State Universities Civil Service System
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Statute and Rules


Section 250.50 Examinations

  1. Kinds of Examinations. Each classification shall have a designated examination. Each examination may have multiple components. A candidate who obtains a score on the examination that is deemed to be passing will have his/her score placed on either an original entry register or a promotional register. Examinations shall be open and continuous competitive examinations. For the purpose of this Section, an original entry and a promotional examination shall be considered to be one and the same examination.
  2. Eligibility to Compete in Examinations
    1. Any citizen or resident of the State of Illinois who applies for examination in a specific class at a constituent place of employment served by the University System, who is not rejected or disqualified under subsection (c), and who meets the minimum qualifications as prescribed in the class specification shall be admitted to the examination. Out-of-state applicants may also be admitted for examination in accordance with conditions outlined in subsection (b)(6).
    2. A status employee in a place of employment who is not rejected or disqualified under subsection (c), who meets the minimum qualifications specified in the class specification for a higher class in the appropriate promotional line, and who is working by virtue of a status appointment in a position of a lower class in the same promotional line, is on leave of absence from that position, or is on layoff from that position shall be admitted to an examination. An employee who obtains a passing score will have his/her score placed on a promotional employment register.
    3. An applicant who fails to meet the minimum qualifications established for the class, but who can offer qualifications, that in the opinion of the Executive Director, are considered to be compensatory, shall be admitted to the examination for the class. The names of all applicants who pass the examination shall be placed on the appropriate register in order of score.
    4. In the absence of a name of a candidate on any existing register for a class, an applicant who does not possess the minimum qualifications for the class and cannot present compensatory qualifications may be admitted with prior approval of the Executive Director to the examination for the class for the purpose of attempting to fill a specific vacancy. The name of an applicant so admitted, and who passes the examination, shall remain on the register only until the specific vacant position has been filled.
    5. In accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) (42 USC 12101), any applicant with a recognized disability may receive an accommodation for any examination maintained by the University System. These accommodations are to be administered in coordination with requirements contained in the ADA, the State Universities Civil Service Act and this Part, and other applicable policies at each employment location.
    6. For classes within the 01 professional, 02 semi-professional, 03 or managerial occupational areas for which a broader recruitment base is typically applied, out-of-state residents may be admitted to the examination and equally considered. In these instances, when the Illinois citizenship or residency requirement is waived, out-of-state candidates must establish Illinois residency within 180 calendar days after any employment offer or final appointment.
    7. Any applicant may complete an examination for a class four times within any 12 month period, with at least one month time lapse between every rewrite. The candidate's place on the register for the class shall be determined by the highest score achieved on any examination for the class.
  3. Rejection or Disqualification of Applicants. The employer may reject any applicant or, after examination, the Executive Director may refuse to certify any candidate who, in addition to requirements specified in Section 36f of the State Universities Civil Service Act and subsection (b), fails to pass a physical examination given to determine his/her physical qualifications for employment, abuses intoxicating substances, uses illegal drugs or narcotics, has been dismissed from either private or public service for a cause detrimental to his/her employment, has maintained an unsatisfactory employment record, has practiced deception or fraud in his/her application, examination or material pertaining to these, or has committed an offense that, in the judgment of the Executive Director, disqualifies him/her for employment.
  4. Character of Examinations
    1. All examinations within the classification plan shall consist of one or more of the following: cognitive or knowledge test; typing test; oral board test; physical fitness test; credential assessment test; or modified education and experience test or other similar examinations as authorized by the Executive Director.
    2. A cognitive or knowledge test may be utilized for certain examinations and consist of one or more of the following components: essay, multiple choice, true/false, or short answer questions. A typing test may be required for certain examinations that would require an applicant to perform this skill. Oral board and physical fitness tests are components for the Police Series examinations. A credential assessment test may be utilized for certain classifications. That test consists of a review of the applicant's resume or employment application, professional certification, licenses, or other education or experience deemed relevant. A modified education and experience test is a rating of an applicant's training and experience based on the applicant completing a prescribed examination form provided by the University System. For classifications requiring valid licenses or certifications, an applicant must show possession of the license or certificate prior to taking the examination.
    3. All examination content shall be provided by the staff of the University System.
    4. All examination supplies and materials and all examinations are the property of the University System.
    5. An examination may be revised, with the approval of the Executive Director, without affecting existing original entry or promotional registers for the class, providing the revision does not change the character or weighting of sections of the examination.
    6. Upon approval of the Executive Director, the character or weighting of sections of an examination may be changed, provided there is sufficient evidence that the current examination for the class is not a satisfactory examining instrument and the current examination has been in use for a period of at least one year. At least 30 calendar days advance notice of the change shall be given to all appropriate employers who shall then communicate the notice to each candidate on an original entry or promotional register by score and shall further communicate the notice to any applicant who applies for an examination during the notice period. During the notice period, qualified applicants and candidates whose names are already on the register by score may be scheduled for the examination upon his/her request. At the end of the notice period, the previous original entry register or promotional register of candidates by score will be voided, and a new original entry register or promotional register by score shall be established on the basis of the new examination.
  5. Security and Confidentiality Requirements in the Examination Development Process
    1. The examination development process requires all subject matter experts, and any other participant in the development process, to exercise discretion and maintain the confidentiality and security of ALL examination materials in their possession. Any person, including but not limited to a University System staff member, Designated Employer Representative/Human Resources employee, subject matter expert, union representative, or incumbent/volunteer involved in any step of the examination development process who willfully or corruptly discloses, distributes, or fails to secure and maintain materials used in the development of an examination instrument shall be considered in violation of the Act.
    2. Following the final development of the examination questions, all electronic/paper copies of questions, along with all reference sources for these questions, must be deleted from emails, computers, external hard drives, etc. Any hand written notes that contain examination data elements or comments must be returned to the University System.
    3. All persons must be aware that any violation of the Act is a criminal offense and is punishable under Section 46 of the Act.
    4. If a security breach is discovered, the University System will contact the Illinois Inspector General's Office and the State's Attorney of the county where the offense occurred for investigation and prosecution. The offending party may be held liable for costs incurred by the security breach and the position held by the party will become vacant upon conviction. Additionally, universities and agencies may be forced to freeze all registers and discontinue all employment actions in the affected classification or classifications.
  6. Administration of Examinations.
    1. As approved by the Executive Director, examinations shall be scheduled and administered by the employer. The examinations shall be conducted on an open and continuous basis. Upon request by the employer and approval by the Executive Director, examinations to original entry registers at each place of employment may be closed up to six calendar months when a sufficient number of candidates on the register has been established and further recruitment and testing is not required for a period of time.
    2. In making the determination to close an examination, the Executive Director will consider requests by the employer based on the number of positions in the class, projected new positions, and annual turnover rate. The employer shall be responsible for the security of all examination materials in the employer's custody and access to any electronic examination process, as provided to the employer by the University System.
  7. Rating of Examinations
    1. The Executive Director and the staff of the University System shall use appropriate scientific techniques and procedures in rating tests and in determining resulting rank to the end that all competitors receive uniform and fair treatment.
    2. Each examination shall contain a rating or grading form for employers to utilize in the grading of an examination. Each examination will have its own rating form and is developed by the University System at the time of a new or revised examination. The rating form provides a breakdown of how points are awarded in each area of the examination.
    3. Failure in any portion of a total examination, the passing of which is deemed necessary to qualify for eligibility in the class for which the applicant is being examined, shall eliminate the applicant from passage of the complete examination, regardless of his/her score in other portions of the examination. For each eliminating test and the final average in an examination, the Executive Director shall announce the minimum acceptable rating.
    4. The passing score for eligibility for certification shall be 70.  This score shall be the same for all examinations given for a class, but it may be changed if, in the judgment of the Executive Director, the change is for the best interest of the University System. The change shall be applicable uniformly to all examinations for the class.  The passing score shall be made known to all those taking the examination.
    5. An applicant who fails to gain eligibility for employment in a higher class may, at the discretion of the Executive Director, elect to accept eligibility for a lower appropriate class, if his/her scores on all appropriate parts of the examination are sufficient to qualify him/her for the lower class.
    6. All examination scores shall be on a scale of 1 to 100, with decimal points in examination scores being rounded to the nearest whole number, i.e., with below .5 having the decimal points dropped and with .5 or above being rounded to the next whole number.
  8. Notification and Review of Scores
    1. An applicant shall be sent a written notice of the date and results of his/her examination. The notice must indicate whether the score achieved is passing or failing and if it includes credit for Veterans Preference.
    2. All requests by applicants for formal review of examination scores shall be submitted to the Executive Director.
  9. Filing of Examination Records. All examinations, and all examination components, administered by the employer shall be retained by the employer in accordance with the employer's record retention policy or in accordance with the University System's record retention policy and in accordance with the State Records Act [5 ILCS 160].

(Source: Amended at 11 Ill. Reg. 8952, effective May 8, 1987)
(Source: Amended at 12 Ill. Reg. 3557, effective February 1, 1988)
(Source: Amended at 12 Ill. Reg. 17079, effective October 7, 1988)
(Source: Amended at 13 Ill. Reg. 7325, effective May 1, 1989)
(Source: Amended at 37 Ill. Reg. 419, effective December 26, 2012)
(Source: Amended at 37 Ill. Reg. 13504, effective December 1, 2015)
(Source: Amended at 40 Ill. Reg. 11192, effective August 4, 2016)