Secretarial Stenographer

Modified: December 20, 2017 8:59am

invites applications for the position of:

Secretarial Stenographer

#63-540 - Open Competitive (open to the public)

Salary: $36,354 - $45,777 Annually
Opening Date: December 20, 2017
Closing Date: January 24, 2018
Application fee: $20.00

Residence Requirements:

THERE ARE NO RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPATION IN THIS EXAMINATION. There are four vacancies at the Erie County Medical Center Corporation. 

Examples of Duties:

Secretarial Stenographer  performs advanced stenographic and clerical tasks involving material of a confidential or semi-confidential nature; 

Takes and transcribes confidential dictation, correspondence and reports, for supervisor, including legal, medical and other technical terminology;

Maintains confidential files, records and accounts;

Assists in compiling budget data;

Collects and verifies data;

Compiles reports for review by supervisor;

Receives and directs callers; makes appointments;

Prepares and maintains records of the office such as purchase specifications, contracts, requisitions, etc.;

Secures requested information on departmental matters from other departments, general public and agencies for supervisor by phone, personal contact, file searches, etc.;

Takes minutes of meetings and transcribes same;

Composes routine letters;

Opens and distributes departmental mail;

Maintains personnel and payroll records for department;

Exercises supervision or partial supervision over one or more clericals or typists;

Operates electronic software applications for transcribing and entering data;

Utilizes enhances computer systems and equipment in the completion of assigned clerical tasks.


MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:  Candidates must meet one of the following requirements on or before the date of the written test: 

A.) Completion of one (1) year of study at a regionally accredited or New York State registered college or business school supplemented by courses in stenography and typing and three (3) years of office experience including stenography and typing; or:

B.) Graduation from high school or possession of a high school equivalency diploma supplemented by courses in stenography and typing, and four (4) years of office experience, including stenography and typing; or:

C.) Six (6) years of office experience, including stenography and typing; or:

D.) An equivalent combination of training and experience as defined by the limits of (A), (B) and (C).


1. Verifiable part-time and/or volunteer experience will be pro-rated toward meeting the experience requirements.

2. Your degree and/or college credit must have been awarded by a regionally accredited college or university or one recognized by the New York State Education Department as following acceptable educational practices. A grade of "D" or better is necessary for a course to be credited as successfully completed. If your degree and/or college credit was awarded by an educational institution outside of the United States and its territories, you must provide independent verification of equivalency. You can write to this Department for a list of acceptable companies providing this service; you must pay the required evaluation fee.

Notice to Candidates: Transcripts will now be accepted by the Department of Personnel ONLY at time of application.
All subsequent transcripts must be submitted at time of interview.


A medical examination may be required before appointment.



Examination date:

March 3, 2018

Applications Must Be Postmarked By:

January 24, 2018

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:



Subjects of Examination:

Subjects of examination: A written test designed to evaluate knowledge, skills and /or abilities in the following areas:

1. Grammar/Usage/Punctuation

The grammar and usage questions test for the ability to apply the basic rules of grammar and usage. The punctuation questions test for a knowledge of the correct placement of punctuation marks in sentences. You will be presented with sets of four sentences from each of which you must choose the sentence that contains a grammatical, usage, or punctuation error.

2. Keyboarding practices

These questions test for a knowledge of preferred practices in such areas as letter format, capitalization, hyphenation, plurals, possessives, word division, word and figure style for numbers, and common proofreading marks. In addition, there will be a passage to proofread followed by questions on how to correct the errors in the passage.

3. Office practices

These questions test for a knowledge of generally agreed-upon practices governing the handling of situations which typists, stenographers, secretaries, and office assistants encounter in their work, as well as a knowledge of efficient and effective methods used to accomplish office tasks. The questions cover such topics as planning work flow; setting priorities; dealing effectively with staff, visitors, and callers; filing and retrieving information; safeguarding confidentiality; using office equipment; and making procedural decisions and recommendations which contribute to a well-managed office.

4. Office record keeping

These questions test your ability to perform common office record keeping tasks. The test consists of two or more "sets" of questions, each set concerning a different problem. Typical record keeping problems might involve the organization 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 notbe permitted to use the calculator function of your cell phone.

5. Spelling

These questions test for the ability to spell words that are used in written business communications.

6. Supervision

These 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, morale, and discipline.

NOTICE TO CANDIDATES:  It is recommended that candidates use a quiet, hand held, solar or battery powered calculator.  Devices with typewriter keyboards, "Spell Checkers", “Personal Digital Assistants", "Address Books", "Language Translators", "Dictionaries", or any similar devices are prohibited.  You may not bring books or other reference materials.


Unless otherwise indicated, the eligible list resulting from this examination will have a duration of four years and will not supersede existing promotional lists, if any.

RATINGS REQUIRED:  Test is rated on a scale of 100 with a passing mark at 70.  Test instructions may further divide the tests into parts and set minimum standards for each part.

Points will be added to scores of candidates who achieve a passing mark as follows: Seniority:  For each year of service in the classified service:

Less than 1 year……………………..................…0 points

1 year up to 6 years…………….…........................1 point

Over 6 years up to 11 years.....………......….........2 points

Over 11 years up to 16 years….…........….........…3 points

Over 16 years up to 21 years………..................…4 points

Over 21 years………………………..................…5 points


APPLICATION FORMS: You may obtain these forms in person at the Erie County Personnel Department, Rath County Office Building, 95 Franklin St., Buffalo. Forms are also available in the libraries and at Town, Village and School District administrative offices.

Mail your application form when completed to the Erie County Department of Personnel, 95 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY 14202.

Candidates who submit incomplete applications and documentation may be disqualified. The Erie County Department of Personnel reserves the right to reject for lateness or to accept applications filed after the advertised filing period.

MILITARY STATUS: Active duty military personnel may file an application for this exam. A special military make-up examination will be conducted for any member of the armed forces of the United States who has duly filed a timely application but who was deprived of the opportunity to compete in the scheduled exam due to active military duty. Special conditions apply to these requests and may be reviewed at the Erie County Department of Personnel.

VETERANS: Disabled and non-disabled veterans as defined in Section 85, New York State Civil Service Law, will have 10 and 5 points, respectively added to their earned scores if successful in the examination. You must claim these credits when you file application but you have an option to waive them any time prior to appointment. If you have already used these credits for a permanent position in NYS, you may not claim them again.

In conformance with section 85-a of the Civil Service Law, CHILDREN OF FIREFIGHTERS AND POLICE OFFICERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY shall be entitled to receive an additional ten points in a competitive examination for original appointment in the same municipality in which his or her parent has served. If you are qualified to participate in this examination and are a child of a firefighter or police officer killed in the line of duty in this municipality, please inform this office of this matter when you submit your application for examination. A candidate claiming such credit has a minimum of two months from the application deadline to provide the necessary documentation to verify additional credit eligibility. However, no credit may be added after the eligible list has been established.

SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS: Applicants whose religious beliefs prevent their taking examinations before sundown on Saturday and physically handicapped candidates who require special examination facilities should so inform the Erie County Department of Personnel, by a separately mailed letter at the earliest possible date before the test.

MORE THAN ONE EXAM ON THE SAME DAY: If you have applied for more than one exam on the same day you MUST make arrangements to take ALL of the examinations at ONE examination test site. If you have applied for both STATE and LOCAL government examinations taking place on the same day, you must take all of your examinations at the STATE examination center. If you have applied for both COUNTY and CITY government examinations taking place on the same day, you must take all of your examinations at the COUNTY examination center. You are responsible to notify EACH Civil Service Agency no later than TWO WEEKS before the examination date on which you are taking multiple examinations by submitting a Cross-Filer form; EACH Civil Service Agency has their own Cross-Filer form. The Erie County Cross-Filer form can be found at If you are taking multiple exams on the same date with Erie County only, you do not have to file a Cross-Filer form.

Candidates taking more than one exam in DIFFERENT exam series will be allowed the specified length of time for each exam, up to a maximum of eight hours. Example: If you are taking one exam which allows six hours and another exam in a different series which allows four hours, you must complete both tests in eight hours, but no more time can be spent on each exam than the time allotted for that exam. Candidates taking more than one exam in the SAME exam series will be allowed up to the specified length of time for each exam. Example: If you are taking two exams in the same series with a maximum time of five hours for each exam, you can spend no more than five hours to complete both exams.

ADMISSION TO EXAMINATION: Notice to appear for the test will be conditional as review of application for minimum requirements may not be made until after the written test. Call or write this Department if you have not received your notice 3 days before the date of the test. You may not be admitted to the examination room without official notice.

RATINGS REQUIRED: Tests are rated on a scale of 100 with a passing mark at 70. Unless the announcement states otherwise, you must pass the written test and the oral test, if any. Test instructions may further divide the tests into parts and set minimum standards for each part.

TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE: If a subject of the examination, training and experience may not be rated if all passing candidates are expected to be immediately reachable for appointment. If rated, training and experience will be based on the statements in your application subject to verification. If this examination includes a qualifying written test, candidates admitted to the test will have conditional approval only. Final decision regarding the qualifications of candidates rests with the New York State Department of Civil Service.

MEDICAL EXAMINATION: You may be required to take a medical examination to determine if you are medically and physically capable of performing the duties of the position. In accordance with State Law, Governor’s Executive Order 6, and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended the County of Erie does not discriminate against handicapped persons in access to employment, during employment, or in any of its programs and activities.

VERIFICATION OF QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates may be investigated or called for an interview to verify information contained on the application. Verifiable part-time and/or volunteer experience may be pro-rated toward meeting full-time experience requirements.

ELIGIBLE LIST: The eligible list resulting from an examination may also be used for appointment to the same title or to any other title deemed to be similar and appropriate. Eligible lists are active for a minimum of one year and a maximum of four years from the date established.

BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION: Candidates may be subject to a thorough background investigation to determine suitability for appointment. Applicants may be required to authorize access to educational, employment, criminal history and other records check as part of such investigation. Criminal convictions or other offense are subject to evaluation and may result in disqualification. Applicant will be required to submit the necessary fees for the fingerprint processing, where required.


A $20.00 filing fee is required for this exam. The required fee must accompany your application. Send or bring check or money order made payable to Erie County Personnel Department and write the examination number(s) on your check or money order. Do not send or bring cash, as the County cannot be responsible for cash payment. As no refund will be made, you are urged to compare your qualifications carefully with the requirements for admission and file only for those examinations for which you are clearly qualified.

APPLICATION FEE WAIVER: A waiver of application fee will be allowed if you are unemployed and primarily responsible for the support of a household. In addition, a waiver of application fee will be allowed if you are determined eligible for Medicaid, or receiving Supplemental Security Income payments, or Public Assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/Family Assistance or Safety Net Assistance) or are certified Job Training Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act eligible through a State or local social service agency.

All claims for application fee waiver are subject to verification. If you can verify eligibility for application fee waiver, complete a “Request for Application Fee Waiver and Certification: form and submit it with your application by the close of business on the Application Deadline as listed on the Examination Announcement. The form is available at the Erie County Personnel Department, 95 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY (Room 604) or can be downloaded from the County’s website at Click on “County Departments and Agencies”, then “Erie County Civil Service.”

This examination is prepared and rated by the New York State Department of Civil Service,
and held in compliance with the New York State Civil Service Law
and the rules and regulations of the New York State Department of Civil Service.

Frequently Requested Information


Phone: (716) 858-8484
Erie County Civil Service Exam Line: (716) 858-8729

Edward A. Rath County Office Building
95 Franklin Street, 6th Floor
Buffalo, New York 14202