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Exam Information

For most civil service job seekers, examinations are part of the process. Examination results make it easier for the employer to make a decision on who gets an interview or who gets a job. We've broken out information on examinations into three (3) sections.

Applications and Fees

Guidelines for Completing Applications for Examination or Employment

  1. Complete a separate application for each position or series for which you are applying.
  2. To save time, complete one application in its entirety, leaving the title line and the signature line blank. Make as many photo copies of the application as you need, and then complete the title line and sign each application. THERE MUST BE AN ORIGINAL SIGNATURE AND CURRENT DATE on each application.
  3. A filing fee of $15.00 must be included for each scheduled examination. Certain Police Officer, Deputy Sheriff and/or Firefighter exams require a $25.00 fee . Please include examination number and title on each check or money order. DO NOT SEND CASH. No refunds will be issued, therefore, review the minimum qualifications indicated on the examination announcement very carefully.
  4. Mail or Bring Application to:

    Cattaraugus County Human Resources Department 
    303 Court Street 
    Little Valley, New York 14755

Applying for an Examination or Employment Opportunity

Before you apply for an Examination or Employment read the Announcement carefully to determine that you meet the minimum qualifications or eligibility requirements.

If applying for an Examination and you are found not qualified or not eligible, your application fee will not be refunded. If applying for an Employment Opportunity and you are found not qualified or eligible you will not be considered for the position.

The application submitted to participate in an examination is part of the process as outlined on the Announcement. Therefore, all sections must be completed or your application may be disapproved.

We find that most disapproved applications are the result of a candidate not completing all sections of the application including:

  1. Failure to clearly indicate all of the ways you meet the established minimum qualifications. Applications which do not show training and/or experience to meet the minimum qualifications will be disapproved. Vagueness and ambiguity will not be resolved in your favor.
  2. Failure to complete the residency section,
  3. Failure to submit any additional documentation (driver’s license, certificates, etc.) as requested on the examination announcement.

Provide detailed information from your education and experience that will indicate that you meet the minimum requirements of the examination you are applying for. For example:

  1. If the examination requires a degree in a certain area of study, indicate your education and degree in the education section attesting that you meet the requirements. Do not simply put “Associates Degree” but rather, include your major, minor and date of completion to prevent the chance of being disapproved.
  2. If the examination requires specific experience, indicate in your job history that you possess the required experience and satisfy the requirements. For example, if the examination requires two years of experience in accounting, it is important that you show where you secured that experience and the length of time that you performed the function and the duties accomplished.

Once you have read the Announcement and determined that you meet the minimum qualifications or eligibility requirements, you can begin the application process. When applying for exams, your application is not complete until you pay the application fee.

Application Deadline

Applications received after the deadline of the last filing date will not be considered eligible for this examination.

Change of Address

You must notify the Human Resources Department of any change of address, telephone number or email address.

Non-Refundable Application Processing Fee (Exams Only)

Refer to the front of the exam announcement for the required processing fee. All application fees are due at the time the application is submitted. The application fee is non-refundable and, therefore, will not be returned if you decide you no longer want to apply for that test, your application is disapproved, you do not take the test(s) or you are not successful on the examination. Also, fee payment cannot be transferred to another examination. Please note that applications and fees postmarked or received after the last filing date will not be processed.

Applying Online

It is your responsibility to provide and maintain a current e-mail address. You further agree that your computer, or a computer you have access to, satisfies the hardware and software requirements specified below and that you have provided us with a current e-mail address at which we may send electronic communications to you.  *If you apply online, then you will automatically receive communications electronically. If you prefer to receive paper copies of communications, then please contact our office at (716) 938-2281

Requirements in order to access, view, and retain electronic communications that are made available to you:

  • Access to a personal computer with sufficient electronic storage capacity.
  • An e-mail account with an Internet service provider and e-mail software.
  • An operating system and an Internet connection capable of receiving, accessing, displaying, and either printing or storing Communications received from us in electronic form via a plain text formatted e-mail, or PDF attachment.

You must create an online account to complete an application for employment or to file for an examination. To create your account, you will need to provide your name, email address and choose a password.

To complete an application for an exam or employment, log into your account, click on the exam title or job opportunity from the list, and fill out the application information (note that if you already have an existing account some of the fields will be prepopulated with your account information). 
**If an application fee is due and you wish to complete and submit your application using the online filing process, you must choose the option to pay by credit card (a $1 credit card processing fee will be applied).

Applying by Mail or in Person

Print and complete the Cattaraugus County Employment Application. When completing the Application be sure to indicate either the exam number and title, or the position and location applying for. Be sure to document how you meet the minimum qualifications / requirements related to the exam or position.

**When applying for exams by mail or in person, your application fee must be in the form of a Check or Money Order made payable to the "Cattaraugus County Treasurer". Both your application and fee must be postmarked or received by our office on or before the last filing date listed on the Exam Announcement.

If you apply online, then you will automatically receive communication electronically. If you apply by mail or in person, you may request Electronic Communication by submitting the Electronic Communication Consent Form with your examination or job application. 

Special Rights for Military Personnel

Individuals serving on active duty in the Armed Forces or individuals who have been honorably discharged may have additional rights. Please view information regarding these additional rights here.


f you are a disabled or non-disabled veteran and wish to claim disabled veteran or non-disabled veteran credits you must supplement your job/exam application. Please review these Instructions to Veterans and be sure to submit an Application for Veteran's Credit. If claiming Disabled Veterans' credit, be sure to complete (in duplicate) the Authorization for Disability Record and send it to your local Veteran's Administration.  A copy of a Member 4, DD-214 form must be submitted with your request for veteran's credit.

Enacted for all eligible lists established after 1/1/2014: War-time Veterans who had previously used non-disabled veterans credits for appointment or promotion and are subsequently certified by the Veteran's Administration as disabled veterans may be again be eligible for additional exam credits.  For further clarification, please read the NYS Civil Service FAQ's on the subject.


Instructions for Veterans
Application for Veteran's Credit
Disability Record Authorization

Special Testing Arrangements

If you need accommodation to take the examination for one of the reasons outlined below, please check the appropriate box on the Examination Application and contact the Human Resources Department at (716) 938-2281.

  • Religious Accommodations - Most written exams are held on Saturdays. If you cannot take the exam on the announced date due to a conflict with a religious observation or practice, arrangements will be made so that you can take the examination on an alternate date.
  • Reasonable Accommodation for Individuals with a Disability - A reasonable accommodation will be made for individuals with a disability. Individuals may choose to disclose a disability during the application, exam or employment process. Upon receiving notification, if a disability is not obvious we may request documentation be provided to us so we may confirm a disability exists. Once this is completed we can work together to assist you with the application, exam and, if hired, throughout your employment.
  • Other Reasons - An alternate exam date may be requested for one of the qualifying reasons. Documentation supporting the request will be required.

Application Review (Exams Only)

The Human Resources Department will review your application before the examination to ensure that you meet the minimum qualifications. You may be admitted to the test on a conditional basis pending a full review of your application. If you take the test but your application is disapproved later, you will not receive a test score. If your application is disapproved, we will notify you of the reason and you will have an opportunity to appeal the Civil Service Agency's determination.

Admission to Examination

If your examination involves a written test, an admission notice will be mailed to the address you provided. If you do not receive your notice to appear for the examination(s) three days before the date of the written test, please contact us at (716) 938-2281. Please provide your first and last name, address, and the last four digits of your Social Security Number, and we will provide you with the information you need to attend your examination(s). You must maintain and bring your Admission Notice with you to the Examination Site.

Contact Information

If you encounter any problems or have any questions regarding the application process, please contact the Cattaraugus County Human Resources Department at (716) 938-2281. Please be specific when describing any problems. Be sure to include what you were doing, or attempting to do, at the time you encountered the problem.

Application Fee Waivers

APPLICATION FEE WAIVER: Civil Service Law Section 50.5(b): "... fees shall be waived for candidates who certify to the state civil service department, a municipal commission or agency or regional commission that they are unemployed and primarily responsible for the support of a household, or are receiving public assistance."

A waiver of application fee will be considered if the applicant is: Unemployed and primarily responsible for the support of a household; determined eligible for Medicaid; receiving Supplemental Social Security payments or Public Assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/Family Assistance or Safety Net Assistance); or are certified Job Training Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act eligible through a state or local social service agency.

If you can verify your eligibility for the application fee waiver you must submit a Request for Application Fee Waiver form at time of application.

Cattaraugus County is an Equal Opportunity Employer

About the Exams

Open Competitive Examinations

Some examinations are "open competitive" which means that any person meeting all the minimum requirements may apply to take the examination.

Promotion Examinations

Other examinations are "promotional" which means that only those employees already in permanent competitive positions in civil service in certain agencies, who meet the minimum requirements, may apply to take the examination. Promotion may be limited to certain department, divisions or offices. On Promotion Examinations, seniority credits are added to candidate's passing test scores according to the employee's years of permanent competitive service status . Promotion by non-competitive examination is possible whenever there are no more than three persons eligible to compete in a promotion examination for a vacant competitive class position. The appointing authority may nominate one of these eligible persons to take the Promotion Examination without competition, subject to the approval of the Cattaraugus County Civil Service.

Continuous Recruitment Examinations

We continuously accept applications for many clerical, custodial and Community Health Nurse positions. Examinations are generally held twice a year. Names of eligibles are interfiled according to grade and remain on eligible lists for one year.

Taking the Exams

Admission to Examination

Do not interpret a notice to appear for, or actual participation in the examination to mean that you have been found to meet fully the announced requirements.

Depending on the time available before an examination, applicants may be admitted to the examination on the basis of statements made on the application or conditionally, without prior review of the application. Such statements may not be reviewed and/or verified until after the examination is held. At that time, those candidates not meeting the requirements are disqualified. Candidates who are subsequently disqualified after taking the test will NOT be notified of their score.

Call the Cattaraugus County Human Resources office immediately if you do not receive a notice within four days prior to the date of the examination informing you whether or not you are to be admitted to the examination.

Change of Address

Notify this office immediately of any change of address, in writing.

Study Material

Test guides published by the Department of Civil Service are typically targeted to specific entry-level titles and are not provided for every civil service examination. If a test guide is available, it will be indicated on the examination announcement.

Test guides are designed to familiarize candidates with the format of the test and will provide a description of the subject areas to be tested, along with sample test material. If sample questions are provided, the solution and correct answer will also be provided. Candidates are encouraged to review the "Subjects of Examination" portion of the examination announcement for information on test type and exam content.

Candidates can access the Test Guides and Resource Booklets from the link.

Alternate Test Dates

May be arranged upon review of circumstances according to the Alternate Test Date Policy established by the Cattaraugus County Civil Service.

Note for Saturday Sabbath Observers, Handicapped Persons, Active Duty Military Members

If special arrangements for testing are required, indicate this on your application form.

Multiple Examinations

If you have applied for any other Civil Service examinations for employment with New York State or any other local government jurisdiction, you must make arrangements to take all the examinations at one test site no later than two weeks before the test date. Call (716) 938-2281 for further information regarding multiple examinations on the same date. Please complete the Cross Filer Notification Form.