successful public service exams

10 golden rules for successful public service exams


When you want to pass a public service competition, it is not always easy to know where to start … How to take the tests, confident, well prepared? How to meet the expectations of the jury? And get a good grade? Thanks to this article you will know everything.

Rule n ° 1: Choose a civil service profession that suits you!

One in five employees is a public official (i.e. 5.66 million civil servants and contract workers – source:

All sides of the public service combined, the workforce covers several hundred professions: accountant, policeman, engineer in new information and communication technologies (NICT), nurse, lawyer, gardener, etc.

Rule # 2: Know your strengths and be honest

Consult the annual report of the DGAFP or the key figures of the public service will allow you to get an idea of ​​the professions “which have the coast” (nursing assistants, IT specialists) or even those, more traditional, but still in search new talents (such as administrative assistant, for example).

Be honest and choose according to your professional experience, your level of training and your desires. Do I want to exercise responsibilities, provide coaching, management? What job can I exercise according to my diplomas? What position for me, in what sector (administrative, cultural, sports) …? ” .

Rule n ° 3: Be strategic in choosing the type of competition and check the general conditions of access

Then, you need to be strategic and choose the type of competition (external, internal, 3rd way) that will promote your chances of winning the precious sesame. Depending on the type of competition, the program, the nature of the tests, the coefficients differ. It’s up to you to also check the possibility of taking the same competition in several places, or even of re-taking it.The majority of competitions are organized in the form of written (often eligibility) and oral (admission) tests. If you are planning to take the CPA exam soon, it is ideal to take the best CPA review course such as Becker or Ninja.

Rule # 4: Plan Your Revision Program

Allow, on average, several months of preparatory work for a category C competition, one school year for teaching and category B competitions, and a good year for a category A competition.

To build a personalized and effective program, be smart. Take the time to read all the documents provided by the organizer at the time of registration: regulations, calendar, place and progress of the events, but also the program and nature of the latter.

Rule n ° 5: Maintain your motivation and your form

Going in a competition can take on the appearance of a marathon. Preparing for the entrance exams for the IRAs and the ENM (National School of Judges) is a tour de force as the programs are so dense. The competition tests are also physical and mental tests, to be approached in a positive state of mind. Also, remember that the challenge is not to make a perfect copy or oral, but to be the best you can be.

Rule n ° 6: Be accompanied if necessary by a preparation organization

The tests are designed in such a way as to ensure a balance between a level of knowledge – a good general culture is always required -, on the one hand, and the development of professional skills (writing, expression, etc.), on the other. To this can be added optional tests (eg language tests).

To put the odds on your side and arrive prepared on D-Day, several methodologies: prepare yourself using the annals and preparation manuals, or seek the support of a preparation organization , with training at home.

Rule n ° 7: Review, train (again and again) alone or in a group

But after ? To be ready on the day of the tests and not to live the anguish of the blank page:

Perseverance and regular training lead to rapid progress. A good training must be done in such a way as to be put in situation: over an unlimited time then according to the duration of the test. This is the only way to assess your level and determine where to improve.

Rule n ° 8: Appropriate the “house” culture

When you want to succeed in a vocational training competition, getting information and being curious are not faults here, but qualities. Competitions should make it possible to identify the best agents of tomorrow.

Therefore, it is good on the one hand, to look on the Internet: the bibliography, recommended books, in order to acquire a “home culture” by reading them. On the other hand, follow the general news and read the press (Le Monde, Les Echos…). Pay particular attention to the state dimension (or territorial or even hospital depending on the competition prepared). 20 minutes a day (in “work reading”) is enough to be effective. It is not a question of being an expert in all the reforms which must intervene, but of knowing those which have an impact on the targeted level or the function concerned.

Rule n ° 9: Keep the right reflexes on “D-day” …

The big day has arrived… No neglect. In writing, as well as orally, it is essential to read (and reread) the subject proposed for each test. Each word that composes it has its importance. No need to rush to write before you understand what is required and what the jury is waiting for. Tip: If the scale is displayed, focus on the questions that are worth the most points.

Rule n ° 10:… And know how to approach the oral with confidence from the beginning of the preparation

Last golden rule: Do not wait to have passed the written tests to take an interest in the oral tests. Integrate them from the start of the preparation.

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