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. sebastian

    Maybe the question relates to the number of mobile phones in the EU?! I am not sure, but I think I came across that question in at least one of the MCQ-Books I studied with.

    @ Viking: Alles Gute für die mündliche Prüfung. Ich warte immer noch auf die Ergebnisse des schriftlichen Tests in AD/26/05. Immerhin ist mir vor einer Woche mitgeteilt worden, dass ich zum Verfahren zugelassen bin (nach 6 Monaten).

  2. Marcela

    Hi Marina,

    there is the answer of your question:

    “Geographical mobility

    * Approximately 1.5% of EU-25 citizens live and work in a different Member State from their country of origin – a proportion that has hardly changed for the last 30 years. (Source: Eurostat). ”
    http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/workersmobility_2006/index.cfm?id_page_category=FF
    Marcela

  3. marina

    it is you true, john,

    we have to thank you for hosting us in this blog!

    I take the same epso ad25 as many of you, and I failed.

    Now I will take epso AST. (I am getting crazy with all these unuseful questions..the last is how many mobile are there in eu)
    Sometimes I wonder if eu commissioners know all this stuff.

  4. Erm, sorry Viking – I’ve lost track a little of which concours each of the people posting here have been taking!

  5. viking

    I’ve just read my last message once again and it struck me that it could seem sarcastic (the part about crying). The sarcasm was unintended, however.

  6. viking

    Jon, we were in the same competition. Therefore you recognize the questions 🙂
    Thank you for providing us with a forum where we can cry tears of outrage and pain 😉

    claudemurs: there was a smily after “the part of the game”. So don’t take this part of my message too seriously.
    But of course I understand what you feel. One spends plenty of time preparing to an exam which epso is unprepared to conduct.

  7. claudemurs

    I don’t believe a wrong question in the numerical part is without further consequences.(‘part of the game’, we take it out and all is fair) It is not only THAT question…it is also about the time that it makes one waste trying to solve a defective question. That, they cannot count.

  8. Agh, it makes me so sad to read all of this. There are so many people out there that are so committed to work for these institutions that cannot manage to get things correct to administrate the recruitment process.

    For what it’s worth, the same happened with my pre-selection tests too – some questions were deleted.

    BTW, I am also very happy that my blog is providing a useful forum for this sort of debate! 🙂

  9. viking

    sad story with the tests. but somehow it doesn’t surprise me that epso doesn’t have so much control over the process. in 25/05 we received the following message:

    “As a result of inaccuracies identified after the pre-selection tests were taken, the Selection Board has decided to delete the following multiple choice questions:

    • Test a): questions 17, 20, 22 and 34
    • Test b): questions 69 and 74
    • Test c): question 21 ”

    In test a) they somehow managed to make mistakes in 10% of the questions. If they have the same success rate in the computerized ones then some 250 questions should be corrupt. But it might be a part of the game 😉

  10. claudemurs

    I obviously, ‘sat’ for the test, not ‘set’, sorry for typos. Does anybody know other forums where the issues of this particular BG RO concours are discussed?

  11. claudemurs

    @ dizzy and others
    Hi! I set for the Romanian AD test. There were several things that I thought were strange. In the case of numerical tests, there was one question where I could not tell the connection with the graph and the questions. I put it then on being tired. So I did not mention it to anyone till now. Then, there were numerical test questions that were very uneven. Some of them required much more time (long additions) than others. I got many of the first, and it seems unfair that others might have gotten questions that one would solve by a quick look at the graph. The quality of verbal questions was not great, either, and I am saying this, having experience with similar LSAT and GRE ones. Then, I have friends that had taken the test before me, and they had the same questions as I had, it seems quite strange, that from among 2500 questions, computers would randomly select the same questions for 3 different persons. Moreover, I recognize many of the questions listed by people on forums. Am just puzzled. I stopped working on my PhD thesis for 3 month and was counting on a good result in this test. No I don’t know what to think any more.

  12. Aurora

    Hi Eelman, I should have mentioned that I am not sure about the “according to EU legislation” bit (meaning I am not sure it was in the question). And I do agree that whales are mammals, but I still think whale was the answer they were looking for. (BTW, Cyprus is lovely 🙂

    Dizzy, there were indeed many problems with the numerical reasoning tests held on computer for the Romanians (although I personally did not encounter any). The problems were the following:
    – questions that were (either wholly or partially) in a language other than the language chosen by the candidate
    – questions that did not relate to the table/graph given
    – software problems (the calculator did not work)
    – some questions had answers that were the same (eg B and C were exactly the same)
    – there were questions to which the correct answer was obviously not there
    Given all these problems, many of my fellow Romanians sent complaints to EPSO. Some (a few) were offered the chance to take the tests again. I do not know how these few ere chosen. However, they probably don’t know what to do about the rest. My personal opinion (having read all the complaints lodged to the European Ombudsman against EPSO) is that they will not cancel any of the numerical questions. (cancelling one or just a few would be difficult because this would mean identifying those questions in the tests of almost 12000 candidates – remember this is computer based!, while cancelling all is not feasible because the majority of candidates did not encounter these problems).

  13. viking

    @ Sebastian
    No lets write it in German (sorry to all those who don’t understand it!)
    Vielen Dank S. Die Zusammensetzung der konkreten Prüfungskommission habe ich noch nicht – Deine Schwester wohl auch noch nicht – nur die Zusammensetzung der für das gesamte Verfahren zuständigen Kommission wurde veröffentlcht.
    Nun: Ich muss mich erkundigen, ob solche Kurse organisiert werden. Vielen Dank für den Tipp.
    Viel Erfolg an Deine Schwester!
    LG
    V.

  14. marina

    thanks!
    (from AST 26-36)

    1) the Commission is an institution or an organizations?
    2) who is the Commissioner for Agriculture?
    3) What is ECHO?
    4) For how many years are the MEPs elected?

    Hope someone else could join and integrate the list…
    Ciao!

  15. Eelman

    Santa Claus is already in town!

    For those taking the computerized AD/53-62 here are some topics that have already been asked:

    – Which country was Lome signed in?
    – Who fires the ombudsman
    – When was the CoR founded
    – Which Treaty established the Court of Auditors
    – Who approves the budget
    – Which new MS opted out of the euro (the answer should be none)
    – 1st president of ECB
    – Role of Solana
    – How MEP’s sit in the Parl (answer: by political party, I believe)

    Please add to the list if you can.
    BTW I’m from CY so you are probably not competing against me, if you prefer to send me an e-mail with questions – Don’t be shy now…

  16. Eelman

    Hi Aurora,

    Provided that the question was phrased exactly as you posted it, the correct answer cannot be whale because whales are not fish, they are mammals. Furthermore, the international moratorium for which you speak is not EU legislation, which is what the question is asking for. If I am not mistaken, most or all EU member states have INDIVIDUALLY signed or agreed to this moratorium – it is not something which the EU has agreed to.
    However, there is currently in effect a zero TAC (total allowable catch) for basking shark, Cetorhinus maximus and this is EU legislation.
    It would seem therefore that baksing shark would be the correct answer, but this is not one of the 4 options. There are about 400 species of shark, many of which are commercially exploited legally by EU member states.

  17. Recently someone mentioned in a forum that the numberical tests for BG and Romania may be cancelled, coz there were problems during the testing-unreadable graphs, etc. So EPSO now wonders whether to cancel and what. And thats why the preselection test results are so late. Has anyone heard a similar thing??

  18. marina

    thanks aurora,
    I have to take an epso test for assistants, and I am quite worried about all the questions. (now with an exception for this!)

  19. Aurora

    Eelman,

    This question was found in many candidates’ tests (CBT) during the recruitment competitions for Romanian and Bulgarian translators and administrators this year.

    The question was ” According to EU legislation, for which of the following fish species is there a total ban on fishing”? Options: wild Atlantic salmon, swordfish, whale, shark
    The answer is whale, since there has been an international moratorium on whale fishing since 1986 (although Iceland recently decided to break it).
    Shark FINNING (cutting of the finns and letting the sharks go) is prohibited, not fishing.

  20. marina

    It should be deep-sea sharks

    Is it a general question in eu tests? I hope no….
    Marina

  21. Eelman

    Me again!
    Has anyone found a question in a recent concours along the lines of:

    “Which (fish) species is not allowed to be fished in European waters?”

    If so, could you please post the question as accurately as you can remember it? – THANKS!

  22. Eelman

    Has anyone taken the test for the 10 new MS on the computer?
    Any useful info/tips?

  23. sebastian

    @ Viking
    Thanks. Her exam is end of January I think.
    Good luck to you.Try to etsablish a profile of the members of your selection board, i.e. which position do they have, what are their tasks etc, have they published etc., so you are eventually better prepared for the things they ask. Does your home country organize preparation seminars for the oral exams? The German Foreign Office does that.

  24. viking

    @ Sebastian

    Congratulations to you both!

    Well let’s hope EPSO is not representative for the whole of the EU-administration.

    When does your sister have her exam? Mine is in March.

    Greetings
    V.

  25. sebastian

    @ Viking:

    1) My sister was invited to the oral exam, yes.
    2) Today I received the message from EPSO that I am admitted to the competition and that I will be informed a.s.a.p. on the result of the written test.
    Quite an achievement on behalf of EPSO 🙂
    3) Rumour has is that the Spanish Representation has a list of the “provisional results” of the written test and hence the number of people invited to the oral exam in Law (AD 26/05).

  26. layman

    Hi Eelman,
    I think the evaluation will be finished by the end of December, this is at least what they said in Madrid. In any case, I have been informed that the EPSO final list will only be operative as from April-May 2007. Up to that date, the Commission can contract those who passed the preselection tests only.
    Good Luck!
    P.S If you ever work in EPSO I trust you will publish the questions in this blog beforehand!!!

  27. Eelman

    BTW, who knows how the evaluation of the 2nd part of the Contractual agent exams will be carried out?
    Will they pick the first X people out of each category?
    (I suppose the number of applicants varies significantly for each category…)

    Was this announced/written somewhere at somepoint?

    My ultimate fantasy: One day I will work in EPSO and I WILL BE THE ONE MAKING UP THE QUESTIONS – HU HUA HAHAHA HAHA!!! (that’s my evil laughter)

  28. Eelman

    Hi all,

    I took the 2nd part of the contractual agent test on 17.11.06. My specialty was Biology, but there were only 27 questions on biology and 7 on the Staff Regulation.
    Did anyone else take the Biology test?
    Did anyone find questions unrelated to their field in the test?

  29. viking

    Thanks once again, Aurora. Well, it seems the a bit difficult to judge if the electronic tests are easier then the traditional ones. I think my V&R was difficult – it was very hard to make the 40 qs in 60 min. But it might be that you would have found them easy as well.

    Anyway – thank you for your very detailed and fully satisfactory description.
    V.

  30. Aurora

    Viking, I found the tests quite easy. The EU knowledge had (both times) about 25 easy questions and the rest a bit more detailed, thus more difficult. Most candidates complained about lack of time for the VNR, but I think that the 55 minutes for the 30 questions were more than enough. The numerical reasoning q’s were a breeze (additions and percentages) and the verbal reasoning q’s posed no problem for someone who knows the language he/she chose really well. Here’s my e-mail if you have any more questions, I’ll gladly answer them: adpalko {at} yahoo(.)com

  31. viking

    Aurora
    Thank you very much for the information. Thus, the tests are not becoming any more relaxing 🙁
    V.

  32. Aurora

    Hey Viking,

    I’ve sat two computer-based preselection tests this year and in both of them each question had its own text (in verbal reasoning questions) or its own graph or table (in numerical reasoning questions).

  33. daniel

    Hi people,

    could someone tell me what were the essay topics on his/her exam (2nd round)?

    Cheers,

    daniel

  34. viking

    @neli
    I actually meant if there was one text and one question or one text and two or three questions. Can you answer that?

    My exam:
    40 qs – 60 min. 1 text = 2 or 3 questions.
    In addition: 40 general questions and 40 area specific questions – 70 min.
    Then: the essay (2:30 h)

    It was not nice. I think post epso-test people should gather in combatant groups in order to talk about their post traumatic stress syndrome to gain sympathy and support 😉

    Greetings
    V.

  35. there were 30 questions / 20 questions Verbal and 10 questions Numerical / for 55 minutes and you can use computer calculator
    there were 30 questions about EU for 20 minutes

    Can you tell me more about the exam

  36. viking

    @ neli (or whom ever who can answer)
    how many questions per text did you have?

    in the previous competitions there were normally 3 questions per text – so it was in my competition in march, but i’m wondering how they do the computer-based tests. there seems to be much more time to do the V&N reasoning now (55 min. for 30 quest. in stead of 60 min for 40 quest. + they allow people to use a calculator) so i’m just trying to find the catch if there is one. it might be they’ve become more human facing the challenges of the aging society 😉
    V.

  37. viking

    @ Rasta
    Thanks!

  38. @ viking
    Paris agenda relates to aid effectiveness. Read more at http://www.aidharmonization.org/download/253038/DraftParisDeclaration-English.pdf
    Good luck!

  39. Hi, I’ll soon have my computer test and I’m quite nervous about it. I’ve been practicing on eutests.eu and it seemed very good so far..but I’ll know more after I did the real thing though 🙂 I’m trying to read eu news, repeat history, main characters etc. and hope for the best. Any advice is welcome 🙂 Anita

  40. Glad the blog is useful… 🙂

    Sorry for the slow approval of the last few comments – have not been online much in the last few days.

  41. My book is in french one (because my MCQ are in french): “Connaitre l’Union européenne – QCM QRC” (La documentation française / french public publisher).
    It’s “Small” book with 95% answer from any MQC(QCM in french)
    Good luck
    Eva Luna

  42. viking

    To sebastian

    I’ve heard rumors of irregularities with the ad/26 (some language versions being available before the test). This might explain why it takes so long to check the applications.

    By the way: Has your sister got through to the oral examination? (you mentioned her in one of the first comments)

    V.

  43. viking

    To Rasta

    what’s Paris Agenda? Never heard of it. Do you have any links where I could read something about it???

    V.

  44. viking

    Hi Suzana + (but only a bit) Ugo,

    I’ve passed the ad/25/05 and I am admitted to the oral tests :)))

    And here my compliments to Ugo. Hope we both make it to Bxl and can drink some good Belgian*) macchiato while contemplating on the fact that Live Is Beautiful.
    Don’t worry about the accent – you just have to get the message through + getting rid of it would slow your fluency and this you most certainly don’t need just now.

    *) if it is not self-contradictory

    Suzana:
    For the essay it is good to study the budget and to know what the eu is spending its many on + to read a good newspaper to know the current issues (try euobserver, although it does not have to much background stuff it is ok and FREE. European Voice is better though).

    Try to concentrate on the big issues: Why do we need the eu, what’s its purpose (read the Treaty – especially the first articles) and what are the main strategies now (read the commissions 5 years plan). If you can’t learn all the politic areas then choose a few and learn about their goals (again the treaty + literature) and about their recent history and current issues. This should help although as you know there are no guaranties in this business.

    And by the way: I think it will be an essay. Although you never know…

  45. Michal

    Jon,

    just wanted to express my thanks for starting this blog. I’m sitting the preselection tests for EPSO/AD/60/06 Polish citizens in December and I’ve learned an awful lot on how to crack the tests from this site. BTW, I’m applying in economics field, the ratio of applicants to available places is 303/95. Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems ridiculously low.

    Thanks as well to everyone for their useful tips.

    I wish best of luck to all

    Michal

  46. hi dodzer!
    well thanks for hosting us italian jon…..
    my mail is mirugo00 at yahoo.it…. you can write me so that we can fail together, I have this feeling i will loose the cup in the final.
    in any case i promise i will post on this site my comment on the oral exam, so that anybody intrested will know how bad it is….

  47. DodZer

    hi all,
    I am admitted to the interview in Economics and statistics and I’m italian too. (Ciao Ugo se vuoi possiamo scambiare informazioni sull orale, L Europa si fara con noi o non si fara!!!).

  48. Suzana

    About the written tests again- I looked at the competition notice and for the 2nd part it says “written test in your specialized area”, and then “a short memo in your main language”. My question is- for other concours when there was an essay- did it say specifically “essay” in the competition notice or again just “written test”? Because short memo for the third part is quite specific, so i’m trying to find out what i may get in the second part- essay or dossier test. Thanks

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