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Frequently Asked Questions

Additional FAQs are added as questions are submitted.

1. What career counseling services are offered at a CMS Assessment Center?

Career counseling services are offered to anhyone seeking employment with the State of Illinois, seeking a promotion and/or seeking guidance on employment processes.

To participate in a Counseling by E-mail session, please email your completed CMS100 or resume to A career counselor will review your information and respond with potential job title matches based on your credentials and preferences.

2. Where can I get an Examining/Employment Application (CMS100)?

Non-Union Positions:

Applications can be submitted for employment opportunities by visiting work4illinois and creating a user account.

Union Positions:

You may obtain an Examining/Employment Application (CMS100 OR cms100B) by contacting any one of the following locations:

  • CMS Assessment Centers
    • Chicago: James R. Thompson Center, 100 West Randolph, Suite 3- 300, (voice) 312/793-3565 or Illinois Relay Center: 800/526-0844.
    • Springfield: Capital City Center, 130 West Mason Street, Second Floor, (voice) 217/557-6885 or Illinois Relay Center: 800/526-0844.
    • Champaign: State Regional Office Building, 2125 South First Street, (voice) 217/278-3435 or Illinois Relay Center: 800/526-0844.
    • Marion: State Regional Office Building, 2309 West Main Street, (voice) 618/993-7005 or Illinois Relay Center: 800/526-0844.
    • Rockford: E.J. "Zeke" Giorgi Center, 200 South Wyman, (voice) 815/987-7004 or Illinois Relay Center: 800/526-0844.
  • Any Illinois Employment and Training Center (IETC) operated by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
  • The Department of Central Management Services Examining and Counseling Division Office, Room 500 Stratton Office Building, Springfield, Il 62706, (voice) 217/782-7100 or Illinois Relay Center: 800/526-0844.
  • The application can be downloaded from the internet and completed electronically or printed and completed manually.

3. Can I get information about the hiring and testing process online?

Yes. Please visit our website at for information about the services and programs offered by the Department of Central Management Services.

4. I don't have internet access at home. Where can I go to view postings and submit applications online?

Those without home access to the internet can visit dozens of state facilities across Illinois to view postings and apply online. View the Contact Us page for a list of locations.

5. Is volunteer experience credited toward Minimum Requirements or Preferred Qualifications evaluation?

RELATED professional volunteer experience, if quantified, will be considered and credited accordingly. Be sure to describe the hours worked per week or month, any supervisory responsibilities, etc. Non-related volunteer experience is not credited for the position for which you are applying.

6. What are the various types of civil service tests?

There are several forms of civil service tests.

  • Automated tests are primarily for entry-level and mid-level position titles. They are in the form of multiple-choice questions on a touch screen computer. These questions are grouped by subject matter. There will be a question or statement and four possible answers from which to select the correct answer.
  • Performance tests determine the applicants' keyboarding, data entry and/or dictation speed. These portions of the Automated Testing process are required for titles which have typing, data entry or dictation as part of their duties.
  • Training and Experience (TraEx) reviews are used for position titles needing higher levels of training and/or experience. Education and Experience on the CMS100 employment application is evaluated and scored according to the requirements of the position.
  • Supplemental questionnaires are used for position titles which have specialized technical experience and/or mandatory education requirements. The questionnaire asks specific questions related to the position. These are used to help assess the level of the candidate's qualifications for a particular position.

7. What is automated testing?

Automated testing is offered at all test sites. Automated testing refers to the manner in which a test is administered. There is no paper involved. The entire test is presented on a computer screen. Multiple choice questions are displayed on the computer screen, up to four possible answers are listed, and you merely touch your selected answer. It is not necessary to be proficient in the use of a computer to perform well on an automated test. This type of testing offers many advantages to the applicant. Most tests are graded immediately upon finishing the examination and you receive your grade notice before you leave the test center. After the test is scored, you have 15 minutes to see your scored results and you receive a breakdown of how well you did in each section. Certain regularly tested job titles require the applicant to possess a certain level of education and/or experience as a prerequisite. Applicants who test for these titles will be sent their grades through the mail after their qualifications are reviewed by the Division of Examining & Counseling.

8. Do you make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities?

Yes. CMS has an Accommodated Testing Program for persons with disabilities. Applicants who have a certified disability may request a reasonable accommodation. To request accommodation, please contact the Disabilities Coordinator at 217/524-7514 (voice) or Illinois Relay Center at (800) 526-0844. View the memorandum here

9. What is "Reinstatement"?

The Personnel Rules state that a former certified employee who resigned or terminated in good standing may be reinstated to a position in the class to which the employee was assigned prior to resignation, or to a position in any other position class for which the employee is qualified. Reinstatement is a means of employment – it is not a guarantee of employment.

In order to be considered for employment via reinstatement, you must apply to agencies for posted vacancies.

10. What are "Cook County Zones"?

Cook County is divided into five zones for the position titles listed below for the purpose of administering eligible lists. The open competitive position titles which Cook County zones apply are:

  • Automotive Mechanic
  • Child Development Aide
  • Cook I
  • Heavy Construction Equipment Operator
  • Highway Maintainer
  • Highway Maintenance Lead Worker
  • Laborer (Maintenance)
  • Licensed Practical Nurse I & II
  • Office Aide
  • Office Assistant
  • Office Clerk
  • Security Officer
  • Stores Clerk
  • Storekeeper I
  • Support Service Worker
    View the Cook County map and respective zones. The map is in PDF format and may be viewed using Acrobat Reader.

11. How do I save a copy of the application to my home computer?

To save a copy of the file on your computer for later use, right-click on the link and select Save Target As, then select a location on your computer (like My Documents) to save the file. You can then go to your My Documents folder (or whatever location you saved the file in) and double click on it to open the application without needing to be online.

12. How do I transfer data from one application to another?

Information from an old CMS100 application can be transferred to a new application using the copy (or cut) and paste functionality. All fields on the CMS100 application can be filled using the cut / copy functions found on the Edit menu.

13. What if I'm having problems downloading the Employment Application forms?

14. How do I get my foreign university or college degree credentials converted into American University terms?

Degrees from foreign countries must be converted into American University terms to be credited when applications for state employment are being evaluated. View the list of recommended credentialing services.