When it comes to EPSO Competitions it is not always easy to succeed on your first try, but not impossible either. Speaking from personal experience, I consider that these several steps taken before the exam which could improve your chances.
Understand the Epso Exam structure – Do EPSO Account, CBT, SJT, AC, Interview, Reserve List ring any bell? Do you know how these link between themselves? Is there an order between all these? Are there any special cases where the EPSO selection procedure might be slightly different? These would be among the first questions a potential EPSO candidate would pose himself before applying. The response to all these questions you’ll find by browsing EPSO Site, our site and other internet resources. If you already have some experience with EPSO Competitions you can directly head to the notice of competition from the Official Journal.
Know the 4 W’s – Who is eligible? If you want to apply you need to make sure that you will meet the eligibility requirements – general and specific. Those are usually expressed under 3rd chapter of a notice of competition. What will the whole selection process consist of? When will it take place – know when you can start applying, what the deadline for applying is and when will you will then be scheduled for the exam. Where will the exam be held? You need to know where each phase will be held. It is usual that last phases of the competitions are held in Brussels but initial exams are held in numerous different cities. Does your city have a EPSO Test site or will you have to arrange for travelling to the nearest test site?
Closely follow EPSO communications with candidates – After registering for the competition you will receive notifications from EPSO (on application validation, booking of preselection exams, etc). You need to pay close attention to the messages especially those concerning deadlines. A considerable number of candidates found themselves disqualified only because they forgot to either validate their application or the scheduled date for the exam. You wouldn’t want this to happen.
Benchmarking – Wouldn’t it be useful to actually know what to expect in terms of competition, candidates, available places? Before taking the exam , I would use history of EPSO competitions as a predictor of what is to be expected in the future. I would try to estimate the pass mark for the preselection tests to know what I would need to score and I would look into the ratio between registered candidates for the competition and the number of places on the reserve list. If you look at 2011 and 2012 statistics you will have an idea of what goal you’ll need to fulfill.
It’s all about training or practice makes perfect. Or, at least good enough to pass the preselection tests 🙂 I’ve saved this tip for the last as I consider it the most important. Preselection tests are the most important step of the selection process as they are the most difficult in terms of competition. If during the assessment centre phase you’ll find yourself usually competing against 2 more candidates for the reserve list, during the preselection phase, you could even be competing against 99 other candidates. Knowing already the structure of the tests, the time needed to complete those tests, how the tests and the computer test interface look like is a great asset in your challenge of passing the EPSO Exams.
What about you? What are your thoughts now after taking your first EPSO Competition? Share your thoughts!
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