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Common Recruitment Examination (CRE)

Common Recruitment Examination(CRE) Information

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The CRE and BLT in Hong Kong

Important updates from Civil Services Bureau (CSB) of HKSAR government (as at 20 Sep 2021)

All candidates
 of the examination in Hong Kong will be arranged to sit the examination on 9 October 2021. An e-mail will be sent to candidates between 20 and 26 September 2021 notifying them of the relevant examination details.  If any candidates do not receive the e-mail by 27 September 2021, they should immediately contact the Civil Service Examinations Unit by phone at (852) 2537 6429 or by e-mail to csbcseu@csb.gov.hk.  Any requests for change of examination time / venue will NOT be considered.

Application details

*** Application for CRE / BLT in Hong Kong
The application period for the coming CRE and BLT tentatively scheduled for October in Hong Kong is from 7 to 20 August 2021.  Applicants may choose to take any of the CRE papers and / or the BLT paper in this examination. They will be arranged to sit the examination on one of the above examination dates (i.e. 2 or 9 October 2021, or another date within October 2021 if necessary).   Application details for the examination outside Hong Kong (tentatively scheduled on 4 December 2021) will be announced later this year. Candidates applying for the examination in Hong Kong will NOT be allowed to apply for that outside Hong Kong.  The details and an on-line application system is available on the webpage of Civil Service Bureau (CSB) at www.csb.gov.hk/eng/cre.html  during the said application period.

The CRE and BLT are open to all holders of degree or professional qualifications who are interested in applying for civil service posts at degree or professional level.  Students who will have attained a degree in the 2021-22 academic year may also apply to take the coming CRE and BLT.

In the light of the evolving situation regarding the COVID-19, the Civil Service Bureau will adjust the arrangements on the examination if the situation warrants and announce that on the CSB webpage. Applicants for taking the coming CRE and BLT are advised to visit the webpage regularly for updates. General enquiries regarding the CRE and BLT may be directed to CSB by phone at 2537 6429 or by e-mail to csbcseu@csb.gov.hk.

The CRE and BLT outside Hong Kong 
For the convenience of those studying or residing outside Hong Kong, this round of CRE and BLT is also tentatively scheduled to be held on 4 December 2021 in seven other cities, namely Beijing, London, San Francisco, New York, Toronto, Vancouver and Sydney. The application period is from 25 September to 8 October 2021.  Applicants may choose to take any of the CRE papers and/or the BLT paper in this examination.

[Note : For the examination outside Hong Kong, it may only be held subject to the regulations and prevailing measures in that particular city in the light of the development of the COVID-19.  If the situation warrants, the examination may be deferred or cancelled. Updates on the examination arrangements will be announced on the CSB webpage.

Moreover, candidates are advised to observe requirements specified by the city for taking the examination, such as requirements on COVID-19 vaccination or testing and attending large scale events.  Candidates may be required to demonstrate their health status on vaccination or testing as a condition of entry to the examination centres located at selected premises.  Candidates are reminded to keep abreast of the latest updates on the requirements arising from the COVID-19 imposed by the local government of the cities concerned.] 

Note:  Persons who are arranged to sit the examination in Hong Kong in October 2021 are NOT alloweTd to apply for sitting the examination again outside Hong Kong.

Preparations for CRE & BLT
In order to help students to familiarize with the CRE/BLT format, Career Centre will organize a series of training workshops in September. The schedule will be uploaded on our enrollment website (https://sa.hkbu.edu.hk/portal/career/enrollment/) in late August. For enquiries related with preparations and trainings, please contact Career Centre via email at bucareer@hkbu.edu.hk  or hotline at 3411-7440.

Enquiries about CRE/BLT
General enquiries regarding the CRE and BLT may be directed to the CSB by phone at 2537 6429 or by e-mail to csbcseu@csb.gov.hk .


Good luck!
Career Centre

Preparation for CRE/BLT

In order to help you to familiarize with the CRE/BLT format, Career Centre will organize a series of mock practice sessions and workshops in September. The schedule will be uploaded onto our website in early September. Interested students please register at our enrollment system (https://sa.hkbu.edu.hk/portal/career/enrollment/) You may also visit the CSB website for more information. (https://www.csb.gov.hk/english/recruit/cre/949.html)

Acceptance of Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSEE) results as equivalent to the results of the CRE

According to the announcement from the Civil Services Bureau, please kindly note the following arrangements for accepting the results of HKDSEE as equivalent to the results of the CRE recently promulgated:

(a) ‘Level 5 or above’ and ‘Level 4′ in Chinese Language in HKDSEE are accepted as equivalent to ‘Level 2′ and ‘Level 1′ respectively in the Use of Chinese paper in CRE; and

(b) ‘Level 5 or above’ and ‘Level 4′ in English Language in HKDSEE are accepted as equivalent to ‘Level 2′ and ‘Level 1′ respectively in the Use of English paper in CRE.

Some Useful Tips

Use of Chinese:

  • Most of the questions are related to current affairs, reading newspapers will definitely be beneficial.
  • Do more practices on Erroneous character (錯別字).

Use of English:

  • While working on the comprehension, you should

- Read the questions first, and then the passage. By doing so, you can actively search the information you need, and save you lots of time.- Never confirm your answer until you finish the whole passage.- Highlight important points when you scan the passage.- Try to understand the structure of the passage. Normally, the topic sentence (first sentence of each paragraph) summarizes the paragraph.

  • While working on the Error Identification, you should read the sentence carefully; eliminate error of grammar or usage. Never choose an answer that will change the original meaning of the sentence.
  • Paragraph improvement tests your knowledge about paragraph cohesion, rather than merely grammatical errors. Common questions involve:

- Redundancy- Lack of details- Ambiguity- Choppy sentences

Aptitude Test:

  • Pace yourself. Don’t waste too much time on a single question.
  • Read all the answer choices before confirming your answer.
  • Whatever questions you are doing, try to eliminate as many as possible.
  • As there are different sections in the Aptitude Test, try to finish the ones which you are strong at first, and leave the difficult ones to finish at the end.
  • Make a guess rather than leaving it blank when you deal with difficult questions.
  • Sometimes you are only asked to give an approximate answer, therefore, do not waste time to figure out the exact answer.
  • Keep track on the units, round off numbers when necessary.
  • Don’t’ make any assumption when dealing with verbal reasoning; assume what the passage says as universal truth. Concentrate on the structure of the statement instead.

Basic Law Test

The Civil Service Bureau (CSB) would conduct the BLT alongside the Common Recruitment Examination (CRE).  The Basic Law Test (BLT) is a 20-minute bilingual paper comprising 15 multiple-choice questions. The paper assesses candidates’ Basic Law knowledge and the full mark of the paper is 100. All candidates applying for civil service jobs advertised from 1 September 2008 onwards will be assessed on their Basic Law knowledge. For civil service recruitment exercises advertised on or after 6 August 2021, the implementation details of the BLT are as follows:

Civil service jobs requiring degree or professional qualifications:
A pass result in the BLT is an entry requirement. Only those candidates who have passed the BLT will be considered for appointment. The BLT result will also constitute an appropriate weighting in a candidate’s overall assessment.  Attaining a score at or above 53 out of the full mark of 100 (i.e. getting at least 8 out of 15 questions correct) will be deemed to have a pass result in BLT.  For candidates who have taken a BLT conducted before (either a BLT centrally conducted by the Civil Service Bureau or a BLT arranged by individual bureaux/departments in their past civil service recruitment exercises (degree/professional grades)), they will be deemed to have a pass result in BLT if they have attained a score at or above 53 out of the full mark of 100 (i.e. getting at least 8 out of 15 questions correct). 

For more details, please visit the CSB website at (https://www.csb.gov.hk/english/recruit/basiclaw/1372.html)

Please pay attention to the announcements from website of CSB regularly for latest information. General enquiries regarding the CRE and / or BLT may be directed to the Civil Service Examination Unit by phone at (852) 2537 6429 or by e-mail to csbcseu@csb.gov.hk