The sheer number of comments at the main post ‘So I Won’t Be A Commission Official‘ has been causing problems, so all the old comments are here instead, and hence searchable.

2,067 Comments

  1. @ layman and thomas

    Thanks Layman for the info. I also recommend you both take a look at staff regulations, as there may be a question on that.
    I do not know either how long this BdD will be active but suspect that for quite long, so make the best to pass!
    A question for Layman: In the PA exam, how many questions did you have and how many did you have to choose to answer?
    Cheers

  2. layman

    Hi everybody!

    I am also puzzeled, as Rasta and Thomas, with the topics on the EU-25 second round, and more specifically for Political Adviser’s choice. First, I must say that the EC could have informed us before, as I have been reviewing again the 250MCQ and it seems this will be worthless…Thanks EC for having kept me on reading that boring (albeite, I recognize, usefull book)!!
    I would be focusing on the topics mentioned by RASTA but I would add other such as the ones we found in the PA competition (i.e History of EU, roles of the Institutions) and also others more related to the International Policy scenario (reform of the UN, Doha Round, etc)
    In any case, I must admit that I have no idea of what we should expect….
    One last question, Does anybody know for how long will be this “short-list” of candidates working??
    Regards and good chance!!

  3. Hi Jon,
    thanks a lot for your infos.
    about the test: the written test a was not only full of standars economic questions like which sentence describes the opportunity costs, but also of eu related stuff like where is the unemployment hiher, in poland slovenia slovacchia or estonia? or what’s the open coordination method? so just to study the academic theory won’t be enough, go eu. try to swallow down as many facts and figures you can, you do not have to know them by heart, but well enough to be able to choose the right answer between the four given.
    about written test d: I was given questions to choose one from. i chosed globalisation, a theme I knew fairly well. so my tip is to prepare very well a few themes, it’s likely one of them will be one of the three questions. and again know the eu side of the theme, Ii was asked to describe the impact of globalisation on the eu economies.
    in short. a broad, not to deep and exact preparation to pass test a, a very good knowledge of a few themes to pass test d.
    Question from me: my competition is in economics/statistics, I hope they won’t ask me a lot about statistics since i am an economist, will they?
    thanks, ugo

  4. Suzana

    @Ugo
    Hi Ugo, first of all dont worry about your accent..everyone has accent when they speak a foreign language-some more others less, and that isnt a problem.(Plus italian accent is so charming;-)
    And yes, you should definitely as much Eu stuff and economics as possible! The oral test is 80% exam and 20% job interview.
    Here is a link that might be of help:
    http://ukrep.be/Interview.pdf

    I’d like you to share some more of your experience with the written tests-u said read related eu papers..My competition area at the moment is public administration- it;s so broad-what to focus on??

    @Jon
    Wow, Jon, 100 posts!! Congratulations!

  5. ugo miretti

    Hi everybody,
    I was against my own expectations, admitted to the interview….
    anybody knows what I should expect? for istance is it more important to get rid of my terrrible accent or to study as much Eu stuff and economics as possible?
    I speak english ad german, quite well even if everybody immediately knows I am from Italy as soon as I open my mouth, is it a problem not to speak french? actually I did learn a bit french in school but it’s gone.
    My tips for passing the tests: the numerical and verbal are impossible to pass without exercise, do it. The specific knowledge part is quite eu oriented, so read the related eu papers. in the essay i was on one hand bold, i said openly my opinion, on the other i let them know I was aware of the Eu attidude on the subject. It worked…
    thanks!
    Ugo

  6. Hi to all from Madrid.
    Congratulations to Jon for this blog and website and sorry you didn’t make it this time. Keep it up.
    I also took the 1st test of EPSO25 selection process and luckily made it through to the second round. In my opinion the main difficulty was the very short time for verbal*numerical tests. So for those thinking of taking future tests, as well as doing plenty of MCQs, practice the numerical excersises to acquire speed.
    My first choice was also political adviser in group IV, as Thomas. Today I received a notice that for this and other fields, a written ecercise will be taken instead of a test. I personally prefer it, but am now totally puzzled about the structure and content of the questions.
    Thomas, I would suggest you read about the latest EU and international developments, ie PESC, ENP, Climate Change, Lisbon Agenda, Paris Agenda,…as far as you want to go.
    If anyone can give us a hint on how many questions will the exam have and what in their opinion must be studied, I would be very grateful.
    Maybe Bruno’s message of 26th June is close to what we will find?
    Good luck to you for now or later.
    Rasta

  7. Suzana

    Dear all,
    i think for the moment we’ve been mainly discussing the preselection tests. My current concern however are the written tests. The first part of the specialized test and the third one(resume) are clear to me. But I have a few questions concerning the second part.From what i have read up till now I know that in the past the dossier test was mainly used. But recently it seems that essays are becoming more popular, especially for general administrators. Is there an option both to be given and the candidates to be able to choose? Normally, application for applicants from wide variety of backgrouds are accepted and even encouraged for general administrators concours.But may be most of you will agree that for a person without a background in european affairs, politics or int.relations it will be v.difficult to develop arguments on EU problems and policies in an essay. My written exams are in februarty and to be honest,I’m a little bit worried. Its one thing to learn tons of eu facts, quite another to be able to write eu essays.Not everyone is as brilliant writing about Eu stuff as Jon is;-) Personally, my background is in business.I think i can do very well on a dossier test, but if there;s an essay…..
    Can anyone help me with some info? What are the chances of getting dossier or essay.Any tips for essay writing? Just any info about the written tests will be helpful.

  8. Question:
    Eu council can NOT meet on the initiative of:
    -Commission
    -Parliament
    -One of its members
    It’s the commission, right?
    Thanks in advance to those who answer

  9. no, i think they have a big questions database, and before u sit the test random questions are selected for u. or at the least at the day when u sit the test ur and the questions to all other participants differ. the questions vary by language as well.

  10. I have used eutests too. And I think Verbal and numerical part in the tests were easier than this in the epso exam

    I was wondering if all the candidates get the same questions, althouth I do not think that is posible.

  11. @claudemurs

    I have used eutests.eu To be honest, the EU questions were very good, some even harder than the ones u encounter in the real test. However i didnt quite like the verbal and numerical ones- they were too easy and not really like the ones on the exam- for example- the verbal questions always had a pretty obvious answer-and its not so in the real test. Same with numerical-plus not the same kind of problems. Cant say anything about percentages- it all depends on what u’ll get on the test day. Good Luck!

  12. claudemurs

    Hi! I would have a question for the people who perhaps passed the first stage of the competition and used tests such as those by pass-eu-concours or eutest.eu. Do you have an idea about what should be one’s average in these tests in oder to reasonably hope to pass the real exam?
    thanks,
    claudia

  13. Well the eu part was easy.
    When I see the result of verbal and numerical skill I will know whether it was difficult or not.
    there were 20 verbal and 10 numerical.
    can you tell me other forums where i can view opinion of other people
    Thanks in advance.

  14. Suzana

    neli,
    in some forums people shared opinion that the tests for BG and romanians were easier than the ones in june (for translators. What did u find more difficult- the EU part or verbal numerical reasoning? Do u remember some of the EU questions? How many numerical did u have?

  15. Marcela

    Hi Dizzy,
    these questions are translated from French into English and it’s not the first time when you can find such a translation.
    If you’ll take part in a CBT exam you’ll find more questions translated and not all the time the translation is so good!
    Marcela

  16. for bulgarian and romanian selection procedure

    I am in for Law
    I did my exam on 21. 10.2006
    I think it was difficult
    What do you think?
    Will too many people pass the exam

  17. yes, that why we argue. Coz the published question is:

    Javier Solana is NOT….
    a/ the high representative for the Foreign policy of the Union
    b/ the secretary-general of the European Defence Agency
    c/ the secretary-general of the Western European Union
    d/ the secretary-general of the European Council

    With these options of course the correct one to select will be d/, but b/ isnt 100% correct too as he;s head of EDA and not secretary general

  18. Marcela

    Javier Solana

    1.High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy,

    2.Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union,

    3.head of the EDA.

    Link

    Link 2

    Link 3

  19. but I dont think “secretary-general” is the same as “Head of” So that can be argued

  20. well, Solana is head of the EDA, so the answer is D. I think your confusion comes from the fact that answer D mentions the council. But he isnt secretary general of the European Council, but of the Council of the european union;-) I guess u have just overlooked it. If not- learn what the difference between the 2 is-quite essential

  21. Mihaela

    I’m glad you find them useful!
    What do you think about the final one (no 50)? I think the answer should be b) and not d).

  22. Mihaela, thank u for posting this link..
    the 50 mcq are v.good.

  23. suzana

    yes,the questions are from the” 250MCQ on europe and european policy”. Jos Depondt is the author of the 2006 edition;-)

  24. Mihaela

    if it does not work, try: http://www.depondt.eu/ and go to test online

  25. Mihaela

    You can try also this link: http://www.depondt.eu/mcq4.html.
    I think the questions are from the 250 MCQ on Europe.

  26. Daniel

    Hi people!

    Im a Hungarian lawyer (havent seen any Hungarian posts here yet), who just entered and epso competition for lawyer administrators. Although I ordered the 250 mcq book, I really think that that wont be enough to pass the preselection. Could anyone be so kind to send me some more mcqs? my email is: dozsadani {at} yahoo(.)com

    Cheers

    daniel

  27. Mihaela

    Thank you guys, that was quick!

  28. suzana

    yes, the question on that website are good, but when u do a few tests, u notice that each time u get no more than 2-3 new questions- out of 40. Should have been at least 10 new ones.
    Jon- no answer about the coffee?;-)

  29. I also received some technical errors on the pages I looked at… Seems they need some improvements!

    Suzana – yes, meeting up for coffee in London would be an excellent idea! Just send me a message using the contact form on the website (click ‘Jon Worth’ then ‘Contact’) to let me know when you’re in the UK.

  30. I’ve just had a look at http://www.quizzeuro.com/ and I reckon it’s quite a decent system. Certainly the EU knowledge questions are decent.

  31. evelyn

    yes, you are right. i also bought my package with another person’s credit card because mine is no good. But the point is to try the best and to find everything available on the net. and to really have the specialist knowledge. i didn’t have enough of it when i applied, only 60 % as my result showed (in the written)…but the point is that i’m working hard on it now with instructors because i need more practical experience…and i will be ready for the next competition……
    don’t give up and study hard; those who put efforts eventually succeed, even though it may not be from the first time as in my case.

  32. Mihaela

    @evelyn
    Thank you for your kind words of encouragement.

    I found this site: http://www.quizzeuro.com that offers FREE (based only on registration) MCQ and verbal and numerical reasoning exercises. Plus, if you take the test, in the end you can find out where you were wrong.
    I have a question for those who participated before at the tests. Do you think the MCQ’s presented there are somehow related with those that I will find in the test? Or are totally different?

    Thank you!

  33. Mihaela

    @ sax
    I am really sorry you see us as strong competitors. I think we are mainly competing for posts that require Romanian or Bulgarian or even Estonian citizenship.

    It’s true, I admit I was not prepared for the test when I registered the competition but you know, many people do this just to have a first experience and maybe next time they will feel more comfortable at the test, in front of the computer, being much better prepared. In my opinion, the lack of access to preparation materials should not be the reason for a person to not be granted the access to the test.

    It’s also true that there are some preparing packages available on line but (and I am really ashamed to say this) our credit cards are not good and I had to get another credit card specially designed for e-payments. Anyway, since I wrote that post the packages were made available in Romania but I did not know this at that moment.

    I am sorry now I offended you by just asking for some help.
    In the end, I personally think that the best people should work there (not just those who have access to materials).

    Good luck to all (I heard is also a question of luck)!

  34. suzana

    @claudemurs

    Yeah, may be..
    But on the other hand the institutions accept a lot of bulgarian and romanian stagiares every year, so they know and usually communicate it to their friends also.
    In addition, not long time ago i read a post of a bulgarian girl who had one of the books for concours preparation -think it was the ultimate eu textbook, and wanted to sell
    copies of it to everybody who expressed interest. Profit, u know? Although i’m not sure why would one want to trade his competitive advantage, but thats another story:-)

    @Jon
    Sure, London is great! I spend a few years living there in east dulwich and really enjoyed it. Hope soon i’ll be able to move back there again. And if u dont mind, Jon, i;d like to buy u a coffee when i get there. ok?

  35. claudemurs

    Thanks, Jon! I thought that would be the case. the ting is that online test simulations don’t have this break, which means that I end up with more time for VNR, which I suspected was a bit dangerous for leaning how to manage time.
    One more thing. If I were you, guys, I would not be that tough on those Romanians/Bulgarians that are confused about how to find materials and what to study. Remember that for you in the Old Member States – EU15, taking this exam has been a possible carrer option for a long time, especially is studying political science, law etc. It is not the case for the newcomers. They probably never met/talked to somebody having taken a test before; probably never heard talking about it before the respective EPSO enlargement competition was published and advertised. They’ll be less ingenuous in a few years, I guess.

  36. sebastian

    @Claude:
    No, not possible. Wasn’t possible during the CBT for contract agents and hasn’t been changed.

  37. claudemurs

    Hello! does anyone know whether one can use the time ‘saved’ during the EU knowledge (computer-based) test for the verbal&numeric one? I mean, if I finish the first one earlier, do those minutes add up for the remaining part of the test? thanks

  38. When I sat the tests in early 2006 this was not possible – there were breaks between the sessions so you could not start the next questions early. This may have changed now though…?

    Re. Suzana – yes, working for a political group would be an option. Let’s see what happens – I’m fine with how things are in London presently.

  39. suzana

    Jon, may be should also check the websites of the EU parliament political group. Sometimes there are attactive job vacancies

  40. Franco

    hi, it looks like you became famous 🙂 Sorry for you to fail the exam. Hope not to bee in the same situation soon. Everybody like Aurora, or Laura or probably you and others have difficuties to find sources of information. I have seen here that somebody was recommending the site epsoforum.com, which I have also discovered accidentally. It seems ok, no adds etc. and they pretend to be “international” so probably if people will not disperse there knowledge on blogs about such concreete topics, but rahter would write in a concentrated place, I think everybody would have advantage from it.
    Cheers Franco

  41. To Sax

    Sax, relax.. I believe nothing in my post implied that I don’t know what to study or how to prepare. Also, there was nothing said about my preparation process or time spent. If a person asks for additional samples of MCQ (which some posters, like Anemarie, kindly offered above) this does not make him a non-serious candidate.

    Good luck to all those studying these days!

  42. sebastian

    The new option rules. I am really wondering how long this will go on.
    BTW: EPSO is so slow in administering things, still waiting even on the admission-question in AD/26/05 (postponed from July to September, now October). What are they doing? It shouldn’t be too difficult to see if someone has a) filled out a form correctly, b) has a mimimum 3 years law degree from a university and c) is national of a Member State and d) signed everything.

  43. Olimpia

    Hi Anemari. I applied for Secretary job with Ro citizenship. Could you give me that MCQ book, too, please?

  44. There’s a new option here now – you can subscribe to the comments forum so you get an e-mail each time someone writes something new.

    And Suzana, thanks for the kind words… 🙂

  45. suzana

    no surpise about it
    I personally love your blog, the way you write about eu issues

  46. As you wish folks… 🙂 We have more discussion here so far than on epsoforum.com!

  47. for people who want to communicate/ask/answer about such competitions
    http://epsoforum.com

  48. sebastian

    If you have a look at the EPSO website, you can see how many people applied for the latest round of accession competitions from which countries (under ongoing competitions) If you further look at the Official Journal, you can check out the probabilities of getting on the reserve lists. It’s kind of ridiculous if you compare theses figures with the last big round of the ’05 competitions. Why wasn’t I born a Cypriot?

    One more remark concerning preparation & timing: If you start preparing so late that you cannot order the 250 MCQ book, why bother at all? That is pathetic so I fully agree with sax on that. And if you research diligently enough on the internet, you don’t have to beg for people to give you their old tests. Hints where to look should be in one of the preceeding posts.Almost like a verbal reasoning question…

  49. evelyn

    i definately agree with sax…
    it’s perfectly affordable for romanians, etc. to buy a package for 20 eur!!!
    that’s what i did to prepare, plus reading everything for free on the net;
    now i’m only waiting for my next result…in the proofreading concours…….

  50. In reply to Sax: I had to go for the general administrator concours as that was the only one I was eligible to apply for. I’m not a lawyer or economist, and my languages are not good enough to be a translator.

    Further, let’s face it: there are going to be no more concours for the old EU-15 Member States for quite some time, so my chances of working for the Commission any time soon are nil.

    Anyway, that’s maybe not such a bad thing – the job I have in London presently is quite good fun.

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