Frequently Asked Questions

General

Q: When is the YPP examination held?
A:
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?
A:
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.
Q: What exam subjects are offered for the YPP examination?
A:
The exam subjects offered in a particular year depend on the projected needs of the UN. They are announced on the YPP homepage . Most exam subjects will be offered every second year but there could be changes to this schedule.

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Nationality

Q: I am not a national of a country listed. Can I apply?
A:
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?
A:

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?
A:
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.
Q: I am a resident alien and/or I have applied to become a citizen in one of the countries participating in the YPP. Am I qualified to apply under my upcoming nationality?
A:
No, you can only apply under a nationality that you hold at the time of the application. Prospective nationality or residency status does not qualify for application purposes.
Q: I got married/divorced and changed my name after having applied to the YPP. What should I do?
A:
If you have been convoked to the examination, please send an email to the YPP team through YPP2015@un.org and notify them of your change of circumstances. Please attach a document that proves that change.
Q: How many nationals from my country will be selected through this process and offered a position?
A:
There is no pre-set number or a quota of successful candidates per nationality. The number of selected candidates depends on candidates’ success in the competitive examination process. Candidates from all participating countries are evaluated against the same questions and criteria.
Q: Why is the programme not open to nationals of all countries?
A:
The YPP is mandated to ensure equitable representation of all Member States in the UN Secretariat. Therefore, it is available only to applicants from countries that are either un- and under-represented in the UN Secretariat in a particular year.

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AGE, EDUCATION AND WORK EXPERIENCE

Q: I will be 33 years old on 31 December of the year of the examination. Can I apply?
A:
No, you cannot apply. You must be 32 years old or younger on 31 December in the year of the examination. There is no exception (even for one day) to the age requirement to apply for the YPP examination. However, you may apply for more senior positions which do not bear age requirements. You may find specific requirements for these positions by visiting the Job Openings page.
Q: I will obtain my Bachelor’s degree in June of next year. Can I apply?
A:
No. In order to be eligible, you must already hold a relevant degree by the time of the application.
Q: I recently completed my Bachelor’s degree but have not received my diploma. What can I attach to my application to show proof that I have completed my degree?
A:
You can attach a letter from your university certifying that you have completed the degree. This letter should include the date of completion and the field of study, not only the title of the degree.
Q: I will be obtaining my Master's degree in June of next year. I already have a Bachelor’s degree. Am I eligible?
A:
In regard to the necessary education, you should hold at least a first-level university degree with a field of study which is listed in the job opening through which you apply. This means that you do not need a Master’s degree to be eligible.
Q: Do I need to have work experience to apply?
A:
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 subject.

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APPLICATION PROCESS

Q: When should I apply?
A:
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?
A:

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 subject 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 subject, 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 cannot find my Main Course of Study or Field of Study in the drop-down menu?
A:
If your exact education is not listed in the drop-down menu, please select the closest relevant option and explain discrepancies under the “Additional Comments.” Please note that the “Specialization” field will not be considered in the screening process.
Q: I need to add/correct some information on my application. Can I withdraw and resubmit my application?
A:
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.
Q: I have submitted my application but forgot to attach the requirements. Can I still upload the required documents?
A:
Applicants who already submitted their applications can still upload the required documents as follows: After logging into inspira go to > My Career Tools (the box in the middle on the top of the home screen) > My Profile (a link in the lower right corner of that box) -> Careers Home (tab in the upper left corner) > Attachments > Add another attachment and save.
Q: If I apply to the YPP examination, can I also apply to other UN job openings?
A:
Yes, you can apply to other UN job openings provided you meet the education, work experience and language requirements specified in the respective job opening.
Q: I will be moving soon. How can I forward you my new address?
A:
Please send us an e-mail to YPP2015@un.org indicating in the subject line your application number, your full name, and your request. In the email, please give us your new address, your new phone number, fax number, and any other changes.

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Examination locations

Q: Where will I take the examination?
A:
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.
A:

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?
A:
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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Written examination

Q: Can the YPP examination be taken online?
A:
No. The YPP examination is a paper based-exam and answers must be handwritten.
Q: I have very poor handwriting. Can I use a typewriter or a computer during the YPP examination?
A:
No, this is not possible. The examination is paper-based. Successful candidates have told us that they practiced handwriting for several months prior to the exam.
Q: Where will I take the examination?
A:
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: Where can I find any information about my examination centre?
A:
All details regarding each examination centre will be posted on the YPP homepage at the latest in November of a given year.
Q: Can I change my preferred examination centre?
A:
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: I will be residing abroad at the time of the written examination. Can I take the examination in a local university or in my consulate?
A:
The examination is administered in a limited number of examination centres, under the supervision of a United Nations official. The list of examination centres is provided in the Convocation status & Examination centres page.
Q: Can I arrive late to the YPP examination?
A:
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?
A:
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: Does the United Nations cover my travel expenses to take the examination?
A:
No, the United Nations does not cover any costs incurred for taking the written examination.
Q: I would need a visa to travel to my examination centre. Will the UN facilitate obtaining my visa?
A:
Visa requirements and costs are your responsibility. Upon request we can issue a letter certifying that you have been invited to take the YPP examination. You may present this letter when applying for a visa but this is not a guarantee that you will be granted one.
Q: I have an important appointment that I cannot miss on the day of the examination. Can I take the examination earlier or later on that day or any time before or after the announced examination date?
A:
No, this is not possible. All examinees must start at the same time and remain in the examination centre until the end of the examination according to the specific schedule of their examination centre. There is no makeup examination; there are no exceptions.
Q: What should I bring to the examination centre?
A:
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.
  • 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?
A:
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?
A:
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: When should I expect the results of the YPP examination and how will I be notified?
A:
The marking of the written examination is usually completed within 3-4 months of the examination. The interviews normally take place 1–2 months after the written examination has been marked. YPP candidates must regularly check the YPP homepage for updates.
Q: I was invited to take last year’s YPP examination, but I did not take it. May I take this year’s examination instead?
A:
No, in order to take this year’s examination, you must submit a new application, meet all eligibility requirements, and be convoked to the examination.
Q: I passed the written part of the YPP examination but failed the oral examination. Do I need to repeat both parts of the examination at a subsequent examination?
A:
Yes, you will have to go through the entire examination process again, starting with the submission of your application. The YPP examination is comprised of both a written and oral examination, and results from one examination year do not carry over to another examination year.
Q: I passed the written part of the YPP examination but failed the oral examination. Do I need to repeat both parts of the examination at a subsequent examination?
A:
Yes, you will have to go through the entire examination process again, starting with the submission of your application. The YPP examination is comprised of both a written and oral examination, and results from one examination year do not carry over to another examination year.
Q: What type of contract will be offered to staff recruited through the YPP?
A:

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?
A:
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?
A:

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?
A:

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?
A:
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 page.

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