Getting Ready For The 2017 EPSO Translators Competition CBT

Tomorrow, on 14 September, the computer-based multiple-choice tests booking period will open. You will have two weeks to select which date to sit the pre-selection exams. To ensure you get the date and time slot that is most convenient for you, make sure you log into the system early during the booking period, as popular sessions fill up fast. The Translators CBT period will last from 20 September – 11 October, 2017.

 Under the Translator competition, the following profiles have been advertised:

  • German Language Translators (DE) AD5 (EPSO/AD/343/17)
  • French Language Translators (FR) AD5 (EPSO/AD/344/17)
  • Italian Language Translators (IT) AD5 (EPSO/AD/345/17)
  • Dutch Language Translators (NL) AD5 (EPSO/AD/346/17)

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

Join the conversation and talk to other candidates about this competition:
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Getting ready for the Translator competition? Access Translator practice packages here and view methodology webinars here - some are even FREE!

Check out the FREE 2017 Translators Webcast recording here.

 

Snapshot of the 2017 EPSO Translators Competition

The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) released the Translators Notice of Competition on 13 July 2017. Registrations closed last week on 5 September 2017.

This competition will recruit linguistic administrators (Translators) to deliver high-quality translations and provide linguistic advice to enable the EU institutions to fulfil their mission. Positions will mainly be offered at the European Parliament and European Council and will be based in either Brussels or Luxembourg.

The following places available on the reserve lists have been advertised:

  • Translators (DE)  –  Option 1:  9   /   Option 2:  5
  • Translators (FR)  –  Option 1:  6   /   Option 2:  7
  • Translators (IT)  –  Option 1:  10   /   Option 2:  4
  • Translators (NL)  –  Option 1:  8   /   Option 2:  7

Additional information regarding the difference between Option 1 and Option 2 will be explained below. 

 

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
  • Languages: 
    • You must have knowledge of at least 3 official EU languages.
    • OPTION 1
      • Have perfect knowledge (minimum C2 level) of the competitions language. That is either German, French, Italian or Dutch) – will be defined as your Language 1.
      • Have thorough knowledge (minimum C1 level) of either English French or German AND must be different from your chosen Language 1 – will be defined as your Language 2.
      • Have thorough knowledge (minimum C1 level) of either English French or German AND must be different from your chosen Language 1 and 2 – will be defined as your Language 3.
    • OPTION 2
      • Have perfect knowledge (minimum C2 level) of the competitions language. That is either German, French, Italian or Dutch) – will be defined as your Language 1.
      • Have thorough knowledge (minimum C1 level) of either English French or German AND must be different from your chosen Language 1 – will be defined as your Language 2.
      • Have thorough knowledge (minimum C1 level) of one of the 24 official EU languages AND must be different from your chosen Language 1 and 2 AND NOT be English, French or German – will be defined as your Language 3.
  • Qualifications & Work Experience:
    Completed university studies of at least three years attested by a diploma, which must be awarded by 31 December, 2017. NO PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED!

 

Competition Highlights

Be careful not to trip up on some very important facts in this competition!

While this competition covers four language profiles (German, French, Italian and Dutch) and each profile offers you the choice of 2 options when it comes to selecting eligible language combinations, please note that you will only be able to apply to ONE profile and select only ONE OPTION. It is also important to note that you will not be able to change your choice once you have confirmed and validated your online application form. So, choose carefully and make sure you fully understand the difference between OPTION 1 and OPTION 2.

Which language profile and option you pick is highly determined by the languages you know and your level of knowledge of each. Having said that, if you are proficient in more than 3 languages that apply to this competition, it might be worth noting the number of successful candidates being sought per reserve list. Naturally, the more places there are on a given reserve list, the greater the chance of ending up on it!

Your chosen Language 2 must be English, French or German (the working languages of the European Union) and CANNOT be the same as your chosen Language 1 or 3.

 

Selection Process

Please note: You must fill in your application form in your chosen Language 2. That is – English, French or German.

1. PRE-SELECTION 

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:

Tests

Language

Question

Duration

Pass mark

Verbal Reasoning

Language 1

20 questions

35 min

Verbal + Abstract combined: 15/30

Numerical Reasoning

Language 1

10 questions

20 min

4/10

Abstract Reasoning

Language 1

10 questions

10 min

Verbal + Abstract combined: 15/30

Language Comprehension 1

Language 2

12 questions

25 min

6/12

Language Comprehension 2

Language 3

12 questions

25 min

6/12

Main Language Skills

Language 1

25 questions

25 min

n/a

The Main Language Skills test will not count towards anything – it is simply a pilot test for EPSO planning purposes. Don’t worry about this component at all.

Some good news regarding the Numerical Reasoning Test - while you will need to get at least a mark of 4 out of 10 to qualify for the next stage of the competition, your Numerical Reasoning Test mark will not count towards your overall Pre-Selection exam score!

Your Verbal Reasoning and Abstract Reasoning score will be combined, so it doesn’t matter which test you do better in. The aim is to get a minimum of 15 questions correct out of 30, for the combined total of these two tests.

Please note that these 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 will make it to the next round. So, plan your preparation and start practicing right now!

 2. ELIGIBILITY CHECKS

The eligibility requirements will be checked for each candidate in descending order of the total marks obtained in the Pre-selection exam, 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.

3. TRANSLATION TEST

Approximately 4 times, but no more than 5 times, the number of successful candidates sought for each language profile and option will be invited to this stage of the competition.

The Translation Test will include the following:

Tests

Language

Duration

Pass mark

Test A: Translation test with dictionary

From Language 2 into Language 1

60 min

40/80

Test B: Translation test with dictionary

From Language 3 into Language 1

60 min

40/80

If you fail Test A, your Test B will not be marked.

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

4. ASSESSMENT CENTRE

Approximately 2 times, but no more than 2.5 times, the number of successful candidates sought for each language profile and option will be invited to the Assessment Centre.

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

Eight general competencies will be tested through 3 tests:

  • Oral Presentation
  • General Competency-based Interview
  • Group Exercise

The marks obtained in the Translation Tests and the Assessment Centre tests will count towards your final overall competition score, which will be a total out of 80 – 10 points per competency.

5. RESERVE LIST

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

 

How to apply

ALWAYS check the official Notice of Competition and understand the rules relating to the exams. For full details on the Translator competition 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? 

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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? 
View our sort 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