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What does a competitive examination involve?

Competitive examinations are a gateway to public sector employment, and the main recruitment process for permanent positions. The objective is to guarantee access to all while respecting equal treatment for each candidate.

Updated on 03 March 2020

illustration What does a competitive examination involve?
© AdobeStock/INRAE

INRAE is a public organization which recruits its permanent agents via competitive examination. By passing an examination organised by the institute, you obtain the status of civil servant and may thus join the French civil service.


Competitive examination sessions are organised as follows :

  • Authorization to take the examination : this step is purely administrative. INRAE HR services receive your application, check that you meet the conditions to take part, and that your application is complete. It is then sent to the juries for evaluation.
  • The eligibility phase : your application is examined by a jury, which decides whether you are eligible or not.
  • The admission phase : if you are declared eligible, you will be auditioned by a jury. In the case of engineers, managers and technicians, this oral examination will be preceded by a written examination with a view to assessing your technical skills.

Competitive examination stages at a glance

Competitive examinations seem insurmountable… you have a few preconceived ideas about them… You feel like you’re going back to school… yYou think you will need hours of revision simply to pass an entrance exam… Don’t panic, and start by reading our “avoid misconceptions” category:



Learn more

Understanding our public service corps according to your profile

When you register for an INRAE competitive examination, it is in view of a specific profession, one that corresponds to your aspirations and skills. So, you don’t understand why we are talking about ‘recruitment corps’. It's simple : when you pass a competitive public service examination, you are integrated into a specific professional ‘corps’. Everything is explained to you!

02 March 2020

The keys to success at an INRAE competitive examination

You would like to apply for a position at INRAE but are not sure what type of examination you should aim for? Find out the conditions for applying, the registration procedures as well as the steps to take for each of our competitive examinations at a glance.

29 January 2020