Category Archives: EPSO competitions

Working as Contract Agent (CAST) in EU institutions

    Contract staff, commonly referred to as CAST (Contract Agent Selection Tool), are individuals employed by the EU institutions or agencies for a predetermined period and a maximum of 6 years. Most of them are based in Brussels or Luxembourg.

    This article introduces the selection process and employment opportunities for contract agents within European institutions.


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The Case Study: A Technical Challenge Above All

        case study

        Since 2023, the case study has become a crucial component of most European institution exams. It is conducted remotely on a computer, on the same day as the reasoning tests and the field-specific test.
        In this test, candidates are required to answer a few questions based on information provided in a dossier. The dossier is typically available online on the EU Careers website a few days or weeks before the exam. The questions are given on the day of the test, and you will have 45 minutes to respond. Therefore, it is highly recommended to carefully study the documents in advance. This will help you better understand the topics that will be covered and quickly locate relevant information in the documents.
        The case study assesses a single competency: your ability to communicate. Within EPSO’s competencies framework, this competency is defined as the ability to “convey information and opinions clearly, generate buy-in by facilitating interaction and engaging effectively with others.” You will need to communicate clearly and concisely by constructing a strong argument, taking into account the opinions of all stakeholders.
        The case study does not require knowledge in the specific field. Most of the answers can be found in the dossier. Therefore, having a good methodology is crucial.

        case study
        The book published by ORSEU titled “Case Study for European institutions competitions” provides a methodology and an example of a case study. It explains how to prioritise the documents in the dossier, analyse them, and create a plan to answer the questions in a structured manner. It also teaches you how to write clearly and concisely.

Abstract reasoning: is the test getting harder and harder?

Until 2015, you may have reached high marks in the abstract reasoning test of EPSO competitions. However, since then, it’s been a nightmare: you no longer see anything and you can hardly reach 50% of correct answers. What has happened since 2015? Have test creators invented new logical sequences? Do elements go through new transformations?

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Numbers do not scare me anymore

You’ve decided to register for a competition or exam and you have to sit a numerical reasoning test. Don’t panic. We can help you!

You’ve decided to register for a competition or exam. You start looking at the content of the tests. No chance! You have to take a numerical reasoning test! You feel gripped by panic. You can’t remember how to set out a division or work out an average. Words like fraction and percentage leave you unable to think straight. You start remembering the poor marks you got at school…

But you’re good in the other areas and have all the skills required to fill the post or get into your chosen school. All you need are a few more marks in numerical reasoning to pass the competition or exam. So why give up?

First of all, ask yourself why you have problems with maths. Maybe it’s because you find the language of maths a bit like double Dutch (and you don’t speak any Dutch at all!). And yet you use this language every day – when you withdraw money from your bank account, when you get a discount in a shop, when you’re following a recipe … and so on.

maths difficult numerical understand GRE GMAT Selor EPSOAll you need is a method. If you’re not a mathematician at heart, you may find learning and applying a formula hard going. But, if it’s explained to you in a simple and fun way it will suddenly seem much more obvious and you’ll end up using it quite naturally.

ORSEU’s latest publication: ‘’, is specially designed for those who have (or believe they have) a poor level of maths. This book explains in detail the basic concepts of numerical reasoning: performing mathematical operations, calculating percentages, completing number sequences logically…and so on. It is the ideal way to prepare for EPSO, Selor, GMAT and GRE tests.