Civil Service Faststream Watch

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andrew9717
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#81
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#81
(Original post by Josephf)
I took it today. The Bristol centre is a bit of a pain to get to so plan ahead if you're using public transport.

The actual tests went pretty well. It's hard to manage your time in the e-tray as you can't go back to change emails you have already answered so I ended up being ahead of schedule with spare time on questions which were straight forward. The final written test is a little tricky but it is only assessed if you pass the e-tray at the next round.

The retests were straight forward and actually contained a number of questions from the original online tests. Pity I couldn't remember what I wrote!
Joseph mate what ya mean when you say the written test is only assessed if you pass the next round?

What did the written test consist of?
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copeland
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#82
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andrew,

from the faststream website:

"Being successful at this event is determined entirely by the email multiple choice responses which generate an overall score. The scores from the Verbal and Numerical Retests are to establish a score under “invigilated” conditions and are only used to compare with your previous test scores. If, having been successful in the e-Tray multiple choice section, the retest results vary by a substantial margin from your earlier scores (i.e. are considerably lower), the Cabinet Office will review your application and this may result in your elimination from the competition. The written response is only assessed if you are successful at e-Tray and forms part of the Fast Stream Assessment Centre (FSAC) process"

The written test consisted of 2 equal sections:

1 a written ministerial briefing summarising the rational for the introduction of the proposed government scheme which you have been researching in part 1 of the e-tray exercise.

2 a blue skies thinking exercise where you were encouraged to develop as many creative ideas as possible in order to address an area of the proposed scheme that had given cause for concern

Hope this helps, when have you got yours?

Good luck
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Angel_Cake
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#83
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#83
I took my test back at the start of November, and didn't hear anything back until the
4th January - I passed!! So those who are worrying about being in the "amber band", perhaps you will be told progressively whether or not you passed? I can't really understand why I wasn't told on the 19th, unless perhaps I'm good enough to pass but not right up there with the people who passed pretty decisively!

So now it's on to the assessment centre. How important do you think the open day is? Because all possible dates fall after my assessement centre date!
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andrew9717
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#84
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#84
(Original post by copeland)
andrew,

from the faststream website:

"Being successful at this event is determined entirely by the email multiple choice responses which generate an overall score. The scores from the Verbal and Numerical Retests are to establish a score under “invigilated” conditions and are only used to compare with your previous test scores. If, having been successful in the e-Tray multiple choice section, the retest results vary by a substantial margin from your earlier scores (i.e. are considerably lower), the Cabinet Office will review your application and this may result in your elimination from the competition. The written response is only assessed if you are successful at e-Tray and forms part of the Fast Stream Assessment Centre (FSAC) process"

The written test consisted of 2 equal sections:

1 a written ministerial briefing summarising the rational for the introduction of the proposed government scheme which you have been researching in part 1 of the e-tray exercise.

2 a blue skies thinking exercise where you were encouraged to develop as many creative ideas as possible in order to address an area of the proposed scheme that had given cause for concern

Hope this helps, when have you got yours?

Good luck
Cheers copeland, that's really helpful - they wanna get me in for the etray on 18th Jan in mancs.

What was your strategy for the actual etray? Did you enjoy the day?
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copeland
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#85
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#85
Andy,
GOOD LUCK,
there is not really a great deal you can do to prepare. depending on how you good your maths is you may want to brush up on percentages/ graphs etc but there isn't really anything too demanding on the numerical reasoning.

GENERAL POINTS:

read the question/instructions carefully
do not spend too long on a single question
manage your time effectively
on the e-tray e-mail exercise you cannot change your answer once you have submitted it so there is no point working faster than you need to.

it is quite intense but remember that it is the e-tray exercise that should be your focus as this alone will dictate your progress to the FSAC.
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JeromeBettis36
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#86
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#86
Do they ask you to retake the personality questionnaire? Is there even any point in it?

Is it worth making notes during the etray? And it says that you can't use your own calculator during the numerical reasoning, I can't really see why?
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Angel_Cake
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#87
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#87
(Original post by JeromeBettis36)
Do they ask you to retake the personality questionnaire? Is there even any point in it?

Is it worth making notes during the etray? And it says that you can't use your own calculator during the numerical reasoning, I can't really see why?

No, you don't have to retake the personality questionnaire. I have no idea as to how important it is as to whether or not you get through. I guess they take it into consideration, but they'll really be assessing your personality at the assessment centre and that will count a hell of a lot more.

I took notes during the e-tray, and then didn't look at them once when doing the actual test, so I'd say don't bother! You can still access all the information they give you at the start when doing the actual test. I suppose they don't want you to use your own calculator in case you've found some ingenious way of hiding formulas for finding percentages in it etc. The calculators they provide are fine, and if you got through the numerical reasoning the first time around, you should be fine.
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username144576
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#88
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#88
Hi, it took them a while to tell me that I'd passed e-tray (1-2 weeks), but then they offered me an FSAC date basically straight-away.
JeromeBettis36
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#89
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#89
Thanks for the advice.

I thought I had a nightmare retaking the verbal reasoning test, but I got through the whole thing so it must have been ok.

Good luck if you are yet to take the etray, but it really isn't too daunting.
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Prince Rhyus
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#90
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#90
For those of you pondering on applying for the fast stream, get yourselves along to http://www.limun.org.uk/ as should you reach the assessment centre, the group activity will resemble this compressed into a much shorter space of time.
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miss_world
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#91
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#91
The civil service has always appealed to me as a career as has the NGDP for Local Government since it seems to allow more movement throughout the country as well as more contact with the public but it seems like I don't hear as much about this scheme. Does anyone have any information about it/ anyone been through the application process?
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forrestgump1083
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#92
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#92
Anyone been to the FSAC?
Any tips you could give?

Thanks.
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Prince Rhyus
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#93
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(Original post by miss_world)
The civil service has always appealed to me as a career as has the NGDP for Local Government since it seems to allow more movement throughout the country as well as more contact with the public but it seems like I don't hear as much about this scheme. Does anyone have any information about it/ anyone been through the application process?
See http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...nt#post9946904

People tend to get too hung up on the "glamourous" Fast Stream postings in the FCO, MoD and Treasury. Given the way things are going in Whitehall, you are much better off starting in another Government department (or in local government) before moving sideways. You'll be surprised how valued experiences of other parts of the government machine are.

I started off in as a very junior admin officer in a regional government office. If someone said that within 4 years I'd end up as a policy advisor on climate change I'd have laughed at them. But that's what happened. Various doors opened, opportunities arose and I took advantage of them.
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miss_world
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#94
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(Original post by Prince Rhyus)
See http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...nt#post9946904

People tend to get too hung up on the "glamourous" Fast Stream postings in the FCO, MoD and Treasury. Given the way things are going in Whitehall, you are much better off starting in another Government department (or in local government) before moving sideways. You'll be surprised how valued experiences of other parts of the government machine are.

I started off in as a very junior admin officer in a regional government office. If someone said that within 4 years I'd end up as a policy advisor on climate change I'd have laughed at them. But that's what happened. Various doors opened, opportunities arose and I took advantage of them.
Yes I definitely think that the civil service fast stream is perceived as more 'glamourous' as you say. Though neither that nor money is what I'm interested in when it comes to my career, I'd rather do something fulfilling than lucrative (not that a civil service job isn't fulfilling,) hence why I'm looking at the NGDP...
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username144576
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#95
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#95
Hi forrestgump1083,
I've just got back from an assessment centre - there are a few basic things which might help.
The interview at this stage is quite general - they don't expect you to know all about them at this stage.
The only bad part is policy recommendation - the example book you're sent is rubbish - you'll actually be given about 10X as much information (if not more). Also, don't worry about typing errors - you won't have time to proof read and spell check is disabled.
Overall, it's not too bad and should be enjoyable whether you pass or not.
Angel_Cake
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#96
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#96
(Original post by kgc)
Hi forrestgump1083,
I've just got back from an assessment centre - there are a few basic things which might help.
The interview at this stage is quite general - they don't expect you to know all about them at this stage.
The only bad part is policy recommendation - the example book you're sent is rubbish - you'll actually be given about 10X as much information (if not more). Also, don't worry about typing errors - you won't have time to proof read and spell check is disabled.
Overall, it's not too bad and should be enjoyable whether you pass or not.
Thanks for the advice kgc!

The policy recommendation bit scares me a lot! Were there many people in your group? What kind of questions were you asked at interview?
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tnj
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#97
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#97
Hi all

Had my FSAC yesterday, really was the most stressful thing ever! bits of it were fun - the briefing exercise (you get 30mins to prepare, then do a ten min presentation to an assessor followed by tonnes of qs) was good - seemed like a reflection of the type of stuff you would do as a faststreamer. I agree about the written exercise though - you have a heap of data and info that's just horrendous to get through and make a recommendation on which project to pursue - quite hard, considering i only had five minutes between finishing my interview and starting the written thing!

but you know what the really tough bit is? Waiting around afterwards! They said it will take about a MONTH to find out! ..... ah well, it takes me back to waiting for a level results :-)

good luck to anyone going to their fsac - i wish i could do mine again!
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slimjim
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#98
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I've got to say it's the most ridiculous process for getting a job. I'm in the amber band for the e tray, i took it at the beginning of december and it's going to be mid Feb before I find out, so 2 and a half months, and then if I get through it's another test and another month. They must lose out on people, I have another 3 jobs i'm going for who do the whole process inside 6 weeks. I know they have 000s of people but it cant be that hard to work out if you want someone to go to the next stage. I'm kind of hoping to get rejected so at least it is over!
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forrestgump1083
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#99
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hi guys,

i had my fsac on the 23rd as well.

i have to agree about the written exercise, the booklet made it sound straightforward, but the amount of information the give you is ridiculous.
i was wondering how long it would take for a reply...a month is what i would expect from them i guess. i know there are e-trays going on until the middle of Feb, so i guess the last assessment centres would be the end of feb/beginning of march.
it is definitely a long process.
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Ollie87
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#100
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I just passed the e-tray. i took it on the 23rd, found out i'd passed on 24th. roll on fsac!!
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