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State Universities Civil Service System

Test Preparation
Why take a test?

Civil Service positions in Illinois public higher education are filled by selecting candidates based on merit. This means that each applicant is given an equal opportunity to compete for each position. In practical terms, hiring employees based on merit and fitness means hiring people who have demonstrated knowledge, skills, and abilities consistent with the demands of an individual position.

All employers (public or private) want to select the best candidates for each position. There are several ways to find good candidates. When private companies select candidates, they often look at resumes, education records, and work history. The State Universities Civil Service System mirrors many of these business processes. This includes using past work experience, educational background, and special credentials or licenses to rate each candidate by providing credentials assessments. The Credential Assessment is a rating of an applicant’s/employee’s education, experience, and special credentials/qualifications used to determine an appropriate rating for each examination according to the position's occupational area and responsibilities. Knowledge examinations are used when applicable.

The State Universities Civil Service System was created in January 1952. The Statute states, "The purpose of the University System is to establish a sound program of personnel administration for the Illinois Community College Board, Southern Illinois University, Chicago State University, Eastern Illinois University, Governors State University, Illinois State University, Northeastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Western Illinois University, University of Illinois, State Universities Civil Service System, State Universities Retirement System, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, and the Board of Higher Education. All certificates, appointments, and promotions to positions in these agencies and universities/institutions shall be made solely based on merit and fitness, to be ascertained by examination, except as specified in Section 36e."

In addition, this Statute states that all examinations given under the University System shall be open to all applicants who are citizens of or residents in the State of Illinois and who can qualify by training and experience (Minimum Acceptable Qualifications as listed in our class specifications for employment.