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Examination Preparation Information

Subject Areas Included on Written Examinations This document is in PDF format.  Download the free viewer from
Examination Preparation This document is in PDF format.  Download the free viewer from

Taking Written Tests For City-Parish Jobs

Purpose of Testing

Tests are given to assure the selection of the best qualified people for City-Parish jobs. As an applicant you deserve a fair chance to compete equally with others. The purpose of a test is to measure the differences between applicants in the knowledge and skills needed for a job. If a test is good, those who score high are more likely to be successful on the job than those who score low. City-Parish uses written exams for many entry level jobs and we hope this pamphlet will help you face the prospect of taking such a test.

How to Prepare

Read the Job Announcement
The job announcement will tell you if a written test is given. If one is given, click on the link above to obtain a list of the topics on the test. You should also read carefully the description of the job and the specific duties performed. These will give you an idea of the critical knowledge and skills for which you will be tested.

Should You Study?
This depends on you and the particular nature of the job for which you are competing. Some jobs require knowledge of a specific subject, such as accounting, and it would probably be worthwhile to review some basic concepts. There are commercially (ARCO, Barron’s) published study guides and practice tests for employment tests. These books contain sample questions from employers across the country; they are not specific to City-Parish. Most of our tests, however, measure your ability to apply acquired skills and knowledge in a work related context and you should be able to demonstrate this without a lot of study or preparation.

What You Should Know About Our Tests

How Hard Are They?
Our tests are designed so that the average person is expected to correctly answer about half the questions. If the test is too easy or too hard, it will not do a good job of identifying those candidates who are most qualified for the job.

How Are They Scored?
All answers are recorded on special machine scored answer sheets. After the test has been scored, you will receive a letter informing you of the results. Your name will be placed on an eligible list ranked according to score, and you will be referred to a departmental hiring authority for a selection interview if your name is certified. Passed exams may be retaken after 6 months (recent score stands). Failed exams may be retaken after 3 months. Position must be open to retest.

Tips For Taking Written Tests

Be Prompt
Note the time and place of the test and allow plenty of time to get there early. This reduces stress!

Know the Rules
Listen carefully as the test administrator reads the instructions and ask questions if there is anything you don’t understand.

Budget Your Time
Look over the test and decide how much time you can afford to spend on each section. Do not waste time on questions you find difficult. Do the easy ones first and come back to the harder ones as time permits.

Read the Questions Carefully
Do not assume that you know what a question is going to ask after reading the first few words. Read ALL the possible answers in multiple choice questions, and pick the best of the several choices. Consider each question separately. The answer to any one question is not intended to help you answer any other. Look for key words. Often words such as ALWAYS, BEST, EXCEPT, GENERALLY, LEAST, NONE and SOME provide valuable clues to the correct answer.

Should You Guess?
Yes. Research indicates that people who guess when they do not know the answer do better on tests than those who do not. When you don’t know the correct answer to a question, you should eliminate those choices which you are sure are wrong. Generally the answer that seems right is right. Avoid reading more into a question than is intended. You should select your answer based on the information provided and not look for any “tricks.” Check Your Answer Sheet Often! The numbers on the answer sheet run in columns from top to bottom. Check your place on the answer sheet every few questions to be sure you are using the right line and space to mark your answer. Be particularly careful, if you skip questions.

Follow Instructions For Marking the Answer Sheet
Answer sheets are “read” by a scoring machine. Your answer may not be counted if the marks are too small, too light, erasures are incomplete, or there are any stray marks, smudges or checks on the paper. Be sure your marks are heavy and the response spaces completely filled in.

Examples of Test Questions

Most of our test questions are in a multiple choice or true / false format. Test questions vary depending on what is appropriate for the particular classification(s). Just to name a few, tests may include subject areas such as: reading comprehension, mathematics, spelling, customer service, filing, etc. A specific list of subject areas per examination is available in the Human Resources Office and on the web.

Correct Way to Complete the Answer Sheet


Affirmative Action and Tests

The City of Baton Rouge is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity for all people regardless of race, sex, national origin, age, religion or disability. Our tests are specifically designed to measure those skills and knowledge required for the job. Job-related written tests are particularly fair in that all candidates are treated equally. If you feel that you require any assistance in any stage of the application / examination process due to a disability, please let one of our staff know. We hope this information will be helpful as you prepare for our tests!

And Good Luck!