Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When is the YPP examination held?
The YPP examination is held in select examination centres worldwide on the same day. The date (usually a day in December), locations and specific times will be announced on the YPP homepage
in the fall of a given year.
Q: How often are YPP examinations held?
YPP examinations are held annually. Each year the UN invites un- and under-represented Member States to participate in the programme. It is up to the Member States to decide whether they want to participate.
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Q: I am not a national of a country listed. Can I apply?
If your country of nationality is not listed, you are not eligible to apply. The reason why the examination is not open to all nationalities is that the YPP examination is designed to recruit nationals of un- and under-represented Member States in the United Nations Secretariat. As geographic representation changes, you should check every year which nationals are eligible to participate in the examination.
Q: Do I need to prove my nationality and what kind of proof will be accepted?
All candidates invited to take the written exam must present a valid picture ID issued by a state authority. The ID needs to prove candidate’s nationality as well as identity. Examples of such IDs are national passport or national identity card, but not a driver’s licence or a birth certificate.
EXAMPLE: A candidate has been convoked to sit for the YPP examination. The candidate applied as a national of country A, which is participating in the YPP. However, he/she lives in the country B, which is not participating in the YPP. He/She does not have a passport or a valid ID of country A, which he/she indicated as the country of his/her nationality. The candidate’s passport issued by country B indicates country A’s capital as the place of birth. Can the candidate sit the YPP exam as national of country A? No, as the candidate does not have a valid picture ID issued by state authority in the country of his nationality. The candidate will therefore not be admitted to sit the exam.
Q: I have more than one nationality. Am I qualified to apply?
You can only apply under one nationality. Please note that your preferred nationality must be indicated in your online application as the "Country of nationality." You find this by clicking on the tab “Cover Letter & Additional Information.” The “Country of nationality” drop down list is in the box at the bottom of this page, which is called “Personal Information.” Please do also indicate your nationality in the “Profile” portion of your online application.
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AGE, EDUCATION AND WORK EXPERIENCE
Q: Do I need to have work experience to apply?
No, work experience is not required. Relevant work experience will be taken into consideration as one of the additional screening criteria when more than 40 candidates from the same country apply to the same exam area.
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Q: When should I apply?
Apply as soon as the application period opens. In order to be eligible all the basic requirements should be fulfilled at the time of submitting your application.
Q: Will my application go through a screening process?
Yes, all applications submitted on time will go through a screening process.
First, the application is screened by the electronic tool inspira based on eligibility criteria: nationality, age and education. This means that your application will automatically be screened out if you do not have the nationality of a Member State that participates in the process in a given year, if you are not 32 years or younger, and if your education is not at least a three-year university degree in a field of study relevant to the exam area for which you have applied.
It is therefore important that you choose one of the fields of study listed in the job opening. Do not confuse the field of study with “Main Course” or “Specialisation”. If the official name of your field of study does not correspond 100% with the fields of study for choice in the drop down list, please chose the closest field from the drop down list and provide the original name in the field provided for it.
If more than 40 applicants from the same country apply for the same exam area, those applicants will be further screened and ranked according to highest education achieved, knowledge of official UN languages, and relevant work experience.
It is important that you indicate all the UN languages you master and the level of your knowledge. Finally, it is important that you describe your relevant work experience comprehensively so that we can understand its relevance to the job opening you applied to.
Please be aware that a lot of potential applicants do not pass the screening stage due to incomplete or inaccurate applications.
Q: I need to add/correct some information on my application. Can I withdraw and resubmit my application?
Even after submitting you have submitted an application, you can change the contact information in your profile, including your email address or phone number. However, the substantive part of your application (including the cover letter, work experience, education details and references) cannot be edited after an application has been submitted. If you withdraw an application (whether intentionally or by accident), you cannot submit a new application for the same job opening.
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Q: Where will I take the examination?
Examination centres are opened based on examination requirements. A minimum of 15 nationals is usually required for an examination centre to be opened in the capital of a participating country. A preliminary list of examination centres is included in the application, allowing you to indicate your preference for where you would like to take the examination. Once the application period is closed, we will confirm whether you will be able to take the examination in the location of your choice. Within a limited period of time, which we will communicate to you, you can also let us know if you need to move to another examination centre. We make every effort to invite candidates to the centre nearest their place of residence. However, once the deadline for moving examination centres has closed, we will no longer be able to accommodate any changes in examination centre.
Q: I cannot see my examination centre listed on the Examination centres page.
First, double check that you have entered your application number correctly.
Your centre assignment will be sent to you via e-mail in addition to being listed on the site.
A preliminary list of examination centres is included in the screening questions for the application, where you can indicate your preference for where you would like to take the examination. Once the application period is closed, we will confirm whether you will be able to take the examination in the location of your choice. For a limited period of time, which we will communicate to you, you can also let us know if you need to move to another examination centre. Only after the application period has closed will the final list of examination centres be posted and only then will you be able to see where you are invited to take the examination.
Keep checking the Examination centres page for updated listings.
Q: Why am I getting a "Sorry, no results matching your criteria were found" message when I search on the Examination centres page?
There are several possibilities as to why you are getting this message. First, if you already have an application number, double check that you have entered your application number correctly. Second, it could be that you have not yet been sent an application number. Please note that application numbers will only be sent after the deadline for applications. Third, it may be that the examination centres have not been confirmed. Please note that examination centres are assigned a few weeks after candidates have been invited to the written examination. Keep checking the site for updated listings.
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Q: Where will I take the examination?
Examination centres are opened based on examination requirements. A minimum of 15 candidates is usually required for an examination centre to be opened in the capital of a participating country. A preliminary list of examination centres is included in the online application, allowing you to indicate your preference of an examination centre. Once the application period is closed and the screening process is completed, the final list of examination centres will be available at the YPP homepage
. The final list often differs from the initial list because the required minimum number of candidates has not been met in every participating country. You can see which examination centre you have been assigned to by navigating to the Convocation status & Examination centres
page. Please be mindful that the United Nations does not cover travel or any other exam related costs.
Q: Can I change my preferred examination centre?
Once convoked, you can change your preferred examination centre within the timeframe provided. The period to request examination centre change will be communicated to convoked candidates. Once the deadline for changing examination centres has passed, we will no longer be able to accommodate any change requests.
Q: Can I arrive late to the YPP examination?
You must arrive in time for registration, which will be published on the YPP homepage
for each exam centre. All candidates must register at the examination venue. Depending on the layout of the venue and the number of candidates this process might take some time. You also need to consider strengthened security arrangements at some locations. After your arrival to the exam room you also need to be seated according to a special seating arrangement. All these procedures could be time consuming and must be taken into consideration when planning your arrival. At the time the examination is scheduled all candidates need to be sitting in the examination room. No late arrivals are allowed after the start of the exam in order to protect the secrecy of the examination questions at different locations around the world. Check the YPP homepage
for any additional instructions.
Q: If I finish the examination early, will I be allowed to leave?
No. All examinees must remain in the examination room until the examination ends and all booklets are collected and counted, even if you finish early. This procedure can take some time, in some cases up to one hour. You should anticipate spending additional time at the examination venue before the beginning of the examination as well as after the official end of the examination. Please take this into consideration when planning your transportation home from the exam location.
Q: What to bring to the examination centre?
You need to bring:
- our application number, which will be sent to you in an email by inspira immediately after you submit your application. To find the application number you can check at any time your inspira notification centre. For instructions how to find the notification centre, see the Application process page.
- Convocation letter, which we will send to you per email once your eligibility has been determined
- A valid national photo ID (valid national ID or passport)
- 2 sharpened pencils
- 2 Dark blue or black ink pens
IMPORTANT: You are required to check the Careers Portal (careers.un.org/YPP) and the tab “Examination centre” for location, time and any specific requirements for your examination centre.
You may also bring some light food and refreshments that will not distract others in the room. Smoking is not allowed in the examination room. Generally, there is no dress code to participate in the examination. However, some examination centres, depending on the location, may require a dress code to enter the premises (e.g., military institutions). Please be aware that some examination venues might be rather cool or warm, so you should prepare according to the local climate and weather. We suggest that you periodically check the YPP homepage for examination centre details and important updates.
Q: Can I use any digital devices during the exam?
The use of a digital device (including but not limited to cell phones, MP3 players, cameras, or other telecommunication devices capable of capturing or relaying information) is prohibited during the administration of the exam. If you use a digital device during the examination you will be disqualified from the YPP.
Q: Are there sample exams?
An example of a previous exam is available on the Examination structure
page. Please be aware of websites resembling the UN web site as they are not official UN pages and may contain misinformation that could be detrimental to your success at the YPP exam.
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EXAMINATION RESULTS AND CAREER PROSPECTS
Q: What type of contract will be offered to staff recruited through the YPP?
Candidates who pass the YPP examination will be offered a two-year fixed term contract at the start of their professional career with the UN. After two years, they will be granted a continuing contract, subject to satisfactory performance.
Candidates can also be offered a temporary contract while they are waiting for an available post. Such contract is not a fixed-term two year contract for the purposes of the YPP and does not carry the expectation of renewal after the expiry of the contract. Temporary contracts are an effective way to gain experience in the organization while waiting to be recruited to a vacant P-1/P-2 post.
Q: What is next if I am successful in the YPP examination?
As a successful YPP candidate you will be placed on a reserve list of qualified candidates who can be selected for available positions within the Organization. Offers of posts are made quarterly to successful candidates and are subject to the requirements of the Organization. You may also be contacted for temporary positions. Please note that being placed on the YPP reserve list does not guarantee you a job at the United Nations. Placement from the reserve list is done in accordance with the needs of the Organization and the availability of positions. Your membership on the reserve list will expire after two years.
Q: If I am successful in the YPP exam and placed on the reserve list how long will it take to be recruited?
The number of candidates placed on the reserve list is closely linked with the number of positions that are projected to become available while the reserve list is open. Each year, only the number of candidates that match the projected vacancies is placed on the reserve list. Offers for available posts are made quarterly to successful candidates and are subject to the requirements of the Organization.
For these reasons, successful YPP candidates can expect to be placed in the timeframe of two years while they are on their respective reserve lists. When the reserve list closes after two years and some candidates have not been recruited despite the projections, they will unfortunately no longer be considered for posts and will have to re-sit the YPP examination if they wish to be reconsidered.
Q: What career opportunities are there after I am recruited?
All recruited YPP candidates will initially be appointed at the P-1or P-2 level, depending on your qualifications. Candidates appointed at the P-1 level shall be promoted to a position at the P-2 level following a minimum of two years of satisfactory performance and depending on the availability of posts. Thereafter, candidates may apply for positions at the P-3 level through the staff selection system so long as they meet the necessary qualifications. After two years of service you will also be eligible for mandatory rotation to a different post. This rotation could be geographical or within the same duty station.
You will also be offered orientation and mobility training as well as career support. This will help you adapt and accelerate the learning period leading to productive work and job satisfaction as an international civil servant.
Q: What is the meaning of P-1 level?
These are the levels used to classify entry-level professional positions at the United Nations. P-1/P-2 level is at the entry level and does not normally require any extensive work experience. Please visit the Staff categories
page for more information. For salaries and other benefits you can visit the Pay and benefits
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