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Becoming a Conference Interpreter with the EPSO AD 5 and 7 level competitions

Are you interested in working for the European Union? Some new EPSO AD5 and AD7 positions have opened. Read on as we describe this competition and show you have to prepare for this unique competition. 

The EPSO Assessment Centre is always held in Brussels.
The Atomium

Do you want to be a Conference Interpreter for the EU?

The new competitions are the EPSO/AD/311/15 – 315/15 for the following languages:
  • Czech - EPSO/AD/311/15
  • Croatian - EPSO/AD/312/15
  • Lithuanian - EPSO/AD/313/15
  • Maltese - EPSO/AD/314/15
In these positions you have to interpret meetings and discussions either in a simultaneous or a consecutive way. The meetings cover a variety of different and wide ranging topics and can take place at irregular hours. These positions give you the chance to travel around Europe so if you would like traveling this position is a good career choice!

What EPSO tests do I need to pass to succeed?

The new competitions are different to the regular EPSO competitions in that there are extra tests involved that you have to pass in order to get invited to the EPSO assessment centre. The tests are:

Stage 1: Preliminary interpreting test

This involves a simultaneous interpretation of a recorded speech from one of your chosen languages into your best language. For example if your chosen languages are French, German and Czech with Czech being your first language you have to translate the speech from either French or German into Czech. This test is approximately 10 minutes long and you have to score at least 50%.

Stage 2: Interpreting tests

There are two tests in this section. For both of them you have to translate from your least favoured language into your chosen one AND from your chosen language into a less favoured one. You have to score a minimum of 50% in each of these tests. The first one is a consecutive interpreting test lasting 6 minutes and the second is a simultaneous interpreting test lasting 12 minutes.

Both the EPSO AD 7 and AD 5 results are sent to you by email and if you have scored highly enough on this stage you will be invited to Brussels for the assessment centre.

Stage 3: EPSO Assessment Centre

If you have scored highly enough on the previous EPSO interpreting tests you will be invited to attend an assessment centre in Brussels where you will take the standard EPSO tests as well as the other assessment exercises. The tests and exercises are:

EPSO Verbal Reasoning test: Taken in your first language, this is a 20 question test to be taken in 35 minutes. The pass mark is 50%. Learn about the principles of this test on our verbal reasoning page.

EPSO Numerical Reasoning test: This test is also taken in your first language, this 10 question test gives you a time limit of 20 minutes. To learn more about this test and get preparation see our dedicated pages.

EPSO Abstract Reasoning Test: In this test you have to answer 10 questions in a 10 minute time frame. Learning how to answer these questions is tricky so see our dedicated pages for tips and tricks and get our EPSO training pack for complete preparation.

For the numerical and abstract reasoning tests your scores are combined and you have to have at least 10 correct answers out of the 20 questions. This means that even if you score 2/10 in abstract reasoning, if you have scored 8/10 in the numerical test you will have passed.

Want to get a taste of JobTestPrep's EPSO simulation tests? Try out our much lauded demo page.

Oral Presentation: In this exercise you are given a case study approximately 20 pages long to go through in 30 minutes. Based on the direction questions you are given in the brief you must prepare a presentation that you will give to two assessors. This is given in your language of choice, English, French, or German. To learn more about this exercise and how to prepare see the website.

Competency-based interview: This assesses the following competencies:
  • Communicating
  • Delivering quality and results
  • Learning and development
  • Resilience
  • Working with others
  • Leadership
There are eight competencies in all (Analysis and problem solving and Prioritising and organising are not included above) which you can see on this marked out of 10. You need to score at least 40 out of 80 for the competencies. If you score highly enough on each of the competencies you will be offered a place on the reserve list

Group Exercise: In this exercise you are paired with 6-10 other candidates. You are each given a unique brief and you have 15 minutes to go through it. There is then a 50 minute discussion which you have to take an active part in. The competencies that are assessed are:
  • Analysis and problem solving
  • Learning and development
  • Prioritising and organising
  • Working with others
  • Leadership
Learn more about this EPSO test on the main assessment centre page.

How can we help?

Preparing for each stage of the EPSO concours is challenging. At JobTestPrep we have many materials to ensure you go into your EPSO tests in the best possible way. We hope you have enjoyed this blog and look forward to helping you perform at your best with our EPSO training packs.

EPSO Numerical Test Sample for Administrator Levels with Explanations

Want to know how to answer the EPSO AD numerical test questions? Read on to find out!


EPSO Numerical Test Questions
In this blog, we are going to go through one of the most important aspects of the EPSO numerical test for administrator levels. This is one of the easiest mistakes to make which many applicants struggle with.

Take a look at the question below:
EPSO Numerical Test Sample for Administrator Levels with Explanations

In 2010, what was the ratio of GDP in Poland to that in Malta?

Many applicants think that to get to the answer all you need to do is to calculate the ratio of the GDP per head of the two countries, in this case:

Poland: 12,484
Malta: 26,861
26,861 / 12,484 = 2.15 which is 1 : 2.15

Easy-peasy right?
WRONG

You are asked to calculate the GDP, not the GDP per head. So how are you supposed to answer this question? Looking at the table we don’t have the actual GDP figures so how can we work out 1- what it is and 2- the ratio between the two countries?

Answering the EPSO numerical reasoning questions correctly

What we do know is that in the table we have a column that tells us the expenditure as a percentage of the GDP. We also know how much this was in Euros. How did we calculate the percentage of GDP on expenditure? We have the following equation:
Total GDP × percentage of expenditure (using decimal numbers) = Total expenditure

How to calculate percentages: The easy way

There is a very important point to remember here when calculating percentages. The quickest way to do so is by using a decimal number, i.e. instead of 50% use 50 / 100 = 0.5. Simply understood 50% is half of the original value. There are two ways to calculate this. If for example the number is 100:
100 ÷ 2 = 50
100 × 0.5 = 50

If we use the decimal number then if the percentage gets more complicated we can still use just one calculation to arrive at the true percentage. For example if we want to know 28.5% of 300 we can simply use the decimal number of 28.5%, 0.285 which would give us 300 × 0.285 = 85.5 All you have to remember to do is to move the decimal place to the left by two places, as below.
25 %  = 0.25

Answering the Question

As you see:

Total GDP × percentage of expenditure (0.0185) = Total expenditure (13,547)
Since we know two of the figures we can rearrange the formula. By doing so, we will be able to calculate the total GDP. This gives us:
Total GDP = total expenditure ÷ percentage of expenditure
Using this formula we can calculate the total GDP for each of the countries in question.
Poland expenditure: 13 547
Poland expenditure percentage: 1.85%
1.85 % of 13,547 = 13,547 ÷ 0.0185
  = 732,270.27

This now gives us the entire equation: 
Total GDP (732,270.27€ million) = total expenditure (13,547€ million) ÷ percentage of GDP (0.0185)

Can you work out the rest of the question?

The JobTestPrep Choice

In order to really get comfortable with the EPSO numerical reasoning test, you need to take practice tests in an EPSO exam environment. At JobTestPrep, we offer a number of different preparation packages with questions that can be taken in both a timed and untimed mode. When you take the EPSO tests for real you will be doing so with confidence that you have done everything in your power to fully prepare. We hope you have enjoyed this blog and look forward to helping you in your EPSO test preparation.