2017 EPSO Competition for LINGUISTIC ASSISTANTS (AST1) Now Open

Under the LINGUISTIC ASSISTANTS competition, these six languages have been advertised:



No. of Successful Candidates Sought

Bulgarian (BG)


German (DE)


English (EN)


French (FR)


Romanian (RO)


Swedish (SV)


Below we will explore the specifics of this competition and the selection process that you will need to undertake.

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Snapshot of the 2017 EPSO LINGUISTIC ASSISTANTS Competition

The deadline for registrations 23 January 2018 at 12.00 (midday) CET, giving you a little more than one month to apply.

Successful candidates will be placed on reserve lists from which European Union institutions may recruit new members for civil service as 'linguistic assistants’' (function group AST).

As a linguistic assistant you will be expected to perform a variety of tasks in a multilingual setting. You will be expected to assist translators or lawyer linguists with translations or revision work (pre- and post-processing of documents).

Please make sure to read ANNEX I of the notice for detailed information about the typical duties to be performed.

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates will need to satisfy the following:

  • Have EU citizenship
  • Fulfilled any military service requirements
  • Meet the character requirements for the duties concerned
  • Have knowledge of at least 2 of the EU’s official languages
    • One language at C2 level (perfect knowledge)
    • One language at minimum B2 level (good command)
    • Scroll down for more important information on choosing your languages

Qualifications & Work Experience

  • A level of education which corresponds to completed post-secondary studies attested by a diploma directly related to the nature of the duties
  • OR a level of secondary education attested by a diploma which gives access to post-secondary education, followed by at least 3 years’ professional experience directly related to the nature of the duties.
  • OR professional training (equivalent to European Qualification Framework Level 4) of at least 1 year, followed by a minimum of 3 years’ professional experience. Both the training and experience must be directly related to the nature of the duties.

Determining Language 1 / Language 2

You must have knowledge of at least 2 official EU languages. You should have perfect knowledge of one of the languages, C2 level, and good command of the the other, minimum B2 level.

How to choose your Language 1 and your Language 2

Language 1: This will be the language used for the computer-based Multiple-Choice Question tests. This should be one of the competition languages: Bulgarian, English, French, German, Romanian or Swedish.

Language 2: This is the language used to fill out your application, the assessment centre and for communication with EPSO. This must be different from your Language 1. 

PLEASE NOTE: Your chosen Language 2 must be one of the following - English or French. The reason for this being that as a linguistic assistant you will primarily be comparing translation or revision work done by translators or lawyer linguists, in their original language, with the original text/documents which are almost always drafted in English and/or French.

Selection Process

To apply you will have to prove your eligibility and you will be asked to provide further information relevant to the competition (e.g. diplomas and work experience information)

On the application form you will have to select your language 1 (one of the 6 languages of this competition) and your language 2 (English or French). PLEASE NOTE: You will have to fill out the application form in your chosen language 2.

It is important to remember that once you have validated your application, you will not be able to make any changes. 

This phase of the competition is made up of a series of computer-based multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and competency-based tests that will include the following:






Pass mark

Verbal reasoning

Language 1

20 questions

35 min

Verbal: 15/20

Numerical reasoning

Language 1

10 questions

20 min


Numerical + Abstract  10/20

Abstract reasoning

Language 1

10 questions

10 min

Language Comprehension

Language 1

12 questions

25 min


Please note that these tests are eliminatory and do not count towards the other tests held at the Assessment Centre.
You are required to book an appointment according to the instructions you will receive from EPSO. Keep in mind that the booking and testing periods are limited.

The eligibility requirements will be checked against the data you provided in your application form. 
The applications of those candidates who reach all the pass marks will be checked for eligibility in descending order of the marks obtained on the MCQ tests until the number of eligible candidates for each language hits the number of candidates to be invited to the assessment centre. From that point the other candidates' files will not be checked and they will not be considered eligible.

A maximum of three times the number of successful candidates sought for each field will be invited to the Assessment Centre.

If you passed the MCQ tests with one of the highest overall marks, you will be invited to the Assessment Centre, most likely held for one day in Brussels, where you will take tests in your chosen languages 1 and  2.

Seven general competencies, each marked out of 10 points, and one field-specific competency will be tested through three tests:

  • Competency-based Interview
    • Communication
    • Learning and development
    • Resilience
    • Working with others
  • Case Study
    • Analysis and problem solving
    • Delivering quality and results
    • Prioritising and organising

- Pass mark total for the above two tests: 35/70

  • Editing a text (Field-specific competency) - Pass mark 60/100

After checking candidates’ eligibility against their supporting documents, the selection board will create a Reserve List for each language, consisting of those candidates who have obtained all pass marks AND the highest overall marks following the assessment phase, until the number of successful candidates sought is reached.

How to Apply

Make sure to ALWAYS check the official Notice of Competition to ensure you have the required qualifications and satisfy the eligibility criteria before applying. It's also very important to understand the General Rules Governing Open Competitions.

To start the application process, click on your language below:


Are you new to EPSO Competitions? 

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If you have a question or need additional help in understanding the EPSO processes, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Want to see what these EPSO Pre-Selection exams look like? 
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Unsure how the EPSO selection process works? 
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Useful reading:

The Motivation Challenge - What To Write In Your EPSO Application?

How To Make The Most Of Your EPSO Talent Screener

13 Best EPSO Preparation Resources - Free and Paid

What EU Job Applicants Should Always Keep in Mind

6 Reasons Why EU Exam Candidates Fail