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February 28, 2006


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WOW!! And all I got was a lousy...tie (at the UN gift shop).


Hi marcus..I was browsing the internet for info on the examination and came accross ur log..I was wondering if u could give me any tips and advice on it. I have been selected to do the legal affairs exam in feb 2007. However..I am quite nervous since there are only sample topics to study and not specific ones..I am from Panama and I do really would love to pass the exam..any help is welcome..
what sites did u used to study?? u mentioned that the UN provide a sample exam online??? I have tried looking for it..but dont seem to come across it...hope to hear form u soon.


Hi Maritza--I just tried to find the sample exams on the UN web site, but also could not find it. As I recall from last year, you have to click around for a while on the UN's exams page to find it.

In the end, the sample questions were fairly different from what they asked on the test. So although the sample was useful, finding it is not essential. My advice is to: think about the role of libraries in large global organizations; think about how electronic access is changing libraries; and, finally, consider your general philosophy of librarianship. Also, speaking with colleagues is a great way to prepare.

One last point--It's a long process. I took the test on February 28, and still do not know if I have been selected for an interview. I should know by the end of this month, 8 months later. Assuming I get an interview, and that the interview goes well, I would be go on a waiting list for open positions. So patience is essential.

Good luck!


Thanks so much!!! I am actually going to take the legal affairs exam. Sadly I do not know anyone who can give me advice in that area. For now, I bought a couple of books in international relations, all you need to know about the UN and all its different entities. I am not sure if there will be questions related to the UN organization and fucntions and how it is applied to internatinal law. But I will try to see if I can find someone who knows more on th subject.
I liked to read your post it was very helpful.I appreciate it a lot!!
Take care


Nice to hear from you again Maritza. Embarrasingly, I read your original message much too quickly and did not pay attention to the fact that you are taking the legal affairs exam.

As it turned out, I was not selected for an interview by the UN. But it was nevertheless a good experience, both the preparation for the exam and actually taking it in the General Assembly chamber.

Best of luck and keep us posted.


Hi Marcus:

I just read the UN website and I was not selected for the interview. Is alright, i didn't do so well on the test. It was very difficult, but I am glad I tried anyways... Thanks for all the support!!
Have a nice weekend!


Thanks for letting me know Maritza. Sorry it didn't work out, but I think you have a fabulous attitude.



Hi Marcus,
I am also attempting the NCE, will be doing it this feb, in political affairs. I stumbled onto your blog after looking for helpful tips to study for the exam. If you can provide any helpful tips as to the experience please do. Despite your studying did you find that it was one of those curve ball exams?? Did u find that you studied the right material/? what would you have done differently??

Thanks a lot


Well, I'm not sure I have the best advice since I wasn't selected to be a UN librarian.

I studied from previous year's tests posted online, and nothing during the test surprised me. One thing I didn't do was identify people who had passed the exam to get their advice--that would probably be very helpful.


thank you so much Marcus.


Hello to all,
Two days ago I recieved a letter from UN. They invited me to take the exam. I'm in the informational technology field. If anybody knows some informations about IT, I propose to prepare together for the exam.


Hi Marcus! This blog of yours about the UN exams is alive and well! .. I am actually taking the exam in social affairs in 6 weeks time. And I have one question for you, if you can assist? Basically.. on the sample papers there is around 3 essay questions and 8 questions. I am wondering.. do you remember if you have to answer ALL the questions on the paper.. or do they give you a choice of a few? If I know this then I can have a better idea of how indepth I should study the topics.. Many thanks in advance for your help! Cheers! Shelly


Hi Shelly, and happy new year. Sorry, I took the librarian exam and not social affairs. And I can't even remember how that exam went! So I'm afraid I am not much help.


Hi Marcus,

I was looking information abou how to prepare the UN exam and ended in your web site.
I have been convoked to take exam in Informtion Technology field. Have you any idea , advice or do you know someone who has taken that exam?

I would apreciate any help since I have no idea on how to get prepared for that exam.

Thanks a lot


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