Test results published (EPSO/AST-SC/03/15)

Secretaries and clerks for administrative/financial/secretarial support roles

We published the results of the admission tests in the EPSO accounts.

We currently don’t have any further infomation on the next steps of the competition procedure. It will be published as soon as it is available.

Here is some useful information on the results:

Why is there no answer for one (or several) question(s) in my grid?

It happens that there is no answer for one or several question(s) in the grid you receive together with your test results. There might be different reasons:

During the tests, candidates sometimes flag questions with the intention of returning to them but then not having the time to do so. It also happens that they unclick the responses selected, if indeed this had been done. For both cases, the questions concerned would then remain unanswered.  You can find out in your personal results grid how much time (in seconds) you spent on each individual question, even if you actually didn’t select a response.

Why is the threshold not a whole number?

Some of you might wonder why your results for computer-based admission tests are not a whole number. This might be due to the fact that the Selection Board decided to neutralise some questions in the admission tests. If a question has to be neutralised, the available points are divided over the remaining questions. This factor accounts for the threshold not being a whole number.

Having checked for all candidates, the neutralisation of questions does not have a negative impact on their results.

What is neutralisation?

Neutralisation is a corrective measure, endorsed by the Court of Justice (1), the purpose of which is to ensure the objectivity of assessments and equal treatment of candidates when competition tests contain irregularities in the form of erroneous questions.

Despite in-depth quality control of the database of questions used for admission tests, including checks carried out by the selection boards, it may still happen that certain questions contain material errors.

When such an error is detected after the tests have taken place, the selection board may decide to cancel the question containing the error and to redistribute the points initially attributed to that question among the remaining questions of the test. This system means that the re-calculation of marks following the neutralisation of a question affects only those candidates to whom the specific question was put. The marking of the tests remains as indicated in the competition notice.

It should be stressed that the neutralisation system has been designed to ensure that no candidate is unfairly penalised. In order to make sure of this, a simulation is carried out, comparing the results before and after neutralisation. EPSO and the selection boards apply an inclusive rather than exclusive approach, setting the pass mark for the tests after neutralisation so as to make allowance for candidates who may have been adversely affected by the neutralisation procedure.

Why can I not receive the questions and correct answers?

The questions to which you replied during your admission tests were taken from a database developed by EPSO. As this database – which contains a considerable number of questions grouped by theme and level of difficulty – will also be used in the framework of other competitions, EPSO is not able to disclose the questions. However, via the letter with your results in your EPSO account you can see the replies you gave and the correct replies to the questions you received in these admission tests as well the neutralised question(s) (if applicable).

The European Union Civil Service Tribunal expressly recognized the legality of this “method of retrieval of candidates” to enable the admission “to the next stage of those candidates who would have been admitted had neutralisation not been in place”. It equally confirmed that the candidates whose points would not have qualified them to be invited to the evaluation tests either before or after neutralisation have “no interest in challenging the legality of the process of neutralisation “(2).

Please also note that under the relevant case law, the difference in time that candidates devoted to answering questions which were cancelled does not constitute unequal treatment between candidates (3).

According to the General rules governing open competitions candidates have 10 days after their test to file a complaint about the content and/or the translation of their test questions.

For further information on your personal test results, please contact EPSO exclusively by e-mail to the candidate contact service via https://europa.eu/epso/application/base/index.cfm?controller=webform&action=index&usertype=2&lang=en

(1)    Judgment of 21 October 2004, Schumann / Commission T-49/03 (cf. paragraphs 53-55); judgment of April 15, 2010, Matos Martins / Commission F-2/07 (cf. paragraph 191 ), judgment of 26 June 2013, Vacca / Commission, F 116/11, (cf. 41-49 points).

(2)    Judgment of 26 June 2013, Vacca / Commission, F 116/11, (cf. paragraphs 41-49).

(3)    Judgment of 2 May 2001, Giulietti ea / Commission, T-167/99 and T-174/99 (cf. paragraph 59); judgment of 15 April 2010, Matos Martins / Commission F-2/07 (cf. paragraph 183).

Full information on this competition is available by clicking on the navigation bar above and at http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/eu-careers.info/assistants/assistants-2015/secretaries-and-clerks-for-administrative-financial-secretarial-support-roles/