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Fast Stream 2012

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    I couldn't see a thread for this (though I'm sure someone will send me there if there is one) so I figured the 2012 applicants needed a thread of their own.

    I've known for ages that I wanted to apply for fast stream - can't believe I'm actually about to go into my third year and can finally apply. Just been looking at the stats of applications to vacancies last year though and it's pretty depressing!

    So, applications open on the 19th September. Whose going to be applying? And where are you all hoping to end up?

    Useful Links
    (PM or quote me if you'd like me to edit in anything else - please note that for the practice tests, I literally just googled practice tests and therefore can't promise that they're any good- if you find good ones then please share!)

    The fast stream website: http://faststream.civilservice.gov.uk/

    Practice Numerical and Verbal Reasoning Tests:

    http://www.assessmentday.co.uk/ (there are two free numerical and two free verbal tests, click the 'free sample button') (premium service recommended by fleetfox)
    http://www.practiceaptitudetests.com/
    http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/psychotests.htm
    http://www.numericalguru.com/ (recommended by fleetfox)

    Example e-tray: http://faststream.civilservice.gov.u...ray-Excercise/
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    I'm applying this year after I missed the ship in my graduation year last September; think I want to work for the Diplomatic Service.

    Really hoping I get somewhere despite the competitiveness of the Fast Stream, because it's slim pickings for other graduate jobs atm and at the very least you can get feedback from the assessments.
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    ...and so it begins
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    this all sounds so exciting ... im just about to start uni and when i finish i want to apply via fast stream


    quick question: can individuals end up as high ranking civil sevants through this process like Permant under-secretary???
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    @Clarity - yes, they can.

    The basic idea is that you spend about 3 or 4 years as a Fast Streamer, with a view to being promoted onto a position at Grade 7. Grade 7 is generally the grade just below the Senior Civil Service (depending on Department). The SCS is made up of Assistant Directors, Directors, Directors General and, at the top of it all, the Permanant Secretary.

    So in short, yes, you can end up as Permanant Secretary, but if that is your goal being on the FS won't change the need to be an exceptional candidate.
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    Great timing.

    I'm applying for an Economist position with the FO.

    Anyone applied previously or have an idea at the kind of questions we should be expecting. Would be nice to prepare before uni starts.
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    I'm applying for the diplomatic service FS. Again, if anybody knows of any questions on the application share share share!

    Good luck and I can't believe after four years of knowing this is what I want to do I can finally apply!
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    Please look at all of the previous threads on the Fast Stream on previous years. There's lots of really good advice on there from a number of current and former Fast Streamers.

    From that advice and from the advice on the Fast Stream website, you should be sufficiently well-equipped.

    Also, remember that with the civil service the job involves helping solve the problems of society. If you think you need more experience in this field, consider doing some volunteering - especially for people who are less fortunate than yourself. In my experience gives you insights that high-profile internships cannot buy.
    See http://www.csv.org.uk/?display=volunteering and http://www.do-it.org.uk/ for some ideas.

    If you are currently an unemployed graduate and are not doing much during the day, consider signing up for http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/need...rses/team.aspx - I found my three months with the team I was with was far more challenging than 3 years at university, which by then were a walk in the park.
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    Good luck to everyone, especially all GES applicants =]. It's a tough slog, but keep faith!
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    (Original post by chidona)
    Good luck to everyone, especially all GES applicants =]. It's a tough slog, but keep faith!
    Is GES much harder than regular fast stream?

    Also is it possible to apply for the regular fast stream in addition to the GES?
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    I shall be applying through the FS for Diplomatic Service. I can feel that it's going to be very tough indeed!!

    I'd like to know as much about the process as possible, so i'm going to start reading the 2011 thread right now.
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    Just wondering apart from the fast stream are you guys applying to other areas in government or roles within the private sector?
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    (Original post by clarity-)
    this all sounds so exciting ... im just about to start uni and when i finish i want to apply via fast stream


    quick question: can individuals end up as high ranking civil sevants through this process like Permant under-secretary???
    Yes. Thats the point.
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    (Original post by ellie_flower)
    I'm applying for the diplomatic service FS. Again, if anybody knows of any questions on the application share share share!

    Good luck and I can't believe after four years of knowing this is what I want to do I can finally apply!
    What are your expectations of a fast stream role at the FCO?
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    (Original post by Quady)
    What are your expectations of a fast stream role at the FCO?
    My expectations are simple: I expect to build on my already expansive knowledge of global affairs, hopefully being given the chance to focus on a particular country or region. I then expect to learn the language of that country in order to improve my relationship with the people I am working with, make myself aware and familiar with current human rights issues, successes or abuses, providing assistance to Britons overseas and learning more about this world in which we live.

    Savvy?
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    (Original post by ellie_flower)
    My expectations are simple: I expect to build on my already expansive knowledge of global affairs, hopefully being given the chance to focus on a particular country or region. I then expect to learn the language of that country in order to improve my relationship with the people I am working with, make myself aware and familiar with current human rights issues, successes or abuses, providing assistance to Britons overseas and learning more about this world in which we live.

    Savvy?
    Awesome answer. I love nothing more than the idea of eventually becoming an expert in a particular country or region of the world.
    I would do a Masters in an area of the world but I can't afford it! :\
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    (Original post by Arteta)
    Awesome answer. I love nothing more than the idea of eventually becoming an expert in a particular country or region of the world.
    I would do a Masters in an area of the world but I can't afford it! :\
    I'm saving up now to do a masters, but I think the sad reality is isthat I'm going to have to take out a hefty loan

    My dream would be to be given Romania or another Eastern european country to familiarise myself and just learn the total history, language and culture of the place: develop an understanding of somewhere so totally that it could be home! And I LOVE eastern europe!!

    How about you?
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    Looking to apply this year, am looking up practice tests now, already one the practice E-tray exercise. Very useful!
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    I'm applying for the FO aswell. Gonna give it my best shot.

    Just wondering apart from the fast stream are you guys applying to other areas in government or roles within the private sector?
    I'm applying to the NGDP aswell and as many private sector graduate schemes as I can find. The FO is like my dream job and the NGDP would be a second choice option but we can't be picky in these times, so I'm going to apply for as much as possible so if in the likely event I don't get through to the FO thanks to the insane competition, I should have other options.

    Just applying to one graduate scheme seems odd to me.
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    I'll most certainly be applying to the central departments.

    I am under no illusions as to how difficult it is going to be to get to the assessment centre stage, let alone be recommended for a post. I believe the 2010 intake came to 3% of the total number of applicants; today I suspect it is even more difficult.

    That said, I think I am a very good fit for a job delivering public service. I've done well academically but I think I'm lacking some of the important skills needed in the private sector, especially in sales-related roles. I'm really an analytical type who likes solving problems and coming to conclusions based on evidence. I can sell myself well at interviews but if I don't refresh my basic maths skills I might fall down there.

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Updated: March 17, 2013
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