72 questions about EPSO exams

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Online EU Training provides online recruitment preparation tests for EU Careers and EPSO Exams, along with free job ads for EU affairs jobs, Brussels vacancies, NGO jobs, European Commission posts and …

Online EU Training provides online recruitment preparation tests for EU Careers and EPSO Exams, along with free job ads for EU affairs jobs, Brussels vacancies, NGO jobs, European Commission posts and others. We also offer 10,000 online exams, situational judgment tests, verbal reasoning in 10 languages, numerical reasoning, abstract reasoning and assessment centre preparation

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  • 1. COPYRIGHTArboreus Online EU Training – E-Book72 Questions You Always Wanted To Ask About the EPSO Examswww.eutraining.eu© 2010 ARBOREUS, Some Rights ReservedYou are free to share (copy, distribute, transmit) this e-book under the Creative Commons licenseas long as you do not modify it in any way and attribute it to Arborues Online EU Training.Commercial use is forbidden.Arboreus is an innovative e-learning company offering professional online training on European Unionpolicies and EU Careers.Our services include test preparation and live online webinar trainings on European PrsonnelSelection Office (EPSO) EU civil service recruitment exams, study materials and online courseson European Affairs.Date of closing the manuscript: 29 October 2010 2 www.eutraining.eu © 2010 ARBOREUS, All Rights Reserved ONLINE EU TRAININGARBOREUS THE EUROPEAN UNION ON YOUR DESKTOP
  • 2. ? TABLE OF CONTENTS ? ? ? ? ?GENERAL QUESTIONS  4LINGUISTS  8ADMINISTRATORS  10VERBAL REASONING  13NUMERICAL REASONING  14ABSTRACT REASONING  16SITUATIONAL JUDGEMENT TESTS  18 ?SERVICES  20
  • 3. GENERAL QUESTIONSAlthough we always strive to provide the most recent information of EU recruitment exams, conditions and requirements may change from time to time. Make sure you always consult the most up-to-date information available from official sources.1. What is the age of the average applicant for the EPSO exams? It is hard to tell, though various sources mention that it is around 30-34 years of age. Some candidates are more senior while others have just graduated – there is no rule.2. Which one should an applicant read first if facing a verbal or numerical reasoning question: the question or the answers? In both test types, reading the question (and the answer options) first will allow you to focus on the relevant parts of the input data (in verbal reasoning: the text; in numerical reasoning: the table). Also, in numerical reasoning, glancing at the answer options will allow you to determine to what level of accuracy you need to make your calculations (how far apart are the answers if they are numbers?)3. If you train on paper for the Verbal and Numerical Reasoning tests, will you be slower than taking the test on a computer? All pre-selection exams from 2010 are done on a computer; to answer the question, nevertheless paper makes it a bit easier to read texts and there you can also underline certain words, which is not possible on screen (though you will be given notepaper and pen at the exam centre).4. Are multiple answers possible for a question? No, under the current EPSO system only one answer is possible for a question, though for Situational Judgment Tests (SJTs), you will need to give the “most effective” and “least effective” answer for every question/situation you are presented. 4 www.eutraining.eu © 2010 ARBOREUS, All Rights Reserved ONLINE EU TRAININGARBOREUS THE EUROPEAN UNION ON YOUR DESKTOP
  • 4. GENERAL QUESTIONS5. Does EPSO deduct a point for incorrect answers in the pre-selection tests? Unlike the French and some other exam systems, EPSO does not deduct any points for wrong answers, so guessing is even more worth it if you are unsure of which answer to choose.6. Which way is better to prepare for the EPSO pre-selection: doing every form of reasoning daily or focusing one day on verbal, than a week on numerical etc? A mixture of tests for each study/practice session you plan is recommended by the experts. This will help alleviate boredom and loss of motivation as well, in addition to more closely modeling what you will face at the exam.7. Can you recommend any links for training material? Obviously a good place to prepare is the Online EU Training website ;) Online EU Training offers Verbal Reasoning in 8, Numerical and Abstract Reasoning in two languages! http://www.eutraining.eu/eutest_packages If you are looking for something in print, the Ultimate EU Test Book is the #1 Bestseller on the subject, containing practice tests as well as abundant methodology: http://www.eu-testbook.com/8. Are the EPSO tests adaptive in terms of difficulty as in the case of GMAT? To the best of our knowledge, it is not adaptive. EPSO test forms are fixed before the exam event, and the test questions put to candidates do not ‘react’ to the proportion of correct or incorrect answers you give.9. Can we pass through a question and go back afterwards? Yes, but limiting this to a minimum is recommended – navigation takes up a lot of time.10. Is there always one and only one answer to a question? Yes, although it may happen that the question will ask for the ‘best’ answer, in which case there might be other options which are somewhat accurate, but still, you will need to select the one answer which is the best one. One exception is Situational Judgement tests where you need to select both the most effective and least effective ‘answers’.11. If I finalize one of the 3 categories faster than the allocated time, can I “use” the saved time on one of the other categories? Unfortunately no, all three tests are timed separately.12. Won’t there be any questions related with general EU knowledge in the test? No, the pre- selection now is purely cognitive – no knowledge-based tests.13. How does the level of difficulty of EPSO’s sample questions measure up to the real-life EPSO questions? The sample tests on EPSO’s website: (http://europa.eu/epso/discover/prepa_test/sample_test/index_en.htm) Based on the experience of the users of Online EU Training, they are a good measure of the difficulty of the real test, although some users say that the abstract reasoning tests were more difficult than the samples. 5 www.eutraining.eu © 2010 ARBOREUS, All Rights Reserved ONLINE EU TRAININGARBOREUS THE EUROPEAN UNION ON YOUR DESKTOP
  • 5. GENERAL QUESTIONS14. Does the difficulty of the test questions used in Online EU Training’s live online EPSO trainings differs from the ones in the Online EU Training test packages? The questions on the Online EU Training website cover a wide range of difficulty levels so you can practice on diverse material – you even have the option to select the difficulty of the test questions you wish to practice with. In the webinar, tests are selected based on two factors: z easy ones to better demonstrate a point, z complex ones so you get a better idea of what you can expect.15. Do you mark your answer each time or at the end of each part? You mark your answer for each question, and then you submit the test at the end. Don’t worry; there will be a tutorial before you start the test.16. Do more women or men pass the pre-selection? The tests are designed by professionals and psychologists and are designed in such a way that they must be gender-blind.17. How many answer options do the different question types have? Verbal and numerical reasoning have 4 answer options, while Abstract reasoning has 5. A good place to ask for this kind of information is Online EU Training’s facebook page: www.facebook.com/eutraining18. Does Online EU Training offer practice materials? Yes – please check our website: http://www.eutraining.eu/eutest19. What identification do I need to bring to the test? This should be detailed in the letter / invitation / message you receive from EPSO.20. What is the best way to prepare for the EPSO exams? The most important thing is to practice regularly – preferably every day. At first, you should focus not on timing, but to generally become familiarized with the tests – take your time, read the texts (Verbal Reasoning), analyze the tables (Numerical Reasoning) or the figures (Abstract Reasoning), and so on. Once you feel confident that you are conscious about what to pay attention to when looking at a test item, you build up you speed by timing your tests and gradually decreasing the time you give yourself to answer a set number of questions.21. Is it a good idea to focus on few questions, and then guess the last questions as time is running out, and we don’t have time to think about them? No, don’t get bogged down with difficult questions – do not allow yourself to spend more time on one question than what is allocated – if you still run out of time, however, do make guesses – no penalty for wrong answers.22. Where can someone find some tests to practice for the EPSO exams? There are thousands of practice tests available on Online EU Training – feel free to check them out on our website, in the EPSO Tests menu. 6 www.eutraining.eu © 2010 ARBOREUS, All Rights Reserved ONLINE EU TRAININGARBOREUS THE EUROPEAN UNION ON YOUR DESKTOP
  • 6. GENERAL QUESTIONS23. What is the average number of times people take an EPSO test to pass it? This is very hard to answer, but let’s look at it this way. If we assume that on average, 20 people apply for one spot on the reserve list, it is simply impossible for everyone to get it right the first time. If you should be one of the ones who will not make it the first time (which we hope will not be the case), this really depends on the number of times you are willing to try. As a very subjective opinion, I think with the proper amount of preparation and motivation, you should be able to succeed already for the first time. Although the number of candidates is always very high, not everyone will put so much effort in it – practicing, attending trainings, and so on. 7 www.eutraining.eu © 2010 ARBOREUS, All Rights Reserved ONLINE EU TRAININGARBOREUS THE EUROPEAN UNION ON YOUR DESKTOP
  • 7. GENERAL QUESTIONS LINGUISTS24. Are the numerical and abstract reasoning questions for linguists easier than for for example answer correctly in order to pass? There are two factors which decrease the weight of these two economists or public administrators, or is it simply adapted by the percentage you need to tests for linguist candidates: z the pass mark is 40% z the numerical and abstract tests are marked together – you can pass by achieving a higher score in one test and a lower one in the other This information is valid as of 29 October 2010.25. Are there situational judgment tests for translators? No. According to the information we have, the reason EPSO decided against administering a Situational Judgment Test for the 2010 linguist competitions is the fact that candidates already have a lot of tests to sit (three verbal reasoning tests, for example).Scoring, pass mark and invitation to the EPSO Assessment Centre for Translators andIntepreters 2010: The conditions for being admitted to the Assessment Centre are the following:Translators z you must achieve the pass mark in the admission test o Verbal Reasoning (main language): 50% (10 out of 20)  Numerical + Abstract Reasoning (aggregate): 40% (8 out of 20)  Verbal Reasoning (second language): 50% (5 out of 10)  Verbal Reasoning (third language): 50% (5 out of 10) z you must meet all other general requirements z you must also be among the X best candidates:  usually, three times as many candidates are invited as there are places available  for the number of places available for each profile, please check the Notice of Competition  Example: Danish translators – places available (option 1 +2): 41 – approximately 120 people will be invited to the Assessment Centre The conditions for being admitted to the Assessment Centre are the following:Interpreters z you must achieve the pass mark in the admission test  Verbal Reasoning (main language): 50% (10 out of 20)  Numerical + Abstract Reasoning (aggregate): 40% (8 out of 20) 8 www.eutraining.eu © 2010 ARBOREUS, All Rights Reserved ONLINE EU TRAININGARBOREUS THE EUROPEAN UNION ON YOUR DESKTOP
  • 8. GENERAL QUESTIONS LINGUISTS  Verbal Reasoning (second language): 50% (5 out of 10)  Verbal Reasoning (third language): 50% (5 out of 10) z you must meet all other general requirements z for AD5 positions, you must pass the intermediate interpreting test z you do not have to be among the best X candidates – all candidates who fulfil the above will be invited to the Assessment Centre This information is valid as of 29 October 2010.26. I will take the exam in English and French while my native language is Romanian. Do you think I will have a problem with that? No, this is exactly the way it was meant by EPSO. The pre- selections are tests are to be taken by everyone in their second language. The only way for anyone to take the tests in their native language is if they are bilingual and declare one of their native languages as their second language. Just be sure that you look at a lot of statistics and brush up on your related vocabulary. 9 www.eutraining.eu © 2010 ARBOREUS, All Rights Reserved ONLINE EU TRAININGARBOREUS THE EUROPEAN UNION ON YOUR DESKTOP
  • 9. ADMINISTRATORS27. How many applications has EPSO received for the competition in 2010? 51 639 applications were validated. EPSO will eventually recruit (place on the reserve list) 323 candidates. The number of people advancing to the Assessment Centre is unknown but is estimated at between 1000 and 2000 candidates.28. Are we in competition with the entire pool or only with the candidates in the different profiles? In the pre-selection phase, you are probably in competition with the entire pool, as far as we know. The reason for this is that the pre-selection test is a cognitive test, not related to your professional skills, but please take this information with a disclaimer: EPSO did not publish information about how they score candidates.29. What is the next phase in the EPSO selection procedure for administrators after the pre- selection? The next phase is the Assessment Centre. Please see a short summary of the entire process here: http://www.eutraining.eu/epso_exams30. Do specialists have greater chances to succeed in the EPSO administrators competitions? If the questions refers to the various profiles, then the answer is ‘probably yes’. Obviously, we do not have such information about the current exam cycle, but previous experience shows that the more specific a profile is, the less people there are for each spot on the reserve list. To read about this in more detail and see some concrete numbers, visit the following link: http://www.eutraining.eu/tipstricks_details/epso_exams_in_march_which_domain_to_choose31. Is Human Resources included in European Public Administration (EPA) profile? Yes, mainly from an EU perspective, so the EU officials’ Staff Regulations is something that should be read before the Assessment Centre (though no need to deal with this at the pre-selection phase).32. Can you clarify again the amount of time available for the EPSO AD pre-selection tests? Once again, this information is not publicly available, that is, it is not in the Notice of Competition. However, when candidates receive their invitations to sit the test, they do receive this information. Based on the experience of the users at Online EU Training, the following seems to be the case: You have 35 minutes for 20 Verbal Reasoning tests, and then 20 minutes for 10 Numerical Reasoning tests. After this, you can have an optional 10-minute break, followed by 10 Abstract Reasoning tests in 10 minutes, and, finally, 30 minutes for 20 Situational Judgment tests. This information is valid as of 29 October 2010. 10 www.eutraining.eu © 2010 ARBOREUS, All Rights Reserved ONLINE EU TRAININGARBOREUS THE EUROPEAN UNION ON YOUR DESKTOP
  • 10. CAST33. How are the EPSO CAST Pre-selection tests scheduled? Please read the official information from EPSO: INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES The admission tests to this open competition will be structured as follows: z Candidate arrives at the test centre: 30 minutes before the test appointment z Identity check, candidate signs in z On-screen tutorial: 5 minutes z Admission test a): 35 minutes z Admission test b): 20 minutes z Break (optional): 10 minutes maximum z Admission test c): 10 minutes z Admission test d): 30 minutes z Satisfaction survey (optional) z End of admission tests, candidate signs out Admission test a): A test comprising a series of multiple-choice questions to assess your general aptitudes and competencies in terms of verbal reasoning. Time allowed: 35 minutes during which you will have to answer 20 questions. Admission test b): A test comprising a series of multiple-choice questions to assess your general aptitudes and competencies in terms of numerical reasoning. Time allowed: 20 minutes during which you will have to answer 10 questions. Admission test c): A test comprising a series of multiple-choice questions to assess your general aptitudes and competencies in terms of abstract reasoning. Time allowed: 10 minutes during which you will have to answer 10 questions. Admission test d): A test comprising a series of multiple-choice questions to assess your judgement as regards various situations. Time allowed: 30 minutes during which you will have to answer 20 questions This information is valid as of 29 October 2010.34. Do the different Function Groups of the EPSO CAST selection differ in difficulty? Yes, the current CAST exams fall into FGII and FGIII, and it is a reasonable expectation that the exam for FGII positions will be slightly easier.35. Are the questions of the EPSO CAST exams easier than the questions of the Administrators’ pre-selection? Yes, CAST verbal & numerical tests are expected to be easier than the Administrators’ (AD) pre-selection test. This is because most CAST positions are equivalent to assistant (AST) positions, and AST exams usually have easier tests than AD exams. 11 www.eutraining.eu © 2010 ARBOREUS, All Rights Reserved ONLINE EU TRAININGARBOREUS THE EUROPEAN UNION ON YOUR DESKTOP
  • 11. CAST36. All those passing the EPSO CAST selection tests with 50% right answers are considered eligible for CAST? Here is the official word from EPSO: “The verbal reasoning test will last for 35 minutes and will be made up of 20 questions; the numerical reasoning test will last 20 minutes and will be made up of 10 questions. The pass mark is 50% for the Also, for EPSO/CAST/01/2010: “Candidates who pass the verbal and numerical reasoning tests will two tests combined.” be invited to sit tests on EU knowledge and specific competencies within the profile selected.” And for EPSO/CAST/02/2010: “You will be notified of the results of the tests from the end of July 2010 via your EPSO account. Three weeks after the candidates have been notified of the results, the information provided in the online application forms of those candidates who have passed the tests will be accessible in the database to recruiting departments.” This means that for EPSO/CAST/01/2010, a second round of testing will take place. For EPSO/ CAST/01/2010, all those who pass and otherwise eligible will automatically be placed on the reserve list. Source: http://europa.eu/epso/apply/today/pdf_cast/epso_cast_01_2010_en.pdf This information is valid as of 29 October 2010.37. Do I get the 50% if I answer all verbal reasoning questions correctly and all the numerical reasoning questions incorrectly? Based on the above information, yes.38. How many points does answering the 20 verbal reasoning questions correctly get you? The verbal reasoning test can get you 20 points, the abstract reasoning test 10 points, and the numerical reasoning test also 10 points. In other words, the number of points you can get is equal to the number of questions in the test.39. The pass mark is 50% for verbal reasoning, and 50% for abstract and numerical reasoning together. This means that you can score 30% on abstract reasoning and 70% on numerical reasoning, and you will reach the pass mark. Please also note that the pass mark does not mean you can advance to the next phase, for that, you also need to be in the group of X best candidates. Verbal Reasoning 12 www.eutraining.eu © 2010 ARBOREUS, All Rights Reserved ONLINE EU TRAININGARBOREUS THE EUROPEAN UNION ON YOUR DESKTOP
  • 12. VERBAL REASONING40. If you choose a wrong answer, will they deduct points from your total score?? No, there is no penalty for wrong answers, so always guess if you do not know the correct answer.41. If a verbal reasoning question is rather difficult is it better to move to the next one? Yes, there is no extra point for solving the harder questions. If you cannot figure out how to approach the test item in the first 30 seconds, just move on to the next one. If you save time on the easier ones, you can always come back to think more about the harder ones.42. On the contrary, if the first answer is the right one, I would not analyse the remaining options, would this be advisable? If you are confident in your assessment, by all means, mark the supposedly correct answer. Once you have the necessary routine, this is not excessive risk-taking. On the other hand, if you are not sure which answer option might be the correct one, you can use the process of elimination – discarding all those answer options that feel the least correct, hoping to be left with only one.43. In verbal reasoning, do you think that 35 min is enough? This is a subjective question, but I would say that if you apply certain methods that we cover in great detail in online trainings as well (reading the question and answers first, which will allow you to focus only on the relevant parts of the text) then the roughly 100 seconds you have for a questions should be sufficient.44. Are the answer choices of the verbal reasoning questions in the EPSO pre-selection shown at the same time as the question or after the paragraph? Everything related to one test item will be shown at the same time. 13 www.eutraining.eu © 2010 ARBOREUS, All Rights Reserved ONLINE EU TRAININGARBOREUS THE EUROPEAN UNION ON YOUR DESKTOP
  • 13. NUMERICAL REASONING45. Does EPSO provide the applicants a physical calculator or should we take our own? As the Online EU Training experts mentioned in our webinars, it is recommended to avoid the use of the calculator as much as you can by applying estimation whenever possible. When that is not possible, the calculator comes into play. A physical calculator has the benefit of being easier to handle, but as far as we have heard, the physical calculators provided are very primitive and they do not even have a memory function (for storing numbers in a longer calculation). The on-screen calculator does have this feature, so if you like using this feature, you will need to familiarize yourself with on- screen calculators. Also, it is not allowed to use your own calculator.46. Does EPSO use numerical reasoning questions where the table is actually irrelevant and you have all the information you need in the question itself? No, this type of numerical reasoning questions is not common in the EPSO pre-selections, as it would be quite a trick question, which EPSO is not known to do.47. Does the level of difficulty of the numerical reasoning questions depend on the specialization chosen? No. The pre-selection phase is not designed to measure professional skills, but rather a general aptitude to comprehend complex texts (Verbal Reasoning), work with number and identify trends and relationships (Numerical Reasoning) and perform well in new and unfamiliar tasks (Abstract Reasoning, measuring your generic problem-solving capacity). EPSO will have many chances to measure your professional skills at later stages in the Assessment Centre. One example is the Case Study exercise. In the Case Study exercise, it may very well happen that economists will need to work with numbers, data and economic indicators at a much higher level than in numerical reasoning, while lawyers may be presented text and exercises laden with complex legal terms. However, we must note that while there is no differentiation between profiles, the level of difficulty of the pre-selections tests does vary for different jobs. For example, AST (Assistant) exams will include simpler test items than Administrator exams.48. Are geometry exercises to be expected in EPSO pre-selection tests? No. All EPSO numerical reasoning tests are based on tables and diagrams, with the occasional text-based exercise, but geometry is not among the tested skills.49. Dealing with zeros and decimals almost requires us to write down all parts of our operations. Do we have time for that?! As we always mention in online training, the first thing you should try is to find a way to avoid performing complex calculations. If you are forced to do it, you will make good use of the pen/paper or similar device provided. If you can quickly solve a number of tests without much calculation, you will have time to jot down notes for some of the other tests.50. Can I choose the order of the questions; e.g. answer first the abstract questions, then the numerical or skip one question and go back to it later? You can choose the order of solving the test items within one test, but you cannot choose the order of the tests. Please see the answer to the 14 fourth question above. www.eutraining.eu © 2010 ARBOREUS, All Rights Reserved ONLINE EU TRAININGARBOREUS THE EUROPEAN UNION ON YOUR DESKTOP
  • 14. NUMERICAL REASONING51. Proportions, variation, averages seem to be the bulk of numerical reasoning questions asked in the EPSO pre-selections. Where can one find a good explanation of the relevant about percentages? A general overview of these basic mathematical operations, a high-school equations? Is there a cheat-sheet or something that freshens up our minds on the rules level mathematics text book will be your best bet. Also, http://www.algebrahelp.com/ is a great math resource, for example.52. Do all questions have a shortcut? If we are making a lot of calculations, are we going the wrong (or the long) way? No. Sometimes you simply need to accept the fact that there is nothing else to be done than perform the cumbersome calculations. Again, a shortcut can be all kinds of different things. It can be a brilliant observation allowing you to answer the questions without calculating, but it can also simply mean that the difference between the answer options allows you to simplify the numbers you are working with, because even rounded-up or rounded- down numbers will provide the required level of accuracy. 53. Can you tell us the kind of calculations normally appears in the EPSO The calculations themselves numerical reasoning tests? are never too complex: addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, percentages and ratios (fractions). The trick is to figure out what calculations to perform, and the best way to do that is through practice. 54. What proportion of the numerical reasoning tests does EPSO display visuals selection? You will not have and graphs in the pre- more than 25-30% of the tests with diagrams – tables still constitute the bulk of EPSO’s database. 15 www.eutraining.eu © 2010 ARBOREUS, All Rights Reserved ONLINE EU TRAININGARBOREUS THE EUROPEAN UNION ON YOUR DESKTOP
  • 15. ABSTRACT REASONING55. What are the most common features of EPSO pre-selection abstract reasoning questions? What should an applicant first look for (e.g. number of sides, angles)? The most common building blocks are as follows: z Rotation z Reflection z Angles and Directions z Shapes z Patterns (colors, fills) z Transformations (one shape turning into another) z Concepts (visually demonstrated concepts) z Visual mathematics (shapes representing numbers)56. Does EPSO use abstract reasoning questions that have a “no answer is correct” answer option? No.57. What sort of material can be used for practicing abstract reasoning tests, other than the test packages at Online EU Training and the Ultimate EU Test Book? Any non-verbal and non- numerical puzzle, quiz, test or game is conducive to better performance in such tests. However, if the exam is close, it is worth focusing your precious time on tailor-made preparation materials. Online EU Training has no knowledge of other, specifically EPSO-focused books in the subject other than the Ultimate EU Test Book, but if you are interested in more general publications, there are surely hundreds of intelligence and abstract reasoning test books on Amazon.58. Does EPSO use abstract reasoning tests that contain both numbers and shapes? No, abstract reasoning tests, as a rule, do not contain numbers and letters/text.59. Is the base in EPSO’s grid based abstract reasoning questions always at the same position – on the top left? No, any figure can be the basis for ‘deriving’ the other figures. Also, a rule with which you can derive figures in a row, for example, will work both ways, starting from the left or the right as well. Also, sometimes the middle figure is derived from the two neighbouring figures – the possibilities are, unfortunately, endless. Concerning a general overview of these basic mathematical operations, a high-school level mathematics text book will be your best bet.60. What are the criteria to check if the rule we come up with is the one thought by the test designer? Obviously, the best proof for that is when one of the answer options corresponds to what we believe is the correct answer. This is why it is worth coming up with the rule and visualizing the correct figure first, and then check the answer options – the presence of the figure we came up with will be proof that we are on the right track. Of course, there is a caveat: the test designer might take into consideration that you might misread something and include a figure which will correspond to 16 www.eutraining.eu © 2010 ARBOREUS, All Rights Reserved ONLINE EU TRAININGARBOREUS THE EUROPEAN UNION ON YOUR DESKTOP
  • 16. ABSTRACT REASONING the incorrect rule you came up with (a so-called distractor figure), so double-checking whether your rule takes into account every aspect of the test is very important.61. What are polygons and what do we have to know A good summary suggested about geometrical shapes? by one of the participants can be found here: http://www.mathleague. com/help/geometry/ polygons.htm62. Does the difficulty of the questions in EPSO pre-selection abstract every question? This is a reasoning tests grow with general characteristic of all psychometric tests. The first few items will be easier to help you warm up, and then the difficulty will rise. IMPORTANT: At EPSO, the questions you are given do not depend on the answers you gave to earlier questions, the test form is fixed.63. Does EPSO use only black and white abstract reasoning tests or are there There will be no colours in also other colours used? the abstract reasoning tests, but you might see different shades of grey, for example. 17 www.eutraining.eu © 2010 ARBOREUS, All Rights Reserved ONLINE EU TRAININGARBOREUS THE EUROPEAN UNION ON YOUR DESKTOP
  • 17. SITUATIONAL JUDGEMENT TESTS64. How does EPSO score the Situational Judgement Tests? It follows a special scoring which is in fact irrelevant as what matters is the competency report that EPSO creates based on your answers. This is then used for the Structured Interview in the Assessment Centre, so the actual scoring has little relevance. Nevertheless, the general scoring principle is that each of the four answer options carries two scores: one score if selected as most effective, and one score if selected as least effective.65. Does EPSO consider “Managing expectations” an EU competency/subcompetency? Is saying No in a situation taken as very negative, uncooperative etc? No, managing expectations is more of a subset of various competencies, i.e. communication, team management and others. Saying no to a request can always be reasonable as long as circumstances warrant it.66. What should be prioritised in the Situational Judgement Tests: competencies or values? Most likely you will not be given such a clear choice between the two, especially because the two are interlinked (e.g. in a situation where your team working skills are tested, you need to bear in mind the EU institutions’ values of loyal cooperation between various units while clear and transparent cooperation is also required: this is a typical mix of the two approaches).67. Does EPSO send the Situational Judgement Test reports to all the applicants like the results of the other pre-selection tests? Only if you pass to the Assessment Centre, otherwise (based on the information we have) it will not be disclosed to you.68. Is there a “right” and a “wrong” answer in the Situational Judgement Tests? The goal of the test is to create the competency framework based on your answers. Obviously if you reach low scores in one or more competencies, that may affect your evaluation, but this can be compensated for in the structured interview. Also, SJTs have no classic “pass marks”, given their unique nature.69. Why do you need leadership as a competency if EPSO is recruiting for entry level (AD5) positions? Even though this competition is not for head of unit or other management posts, leadership is needed for cooperation between various units of the same level in hierarchy. For instance, if you are a project leader (or in EU language, you are responsible for an interservice consultation between various Directorates General of the Commission), you still need to coordinate, manage and/or supervise the activities, inputs and communication between various units across the organisation, which does require leadership.70. What is the objective of a Situational Judgement Test? Is it to “reveal” the applicant’s true It is more the latter, i.e. if your personal competencies match those that have been identified (or personality or to verify if the applicant’s personal competencies matches to EU competence? “mapped”) by EPSO for any given job profile. It might happen that your exam results are excellent, and your competencies are also fine but they do not really match the ones EPSO is looking for: if you have a strong individual drive, limited respect for hierarchy etc., this may mean that you would not fit (and feel good working for) the institutions. There is nothing wrong with this as this does 18 www.eutraining.eu © 2010 ARBOREUS, All Rights Reserved ONLINE EU TRAININGARBOREUS THE EUROPEAN UNION ON YOUR DESKTOP
  • 18. SITUATIONAL JUDGEMENT TESTS not qualify you as a good or bad person; simply it means that your personality type may not match what EPSO is looking for.71. Are the Situational Judgement tests at Online EU Training concrete examples from EPSO or are they made by Online EU Training, based on information received from EPSO? The tests at Online EU Training are based on publicly available information provided by EPSO and a detailed professional analysis done by an occupational psychologist who is an expert on public sector recruitment and EU affairs.72. Does it mean that we will have to be ‘conservative’ in our answers in the Situational Judgement Test? Not really, you need to pick your answers based on the values, the identified competences, your personal judgment and overall evaluation of the facts.Although we always strive to provide the most recent information of EU recruitment exams, conditions and requirements may change from time to time. Make sure you always consult the most up-to-date information available from official sources. 19 www.eutraining.eu © 2010 ARBOREUS, All Rights Reserved ONLINE EU TRAININGARBOREUS THE EUROPEAN UNION ON YOUR DESKTOP
  • 19. SERVICESArboreus is an innovative e-learning company offering professional online training on European Unionpolicies and EU Careers. Our clients include European graduates, officials, managers, job seekers,Brussels professionals and others.Given the high interest in EU careers, institutional affairs, competition law, trade policy, consumerprotection, environmental issues and other regulatory matters, we offer our online training andwebinar services to the global business and academic community as well.We do this by creating a community of professionals, academics, diplomats and job seekers coveringEuropean affairs all over the world so they can network and learn about the EU.Consult the below links to learn more about our services: z Online Test Packages for all EPSO Exams: http://www.eutraining.eu/eu_packages http://www.eutraining.eu/study_material z Study Materials to help in your EU Tests preparation: z Tips & Tricks for succeeding at the EPSO Concours: http://www.eutraining.eu/tipstricks http://www.eutraining.eu/tipstricks_details/7_things_you_must_know_about_the_epso_assessment_centre  7 Things You Must Know about the EPSO Assessment Centre. Link: http://www.eutraining.eu/tipstricks_details/epso_situational_judgement_tests_know_the_unknown  EPSO Situational Judgement Tests: Know the Unknown. Link: http://www.eutraining.eu/tipstricks_details/the_motivation_challenge_what_to_write_in_your_epso_application  The Motivation Challenge: What to Write in your EPSO Application? Link: http://www.eutraining.eu/tipstricks_details/10_professional_epso_linguist_exam_tips  10 Professional Linguist Exam Tips. Link: http://www.eutraining.eu/eu_news_archive z Live Online Webinar Training On EPSO Tests – check our latest news regularly: http://www.eutraining.eu/online_courses z Online Interactive E-Learning Courses in EU Affairs: z EU Affairs Job Portal: http://www.eutraining.eu/eujobs 20 www.eutraining.eu © 2010 ARBOREUS, All Rights Reserved ONLINE EU TRAININGARBOREUS THE EUROPEAN UNION ON YOUR DESKTOP