First of all, you should pick up a study guide. Just as you can find test prep books for the SAT, GRE, LSAT, and MCAT, it's easy to find test prep books for civil service exams. Check out your local bookstore or search the Internet. There are many study guides available online for free. If you do not find an exact match, you are likely to find a test guide for a similar position.
You can find a comprehensive list of civil service test guides at:
There are many ways to prepare for a test. A key element is to minimize your stress and anxiety level. Stress can do you in even if you have a firm grasp of the material. Here are a few ways to reduce stress before an exam:
Create a quiet, neat study area. Distractions and clutter interfere with studying. Select a quiet spot where you are unlikely to be interrupted, and organize it so that you can study efficiently. If space is cramped at home, use a corner of the local library or other suitable spots.
Study from good notes. Your study sessions will be productive only if you are studying from a legible and complete set of notes. If your notes are incomplete, see if your teacher has a loaner set of master class notes that you can review to get the missing information. Or ask a classmate who takes thorough notes if you can borrow them.
Take advantage of your peak energy levels. Pick the time of day when you tend to have the most energy and try to schedule your study sessions at this time. Also, study your most difficult or challenging material first, while you are still fresh. When you study at the same time each day, you will also find that studying begins to turn into a habit!Create a study group. Gather together classmates to form a study group. Groups can make studying more fun. Another advantage of groups is that its members can consult multiple sets of notes whenever a course concept is unclear.
Recite information aloud. One study trick is to recite important information aloud. As you say the information, you also hear yourself saying it. Using both speaking and hearing will help to embed the information in your memory.
Avoid cramming. Pulling all-night study sessions only tires you out and leaves you exhausted on the day of the test. Break your study up into short periods and study more frequently. Also, start studying early in the course, well before the first test, to give yourself a head start in learning the material.
Get plenty of rest the night before.
Minimize or eliminate caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and other stimulants and depressants.
Reward yourself. Select an activity that you enjoy. Promise yourself to complete a set amount of studying. If you have met your short-term study goal at the end of the study period, give yourself the reward.
Engage in positive self-talk. Replace irrational negative thinking with positive self-talk. Adopt an upbeat but realistic attitude.
You may also want to engage in moderate physical activity or exercise prior to taking the test to reduce body tension. A student who gets a full night's sleep, goes for a jog, and eats a balanced breakfast prior to the test will improve the odds of doing his best on an examination.
Here are some relaxation exercises to help you handle test anxiety:
Tense and hold muscles throughout body for ten seconds. Relax and repeat.
Take a deep breath and hold it for ten seconds. Breathe through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Repeat.
Take a deep breath, hold for ten seconds, and squeeze both hands into tight fists at the same time. Exhale and relax. Repeat.
Tense the muscles in your feet for ten seconds. Relax and repeat.
Repeat positive affirmations to yourself. Corny as this may sound, it works.
Stretching and breathing exercises are excellent ways to reduce stress. These simple little activities do not take much time or effort yet can do wonders for your performance at exam time.