What is a "good" score? 65%? 75%? 80%? | EU Training

What is a "good" score? 65%? 75%? 80%?

User_141516 Thu, 12/31/2020 - 19:10

Hello there,

I have been training consistently for 3 months now, preparing for the AD external relations competition. However I have been unable to see any improvements in my overall scores in for the past month at least.

I have never managed to score more than 70% on a typical AD/RELEX test, i.e. 20 verbal reasoning, 10 numerical and 10 abstract. But I have nobody to compare this score with.

Unfortunately the website doesn't give any indication of how good this result is based on other users (personally I do not find the information on the average scores very useful, only just slightly reassuring). Are there other users willing to share their experience on this? Is 65-70% a good range or a pretty average if not bad one for an AD/RELEX-type of test ?



Somedudereplyingtoquestions Tue, 01/05/2021 - 22:06


For this year's AD 5 external relations competition, EPSO is seeking 53 candiates and 7819 have applied. For the AD7 equivalent, 33 candidates are sought and 3679 have applied. 

Based on the total number of people applying you have a 0.7% chance for the AD5 competition and a 0.9% chance for the AD7 competition. This is a bit better but still roughly similar to the AD generalist competitions organised in the past. Note that there will be always some of the candidates that will not have validated their application and some that will not show up to the computer based tests (CBT), thus increasing your chances. 

Considering that the external relations competition are not that different from the past generalist competitions in terms of probability of passing (even slighty better) and taking into account the thresholds that were needed to make it to the next round for the past generalist competitions (irrespective of whether only 2.5 or 10 times the number of the actual candidates sought were invited to the next round), I calculate that you needed between 77.5% to 87% of points taken into account for the overall mark to make it to the next round. For this year's external relations competitions all points for verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and abstract reasoning will be taken into account. 3 times the candiates sought with the best results in the CBT and meeting the eligibility criteria will be invited to the assessment centre (i.e. roughly 159+ for the AD5 part and 99+ for the AD7 part) - which makes competition a bit tougher than for the most recent generalist competitions where there was an intermediate e-tray exercise round and 10 times the candidates sought were invited. There may be a few people that may be amongst the top candidates but will not meet the eligibility criteria and thus will not be considered for the assessment centre. 

I would therefore estimate that you would need to have around 75-80% or more of correct answers to make it to the assessment centre. But it will all depend on the overall difficulty of the CBT and the performance of applicants. It cannot be ruled out that the CBT may be difficult and the overall performance of applicants weaker.

Don't get discouraged, practice and try your best! May I ask on which of the CBT components you have scored less well? From experience, I had the impression that most struggle a bit with the abstract reasoning part.

Thank you for your extensive

User_141516 Wed, 01/06/2021 - 11:23

Thank you for your extensive answer! 

The reason why I had not looked at the statistics for other generalist competitions is that the score is usually made up of a quite significant component of situational judgement questions. I don't know if they tend to be easier or harder that the other three categories of questions (hopefully easier :) !), so I was not sure if they were directly comparable. 

Scoring 75-80% in verbal and numerical reasoning seems within reach, of course I have good and bad days, but the abstract reasoning questions are indeed there ones I am most struggling with. The fact that I haven't seen significant improvements over the past weeks is pretty demotivating, but maybe it's a problem of methodology and I should simply focus on these a bit more over the next couple of weeks. Staying focused for the whole 35 minutes of the verbal reasoning is also a bit tricky, I see I am more likely to make mistakes in the second half of the questions than the first half. 

Thank you for your encouraging words!


Somedudereplyingtoquestions Wed, 01/06/2021 - 22:32


Indeed – that’s a good point. I do not have any data about how people fare on the SJT (nor on any of the other usual CBT components), but I would intuitively also assume that people may fare a bit better on average on the SJT.

I tried to check the thresholds for generalist competitions where no SJT was included or was not part of the overall threshold to make it to the AC and there the thresholds were  86% and 70%. The 86% rate is from the 2010 competition that was repeated in 2013/14 and which I did not take. I think for this competition, 2.5 times the candidates sought were invited to the AC. The 70% threshold was for the 2017 AD competition where 15-20 times the number of candiates sought were invited to the intermediate round - I have to revoke my figure in the post above of 77.5%, 70% were needed to make it to the next round. My bad! 

I think the fact that for the external relations competition the number of abstract reasoning questions was reduced to 10 (in contrast to 20 abstract reasoning questions for some of the more recent generalist competitions) may be an indication that EPSO may have taken into account that people struggle on average more with abstract reasoning than other CBT components. But that’s just pure speculation from my side.