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EPSO tests

Last update: 08/06/2022
 

Learn about our tests

As part of each open competition or selection procedure published on the EPSO website, you will need to sit a series of tests assessing general and specific competencies. The evaluation process is carried out in multiple-steps: the first requires applicants to take a number of computer-based multiple-choice tests. For specialist competitions, this initial phase may be based on qualifications only.

Candidates who succeed in the computer-based multiple-choice tests and/or in the selection based on qualifications - and whose online application forms show that they meet all general and specific eligibility conditions - will be invited to the assessment centre phase. The Assessment Centre tests are organised in an online format (remote) and the tests usually take place on different dates.

Competencies and anchors

In the assessment centre, candidates’ general competencies and their specific competencies related to the duties/field in question are tested. For a given exercise, each general competency consists of five defined “anchors”, which are the elements taken into consideration when assessing a competency. Candidates are observed for each anchor separately and given a global score corresponding to the competency. The anchors used to assess the general competencies are now available for consultation.

Types of tests

Below you can find descriptions and examples of different types of tests. They are designed to give candidates a general idea of the exercises and questions that they may face.

Please note that the number and type of tests you will need to take varies and depends on the competition type and level for which you are applying. All details can be found in the relevant Notice of competition or Call for Expressions of Interest, which contain all information about each selection procedure.

Further information

EPSO does not offer preparatory courses or material apart from the sample tests below, nor does it endorse publications or training courses made available by other entities.

Some EU member states offer training and support to their citizens. You can check the Member States training and support contact list or consult the official directory of the European Union.

If you would like to find out more about EPSO’s selection procedures, you can also check the EPSO Tests: Myths and Facts page.

 

Is an EU Career for you?

Completing the 'EU Career, My Career?' questionnaire will help you to determine whether a career in the EU institutions is for you and if you are likely to meet the standards required of an EU official. The questions and replies will give you a realistic overview of the work environment in the EU institutions.

Try the questionnaire

 

Online tests: samples

Reasoning skills tests:

  • Verbal (assesses your ability to think logically and understand verbal, numerical information).
  • Numerical (assesses your ability to think logically and understand numerical information).
  • Abstract (assesses your ability to think logically and understand the relations between concepts involving no linguistic, spatial or numerical elements).

Professional skills tests:

  • Accuracy and precision (assesses your ability to process information quickly).
  • Prioritising and organising (assesses your ability to organise and prioritise work).

Language comprehension tests: samples in 24 languages - The language comprehension test includes a series of 12 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ), which are designed to assess your linguistic abilities in terms of vocabulary, grammar/syntax constructions and style. They are not in the field of a specific institution/agency/service. Each question is based on a scenario linked to four different answer options, only one of which is correct. Each question yields one point and wrong answers are not penalised. Candidates have 30 minutes in total at their disposal to answer to the 12 multiple-choice questions.  While the time factor is part of the assessment as well, the tests are designed in a way to allow candidates to possibly answer all questions within the allocated timeframe. Questions do not require additional knowledge and are only based on the information provided in the text.

Microsoft Office skills test: samples in English and French - This Microsoft Word test aims at evaluating your knowledge of MS Word 2016 features and of their application. The number of questions, duration of the test, and the pass mark are indicated in the notice of competition.

Drafting skills test: This practical test is designed to assess the candidates' drafting skills (particularly spelling, lexical and grammar) in their language 2, not their knowledge of the topic dealt with in their composition. Candidates will be provided with a list of different topics, from which they will need to choose only one. They will be asked to draft a composition on the chosen topic. The test will be performed on computer and last for 30 minutes.

Role Play: During this test, the candidate plays a role in a one-to-one interaction with a role player. The role play itself lasts around 15 – 20 minutes and allows testing several general competencies. It consists in a meeting with the role player about the situation. The trained role player may provide additional information during the meeting, according to a semi-structured script. 

Field-related test: The field-related test includes a series of multiple-choice questions (MCQ) which are designed to test the inherent competence to the duties required for the specific profile. Each question is linked to four different answer options, only one of which is correct. Further information is indicated in the notice of competition and in the invitation letter.

Field-related interview (secretaries): During the interview, the candidate’s specific competencies and knowledge in the field will be thoroughly tested. The following three general competencies will also be assessed, but without asking specific questions concerning them: Analysis and problem solving, Communication and Resilience.

Online tests: samples

Reasoning skills tests:

  • Verbal (assesses your ability to think logically and understand verbal, numerical information).
  • Numerical (assesses your ability to think logically and understand numerical information).
  • Abstract (assesses your ability to think logically and understand the relations between concepts involving no linguistic, spatial or numerical elements).

Professional skills tests:

  • Accuracy and precision (assesses your ability to process information quickly).
  • Prioritising and organising (assesses your ability to organise and prioritise work).

Situational judgment test: samples: EnglishFrenchGerman and scoring example - This test assesses your typical behaviour in a working context.

Field-related test: The field-related test includes a series of multiple-choice questions (MCQ) which are designed to test the inherent competence to the duties required for the specific profile. Each question is linked to four different answer options, only one of which is correct. Further information is indicated in the notice of competition and in the invitation letter.

Language comprehension tests: samples in 24 languages - The language comprehension test includes a series of 12 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ), which are designed to assess your linguistic abilities in terms of vocabulary, grammar/syntax constructions and style. They are not in the field of a specific institution/agency/service. Each question is based on a scenario linked to four different answer options, only one of which is correct. Each question yields one point and wrong answers are not penalised. Candidates have 30 minutes in total at their disposal to answer to the 12 multiple-choice questions.  While the time factor is part of the assessment as well, the tests are designed in a way to allow candidates to possibly answer all questions within the allocated timeframe. Questions do not require additional knowledge and are only based on the information provided in the text.

Editing test: The editing test is about correcting linguistic errors (numbering, punctuation, grammar/spelling and vocabulary) and formatting mistakes in a translation. The source text in Language 2 is provided on screen. A translation of this text into Language 1, provided as an editable MSWord (MS Office 2010) file, contains mistakes in the language and the format in comparison to the source text. The candidate is asked to detect and correct these mistakes, in order to match the source text. The test lasts approximately one hour.

Drafting of a note relating to duties/Written test in the field: The test is designed to evaluate some of the competences inherent to the duties required for a particular profile. A specific situation is provided in the form of a short written briefing, and candidates are asked to draft a note including the ways to address this situation. The test is on computer and must be taken in the candidates' second language. The pass mark is indicated in the Notice of competition.

Specific competency-based interview/Field related interview: The test is designed to evaluate some or all (see the Notice of competition) of the competences inherent to the duties required for a specific profile. It is a structured interview by two members of the Selection Board. The interview is in the candidates' second language. The pass mark is indicated in the Notice of competition. The specific competency-based interview/field related interview should not be confused with the general competency-based interview, which is also structured but which focuses on general competencies rather than specific duties. 

Situational Competency Based Interview (SCBI): samples: English, French - an interview that aims to assess general competencies by asking the candidate how he/she would react in a specific situation. Prior to the interview, the candidate is invited to consult and read an online written assignment and background information in order to prepare for the exercise. The situation described in the assignment will be discussed during the interview and additional situations, not based on the assignment, will also be included. The SCBI takes place remotely using a videoconferencing tool. During the interview, the candidate may consult the written assignment and background information.

Finalisation of a text: This test is about correcting formatting mistakes in a translation. The source text in language 2 is provided on screen. A translation of this text into language 1, provided as an editable text, contains mistakes in the language and the format in comparison to the source text. The candidate is asked to detect and correct these mistakes, in order to match the source text. The test lasts one hour.

Case study: samples: English, French - This is a computer-based test based on a relevant scenario, in which you are faced with various problems that you are asked to solve or to which you must react, relying solely on the material provided.

Competency based interview (CBI): The competency-based interview is designed to evaluate a number of selected general competencies, depending on the competition and grade the candidate has applied for, as specified in the Notice of Competition. Candidates are interviewed for about 10 minutes per competency. The questions are structured to allow the assessors  to evaluate the candidate’s selected general competencies.

Online tests: samples

Reasoning skills tests:

  • Verbal (assesses your ability to think logically and understand verbal, numerical information).
  • Numerical (assesses your ability to think logically and understand numerical information).
  • Abstract (assesses your ability to think logically and understand the relations between concepts involving no linguistic, spatial or numerical elements).

Sample situational judgment testThis test assesses your typical behaviour in a working context - some more samples: EnglishFrenchGerman and scoring example.

Situational Competency Based Interview (SCBI): samples: English, French - an interview that aims to assess general competencies by asking the candidate how he/she would react in a specific situation. Prior to the interview, the candidate is invited to consult and read an online written assignment and background information in order to prepare for the exercise. The situation described in the assignment will be discussed during the interview and additional situations, not based on the assignment, will also be included. The SCBI takes place remotely using a videoconferencing tool. During the interview, the candidate may consult the written assignment and background information.

Oral presentation: samples - This is an individual test of analysis and presentation, in which you are asked to give a presentation and answer questions on a hypothetical work-related situation. Ahead of the interview, the candidate is invited to consult, read and analyse all available versions of an online written assignment and background information in order to prepare for the exercise. At the beginning of the interview, you will be told which version of the assignment you have to present (without the help of visual support) and you will answer questions. The oral presentation lasts 20 minutes and tests a number of competencies, as indicated in the Notice of Competition.

Case study: samples: EnglishFrenchGerman - This is a computer-based test based on a relevant scenario, in which you are faced with various problems that you are asked to solve or to which you must react, relying solely on the material provided.

Competency based interview (CBI): The competency-based interview is designed to evaluate a number of selected general competencies, depending on the competition and grade the candidate has applied for, as specified in the Notice of Competition. Candidates are interviewed for about 10 minutes per competency. The questions are structured to allow the assessors to evaluate the candidate’s selected general competencies.

Motivational interview: The motivation to join the EU Institutions is multifaceted, involving several elements: the origin of the interest to work for the EU, the awareness about and commitment to EU values, the understanding of present and future challenges of the EU, the expectations regarding an EU career, knowledge of the EU and its origins, of the EU institutions and of the main EU policies. On this basis, a motivational interview has been developed and consists of a 20 minute structured interview by two members of the Selection Board. The EU motivational interview will test each of the above elements.

Online tests: samples

Reasoning skills tests:

  • Verbal (assesses your ability to think logically and understand verbal, numerical information).
  • Numerical (assesses your ability to think logically and understand numerical information).
  • Abstract (assesses your ability to think logically and understand the relations between concepts involving no linguistic, spatial or numerical elements).

Sample situational judgment test: This test assesses your typical behaviour in a working context - some more samples: EnglishFrenchGerman and scoring example.

Language comprehension tests:sample in 24 languages - The language comprehension test includes a series of 12 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ), which are designed to assess your linguistic abilities in terms of vocabulary, grammar/syntax constructions and style. They are not in the field of a specific institution/agency/service. Each question is based on a scenario linked to four different answer options, only one of which is correct. Each question yields one point and wrong answers are not penalised. Candidates have 25 minutes in total at their disposal to answer to the 12 multiple-choice questions.  While the time factor is part of the assessment as well, the tests are designed in a way to allow candidates to possibly answer all questions within the allocated timeframe. Questions do not require additional knowledge and are only based on the information provided in the text.

Role Play: During this test, the candidate plays a role in a one-to-one interaction with a role player. The role play itself lasts around 15 – 20 minutes and allows testing several general competencies. It consists in a meeting with the role player about the situation. The trained role player may provide additional information during the meeting, according to a semi-structured script.

Situational Competency Based Interview (SCBI): samples: English, French - an interview that aims to assess general competencies by asking the candidate how he/she would react in a specific situation. Prior to the interview, the candidate is invited to consult and read an online written assignment and background information in order to prepare for the exercise. The situation described in the assignment will be discussed during the interview and additional situations, not based on the assignment, will also be included. The SCBI takes place remotely using a videoconferencing tool. During the interview, the candidate may consult the written assignment and background information.

Oral presentation: samples - This is an individual test of analysis and presentation, in which you are asked to give a presentation and answer questions on a hypothetical work-related situation. Ahead of the interview, the candidate is invited to consult, read and analyse all available versions of an online written assignment and background information in order to prepare for the exercise. At the beginning of the interview, you will be told which version of the assignment you have to present (without the help of visual support) and you will answer questions. The oral presentation lasts 20 minutes and tests a number of competencies, as indicated in the Notice of Competition.

Case study: EnglishFrenchGerman - This is a computer-based test based on a relevant scenario, in which you are faced with various problems that you are asked to solve or to which you must react, relying solely on the material provided.

Competency based interview (CBI): The competency-based interview is designed to evaluate a number of selected general competencies, depending on the competition and grade the candidate has applied for, as specified in the Notice of Competition. Candidates are interviewed for about 10 minutes per competency. The questions are structured to allow the assessors to evaluate the candidate’s selected general competencies.

Field related interview: The test is designed to evaluate some or all (see the Notice of competition) of the competences inherent to the duties required for a specific profile. It is a structured interview by two members of the Selection Board. The interview is in the candidates' second language. The pass mark is indicated in the Notice of competition. The specific competency-based interview/field related interview should not be confused with the general competency-based interview, which is also structured but which focuses on general competencies rather than specific duties.

Written test in the field: The test is designed to evaluate some of the competences inherent to the duties required for a particular profile. A specific situation is provided in the form of a short written briefing, and candidates are asked to write about the ways to address this situation. The test is on computer and must be taken in the candidates' second language. The pass mark is indicated in the Notice of competition.

Field-related test: The field-related test includes a series of multiple-choice questions (MCQ) which are designed to test the inherent competence to the duties required for the specific profile. Each question is linked to four different answer options, only one of which is correct. Further information is indicated in the notice of competition and in the invitation letter.

Online tests: samples

Reasoning skills tests:

  • Verbal (assesses your ability to think logically and understand verbal, numerical information).
  • Numerical (assesses your ability to think logically and understand numerical information).
  • Abstract (assesses your ability to think logically and understand the relations between concepts involving no linguistic, spatial or numerical elements).

Sample situational judgment testThis test assesses your typical behaviour in a working context - some more samples: EnglishFrenchGerman and scoring example.

Language comprehension tests:samples in 24 languages - The language comprehension test includes a series of 12 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ), which are designed to assess your linguistic abilities in terms of vocabulary, grammar/syntax constructions and style. They are not in the field of a specific institution/agency/service. Each question is based on a scenario linked to four different answer options, only one of which is correct. Each question yields one point and wrong answers are not penalised. Candidates have 25 minutes in total at their disposal to answer to the 12 multiple-choice questions.  While the time factor is part of the assessment as well, the tests are designed in a way to allow candidates to possibly answer all questions within the allocated timeframe. Questions do not require additional knowledge and are only based on the information provided in the text.

Translation tests: samples: German, English, Spanish, French, Italian

Summary test:sample - In this test, you will be given a text in language 3 and asked to write on computer a summary of it in language 1 (the language of the competition). The length of test is approximately 2 hours. The use of dictionaries is forbidden.

Situational Competency Based Interview (SCBI): samples: English, French - an interview that aims to assess general competencies by asking the candidate how he/she would react in a specific situation. Prior to the interview, the candidate is invited to consult and read an online written assignment and background information in order to prepare for the exercise. The situation described in the assignment will be discussed during the interview and additional situations, not based on the assignment, will also be included. The SCBI takes place remotely using a videoconferencing tool. During the interview, the candidate may consult the written assignment and background information.

Competency based interview (CBI): The competency-based interview is designed to evaluate a number of selected general competencies, depending on the competition and grade the candidate has applied for, as specified in the Notice of Competition. Candidates are interviewed for about 10 minutes per competency. The questions are structured to allow the assessors to evaluate the candidate’s selected general competencies.

Online tests: samples

Reasoning skills tests:

  • Verbal (assesses your ability to think logically and understand verbal, numerical information).
  • Numerical (assesses your ability to think logically and understand numerical information).
  • Abstract (assesses your ability to think logically and understand the relations between concepts involving no linguistic, spatial or numerical elements).

Sample situational judgment testThis test assesses your typical behaviour in a working context - some more samples: EnglishFrenchGerman and scoring example.

Translation testsamples in 24 languages

Revision testsample - Revision of a text that has been translated from Language 2 into Language 1.

Language comprehension tests: samples in 24 languages - The language comprehension test includes a series of 12 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ), which are designed to assess your linguistic abilities in terms of vocabulary, grammar/syntax constructions and style. They are not in the field of a specific institution/agency/service. Each question is based on a scenario linked to four different answer options, only one of which is correct. Each question yields one point and wrong answers are not penalised. Candidates have 25 minutes in total at their disposal to answer to the 12 multiple-choice questions.  While the time factor is part of the assessment as well, the tests are designed in a way to allow candidates to possibly answer all questions within the allocated timeframe. Questions do not require additional knowledge and are only based on the information provided in the text.

Situational Competency Based Interview (SCBI): samples: English, French - an interview that aims to assess general competencies by asking the candidate how he/she would react in a specific situation. Prior to the interview, the candidate is invited to consult and read an online written assignment and background information in order to prepare for the exercise. The situation described in the assignment will be discussed during the interview and additional situations, not based on the assignment, will also be included. The SCBI takes place remotely using a videoconferencing tool. During the interview, the candidate may consult the written assignment and background information.

Oral presentation: samples - This is an individual test of analysis and presentation, in which you are asked to give a presentation and answer questions on a hypothetical work-related situation. Ahead of the interview, the candidate is invited to consult, read and analyse all available versions of an online written assignment and background information in order to prepare for the exercise. At the beginning of the interview, you will be told which version of the assignment you have to present (without the help of visual support) and you will answer questions. The oral presentation lasts 20 minutes and tests a number of competencies, as indicated in the Notice of Competition.

Main language skills test: sample - The main language skills test is a multiple-choice test made up of 25 independent questions. Each question comprises 4 options, out of which only one (A, B, C or D) is the correct answer. Candidates have 25 minutes to finish the test. The questions may target any of the following competencies: grammar, vocabulary, idiomatic usage, spelling and punctuation.

Interpreters(AD)

Online tests: samples

Reasoning skills tests:

  • Verbal (assesses your ability to think logically and understand verbal, numerical information).
  • Numerical (assesses your ability to think logically and understand numerical information).
  • Abstract (assesses your ability to think logically and understand the relations between concepts involving no linguistic, spatial or numerical elements).

Oral presentation: samples - This is an individual test of analysis and presentation, in which you are asked to give a presentation and answer questions on a hypothetical work-related situation. Ahead of the interview, the candidate is invited to consult, read and analyse all available versions of an online written assignment and background information in order to prepare for the exercise. At the beginning of the interview, you will be told which version of the assignment you have to present (without the help of visual support) and you will answer questions. The oral presentation lasts 20 minutes and tests a number of competencies, as indicated in the Notice of Competition.

 

Contract Agents / CAST Permanent

Reasoning skills tests:
For FG I, II and III please refer to Assistants (AST-SC) or Assistants (AST) sections.
For FG IV, please refer to Administrators (AD - Generalist) section.

Competency-based test: This is a multiple-choice question (MCQ) test that evaluates your knowledge in the field of a specific profile. See the call for expression of interest for details.
The competency test for contract agents includes a series of 25 multiple-choice questions which are designed to test the inherent competence to the duties required for the specific profile. The questions in the competency tests are related to the duties described in the Call for Expression of Interest. They are not in the field of a specific institution/agency/service. Each question is based on a scenario linked to four different answer options, only one of which is correct.  Each question yields one point and wrong answers are not penalised. Candidates have 50 minutes in total at their disposal to answer to the 25 multiple-choice questions.  While the time factor is part of the assessment as well, the tests are designed in a way to allow candidates to possibly answer all questions within the allocated timeframe. The competency tests will be taken in the candidates' second language. The pass mark is 13 out of 25 points for both function groups II and III whereas for function group IV candidates need to score 16 out of 25 points to pass. This type of test is applicable to the following profiles:

Finance: questions on financial procedures, accounting management, analysis and advice (audits and controls), which may also cover economic theories and tools to monitor and analyse economic and financial trends, developments and data.
Project / Programme Management: questions on knowledge of project/programme management (planning, monitoring, evaluation, etc.) which also cover relevant financial aspects, communication and quality assurance.
Secretaries/Clerks: questions on a range of secretarial tasks/clerical duties such as organising meetings, preparing missions, filing documents and mail, sorting post, maintaining appointment diaries, etc. Basic knowledge of MS Office software products is also tested.
Administration / Human Resources: questions mostly related to personnel management and professional training.
Communication: questions on practical tools such as, but not limited to, briefings, factsheets, online communication, social media as well as on pertinent project management aspects related to e.g. definition/implementation/execution of communication strategies.
Political Affairs / EU Policies: questions are on knowledge in political areas, both on general and EU level, but can also cover legal and economical subjects.
Law: questions on knowledge of EU, national and international law which may also cover political and economic subjects.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT): questions on a variety of ICT related topics such as, but not limited to, the use of programming languages such as JAVA, Visual Basic, Visual C#, etc., user environment administration (e.g. Windows and Unix) and network and telecommunications management.
Child care staff: questions on childcare in after-school facilities and outdoors (children aged 3.5-14), kindergarten teaching and nursery/nurses and childcare work for children aged 0-3 in crèches.
Educational Psychologistsquestions covering different aspects such as the coordination of work of a nursery or after-school centre and its staff,  the quality of life of the children and interaction with the parents, the development and monitoring of the educational mission statement (including training).

Language comprehension test: this is a Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) that assesses your comprehension of the Language 2 (English, French, Deutsch) in terms of vocabulary, grammar/syntax constructions and style.
The language comprehension test for contract agents includes a series of 12 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) which are designed to test your comprehension of the L2 (EN-FR-DE) in terms of vocabulary, grammar/syntax constructions and style . They are not in the field of a specific institution/agency/service. Each question is based on a scenario linked to four different answer options, only one of which is correct. Each question yields one point and wrong answers are not penalised. Candidates have 30 minutes in total at their disposal to answer to the 12 multiple-choice questions.  While the time factor is part of the assessment as well, the tests are designed in a way to allow candidates to possibly answer all questions within the allocated timeframe. The pass mark is 6 out of 12 points for function group III and 7 out of 12 points for function groups IV.

This type of test is applicable to the following profiles:
Translators / Proofreadersa test aiming at assessing that candidates have a good comprehension of the L2 (EN-FR-DE) in terms of vocabulary, grammar/syntax constructions and style. Questions do not require additional knowledge and are only based on the information provided in the text.

All these tests will be computer-based and you will take them at the same time in a test centre of your choice (to be selected from those available). The list of available test centres will be accessible to candidates in their invitation letter.
 

For Manual and administrative support workers profile: there is no competency test and no language comprehension test, only reasoning skills tests.