correct usage, paragraph organization, reading comprehension, spelling, clerical operations and numerical reasoning.  
Both examinations will cover the subject area on general information and shall have the following subject matters: Philippine Constitution, Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (R.A. 6713), Peace and Human Rights Issues and Concepts, and Environment Management and Protection".
Never depend on the reviewer. They have a few similar questions with the actual exam, but it still is not enough. So what else should you study? Let me count the ways:

Basic Mathematics. You won't be using calculator so be ready to welcome cramming and hasty manual computations during the exam. It will be useful during the Logic part since numbers are also present in that shit. To make things easier, start studying like an elementary student!
How to add fractions
Converting decimals to percent
Understanding indirect fractions
Remembering the multiplication table
I'm not joking with the last one. In this modern age where scientific calculators are the norm, most people tend to forget their Multiplications! (Like me, I have t manually add a string of 6s since I comepletely forgot the sequence haha)

Memorize important elements from the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. As mentioned, it will be part of the exam's coverage, but unlike grammar and logic, there is no need to 'solve' general information questions like the Code of Conduct, but instead, it depends on your stored knowledge about the topic. Thus it is important to freshen and actually memorize your notes this time. It helped me immensely in the exam.

Visualize the Logic problems. Logic is a bitch. But I was saved by drawing the problems and figuring them out through it. For example, a logic problem says that there are five guys sitting in a row, A hates C but D want to sit at the end but B would like to sit next to E, etc. What I did was create a table of the persons and the seats then I proceeded to mark all there preferences. If I finally have a neater understanding of the situation, I will then arrange them according to their wishes and hope my answer's one of the choices.

Don't give up on numerical reasoning. I never studied for this part of the exam since I have no idea how to study it in the first place. But my main tip for surviving Numerical Reasoning questions is to stay calm. In a number sequence for example, there are a lot of ways those digits could be related. Try them all out:
The sum between the numbers. Then look for a pattern.
The difference between the numbers. Then look for a pattern.
How far they are from each other. Then look for a pattern.
Do they follow the number before them? Then look for a pattern.
Always have a plan in mind as you go through these. The challenge is to do them fast enough and not panicking along the way.
Now, for the exam proper!
Arrive early. Seriously. Like 5:00am. Every year, there are a lot of exam-takers and it is such a chore to come in 20 minutes before the exam. You're not late it's true, but you will be pressured to double check your requirements, your room assignments and how the hell are you supposed to get there.

Follow instructions carefully and don't be afraid to ask. By the time you get inside the room, there are still a few formalities to go through. Like the seating arrangements, signing your signatures, etc. It is an utmost importance to be careful and not make a mistake in doing these. If you don't understand or if you have a question about something, feel free to ask your proctors, these guys were trained to ensure that the Civil Service exams go smoothly so there's no need to be shy.

Bring an extra pen AND pencil. It pays to be a boy scout in this situation.

Empty your bladder before the test starts. My main problem with the exam was the time shortage. I am certain that I would have answered some of the questions confidently if given more time. But life is unfair, so you will just have to make the most of what is given to you. Thus going to the Bathroom is a big NO while you are busy with answering already. Do it while everybody's still preparing.

That's all the tips I could give as of now, Ganbatte everybody!

Whatever happens to you belongs to you. 
Make it yours. Let it nurture you, because it will. 
- Cheryl Strayed


  1. Nice article. Me too have passed the exam I took last April 6. Did the preparation for 1 week only but my mind were conditioned to pass the exam 2 months ahead. It's more of confidence and perseverance made me pass the exam. Good luck to all future takers.

  2. Thanks for this article, it was useful and good timing for me personally! I have to attend an assessment centre in 2 weeks and there’s 4 different batches of psychometric tests that I have to sit. I’m looking for help related to “Watson-Glaser tests” – can you recommend anything? I’ve found a couple of guides that are good starting points:

    But I was hoping for something much more in depth. I can’t find anything like this on Blahnow, do you have any other suggestions?

    1. I'm afraid I don't have other suggestions. We usually stick to the type of tests I mentioned above and personally have not tried Watson-Glaser. I'd like to wish you luck though =)

  3. Thanks for the tips, my friend! I'll have this in mind when I take the test on October :)

  4. Unfortunately, I failed this exam in my first take. I thought though that I'm going to pass this one because I really had some good times answering those questions in english but I think failed to answer 20 questions in the math part. English took my time. Whew. That's why I promised myself that next time I will take this exam, I will be ready. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

  5. Jan 11, 2015 ♥♥♥ Well, as just my clients have found, they truly need to have the mastery and practice for the exam questions. They even looked after the one who had thorough idea about what most likely to come out the exam, one that can seriously and knowledgeably guide them along the way, and that they too believed might be of good help to them. It's more fun therefore to have some sort of being well-guided in preparing and mastering (both the basics and the practical sides) those relevant questions related to the examination. --- As I also recommend to those who are future-takers (specially those repeaters) that wish to be helped, to go after for the one that has sort of knowledge and maybe so expert enough to guide you what to include and not to include in the exam.

    In fairness, we love to see here the author (though I don't know him/her) that to some extend he/she is able to help some by posting his insights by sharing his/her TIPS OF PASSING THE CS EXAM! To Sir/Maam, Thank You! --- jonsihay here of -->

  6. For more in depth reviews, others tried inquiring on The exam is very difficult, so others are enrolling on review centers.

  7. Hello sir, i want to know which book can i prepare for upsc civil services preliminary exam preparation books

  8. Great Post about Civil Services. I have also found website

  9. Thanks for the tips. Sana makapasa na ako. Lord bless me.

  10. All tips are very useful. Please share more details about civil service examination. Thanks.
    Civil service coaching in Vellore

  11. me too sana pumasa din ako this coming March 18, 2018 ABC goal 2018

  12. Very nice post here thanks for it I always like and search such topics and everything connected to them. Keep update more information..

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