Entrance Examination

The written entrance examination consists of 100 multiple-choice questions that test the applicant's ability to read and comprehend basic written English (35 questions); to perform basic mathematical problems (20 questions); and to understand the relationship of physical forces and mechanical elements in practical situations (45 questions). Applicants are given one (1) hour to complete the examination. Applicants are not required to possess any knowledge of the various Operating Engineer occupations nor will they be tested on such knowledge. 

Applicants wishing to better prepare for the examination can review training/reference materials covering basic English grammar and vocabulary, and/or basic mathematical skills that include addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, percentages, length, area, volume measurement, decimals, and fractions. 

References and training material can usually be found in a local, public library. An excellent reference is "Master the Civil Service Exams" (5th edition) by Shannon R. Turlington.

Examination Locations

Local 12 conducts examinations in several areas throughout Southern California. The location(s) of the examinations vary and are based on the number of applications received from any of the different areas. Applicants will be notified by mail as to the exact date, time, and location of their scheduled examinations. ​

Examination Procedures

Examinations will be conducted in a standardized format to ensure all candidates are provided equivalent testing environments, e.g., testing materials, instructions, examination room accommodations, etc.

Applicants must be present at the examination site at their scheduled times. Failure to appear at a scheduled examination may be cause for rejection from the application process. The dress code for the entrance examinations is casual. Applicants must bring government-issued photo identification to the examination site.

Candidates will be required to sign the Examination Site Roster upon entry to the testing area. Pencils, erasers, and scratch paper will be available at the examination site.

All applicants who attend an entrance examination must acknowledge that they understand and will comply with the following rules:
 

  • No packages, books, scratch paper, PDA devices, recorders, cameras, and/or other material will be allowed in the examination area. All cell phones and beepers must be turned off. Calculators are allowed during the examination. Note: Cell phones cannot be used as calculators.
     

  • The examinations are secure documents and are the property of the Operating Engineers Journeyman & Apprentice Training Committee. No part of the Examinations may be copied or reproduced in part or in whole by any means, including memorization.
     

  • None of the examinations, or other documents associated with the examinations, can be removed from the immediate examination area.
     

  • Applicants participating in any irregularity during an examination, such as giving or obtaining unauthorized aid or information, may be subject to immediate dismissal from the examination area with their examination(s) subsequently declared invalid.
     

  • Applicants will confirm by their signature on the Examination Site Roster that they have read and understand the above statements.

Scoring Process

It is critically important that all applicants complete the answer sheets according to the examiner's pre-test instructions. Only those answers that are clearly marked will be counted. 

All examination results will have the form of a scaled score on a scale of 0 to 100. Scores are based on the number of correct answers. The examination used as a tool for ranking on the Accepted Applicants list. Applicants will receive one (1) point for each correct answer.​ A combined total score of 70 points, before bonus points, is required to pass the entrance examination. 

All entrance examinations are machine scored with selected examinations second checked by hand to verify machine accuracy. Applicants will be notified of their examination scores by mail. 

All score results are absolutely confidential. No score information for any examination will be given over the telephone. There will be no exceptions.