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EPSO Exams and Preparation: Comments after the Webinar. Choice of domain

I do not agree with the Webinar on a main points: Choice of subjects.
Choose EPA, external relations or law if you can.
My explanation: Indeed general profiles are much better to select for the 2012 EPSO competition: EPA + external relations gather a total of 102 AD5 + 45 AD7 open positions (compared to last year where there were only 49 AD5 and 25 AD7 open positions).
Afterwards, choose law if have the profile: in 2012, there are 51 AD5 + 13 AD7 open positions (compared to 17 AD5 + 10 AD7 open positions in 2011)
Choosing Audit is certainly the worse to select this year. Explanation: in 2011, economics&finance profiles could choose to register between economics field, audit field, audit field, finance field and statisitics. Which gathered a total of 160 (AD5) + 59 (AD7) open posts . In 2012, there are ONLY 38 (AD5) + 5 (AD7) open positions with this profile (which is very few).
MY ADVICE: in order to increase you chance of success, register in EPA, Law or External relations
(I do not comment the communication concours as the level of candidates should be ok since the criteria to register are quite specific)

Watch This Topic By: Agnes, 22 March 2012, 10:57:40

24 March 2012, 18:12:55

Interesting point.
But combining the profiles there were 6849 (AD5) applicants in the fields of audit, economics, statistics & finance last year. For EPA there were about 15000 (AD5) applicants. Asuming that the number of applicants will be roughly the same we would end up with comparable chances to succeed in EPA and Audit (38 vs. 76 places) this year. The chances might even be better in the Audit field as not everyone with suitable diploma wants to work in the field of audit. These people may therefore chose EPA over audit...

Also I expect that the External relations competition will be rather fierce as there are only 26 places and no diploma specifications... So I don't think that ER would be a better choice than audit.

Concerning the communication field: Does anyone have any estimations concerning the number of applicants?

25 March 2012, 17:53:12

Estimation number of applicants for the communication field:

I guess it is reasonable to look at the number of candidates for "AST3 - Communication" in the on-going open competition, which has begun in December 2011. There are almost 3800 candidates in that competition.

Most of the candidates for AST competition have a higher-education degree of at least 3 years (if not more!), although such degree is not required for assistants. Many of those candidates register also for AD competitions.

Therefore, I think it's reasonable to expect about 4000 candidates for the communication field.

On a different note, I agree with strangequark: the chances might be better in audit than in EPA. In fact, the chance to succeed in EPA has always been the lowest (less than 1 in 300!). Usually, it's much lower than in audit or finance ...

Good luck!

26 March 2012, 11:56:41

In my view EPA is the most difficult as in the last years the admission mark was the highest, if we compare with all the other fields. So, although there are more places, there are so many more candidates comparing with the other fields that you have to get a much higher mark in order to be invited to the AC

Last year, the treshold was 67-68 points out of 80 for majority of fields, but for EPA was 70!!! 2 points is a lot...

26 March 2012, 14:02:21

@ ela
Thank you for your estimation! That's about the number of applicants that seems plausible to me too. Last year there were 4240 applicants in the field of law (AD5), which might also be comparable in terms of eligibility...

26 March 2012, 15:03:56

Does somebody remember the precise cut offs in all fields in AD5 2011 competition?

(Many thanks)


26 March 2012, 15:12:55

No hundred percent guarantee, but as far as I know the cut offs were as follows:

EPA AD5 69.778
Law AD5 68.889
Audit AD5 63.5
Finance AD5 65
Econ AD5 68.395
Stats AD5 64

27 March 2012, 10:23:32

Thank you, strangequark. I can confirm the cut-off score for Economics AD5 last year, i.e. 68.395.

I was remember that the cut-offs for Audit, Statistics and Finance were considerably lower, while for EPA the cut-off was higher.

27 March 2012, 23:18:43

Response to Strangequark and Ela:

Thanks for your comments.

If I may, I think that there is one further significative element to take into account:the cut-off score for each concours is directly linked to the number of applicants to each concours AND the number of posts proposed for each concours..!
In this sense, cut-offs cannot be comparable to the ones shown in 2011 as EPSO has adopted a very different position in the panel of fields proposed and open positions by field this year.

Consequently, considering the number of positions offered in EPA in 2012 (multiplied by more than 2 compared to last year), the cut-off will be surely lower this year even with a high level of applicants.
The same analysis can be done for Law where the cut-off should be lowered this year too.

On the contrary, the same cannot be said for Audit. The cut-off for Audit should be much higher in 2012 compared to 2011: there are much less open posts offered for the financial profiles in 2012 (38 instead of +-160 for AD5) and surely much more expected applicants for this field this year, compared to last year..

As such, I will probably choose EPA and I am pretty sure that this is not a bad choice to do this year.

28 March 2012, 11:24:15

Interesting topic.
I have the same dilemma. I can choose 3 profiles (EPA, AUDIT,EXT.REL) for this year competition. For EPA I can go also for AD7.
I think I will probably choose also EPA AD7 or audit ad5. The thing is most "newbies" applicants will go without to much concern or inner study for the profile with the most available spots and all can see that this is EPA.
Peeps that have made their study and calculations probably will choose more specific work profile such as AUDIT.
EXT.REL is the "newcomer" in this and seems an interesting field. The available spots are not that many though, and the competition will be very high. But I think that this field is the most interesting if u want to work for EU affairs.

Of course the most appropriate is to choose a field that suits you best and in that profile u can perform better...

28 March 2012, 12:33:52

@ Rocamadour
Of course you are absolutely right: The number of available places is a very important factor. But given the high number of applicants in the EPA field, the cut off may drop only a little bit.

I'll probably choose the communication profile. But EPA is also tempting...

28 March 2012, 14:07:42

@ Rocamadour

You are perfectly right: the cut-off score for each concours is directly linked to the number of applicants to each concours AND the number of posts proposed for each concours...

However, I'm afraid some things are rather predictable: if one looks at the EPSO's competitions over the last 2 years (and at the economic & labour market situation in various EU member states!), one could expect 20 000-30 000 candidates for EPA this year. Most of these candidates will be very young (e.g. fresh graduates, with little relevant work experience, but very fit for the prometric tests ... )

I hope I'm wrong. I wish you all the best of luck and ... inspiration in the choice of profile!

@strangequark: I wish I could choose the communication profile. It's so nice ... Unfortunately, economists are not eligible for 'communication' ...

28 March 2012, 14:27:46

Response to Strangequark, Ela and Rocamadour:

Very interesting points. I found that your points of view are very useful for reasoning about the matter.

However, I reckon many more open positions there are, many more applicants it will attract. Especially in a general domain, because everyone might think the same thing as you and choose Epa, that might be the better choice (since there are many more open positions than last year and Epa cut-off might be lower than the last competition).

I reckon it's quite certain only that applicants in Law might be about three times likely to pass the exam than in 2011, (given that the same number of participants, of course, that is an unknown factor.)

Considering economics field all together makes me sceptic. Could all the potential applicants with a Economics degree apply for Audit? It seems too far from reality, for the same common sense (many more open positions there are and the more general the field is, many more applicants it will attract).

Last but not least.
I want to share some relevant data about the Communication profile.
Me too I looked at Ast3 applicants for Communication (open for all Eu languages).

Applicants: 3789
Open positions: 37
Probability: 0,98%

But there was also another AD5 Specialist Competion in 2011 in Communication for mother tongue citizens of ten different EU languages

Applicants: 5492
Open positions: 64
Probability: 1,17%

I think on the one hand there might be more than 5000 candidates for AD5 Communication, much more than Audit and Law (considering all the EU Languages ); on the other hand, given that the number of AD5 open positions, the number of candidates might be lower.

I would like to apply for Communication, (AD7 position, I think, because I have 6 years of experience), but I have realized that competition may be more fierce than I expected. What do you think about?
Might you expect many more o less candidates in connection with the number of open positions?
If they are related, applicants for Communication profile (AD5) could be between 2400(1,17% pr.) and 2850 (0,98% pr.)
But they seem very few. So applying for Epa (with about 15000 applicants) or Communication (with about 5000 applicants) might have the same chance to succeed and nearly the same cut-off.
Although Epa will attract in proportion few more applicants than Communication.
What do you think about?

To sum up, as Glouv claims, I think the most appropriate is to choose a field that suits you best and in which you can perform better.

Title: EU Administrator Exams Workbook - Volume I.

Description: The first volume of the EPSO AD workbooks covers abstract, numerical and verbal reasoning.

Number of pages: 8

( 1616 KB, PDF)