The new year is bringing lots of surprises. Apparently we cannot choose what kind of surprises we get, so the best thing we can do is to adapt to them. EPSO is committed to make the competitions possible, despite all odds being against, so they have launched new dates for the exams. SPOILER!!! Believe it or not, there is a happy ending for those of you in the competitions. Keep reading until the end 😉
Something you should (absolutely) know
Las 22nd December, a modification (addendum) of several competitions was published that included two relevant facts and one reminder :
- Fact 1 : All active competitions will be evaluated online.
- Fact 2 : When they say online, they mean it for all tests (CBT, E-tray, Assessment Centre). Online tests can be done both at EPSO’s test centres or at home (all this will be clearly indicated in the official communications through your candidate profile).
- Reminder : SCBI or Situational Competence Based Interview replaces the group exercise for online testing.
In case you are skeptical on these facts, allow us to copy some points extracted from the addendums :
- For this competition the computer-based Multiple-Choice Question (MCQ) tests will now be organised either remotely or in one of EPSO’s accredited test centres. (from Administrators (AD 5/AD 7) in the field of external relations EPSO/AD/382/20 addendum).
- For this competition the assessment tests will now be organised either remotely or in one of EPSO’s accredited test centres ( from Parliamentary ushers EPSO/AST-SC/08/19).
- For this competition the intermediate computer-based Multiple-Choice Question (MCQ) Microsoft Office Word skills test will now be organised either remotely or in one of EPSO’s accredited test centres. + For this competition the assessment tests will now be organised either remotely or in one of EPSO’s accredited test centres ( from Secretaries EPSO/AST-SC/10/20 addendum).
How does the Covid crisis affect your EPSO competitions?
Let’s go competition by competition to clarify it (we’ll follow from highest to lowest EPSO reference number). Please, be aware the following analysis is done based on the information published in EPSO web page and our experience as candidates (yes, we once were where you are now) and trainers.
Administrators in the field of external relations EPSO/AD/382/20 (AD5 and AD7)
We know all of you (to be precise the 11498 of you) who applied for this competition are anxious to begin with the CBT, but you will have to wait until the beginning of February???? for the booking opening, and until end February or beginning of March to take the exam. Yes, it’s the 4th time EPSO has delayed the dates (initially the booking opening was intended for December) so we can not be 100% sure about this time. Nevertheless, the fact all other competitions at the CBT stage and with remaining candidates to take the CBT have adopted the same dates gives us some solid hope this time it will be the right one (in case you still need some help with the CBT check this).
Administrators in the field of European Law EPSO/AD/381/20
Yes, many of you took the CBT when you were supposed to do so, that is, from end November until mid-December (green square). But still, many (hundreds or even thousands) candidates couldn’t due to Covid-restrictions. In December 2020, EPSO committed itself to give them an opportunity and there it goes (red square). Be careful and check the current restrictions to know if this try is the good one in case you absolutely want to take the CBT in a Prometric facility, or you need to prepare your home for it. We are not interior experts but for the CBT itself, we can help, check this.
Administrators in international cooperation and managing aid to non-EU countries EPSO/AD/380/19 – AD7 and AD7
Yes, right, this opened in December 2019 and the CBT was done couple of months later but, as international cooperation projects, nobody said it would be easy or short. Right after the end of the CBT, the lockdown began and this competition went frozen. Now, seems it’s getting warm again but not too much. Case study was announced for January but finally it was postponed until February (from home? only the pandemic knows) and after that, well at least a couple of months after that, we can expect the rest of the assessment tests. Dear candidates, keep your stamina and resilience up. If you need some help with the case study, check here.
Graduate Administrators EPSO/AD/373/19
The flagship of the competitions, also known as Generalist, is still frozen. The fact its Assessment Centre didn’t begin before the pandemic doesn’t help and 294 of you are testing your resilience to limits you couldn’t imagine. So far, priority has been given to Competition Law and Auditors that had already began (and have far less candidates to assess).
It seems once Audit is moving again, Generalists won’t take long to begin. Winter lasts until 21st of March, so be patient and probably you will be rewarded in mid-February with some good news (or some news, at least).
Administrators in the field of Audit EPSO/AD/372/19 – AD 5 and AD 7
Candidates in the Auditors’ competition were puzzled when the new dates for Assessement were published as they split the Assessment into two events with different dates for AD5 and AD7, and then we got a Remote Assessment and Situational Competency-based interview (SCBI for short). Why? As the Audit competition already started in March 2020 (yes, a long time ago), some candidates only need to take the SCBI , as they already have gone through the Assessment Centre with a group exercise. Being precise, in 2020, 257 candidates in AD5 and 118 in AD7 were invited to the Assessment, now, in 2021, 195 and 111 respectively (so 62 and 7 need to go through the SCBI only, if someone hasn’t retired from the competition or retired from the working life after such a long time).
Secretaries EPSO/AST-SC/10/20 – SC 1 and SC2
Well, many have asked about this competition and when the second test (the one about Word-MS Office skills) could take place. Apparently not yet. Several hundreds, even rumors say couple of thousands haven’t taken their CBT test, so a new window is open to book and do the CBT. Will it be in the Prometric-CBT facilities or at home? Stay alert and read carefully the invitation that you will receive in your candidate’s folder. Because of Covid, many restrictions have been imposed in European states so the “at home” modality is getting more likely everyday. Still, the exam will be the same, so get ready! If you think we can help, check this.
Conference Operators EPSO/AST-SC/09/19
If you are part of this competition and you were waiting for the next exams, you will get them with a vengeance. After several announcement and interruptions, now both, CBT and E-tray are announced for the end of February for the 75 of you who are still in it. Be careful with the length of this exam (65 minutes of CBT + 60 of E-tray can be dangerous if we don’t manage our energies correctly). After that, or perhaps at the same time, more news should come on the Assessment Centre (not too long, just 2 interviews : competence-based and field-related). So be ready to get fresh news right after the CBT and E-tray! Meanwhile we are crossing our fingers to see it becomes real and also thinking you could provide a tip or two to the EPSO staff on how to organise a online conference or an online assessment without technical interruptions .
Parliamentary Ushers EPSO/AST-SC/08/19 – SC 1 and SC 2
Well, they say a Parliamentary Usher must be patient with the MEPs, so consider this process (that began in July 2019) a testing method of your patience. Still, in Autum-Winter of 2020 you got the opportunity of taking the CBT and now, 52 in SC1 and 81 in SC2 candidates will go through the Assessment Centre. A role play , competence based interview, language test and field related interview are waiting for you. Scary? Not much. You have until Spring (lets say April or beyond) to prepare it. don’t miss it! (and if you need some help with these test, here our proposal)
And the good news are?
There is light at the end of the tunnel!! Administrators in Competition Law EPSO/AD/374/19 , which had the privilege to be the first competition restarted in the online-Assessment mode has ended and the results went public. It was particularly challenging as they replaced the group exercise with the SCBI and part of the candidates had already gone through the Assessment in March, despite all this, 10 of our candidates are now in the reserve list. They did their best and we helped them to perform at the maximum level, now this effort has its reward. In YaSemosEuropeos (YSE) we’ll remain at your service to help you with the EPSO challenge and sooner or later, to celebrate your success.
In these challenging times, it’s time to take care of your beloved ones and of yourself, but also there is an opportunity to start (or keep) your next steps on the EPSO competitions. Sooner or later everything will come back to normality, those who took advantage of this time will have better chances of succeeding.