The basic way in which the Pendleton Act did this was by removing politics from the civil service. In the time before the Pendleton Act, government jobs were simply given out based on political consideration. Government workers were hired not for their abilities and skills but because of their political affiliations and connections. What the Pendleton Act did was to stop this practice. After the Act was passed, government officials were to be hired based on merit. The way to determine who actually was qualified for a job was to require all applicants to take examinations in which they would be competing for the highest scores. The highest scores would get the jobs.