2018 EPSO AD5 Competition Released! | EU Training

2018 EPSO AD5 Competition Released!

The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) has released the much awaited Administrators Generalists' (EPSO/AD/356/18) Notice of Competition!

In response to this, EU Training held a FREE Information Webcast yesterday to familiarise candidates with the eligibility requirements, the competition’s structure, the individual tests to be undertaken, as well as changes to this year’s competition.

Click here to view the FREE 2018 EPSO AD Information Webcast Recording

Want to join the conversation and talk to other candidates about this competition? 
Join the 2018 EPSO Administrator Exams (AD5) Facebook group.


Snapshot of the 2018 EPSO AD5 Competition

The deadline for the first part of your application needs to be submitted by 10 April 2018, at 12 midday (CET) giving you a little over one month to apply.

This competition will recruit new members of the civil service to take up roles as Administrators in the various EU Institutions. This AD5 competition is also the ideal opportunity for graduates to enter into an EU career path. Supporting decision-makers in fulfilling the mission of their institution or body, Administrators work as part of a team in the areas of policy formulation, operational delivery or resource management. For more details see ANNEX I.

Number of places available on the Reserve List has been capped at 158 places.


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
  • Must have knowledge of at least two official EU languages:
    • Have a thorough knowledge (minimum C1 level) of one of the 24 official EU languages – will be defined as your Language 1
    • Have a good command (minimum B2 level) of at least one of the 24 official EU languages – one of which will eventually be defined as your Language 2. (Read below for more details).
  • Qualifications & Work Experience:
    Completed university studies of at least 3 years attested by a diploma, which must be awarded by 31 July, 2018. NO PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED!


2-PART Application Process:

  • PART 1: This first part needs to be submitted by 10 April, 2018. This involves confirming your eligibility to participate in the competition, as well as listing all the official EU languages in which your knowledge is at B2 level or above. 
    • You will need to list a MINIMUM OF TWO official EU languages – one at least C1 Level, the other at least B2 level.
    • You can complete this part of the application process in any of the 24 official EU languages.
    • Remember to VALIDATE your application once you have completed the PART 1 requirements.
  • EPSO will then analyse the applications and announce the official Language 2 options based on the 5 languages most frequently declared by candidates in PART 1 of the application process. The working language requirements of the EU Institutions will also be factored in before the top 5 languages are announced.
  • PART 2: Once the “Top 5 Languages” are declared, you will be invited to complete PART 2 of the application process by a new deadline.
    • Here you will need to provide specific information about your qualifications (diplomas/work experience), as well as select your official Languages 1 and 2 from the languages you already declared in PART 1 of the application process.
    • You must complete this part of the application process in your chosen Language 2 – that is, the one you will pick from the top 5 options offered by EPSO.
    • Again, don’t forget to VALIDATE your application once you have completed the PART 2 requirements. (Note: Once you have validated each part of your application form, you will no longer be able to make any changes so make sure everything is correct and up-to-date.)

How Language 1 and 2 are determined. 

Your Language 1 may be any of the 24 official EU languages, while your Language 2 must be picked from the 5 languages (eventually) announced by EPSO after reviewing the languages most frequently declared by candidate in PART 1 of the application process.

Be very careful which languages you declare in PART 1 of the application process!

If you did not declare in your initial application at least one of the top 5 languages announced by EPSO, YOU WILL BE DISQUALIFIED FROM THE COMPETITION!

  • Based on previous competitions and the institution’s requirements, we predict that English and French are probably safe bets. Last year the other three languages were German, Italian and Spanish, which will most likely rank high this year as well. But until EPSO officially announces the top 5 languages, no one will know with 100% certainty.


Selection Process


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





Pass mark

Verbal Reasoning

Language 1

10 questions

18 min


Numerical Reasoning

Language 1

10 questions

20 min


Abstract Reasoning

Language 1

20 questions

20 min


Situational Judgment Test

Language 2

20 questions

30 min


Changes to note

Most of the MCQ tests will need to be completed in your chosen Language 1, however the Situational Judgment Test will need to be completed in your chosen Language 2.

For the Verbal Reasoning Test and the Numerical Reasoning Test, you will need to get at least a pass mark of 5 for each, but your Numerical and Verbal Reasoning Test marks will not count towards your overall Pre-Selection exam score!

Please note that the MCQ tests are eliminatory and do not count towards the other tests held at the Assessment Centre.

Naturally, you will need to do much better than a pass mark in the pre-selection exam stage if you wish to progress to the next stage of the competition. Only those with the highest total combined marks for the Abstract Reasoning Tests and Situational Judgement Test will make it to the E-tray Exercise round. So plan your preparation and start practicing right now!



Approximately 10 times, but no more than 11 times, the number of successful candidates sought will be invited to this stage of the competition.

This part of the competition will include an E-tray Exercise, which will need to be completed in your chosen Language 2.

The E-tray Exercise will comprise of 15 to 25 questions and will assess 4 general competencies (each marked out of 10):

  • Analysing and Problem Solving
  • Delivering Quality and Results
  • Prioritising and Organising
  • Working With Others

You must score one of the highest total combined marks for this exercise to qualify for the next stage of the competition – the Assessment Centre.

Please note that your E-tray Exercise score will count towards your total Assessment Centre mark, so your aim will be to do exceptionally well at this stage of the competition.



The eligibility requirements will be checked for each candidate in descending order of the total marks obtained in the E-tray Exercise, until the threshold of eligible candidates required is reached. EPSO will check whether you meet the general eligibility conditions, while the Selection Board will check compliance with the specific eligibility conditions.



Approximately 2 times, but no more than 2.5 times, the number of successful candidates sought will be invited to the Assessment Centre.

Test taken at the Assessment Centre will need to be completed in your chosen Language 2.

Eight general competencies will be tested through 4 tests:

  • Case Study
  • Oral Presentation
  • Competency-based Interview
  • Group Exercise
  • +1 NEW TEST INTRODUCED: EU Motivational Interview

The marks obtained in the E-tray Exercise, EU Motivational Interview and the Assessment Centre tests will count towards your final overall competition score, which will be a total out of 80.



After checking candidates’ supporting documents, the selection board will draw up a Reserve List of those eligible candidates who have obtained the highest overall competition scores, until the number of successful candidates sought is reached.


How to apply

Make sure to ALWAYS check the official Notice of Competition and understand the rules relating to the exams. For full details on the AD5 profile and the selection procedure read the official Notice of Competition and the General Rules Governing Open Competitions to ensure you have the required qualifications and satisfy the eligibility criteria before applying. 

To start the application process, please click here


Are you new to EPSO Competitions?

Our research shows that most candidates who succeed start preparing 2-3 months before the pre-selection tests take place.

EU Training offers a wealth of practice materials for all stages and levels of the EU institutions’ selection exams.

Check out our FREE E-bookswebinarswebcasts and e-learning materials to help you excel.

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? 
Try our FREE EPSO Exam Demo

Unsure how the EPSO selection process works? 
View our short video - ‘New To EPSO Competitions’



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