UN Global General Service Test (GGST) Practice

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What is the UN Global General Service Test?

The Global General Service Test is an entry-level assessment that screens applicants for positions in the UN Global General Service. Through a series of work-relevant scenarios and cognitive ability tasks, the GGST assesses your competencies and decides whether you are compatible. 

As an entrance test, the GGST is administered to all applicants at every level of United Nations General Service positions. 

The only exceptions are current and former GS employees who have passed the ASAT within 24 months of any break in employment, as well as GS candidates for specialized fields, such as trades & crafts, nurses, and security.

The UN Global test is a standardized, computer-based selection exam. Test questions involve the everyday tasks of General Service associates.


When preparing for the GGST United Nations exam, what skills should I focus on?

The GGST Test measures the core skills essential for the effective performance of GS tasks. Expect three main sections:

  • Numerical Reasoning (45 min) – The Numerical Reasoning section assesses your ability to handle numerical data. It contains items dealing with basic arithmetic, such as percentages, graphs, word problems, calendars, and data tables.
  • Verbal Reasoning (35 min) – Verbal reasoning tasks involve job-related emails, memos, and communication between managers and general staff as well as between General Service personnel. The focus in this section of the GGST is on the ability to handle written communication.
  • Situational Judgment – You are presented with work-related scenarios. Your job is to determine the best course of action to take in dealing with the problematic situations in each item. The Situational Judgment section measures your attitudes and behaviors when confronted with job-related difficulties.

The core competencies UN administrators deem to be of importance in successfully fulfilling the parameters of General Service positions are:

  • Aptitude for planning, organizational skills, and the ability to communicate effectively.
  • Writing, data management, filing, office administration, math, and proofreading.

Global General Service Test Practice Questions

GGST Numerical Sample Question

Joanne is a senior communication officer who works for UNICEF in Copenhagen, Denmark. She was sent to the annual general meeting taking place at 4 P.M. on January 27 in San Francisco, United States of America.

Joanne plans to go to the airport from her house, which is located an hour away by the subway. She has to be at the airport three hours before the departure time.

The flight duration is 10 hours and 50 minutes. She believes it will take her about an hour to get through passport control and baggage claim.

When Joanne is in San Francisco, she plans to go straight to the hotel, which is a 20-minute drive away, and stay there for two hours. Then, she wants to take a taxi which takes half an hour to get to the UN Office.

When does Joanne need to leave her house to arrive at the meeting on time? (local time).

Note: Copenhagen, Denmark, is nine hours ahead of San Francisco, USA.

A. 5:20 A.M.
B. 5:45 A.M.
C. 6:20 A.M.
D. 6:45 A.M.
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

To solve this question, you need to work backwards - from Joanne's meeting time to the time she needs to leave her house.

  • The meeting is at 4 P.M. (local time).
  • The travel time from the airport to the UN UNICEF office in San Francisco is half an hour, meaning that she has to leave the hotel at 3:30 P.M.
  • Since Joanne plans to stay for two hours at the hotel, she needs to arrive there by 1:30 P.M.
  • The travel time from the airport in San Francisco to the hotel is 20 minutes, so she leaves the airport at 1:10 P.M.
    Joanne assumes it will take her one hour to get through passport control and baggage claim. Thus, her flight lands at 12:10 P.M.
  • Her flight's duration is 10 hours and 50 minutes. This means, the departure time from Copenhagen is 12:10 P.M − 10:50 = (12:10 – 11:00) + 0:10 = 1:10 + 0:10 = 1:20 A.M.

Note: 12 P.M. is noon time: the hours from midnight to noon are A.M. 

She plans to be at the airport three hours before the flight: 1:20 A.M. – 3:00 = (1:20 – 1:20) − (1:40) = 12:00 A.M − 1:40 = 10:20 P.M

It takes an hour to get to the airport by subway from her house in Denmark, so she needs to leave her house by 9:20 P.M.

Notice that the calculations were performed according to the San Francisco time zone. The question mentions that the answer needs to be given in the local time in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is stated that Denmark is nine hours ahead of San Francisco. When it is 9:20 P.M in San Francisco, it is 6:20 A.M in Denmark.

  • First, add the hours until midnight: 9:20 P.M. + 2:40 hours = 12:00 A.M.
  • Then, add the six hours and 20 minutes left: 12 A.M. + 6:20 = 6:20 A.M.

Joanne has to leave her house at 6:20 A.M. (local time) to attend the meeting on time.


GGST SJT Sample question

Your office recently welcomed Jim to its ranks. Despite your best efforts, Jim hasn't cooperated with you or the team.

When you talk to him, he interrupts and seldom listens to what you say. He has also been leaving early and arriving late, failing to complete all of his tasks on time.

Rank the following responses on a 1-5 scale (1= least effective; 5= most effective) and choose the most effective action

A. Ask Jim for a one-on-one meeting. Explain to him that some of his behavior makes working with him difficult. Discuss how you can work together better in the future.
B. Have a team meeting to discuss the problem. During team meetings, discuss Jim's difficult behavior with him and ask if he could modify it.
C. Call your supervisor to schedule an appointment. Be sure to let the supervisor know all of Jim's shortcomings.
D. Check with your supervisor if it is possible to switch teams. The reason, it might be easier to work with more agreeable coworkers.
E. Don’t mention anything to Jim. Eventually, he will notice your discomfort and alter his behavior accordingly.
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

It is difficult to answer this question because most of the options are not very positive. You must evaluate the costs and benefits of each answer:

A. This is the best response (5). You are trying to communicate directly to Jim and it shows good communication and teamwork skills.

B. This answer choice is less effective(4) than the first response but more effective than the other responses. You are using direct communication which is good but the cost is that you are putting Jim on the spot this could make him feel under attack. 

C. This response is very passive (3). You don't take action in order to reach a solution, but rather hope that things will work out by themselves. However, while this response doesn't lead to an effective solution to the situation, it also doesn’t increase the damage.

D. This is also an ineffective response (2). By not communicating your concerns, you are actually preventing an opportunity to change the situation for the better. By not showing persistence in the face of adversity.

E. This choice is the least effective response (1). When solving SJT questions, it is important to pay attention to the justifications; the justification for talking to your supervisor is not based on increasing your team's performance, but rather on wanting to hurt Jim. 


UN General Service Hiring Process

General Service (GS) staff at the United Nations provide support for three basic office realms: operational, technical, and procedural.

The UN General Service includes various assistant positions, such as accounting, administrative, editorial, and statistical.

The hiring process for General Service positions begins with a suitability screening by the hiring manager. If you succeed in this part of the hiring process, you will be short-listed and invited to take the GGST at UN Headquarters in New York City or a duty station.

The duty stations are located in diverse locations around the globe, including Geneva, Addis Ababa, Vienna, Beirut, Nairobi, Bangkok, Santiago, and The Hague.

If you pass the GGST, your name will be added to the GGST roster for a period of two years. The final score of your Global General Service Test determines whether or not you will proceed to an interview.

If this is the job for you, then it is worth your time and effort to fully prepare for the GGST.

How to Pass the UN Global General Service Test

The GGST UN test should not be what stands between you and your goal of working for the United Nations, and the key to your success is simple - practice. 

With JobTestPrep's specialized Global General Service Test practice materials, you will get everything you need to improve your level and get the high score you are after. 


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