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Hundreds of thousands tussle for government jobs in China’s toughest exam

Hundreds of thousands tussle for government jobs in China’s toughest exam

Six days after the opening of online applications for China's most competitive test, the civil service exam, more than 530,000 applicants have registered to vie for just 14,704 posts, with the most popular position attracting over 2,300 candidates.

Over 27,000 job openings for more than 120 government departments and agencies were advertised in 2016, slightly down from last year.
Statistics as of Thursday showed that positions in central government departments and agencies have seen more fierce competition, with an average of 52 applicants competing for each role, compared to 19 people per position at lower level institutions. However, there are still 885 unpopular positions that have received no applications at all.
“Considering the past years’ enrollment process, the total number of test takers this year is expected to reach 1.4 million,” said Qiao Hongbo, director of Huatu Academy, a Beijing-based institute specializing in training for the civil service exam.
China's state bureau of civil servants issued a notice on Tuesday to remind the candidates to “apply for posts in a rational way”, urging them to match their backgrounds to the jobs’ requirements.
China’s government started the national civil service exam in 1994, when only 44,000 people competed for 490 vacancies. That number has soared 300 times in just two decades– in 2013, the number of applicants reached a peak of 1.52 million. Over the last two years that number has slowly dropped, with 1.4 million hopefuls registered in 2014 and 1.39 million in 2015.


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