State statutes require open and fair competitive examinations to measure specific job-related knowledge, skills, abilities, behaviors, and other competencies of qualified applicants. A valid testing program provides the means for identifying the best qualified candidates in a fair and equitable manner. If multiple components are used in an examination process, applicants may be required to pass one component before proceeding to the next testing phase.
CDPHE develops and administers a variety of examination types, such as:
APPLICATION REVIEW: Applicants are ranked on the basis of the information they provide on the employment application. This method credits education, training, work experience and/or accomplishments that demonstrate possession of job-related knowledge, skills and abilities.
WRITTEN TESTS: These exams are assembled tests (candidates are required to report to a given location at a specified time for the purpose of testing). Test may include multiple-choice, short answer and essay test items. The most frequently used is a multiple-choice exam in which test-takers select the most correct answer from the choices presented. Some tests have been automated to allow for testing on a personal computer. Taking a test on a computer does not usually require prior computer experience. Detailed instructions from a testing monitor are provided to test-takers.
ORAL BOARD: An oral board is a structured oral examination in which applicants are asked to verbally respond to a series of predefined questions, which are administered by a board of Subject Matter Experts. These questions are typically used to assess an applicant's qualifications, job-related knowledge, skills and abilities. Questions may take a number of different formats to gain information regarding qualifications (education, training and/or experience), worker requirements (willingness to work under certain conditions, shifts, overtime), job knowledge, job samples (write a memo, give a presentation), situational (work scenarios),or past behavior (give an example of when you solved a critical problem).
Please read attached file for Tips to prepare for an Oral Board.
PERFORMANCE TESTS: Applicants perform one or more tasks typical of the job class for which they are competing for such as typing, writing a letter to convey information or a decision, delivering a speech or presentation, and proofreading a correspondence. Performance exams are best used to measure specific demonstrable skills and are typically used to test hands-on ability to perform the tasks of a job.
COVER LETTER REVIEW: When candidates are required to submit a cover/canvass letter as a part of the application, it may be used as a test. The canvas letter is usually used to test for candidate’s interest in the job and job fit (whether the candidate presents the knowledge, skills and abilities the job demands).
TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE (T & E) ASSESSMENTS
T&E TYPE C (checklists) ask applicants to complete a rating form or checklist indicating their training and/or experience with a variety of work behaviors or tasks. On a typical task-based checklist, applicants indicate whether they have performed the tasks, how often they have performed the tasks, or how much time they have spent performing the tasks. On some checklists, applicants may rate how effectively they have performed the tasks, how closely they were supervised in performing the tasks, whether they have received training directly related to the tasks, or whether they have trained others on the task. In addition to experience candidates may be asked to provide information about their educational background, or specific skills that might have prepared them to perform each task.
ASSESSMENT CENTER: An Assessment Center is an assembled test in which applicants participate in a variety of individual and group situational exercises (I.e., in-basket exercise, leaderless group discussions, interview, and role playing) which might include paper/pencil tests. The applicants are rated, assessed, by a team of trained assessors who can observe the applicants in job simulations, can review Information from and about them, and, as a team, discuss and reach conclusions about the applicants' qualifications for the job. An Assessment Center is most typically used as an assessment technique for supervisory or management positions.
BACKGROUND CHECK: A Background Check Exam is an extensive investigation into the background of an applicant, which includes such areas as the applicant's arrest record, credit history and military discharges. Background checks should be done if the job analysis has Identified areas where previous behavior would be relate to job performance or where there is risk of charges of negligent hiring, as in law enforcement positions.
THOUGHT AND STRATEGY PAPER: The Thought and Strategy Paper requires candidates to solve problems, formulate plans, and make decisions. The questions in Thought and Strategy Papers give the candidates a problematic situation and ask how they would solve the problem.