Ground Rules

The purpose of this post is to familiarize you with some ground rules regarding this website.  Please read it in its entirety and let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

  1. This is not an official site of OITS, PEF, Civil Service, or any other group.  It is run by Sarah Lauser for free use by all New York State IT Specialists.
  2. There may be study session information posted at some point.  All study sessions may have different registration requirements but it is important that you read the announcement and follow its instructions.  Emails to Sarah to reserve spots will NOT be accepted.
  3. If you would like to organize additional sessions and announce them via this site, please let me know and I am happy to assist.
  4. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS PROHIBITED ON THIS SITE:
    • Material from previous exams
    • Material from “experts” who may have helped to write questions
    • Copyrighted material (unless you have permission from the owner)
      This includes CSEA booklets!

Test Review this Saturday 10/21

For people who do not know, here is what happens for the review process:

  • On test day, at the test site, your room monitor reads a statement before the test. The information provided includes directions regarding Civil Service review.
  • For certain tests, you are able to attend a review session where specific questions are available to review.
  • The front of your test booklet describes which questions, if any, are available for review.
  • When you are done with your test, you need to ask the room monitor for a sheet to sign up for review. You will fill out the bottom part of the sheet and return that to the room monitor. The top part of the sheet contains information about the review.
  • If you already took your test, but didn’t remember to ask the monitor for a sheet to sign up for review, you can’t attend the review.

On review day (I guess it’s usually the week after the exam?), you will get a copy of the reviewable questions and the answers that Civil Service believes to be correct.
You can bring reference materials (but not cell phones/pagers/computers/etc).
You can write appeals regarding questions but have to cite reference for why you believe the question or answer is not good.

— Sarah

Exam admission notices are out!

Exam admission notices are out!
Exam admission notices were mailed at the end of last week.
If you have not received your notice to appear for the written test three days before the date of the test, call 518-474-6470 in the Albany area or toll free at 1-877-697-5627.
Remember to bring your admission notice and ID with you to the exam.

Note for those taking the exam at Albany High:
I have received a reminder that parking is expected to be tight at Albany High, so if you are assigned to that location make sure to get there early or park somewhere else and ride the bus in.

In-Person Training / Study Groups Announced!

PEF Study Groups:
With the assistance of Bill Moonan, PEF Statewide IT Committee Chairman, PEF has arranged two IT study workgroups for our members that have recently applied to take the exam (s). The study groups will take place at the PEF office in Latham, NY and will be limited to “first come-first serve”, due to the venue size. In collaboration with CSEA, PEF has purchased a limited number of examination preparation books, which will be available during these study groups. These sessions will be two-hours in length and you will be able to utilize these manuals with co-workers amongst yourselves. PEF staff will be available to help with basic test-taking tips. There is one (1) Sunday option for those that need time to travel from other areas of the State.

  • Friday September 22, 2017 (6-8 pm) PEF HQ RSVP here
  • Sunday September 24, 2017 (9-11 am) PEF HQ RSVP here

Sarah Lauser IT Exam Training Classes:
This is a larger venue, but space is still limited. There is one (1) Sunday option for those that need time to travel from other areas of the State.

  • Monday September 18, 2017 (6-9 pm) Zaloga Post RSVP here
  • Tuesday September 26, 2017 (6-9 pm) Zaloga Post RSVP here
  • Sunday October 1, 2017 (1-4 pm) Zaloga Post RSVP here

PEF is currently working to provide additional resources and you will be notified as soon as that becomes possible as long as you are signed up for “PEF on the Move” emails. You can sign up for those emails here.

In-Person Training / Study Groups

PEF Region 8 (Capital Region) is planning three training sessions. The plan right now is to have the same material at all three sessions so more people will be able to attend. If you would like to be notified when registration is available, email Andrea Coton at the PEF Region 8 field office: acoton@pef.org

Calculator Policy

In 2014, Civil Service sent me the following clarification about the calculator policy:

  • Candidates will be advised on their admission notice whether or not calculators are permitted.
  • If calculators are permitted, they must be quiet, hand-held, solar or battery powered.
  • Devices with typewriter keyboards such as computers, spell-checkers, personal digital assistants, address books, language translators, dictionaries, and any similar devices are prohibited.

I have been advised that the TI-83 Plus graphing calculator will likely not be allowed by proctors as it contains user-programmable memory.

I personally am going to bring both a TI-30XIIS scientific calculator and a simple four-function calculator.