Examination structure

The examination process consists of a written and an oral stage (interview). The written exam consists of several parts, which are described below.

  1. Written examination

    The written examination consists of a General Paper and a Specialised Paper. Each exam may vary in regard to the question format, number of questions, length of exam, etc.:

    • The General Paper, which is the same for all YPP examinations that are scheduled on the same date, assesses fundamental skills needed to work in a complex international organization like the United Nations. These may include drafting/written communication skills and the UN’s core values of Integrity and Respect for Diversity. This part of the exam must be written in either English or French.
    • The Specialised Paper, which is different for each examination, tests substantive knowledge of the subject relevant to the exam you have applied for. This part of the written examination is available in both English and French and can be answered in any of the six official UN languages. The Specialised Paper often consists of two main parts.
    • Part I: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

      Part I consists of MCQs relevant to the exam area you have applied for. The number of questions may vary based on the exam area.

      Part II: Constructed Response Items

      Part II consists of open-ended questions, some of which will be mandatory. The number of questions may vary based on the exam area. As an example, you may be expected to write a long response (e.g., 500 words) to one question and shorter responses to the rest of the items (anywhere from two to ten shorter items).

    Written Exam Administration:

    The written examination is administered online and may be conducted in either one or two stages. If the exam is separated into two stages, only those successful in the first portion of the written examination will be invited to participate in the second stage (subject to the screening of top 40 applicants from each country, as described in the Application Process page).

    Further details on the dates, times, and structure of the written examination will be provided for convoked candidates. Prior to finalizing the results of the written examination, candidates may be subject to further verification, via a brief assessment conducted in a proctored manner online.

  1. Oral examination

    If you are successful in the written examination, you will be invited to take part in the oral examination which consists of a competency-based video-conference interview. Each candidate will be interviewed by a panel consisting of members of the Specialised Examination Board. You can find more information on competency based interviews here.

  2. Results notification

    Successful candidates will be individually informed that they have passed the YPP examination. All candidates will be informed through the Important Updates page that the examination process has been concluded. Please note that the time of notification may vary for each examination subject, depending on the number of examinees.

Examination Preparation

To better prepare yourself for the YPP exam, you may wish to visit this page on a regular basis, as we will continue to provide updates relevant to the current exam areas. Here you will find information such as sample exams, suggested reading lists, and more details on the exam format specific to the exam for which you have applied.

Warning regarding for-profit companies

The United Nations has been made aware that for-profit companies have been selling services related to the United Nations Young Professionals Programme (YPP), including application review and preparation for the YPP examinations and interviews. Some companies claim to provide access to UN inside information. Please be aware that the United Nations is not collaborating or partnering with any companies offering YPP-related services of any kind. Any services or programmes sold by such companies are not supported or endorsed by the United Nations.

The United Nations does not charge any fees at any stage of the YPP application, examination and evaluation process.

Information about the YPP as well as preparation materials are available publicly and free of charge on this site. Such sample materials are strictly for personal and non-commercial use and are subject to the “terms of use” of the UN website (available at http://www.un.org/en/sections/about-website/terms-use/index.html ).

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