Recruitment for the Irish Civil Service is done through the Public Appointments Service (PAS). The recruitment process involves selection tests and an assessment centre with an interview, a presentation and a group exercise. This article reviews the selection tests and how you can prepare for them.

Irish Civil Service Online Application

In order to apply for positions in the Irish civil service, you first must register yourself on the Irish civil service careers website. Once you have finished the registration, you can then begin completing an individual application for any position you would like to apply for. As the Irish Civil Service’s website is the database for all the civil service jobs, you may be asked to fill out a second application for a specific job.

These application forms ask for your basic information, including work and academic history. There may be some more personal questions as well, such as ‘Why are you a good fit for this position?’ or ‘Give an example of a time you led a team’. Make sure to include any and all relevant information to ensure your application make it past the first stage.

Irish Civil Service Online Aptitude Tests

The various points of entry for the Irish civil service have different series of aptitude tests during the application process. These tests are provided by cut-e (Aon) assessment services. All candidates must sit a verbal reasoning test and a numerical reasoning test at the appropriate level, while some candidates sit further tests as well.

Candidates for junior and middle management positions face a series of three tests which include a verbal reasoning, a numerical reasoning test, and a job simulation test.

For those applying to clerical entry posts, admin officers and executive officers, the following table details the tests you are expected to complete:

Clerical Entry Admin Officer Executive Officer
Verbal interpretation Numerical interpretation Numerical reasoning
Numerical interpretation Verbal interpretation Verbal reasoning: 59 questions in 30 minutes
Checking test Job simulation Job simulation 25 questions in 35 min
Categorizing tests    

Numerical Reasoning

The numerical reasoning test, also called numerical interpretation, is a test of your ability to work with numerical data. You are provided with information in the form of charts and tables, and your task is to use the correct data to answer the related multiple choice questions. To do that, you need to use basic maths functions. Feeling like you could use some revision? Try out our cut-e (Aon) style numerical reasoning practice tests to get you back on track.

Verbal Reasoning

The verbal reasoning or verbal interpretation test is an examination of how well you can work with verbal information. The test is comprised of short texts followed by 3-4 questions. In each question, you are given a statement and must decide whether the statement is true, false or you cannot say in relation to the text. Learn more about this test and how to prepare with our cut-e (Aon) style verbal reasoning practice packs.

Job Simulation

Job simulations, also known as situational judgment tests or SJTs, are designed to give employers a good understanding of your workplace behavior. This is done by presenting you with a work-related situation and asking you to decide which of the supplied answers is most or least likely to be your response. Although these tests are based on judgment rather than knowledge, it is still possible and important to prepare, as practice can help you learn how to analyze the different responses and how to understand the situation fully. You can find helpful practice SJTs on our site.

Checking Test

Checking tests for clerical positions are used to examine how quickly and accurately you can spot mistakes in data. Each question presents you with information in numerical or alphabetical format or a combination of both, and asks you to either compare it to further data or spot mistakes within the information. You are given a very short time to answer each question, usually 20 seconds, before you are moved to the next question. Error checking is a skill that can be learned and practiced so make sure to get all your preparation in with error checking practice tests.

Categorising Test

The categorising test for clerical positions is a further examination of how well you can analyse data. You are given a set of charts with both numerical and verbal information to look through and must categorise the information according to the rules introduced at the beginning of the test. It is important to focus on the information so you don’t miss any small details and answer incorrectly.

Once you have successfully completed the aptitude tests, you will be invited to continue in the application process.