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6. Examination Procedures

6.A - Conditional Acceptance for Examination

An applicant may be conditionally permitted to complete an examination, if such conditional acceptance is for the purpose of enabling the applicant to submit additional proof of their ability to meet qualifying requirements which are of a non-competitive nature and not part of the direct examination used to determine the relative standings on the eligible list. No person whose name is on any eligible list conditionally shall be certified until that person has complied with all requirements.

6.B - Examination Contents

The examinations shall contain only those tests and evaluations, which in the judgment of the Director, according to merit principles, will fairly test the relative ability of the applicants to properly perform the duties of the position.

All examinations shall be competitive. For the purposes of a non-promotional position, a competitive examination may either qualify or rank-order applicants.

Examinations may contain subjective, objective, written, oral tests; oral interviews; practical or demonstration tests; physical tests; or evaluations of the applicant's fitness, past training, or experience to perform the duties of the position. The total number of points possible in any examination shall be one hundred.

Notwithstanding any provision of these Rules to the contrary, all entry level and promotional examinations for positions in the Department of Fire and Safety Services which are to be filled by sworn personnel shall be competitive in nature.

The weight of any oral test shall not exceed 30% of the examination, however, this restriction shall not apply in examinations for any position listed under the Professional/Administrative Non-Supervisors, the Professional/Administrative Supervisors, the Technical Groups, Food Service positions, Police Officer, or Parking Enforcement Officer.

Oral tests may be of the question and answer type used to test the candidates' knowledge of the duties of the position in question, or may be of the interview type used to test the candidates' personal fitness for the position in question. When oral tests are used, they shall be rated, whenever practicable, at the discretion of the Director, by the use of and in accordance with standardized rating procedures especially designated for such purpose.

In addition to the tests used for original entrants, or in lieu of some of those tests, ratings of service and seniority may be used for promotion candidates, and these may be assigned such weights as the Director may judge proper.

6.C - Examination Administration

All examinations shall be prepared and held under the direction of the Director, who may designate City employees or employ persons from outside the City as special examiners to assist with the preparation, conduct, or grading of any examination.

Records shall be kept for one year of examinations, questions, and applicants' answers. In the case of oral tests, records also shall be made, so far as practicable, of all conversation and discussion between applicants and examiners.

6.D - Examination Scoring

All applicants whose average scores are less than 75 percent correct in the examination taken as a whole, or in any test or evaluation which is part of the examination if so published in the official announcement, shall have failed in the examination, and their names shall not be disclosed.

Both promotion and original entrance examinations, including any oral test or evaluation, shall be marked according to the same standards.

In the case of all competitive examinations given pursuant to these rules, all tests shall be graded on the basis of the correct answers given by the applicant. In no such cases shall such test scores be adjusted, upwards or downwards, in order to arrive at a final test score.

When two or more examiners rate answers or tests independently, the final rating for each answer or test shall be an average of the individual ratings.

Questions found by examiners to be unfair, misleading, or in the nature of catch questions, shall be eliminated and the average rating determined on the remainder of the test.

The current standards for evaluating applicants' job-related training and experience, and fulfillment of minimum requirements, shall be kept on file as public records.

Allowance shall not be made to an applicant for time lost by the applicant in an examination.

6.E - Examination Inspection by Applicants

Every applicant shall be given an opportunity to inspect the scoring of their papers, and any "short answer" questions and answers used in the examination -- except where standardized, copyrighted tests have been used and the inspection is prohibited as a requirement of the person(s), business, or agency which obtains the copyright on the test.

An incorrect answer or error in the scoring of an examination may be corrected if brought to the attention of the Office of Human Resources not later than ten working days after the date of the examination. Any appeal of a decision of the Office of Human Resources regarding an examination question must be made in writing within five days of the date the notice of the decision was sent or given to candidates. However, if any change is made in any candidate's papers, the papers of all other participants in the examination shall also be reviewed; and no person certified and appointed as a result of the examination shall be displaced by reason of such correction.

6.F - Examination Postponement or cancellation

The Office of Human Resources shall notify applicants of any postponement or cancellation in any examination.

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