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Civil Service Faststream watch

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    hi angel_cake & charlie and anyone else..

    i've made the etray event too on jan 2nd.. and i'm wondering if anyone has any ideas what this means? i mean, how easy is it to get to the etray event (i don't even know if this is an accomplishment...) i heard that it's soemthing ridiculous like 18000 people for 300-400 places, but how many get through to the etray? and, if you get through the etray, how difficult is htat? i really want to know how much of an accomplishment each round is so i know if i even have a chance...

    any ideas anyone?
    :confused:

    thanks!!
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    VSW,

    The FastStream annual report (see link below) will give you an idea of just how competitive entry onto the scheme is but if that's what you want to do you will just have to make sure you are better than the rest. The report is complex and enables you to analyse which universities supply the highest number of Faststreamers (Oxbridge- no surprises) but also you can analyse the data by gender/race.

    The info would suggest that it is no mean feat to get through to the e-tray. Last year of 9,456 initial applications only 3,393 passed the online tests and made it to the e-tray. Subsequently, 1,037 passed the e-tray and went forward to the FastStream Assessment Centre (FAC) of which 326 were offered positions (NB. stats from the General Faststream).

    I have already gone through selection once and made it through to the FAC before being kicked out . However, like i said, you've got nothing to loose AND I think they will even cover reasonable expenses. If nothing else it will give you good experience of Aptitude/e-tray testing which will be similar to that of any major graduate recruiter.

    http://www.swyddfa-cabinet.gov.uk/pu...ables_full.pdf

    Hope this helps,

    Charlie
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    I just finished the verbal and numerical reasoning tests and all that ****e. How long was it after them that you lot found out you were through to the etray thing? Btw is there not a potential for cheating, i.e. getting your pal to register for the online tests, find out the questions and work through them in ur own time and then officially do them yourself?
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    yep, of course these tests are vulnerable to be exploited by people who get their professor/friend with a double first/someone they know in the civil service/some computer scientists' new software programme to sit the tests for them. HOWEVER, this will only get you to the e-tray exercise at which you will conduct similar tests under exam conditions and you will be required to bring your passport to prove you are who you say you are. Consequently, take the tests yourself and IF you get through to the e-tray you will be more confident in your own ability and will have already had the practise of completing the online tests under the time pressure. I completed the online tests at the end of September and found out earlier this week I had got to the next stage. There was a message in mid-October that those with the highest scores had already been notified of their results so I guess you can expect to wait somewhere between 2 -4 weeks before you find out.

    Charlie
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    Hey Charlie -
    thanks so much for your help, that link is really great info - makes me feel a little better...

    weird what you guys say, I found it really odd because I did the online tests and knew within 3 days whether I could fill out an application form, and then like 2 days after that I got the invite to the etray; it was really strange how fast it was, which is why I was kind of dubious about how difficult it really was to get to the etray event. Maybe I just caught them at the right time...!
    I'm not Oxbridge, so I guess I'm at a disadvantage, but I went to university abroad...so I hope that's not too detrimental to my application. I was a private school British kid though, so I guess I'm Oxbridgy enough really anyway...! :rolleyes:

    thanks for the info though, that's really good to know. sorry to hear you got kicked out at the end, but making it to the end is a pretty decent achievement anyway hey? and i guess you really have to apply with the mindset that you're probably not going to get in...
    so sad. it's such a cool opportunity.

    what awas that about those with the highest scores being notified in mid october? was that posted on the website itself? can you tell me the link? i'm trying to find out more information abotu the application process and what to expect, but it just seems really quite hidden.. strange. maybe i'm missing something... :p:

    thanks everyone for the input!!
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    "Online Selection Test - Awaiting Results - The initial high "Successful" and low "Unsuccessful" marks have now been set leaving an "amber band", so if you are still "Awaiting Results" after more than 24 hours, you may not receive your result until the final pass marks are set, which may be after the Scheme closing date. Message dated 18 October 2007".

    VSW,
    This was the message on the application homepage which I interpret as follows:
    The application process opened on Sept 17th so, by this stage it had been open for a month and had probably taken thousands of applications. This enabled them to identify those who would definitely pass and those who would definitely fail (based on their online results) without the need to establish the actual pass mark. Consequently, on the 18th Oct some people (say top/bottom 20%) were informed they had passed/failed. As the deadline for applications approaches, they have a greater sample of the final population upon which to base the actual passmark and consequently, those remaining in the 'amber band' will progressively be informed of their progess. That said, the only two people I know who are through to the e-tray are yourself and Andy Mckenzie.
    The problem I had last time at the FAC was not so much to do with the policy exercises etc per se rather that, in the interviews they were concerned that (straight out of uni) I had not had a great deal of "life experience". Of course, there will be those graduates who walk straight in to the Faststream, but I am aware of several people who have had to reapply before they eventually get through.
    Whilst the stats show Oxbridge dominate the Faststream, this is more likely due to the fact that they are the most able candidates and secured a place at the more selective universities as opposed to there being some inherent bias towards to the colleges. Anyway, it does not matter who got in last year or which uni they went to, we are through to the next stage and as long as we meet the standard we will be headed to the FAC.

    Ciao,

    Charlie
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    Hey! I'm in the middle of my application for the faststream this year and am still at uni. Does anyone know of anyone else who is going for a supervised e-tray next month? I got the message at the weekend(just after I filled in my full application form) that I'm going to one on the 5th December. :eek: scary stuff.

    Has anyone done an e-tray before? Charlie-you must? How did you find it? I haven't done the practice one yet.

    VSW - I found out really quickly that I'd passed too and within 2 hours of submitting my application I had a message about the e-tray!

    And as far as Oxbridge goes, they do get a relatively high proportion of candidates in, but I think this has more to do with themselves and not their uni!

    xxx
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    hey guys - thanks again for that info. so charlie you're in it again this year right? that must be nice to have done it before so you know what to expect... i'm just finishing my degree now, so I guess I'm a bit young, but I have done a lot of travelling, moved countries alone, etc etc so maybe i'll pass on the experience front...?! hope so!

    liz - good to hear you had the same experience, I wonder why we got invited to different etray events? oh well, works for me because i won't be back in the uk till christmas...
    i can see the oxbridge thing, i don't really know why people get so angry about oxbridge being more highly represented - it's quite logical really, if they can get into oxbridge, they're obviously likely to be quite capable people.. i'm sure they look for a mix though, so i won't be worrying that i'm n ot an oxbridge grad.

    eek, i'm really scared about the etray event - totally don't know what to expect. i'm saving the practice one for just before the event, which is jan 2nd for me. charlie, was it tough? i've heard it was more like "you can't get this wrong, just tell us what you think"...so if you fail, you don't know why...! i guess that's better than literally failing...

    any more info welcome!!
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    vsw/liz_j,
    I did the e-tray a few years ago and it sounds like it has changed a bit since then. The main constraint was the lack of time and subsequent time pressures. Whilst you are there for 4 hours it will fly by and you will never have enough. The exercises consisited mainly of verbal reaoning type questions where you would have to read a series of passages and answer respective multi choice answers. There were also a series of numeracy tests in which you would have to analyse various charts/tables and again selct the most appropriate answer. Here, in particular, you could often rule out a few answers very easily as they were well off the mark and consequently, you could select the answer without having to calculate it thus saving time. From what I gather, it is now predicated upon an e-mail inbox with various tasks etc but I imagine they are essentially trying to confirm that you are up to the same standard as you suggested at the online testing phase. A friend started this year as a clerk in Parliament so I will endeavour to get the lo-down from him.

    There are a plethora of texts books/ websites that can offer you practise questions but ultimately, they are supposed to be an inherent measure of your abilities. Remember, however, that this is the first competitive stage of selection. At the on-line test/application review stage it was simply either pass/fail. At the e-tray event you will have to score over x% to pass x+y% to remain in consideration for the Foreign Office and x+z% to remain in consideration for DFID. Consequently, having sat the tests you may be informed that whilst you didn't score highly enough for the FCO/DFID you will still be invited to the FAC to be considered for your second choice. This happened to my friend last year who didn't score highly enough for DFID but continued to the FAC for the Clerskhip in Parilament (although he didn't really know what this was at the time!!).

    Hope this is of some use!! Good luck with the test, personally I think you are lucky to have it in December as you should know whether you are through by the end of the year wheras I won't find out until the end of January!

    Charlie
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    (Original post by city_chic)
    Are Civil Service jobs largely office-based then?
    Yes - it goes with the territory. There are specialist roles that get you out and about but they tend to be in the science sphere. Anything to do with buying military equipment to the state veterinary services. Some are frontline things - immigration and border control for one. Have a look at www.pcs.org.uk to get an idea of the different roles there are. The PCS - Public and Commercial Services Union is the trade union for the majority of civil servants. It'll also give you an idea of the challenges that the services face.
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    (Original post by copeland)
    Angel_Cake,

    I have also made it to the e-tray event on 3rd jan so hopefully I will have worked New Years' out of the system by then
    One of my friends from Uni started a Clerkship in Parliament this Oct so I will be interrogating him for useful information on the selection process. Do you know anyone else that has made it through yet?

    PM me if you fancy discussing this further.

    Charlie
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    tempus fugit
    3rd Jan! That's crazy!! You have forever to prepare then...I only had two weeks!
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    oh my god oh my god!! I need my passport for the e-tray and it's in ipswich and i'm in coventry!! oh no! i can't even get it sent to me in time! oh god!
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    Will they accept any other form of photo ID? A Driving Licence or something?
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    I think they do take other ID, as long as it has your address on it, I'm taking my driving license anyway - my passport is back in Northern Ireland and I'm in England...

    (And thanks for the extra info Charlie!)
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    The following may be of interest to people:

    NHS Student Placements:
    http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Aboutus/HowD...ent/DH_4106005

    Department for Health Admin Officers
    http://www.londonjobs.co.uk/cgi-bin/...743&src=search
    (A step into the in-service fast stream - potentially avoiding the psychometric tests.)

    Environment Agency

    http://www.londonjobs.co.uk/cgi-bin/...241&src=search
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    Hey guys,
    how is the preparation coming along for the e-tray? any good books/tips etc?
    In my research for jobs I came across this advert via the prospects.ac.uk service:
    http://www5.i-grasp.com/fe/tpl_capita26.asp?newms=info1

    It looks quite interesting and is another way of getting into the Foreign Office that also gives you a professional qualification. Ok the pay is not great, but since it is the FCO i guess demand is high. the other departments do offer better rates of pay.

    what does everyone think? worth an application?
    closing date 22nd November.

    Charlie
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    Liz_J,
    How did you get on @ the e-tray exercise yesterday? Any tips, hints etc? How did ou prepare? Did you use any books/ practise websites?

    Hope it all went well, I have another 4 weeks until mine.

    ciao,

    Charlie xx
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    Hi,

    I think I'm in the same boat as a few of you guys.
    I have an e-tray next month.

    Anyone have any tips on how to prepare?
    From what i understand the time pressure is the thing that will get you, is there any way to practice? not necessarily with the time pressure, but the general process of what to do and how to make decisions?

    thanks
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    also, has anyone applied and been invited to the GSS/GES assessment centres?
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    I had my e-tray a couple of weeks ago. To be honest the time wasn't really a factor in making decisions on the first section where it sends e-mails at you, I had loads of time left. On the other hand that may be because I was just going with gut instinct rather than actually thinking too much about them! On the written exercise time is a factor, but then it's just like an exam, not much else you can do beforehand to practice.

    Make sure you do the practice one that is on the civil service website. It doesn't really help with the content but it gives you an idea what it all loooks like so you aren't at least having to work that out when you get there. Other than that it's just a case of staying calm and thinking rationally about what it is asking you to do.

    I think the harder part is you have to do the numerical and verbal reasoning tests again. I tend to get really different marks each time I do these so who knows if they will match the ones I did before!!
 
 
 
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