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Examination-Administrative Assistant open-competitive Exam #64-443





                 PEN-COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION #64-443


DATE OF EXAMINATION:      Saturday, APRIL 23, 2016

PLACE OF EXAMINATION:     AB Davis Middle SchoolMount Vernon, New York @ 8:30 A.M. 

APPLICATION CLOSING DATE:   MARCH 23, 2016 at 3:00pm –no exceptions 

SALARY:      $53,000.00 – $70,000.00

The eligible list established from this examination will be used to fill appropriate vacancies in the City of Mount Vernon City School District.

A promotional test is being administered at the same time as this open-competitive one and the promotional list will be used before this open-competitive list is used.

RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: Must be a resident of Westchester County for not less than one year preceding the date of the written examination.


  • Successful completion of 2 years of either Business or Community College courses in which the major emphasis was Business or Office Management, PLUS 4 years of experience where the primary function was in a staff or administrative capacity, 2 of which must have been in a school or educational setting or combination thereof, and 1 of which shall have been in a supervisory capacity; OR
  • Graduation from high school or possession of a high school equivalency diploma issued by the New York State Department of Education, PLUS 6 years of the above mentioned experience, 3 of which must have been in a school or educational setting or combination thereof, and 1 of which shall have been in a supervisory capacity. 

SPECIAL REQUIREMENT FOR APPOINTING IN SCHOOL DISTRICTS: In accordance with the Safe School Against Violence in Education (SAVE) legislation, Chapter 180 of the Laws of 2000, and by the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, candidates for appointment in school district must obtain clearance for employment from the State Education Department prior to employment based upon a fingerprint and criminal history background check.

NOTE: For appointment from the resulting eligible list, applicants with a foreign high school diploma must submit a course by course evaluation of their educational credentials. You must pay the required evaluation fee. Evaluations will be accepted from services such as: WORLD EDUCATION SERVICES, INC., P.O. BOX 5087, NEW YORK, NY 10274 – 212-966-6311, GLOBE LANGUAGE SERVICES, INC. 319 BROADWAY #200, NEW YORK, NY 10027, 212-227-1994, OR INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION RESEARCH FOUNDATION, INC. P.O. BOX 3665, CULVER CITY, CA. 90231. 

DUTIES: Under the general supervision of the Head of the Department that they are assigned to, an incumbent of this class are responsible for assisting top level administrators with delegated complex administrative functions in support of a major department with district-wide responsibilities, in a school district. Incumbent coordinates these activities with other departments, districts, special committee and outside agencies, etc. to insure optimal delivery of student, employee and public services, and to insure the most effective and efficient implementation of standards, regulatory requirements, policies and procedures. Responsibility also involves maintaining large, detailed databases using specialized applications designed to track staff and/or student information and the ability to generate required reports as needed by district administrators. Trains support staff when necessary and does related work as required.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES: Extensive knowledge of modern business administration practices, procedures and equipment; ability to readily acquire familiarity with the laws, regulations, policies and practices, functions and personnel of the unit to which assigned; capacity to grasp diversified administrative concepts and to translate them into modern management practices, well developed organizational skills; ability to deal effectively with the public and staff, ability to analyze reports and other data; knowledge of computer fundamentals, analysis, workflow charting; good knowledge of current computer languages and operating systems; good knowledge of data processing terminology and procedures; ability to learn new computer languages; above average communication skills; resourcefulness in handling administrative problems; good command of the English language; ability to present written and oral comments and opinions clearly and concisely; thoroughness; reliability; neatness of appearance and physical condition commensurate with the demands of the position.

SUBJECTS OF EXAMINATION: The written test will cover knowledge, skills and/or abilities in the following areas:

1) OFFICE MANAGEMENT;                                                      

2) OFFICE RECORD KEEPING;                                        






  • OFFICE MANAGEMENT – These questions test for knowledge of the principles and practices of planning, organizing and controlling the activities of an office and directing those performing office activities so as to achieve predetermined objectives such as accomplishing office work within reasonable limits of time, effort and cost expenditure. Typical activities may include but will not be restricted to; simplifying and improving procedures, increasing office efficiency, improving the office work environment and controlling office supplies.
  • OFFICE RECORD KEEPING – These questions test your ability to perform common office record tasks. The test consists of two or more “sets” of questions, each set concerning a different problem. Typical record keeping problems might involve the organizational or collation of data from several sources; scheduling; maintaining a record system using running balances; or completion of a table summarizing data using totals, subtotals, averages and percents. You should bring with you a hand-held battery-or-solar powered calculator for use on this test. You will not be permitted to use the calculator functions of your cell phone. 
  • PREPARING WRITTEN MATERIAL – These questions test for the ability to present information clearly and accurately, and to organize paragraphs logically and comprehensibly. For some questions, you will be given information in two or three sentences followed by four restatements of the information. You must then choose the best version. For other questions, you will be given paragraphs with their sentences out of order. You must then choose, from four suggestions, the best order for the sentences. 
  • PUBLIC CONTACT PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES – These questions test for knowledge of techniques used to interact with other people, to gather and present information, and to provide assistance, advice, and effective customer service in a courteous and professional manner. Questions will cover such topics as understanding and responding to people with diverse needs, perspectives, personalities, and levels of familiarity with agency operations, as well as acting in a way that both serves the public and reflects well on your agency. 
  • SUPERVISIONThese questions test for knowledge of the principles and practices employed in planning, organizing and controlling the activities of a work unit toward predetermined objectives. The concepts covered, usually in a situational question format, include such topics as assigning and reviewing work; evaluating performance; maintaining work standards; motivating and developing subordinates; implementing procedural change; increasing efficiency; and dealing with problems of absenteeism, morals and discipline. 
  • UNDERSTANDING AND INTERPRETING WRITTEN MATERIAL – These questions test how well you comprehend written material. You will be provided with brief reading selections and will be asked questions about the selections. All the information required to answer the questions will be presented in the selections; you will not be required to have any special knowledge relating to the subject areas of the selections.

The New York State Department of Civil Service has not prepared a test guide for this examination. However, candidates may find information in the publication “How to take a written test” helpful in preparing for this test. This publication is available on line at:


Candidates are required to attain a final average rating of 70 in order to be eligible to have their name placed on the eligible list established as a result of this examination. Life on the list will be stated at the time the list is established.

APPLICATION FEE: A $15.00 NON-REFUNDABLE FILING FEE IS REQUIRED FOR THIS EXAMINATION FOR MOUNT VERNON RESIDENTS AND A $25.00 NON-REFUNDABLE FILING FEE IS REQUIRED FOR NON-RESIDENTS. The applicable fee is required and must accompany your application. If your application is received without the required fee, it will be considered incomplete and you will not be admitted to the examination. Only MONEY ORDERS will be accepted for the applications fee. The money order should be made payable to the City of Mount Vernon and be sure to write the examination number on the money order. CASH OR CHECKS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Because NO REFUND will be made, you are urged to compare your qualifications carefully with the requirements for admission.

FEE WAIVER INFORMATION: A waiver of the application fee will be allowed if you are unemployed and are primarily responsible for the support of a household. In addition, a waiver of the application fee will be allowed if you are determined eligible for Medicaid, receiving Supplemental Security Income payment, or Public Assistance. All claims for an application fee waiver are subject to verification. If you can verify eligibility for the application fee waiver, you must complete a “Request for Application Fee Waiver” form. This form is available in the Civil Service Office. You must submit the completed fee waiver form with your completed application.

Applications are available in the Mount Vernon Municipal Civil Service Commission Office Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM or send a self-addressed, legal-sized envelope to the Civil Service Commission, Room 103 – City Hall, One Roosevelt Square, Mount Vernon, NY 10550. Applicants may also obtain applications from the City of Mount Vernon’s website at All applications must be returned to the Civil Service Commission Office on or before the application deadline date,

Applications received via mail will not be accepted if postmarked after the closing date deadline of January 7, 2016. 

RELIGIOUS OBSERVERS AND DISABLED PERSONS: If special arrangements for testing are required, please indicate this on your application and submit on a separate sheet of paper and attach it to your application at time of submission. You will be notified of the alternate test date which will take place in City Hall.

ALTERNATE TEST DATE POLICY: Alternate test(s) date(s) may be arranged upon review of the circumstances according to the alternate Test Date Policy adopted April 14, 2008 by the Civil Service Commission. Under specific circumstances an alternate test date may be arranged. Your request with written documentation must be received in the Mt. Vernon Civil Service office no later than two (2) weeks preceding the examination. If an emergency prevents you from appearing for the examination, please notify the Civil Service office in writing no later than the Friday before the test date and provide verifiable documentation of the reason. A determination will be made as to if an alternate test date will be scheduled.

It is the responsibility of the candidate to notify the Civil Service Office of any change in name or address.

No attempt will be made to locate candidates who have moved.




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