YPP Written Test Samples



You must write clearly and legibly. If your paper cannot be read by the evaluators, it
will not receive credit. You may use double spacing if you wish.

IMPORTANT: Write your summary in black or blue pen on the dedicoted pages of the
answer booklet.

Suggested time: 45 minutes
Maximum score: 150 points


Farmers in Ghana plant rows of cassava next to their chili peppers, and plant banana trees in the middle of cocoa plantations. In India, farmers hang bouquets of flowers in their apple trees. And in Brazil, farmers have increased appreciation of a law requiring them to leave a certain portion of their farms as natural habitat. Three seemingly incongruent situations but they have a connection. All are solutions identified by FAO and its partners for dealing with
one of the pressing problems agriculture faces today – the loss of pollinators, mainly bees but also other Insects and birds. Farmers have adopted these measures in an effort to bring pollinators back to their fields, thanks to the support they receive from FAO’s Global Pollination Project. Bees and other pollinators make enormous contributions to the world’s agriculture. In terms of food production, staples such as wheat, maize, potatoes and rice can reproduce without animal pollination. But, most fruits and vegetables, which are increasingly important in global agriculture, connot. While the plants themselves
will survive, their yields may drop by as much as 90 percent without pollination. This is especially critical considering that 75 percent of all crops have some dependence on pollinators. Plus, crops dependent on pollination are five times more valuable than those that don’t need pollination, it oil adds up to an enormous contribution in terms of improved yields. The French National Institute for Agricultural Research has valued pollinators’ contributions to global agriculture at more than USD 200 billion a year. Although pollinators are essential to the world’s ecosystems, the services those bees and other pollinators provide freely to agriculture were once taken for granted. It is only recently that pollination has been recognized as an essential element of agronomy, a recognition mainly due to a crisis – the world’s pollinators are disappearing. The reasons include loss of habitat, intensive agriculture, indiscriminate use of pesticides and climate change. Climate change is a double issue that not only affects pollinator survival, it also alters crop growing seasons, which means that
the pollinators may not be available at the time that the crop is in flower and needs the pollination. Global statistics are sketchy, but they show that pollinator populations In several parts of the world are steeply declining. In Europe, where monitoring is more advanced than other parts of the world, there is growing evidence of parallel declines in both wild pollinators and in the plants relying on them. In recent decades, commercial farmers have relied on domesticated
honey bees as pollinators but for some crops, they just are not as effective as their wild brethren. Agronomists now recognize that the most effective, resilient approach to managing pollination requires integrating a diversity of wild species with managed pollinators such as honey bees. FAO’s Global Pollination Project focuses on identifying the steps needed to bring wild pollinators back to the fields – steps that vary from crop to crop and farming system to farming system.
The project works with farming communities, national partners and policy-makers in seven pilot countries, raising awareness of the need to develop agricultural policy that supports pollinators, meeting with farming communities to help them develop pollination management plans, and introducing pollination into agricultural curricula. Through farmer field schools launched by the project, farmers can share their traditional pollination solutions, blend them with the
science-based practices, and observe the results throughout the growing season. FAO is documenting the successful pollinator-friendly practices, and compiling a set of tools and best management practices that can be applied to pollinator conservation efforts worldwide. The solutions are rather obvious – modify intensive systems, reduce pesticides and introduce diversity through cover crops, crop rotations and hedgerows. The goal is to find ways to support
pollinators without reducing yields. Apple growers in India traditionally hung flower bouquets in their apple trees to simplify the cross pollination essential for apples to produce fruit. But FAO and its national partners discovered that by careful placement, the bouquets also enticed small black flies – not just bees – to pollinate their trees If the trees flowered when It was too cold for bees. Until then, the farmers had considered the flies to be pests and sprayed to control
them. Farmers in Ghana now plant cassava rows around their chili pepper fields to increase pollination. Bees do not like chili peppers, but FAO found that bees will come to the fields for the nector-rich cassava flowers and while there, will also pollinate the chilles. Brazil’s regulation that farmers must keep a portion of their farmland in its natural forested state in order to slow tropical deforestation takes land out of production. But FAO and its national partners have shown
farmers that the forest provides habitat to pollinators that. In turn, increase the production of crops, such as canola. The increase In productivity has been so impressive that private sector processors of canola seeds are now working with the FAO project personnel to train their technicians and canola farmers in pollination. The FAO Global Pollination Project is sharing its findings across countries and regions, allowing more and more farmers and countries access to the knowledge about importance of pollination – knowledge that will eventually inform the policy to ensure that pollinators are protected and can continue to do their job – supporting the world’s agricultural crops.


Summarize the following text


. The text should be reduced to approximately one third of its original length; the summary should have between 200 and 300words. Failure to meet these guidelines will result in point loss.

A tree fungus could provide green fuel that can be pumped directly into tanks, scientists say. The organism, found in the Patagonian rainforest, naturally produces a mixture of chemicals that is remarkably similar to diesel. “This is the only organism that has ever been shown to produce suchan important combination of fuel substances,” said the plant scientist from Montana State University who led the work. “We were totally surprised to learn that it was making a plethora of hydrocarbons.” In principle, biofuels are attractive replacements for liquid fossil fuels used in transport that generate greenhouse gases. The European Union has set biofuel targets of 5.75% by2010 and 10% by 2020. But critics say current biofuels scarcely reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cause food price rises and deforestation. Producing biofuels sustainably is now a target and this latest work has been greeted by experts as an encouraging step. The fungus, called Gliocladium roseum and discovered growing inside the ulmo tree (Eucryphia cordifolia) in northern Patagonia, produces a range of long-chain hydrocarbon molecules that are virtually identical to the fuel-grade compounds in existing fossil fuels. Details of the concoction, which the scientist calls “mycodiesel”, will be published in the next issue of the journal Microbiology. “The results were totally unexpected and very exciting and almost every hair on my arms stood on end,”said the researcher. Many simple organisms, such as algae, are already known to make chemicals that are similar to the long-chain hydrocarbons present in transport fuel but none produce the explosive hydrocarbons with the high energy density of those in mycodiesel. The researcher in charge of this project said that the chemical mixture produced by his fungus could be used in a modern diesel engine without any modification. Another advantage of the G. roseum fungus is its ability to eat up cellulose. This is a compound that, along with lignin, makes up the cell walls in plants and is indigestible by most animals. As such, it makes up much of the organic wastecurrently discarded, such as stalks and sawdust. Converting this plant waste into useful fuels is a major goal for the biofuel industry, which currently uses food crops such as corn and has been blamed for high food prices. Normally, cellulosic materials are treated with enzymes that first

convert it to sugar, with microbes then used to ferment the sugar into ethanol fuel. In contrast, G.roseum consumes cellulose directly to produce mycodiesel. Although the fungus makes less mycodiesel when it feeds on cellulose compared to sugars, new developments in fermentation technology and genetic manipulation could help improve the yield. In fact, the genes of the fungusare just as useful as the fungus itself in the development of new biofuels. “Fungi are very important but we often overlook these organisms,” a fungus expert at Swansea University, said: “This is the first time that a fungus has been shown to produce hydrocarbons that could potentially be exploited as a source of fuel in the future. Concept-wise, the discovery and its potential applications are fantastic. However, more research is needed, as well as a pilot study to determine the costs and benefits. Even so, another potential supply of renewable fuel allows us to diversify our energysources and is certainly an exciting discovery.” The executive director of the National Energy Research Centre also welcomed the discovery but noted it is at its earliest stage of development.

“This appears another encouraging discovery that natural processes are more capable of producing materials of real value to mankind than we had previously known. It’s another piece of evidence that there is real potential to adapt such processes to provide energy sources that can help reduce our need for, and dependence on, fossil fuels.” The next stage for this breakthrough research will be to refine the extraction of mycodiesel from the fungus. This requires more laboratory work to identify the most efficient ways to grow the organism and, perhaps, genetic modification of the fungus to improve yields. If successful, this new technology will then need to be tested in a large-scale demonstration plant to solve any problems in scaling up to commercial production. This discovery also raises questions abouthow fossil fuelswere made in the first place. The accepted theory is that crude oil, which is used to make diesel, is formed from the remains of dead plants and animals that have been exposed to heat and pressure for millions of years. But if fungi like this are producing mycodiesel all over the rainforest, they may have contributed to the formation of fossil fuels.

Specialized paper (650 points):

The Specialized Paper tests your substantive knowledge and analytical thinking. It is specific to the exam subject you are taking the exam in. This part of the written examination can be answered in any of the six official UN languages. You can score a maximum of 650 points in the Specialised paper.

part 1: Multiple choice items (- 50 Multiple Choice)

Part I of the Specialized Paper consists of up to 50 multiple choice questions relevant to the exam subject you are applying for. Each question is worth 3 points; no points are deducted for a wrong answer. The answers to the multiple choice items need to be indicated in the Answer Booklet by filling in the circle corresponding to the correct answer from the Questions Booklet.


This one for Administration exam

Multiple Choice Items

1. A company can choose from four mutually exclusive projects. The forecasted net cash inflow
for each of the possible outcomes is:

Market ConditionPoorAverageGood
Project A440470560
Project B400550580
Project C360400480
Project D320380420

If the company applies the MAXI-MIN criterion, the project chosen would be?

a. Project A

b. Project B

c. Project C

d. Project D

What is PRINCE2?

a. Method of integrating constraints into core project phases to maximize opportunity

b. Method of planning and managing a project execution, designed to deal with constraints

c. Methodology for managing projects within a clearly defined framework

d. Methodology for repetitive, functional activities to produce products or services

Which of the following circumstances justifies sole source procurement?

a. Only one vendor at the location of the requirement can meet the requirement

b. Only one vendor is registered for this requirement in the vendor register

c. The buyer met with one vendor who demonstrated his capability of meeting perfectly the requirement

d. There is no competitive marketplace for the requirement needed

Part II: Constructed response items

Part II of the Specialised Paper consists of up to 13 items where candidates need to produce a longer text, speech, analysis or a similar answer. Candidates are expected to write a longer response (up to 4 pages) to the first three questions and a shorter text to questions 4 to13 (up to two pages). Please note that not every exam will have three longer and ten shorter questions. Sometimes an exam may have fewer questions as well.


Constructed Response Items


a) The United Nations is responding to increasingly challenging issues around the world, while going through a period of unprecedented economic constraints. These two conflicting forces demand that the Organization rethinks its operating model by looking for ways to improve efficiency without impacting effectiveness in delivering our core mission.

b) The deployment of Umoja, the Enterprise Resource Planning initiative that commenced in 2013, marks one of the foremost transformative processes currently underway in the United Nations Secretariat. The harmonization, integration and automation of business processes globally will facilitate a new way of working and will change the way the Organization does business. As a result, the UN will strengthen oversight and accountability, gain additional opportunities for consolidation and significantly improve the efficiency of its operations.

c) With this objective in mind, the Organization will re-engineer its back-office processes as performed by the different United Nations Secretariat departments. The goal is to migrate from the current, mostly compartmentalized model of operation to one which will allow the United Nations Secretariat globally to share resources and harmonize back-office processes, including the alignment and rationalization of our many information and communications technology efforts.

d) In the coming years, the Organization will migrate from multiple operating models to a common operating model that will be applied across the global Secretariat. According to the Secretary-General, this change will affect every workplace and will require a major collective effort to come to fruition.

In this context, please discuss what you see as the opportunities and challenges of such an organizational transformation initiative. In your response, please address impact on People, Processes, Technology and any other areas you deem relevant.

2. In a situation of a mandatory reassignment from one duty station to another, outline the components of a fair compensation package.

3. Identify and briefly discuss three major advantages of introducing electronic data processing equipment to assist in management functions.

4. What is budgetary control? What is the difference between budgetary control and management control?


Social Affairs.

A. How do the various aspects of rural development contribute to poverty eradication in developing countries? Explain.

B. Economic growth, while necessary, is alone not sufficient to ensure comprehensive social development. Discuss.

C. Full employment and decent work are considered important to social development.

a) Explain the meaning of “full employment” and “decent work”.

b) Explain why they are important.

c) Discuss how governments and the private sector can achieve full employment and decent work.

Migration plays a key role in development. Give one example each of:

a) Its benefits to sending and receiving countries.

b) lis costs to sending and receiv ing countries.

2. Define social integration and explain its significance for economic and social development.

3. Name one cost and benefit each of the public versus private provision of social services (healthcare, education____).

4. Describe, using an example, the human rights-based approach to development.

5. What is the role of the United Nations in helping to prevent the supply and use of drugs? Give one example each.

SAMPLE 3. Public information.


A. Several influential media have been criticising the United Nations for being ineffective in addressing crucial issues of importance to the international community, such as terrorism, human rights, democracy, peacekeeping and UN reform, including financial control and management. As a result, the image of the United Nations has suffered. You have been tasked to formulate a public information strategy in order to counter the criticisms in one of the areas above and to help improve the image of the Organisation. Explain your strategy and how your strategy can be implemented.

B. The Security Council held a high-level meeting on “Mediation and Settlement of Disputes”. The United Nations News Centre, an on-line news service, wants to highlight the debate on its news website. Using the press release issued on the debate (see Annex), draft an appropriate news article for the website. Start with a heading.

C. The Secretary-General wants to publish an op-ed article on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in an international newspaper. MDGs are listed below. 2009 marks the first year after the half point was reached between the agreement on the MDGs and the planned date for the accomplishments of the MDGs. Draft an op-ed article under the name of the Secretary-General on the state of affairs on this important milestone. Take into account the fact that an op-ed article is relatively short and. should be well structured and convey key messages. Discuss where we stand now and what remains to be accomplished. You may decide to address future challenges as a whole or focus on no more that 4 goals.


1. 2009 is the international year of biodiversity. The UN would like to set up a website to promote the year and you have been asked to design it. Briefly present with bullet points the design: decide on 3 key messages and your strategy to promote them.

2. You have been assigned to produce a three-minute news video for United Nations Television, which will be aired on an international satellite television station. The topic is violence against women”. Describe your video production proposal. What elements would you choose for the proposal?

3. United Nations Radio is preparing a 5-minute feature story on climate change and the role of the United Nations in it. How would you go about preparing the story? Describe the essential steps you would take and how you would structure the radio presentation.

4. A civil society group active in genocide prevention wants to organize an exhibition at United Nations Headquarters or at a United Nations office in the field. List three (3) criteria that the United Nations should consider in order to approve the proposal.

5. The next soccer World Cup will be held in South Africa in 2010. The Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace wants to use this event as a platform to highlight the role of sports for African development. What activities would you recommend to the Special Adviser? List three (3) and explain how these activities can be most effectively carried out.

6. You have been tasked to prepare events for the International Day of Non-Violence. What events would you undertake? Describe your activ ities in three (3) key media.

7. A new peacekeeping mission is being established in a buffer zone between two countries with poor communications and transport infrastructure. The mission’s mandate is to monitor a ceasefire in the buffer zone, to undertake de-mining and to provide social serv ices to the war- affected population. Your task is to set up a public information unit for the new mission. Briefly describe:

a. The structure of the Public Information Unit:

b. Three (3) key activities it should undertake:

c. Target audience(s);

d. How to reach this/these audience(s)?