« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
in fact, competitive examinations, and those in which only two are examined for one situation realize in a very inadequate degree the objects to be attained by this mode of selection.
With regard to the cases in which three candidates have been examined for one situation, we must notice an unsatisfactory result which is likely to arise, and which in fact has arisen, from the number of candidates who are to compete together being so frequently limited to three.
In such cases it may and does happen from time to time that one or two of the competing candidates fail to reach the positive minimum which would entitle them to a certificate, so that the actual competition is either reduced to two or virtually ends in a simple pass examination. Thus out of 22 competitions for situations in the Customs, there were 10 cases in which only two, and eight in which only one of the candidates examined was capable of passing. In the Inland Revenue, also, in 16 competitions there were two in which two, and ten in which only one of the candidates examined could have passed, while in others three capable candidates competed for two situations, and four for three situations.
It is evident, moreover, that the chance of obtaining the best men must be greater in one large competition than in several small ones, even if the same average number of competitors and prizes be maintained. Thus, if 60 men are to compete for 20 situations, the 20 successful competitors in one contest of the whole number would be almost certainly superior to the 20 victors in 20 competitions of three to each, because the second or even third man in one of the small competitions would occasionally be found to be superior to the first man in another.
This view of the subject is substantiated by the facts of the examinations held since the introduction of the system.
Thus, if the candidates in all the small competitions in each department had been brought together in one large competition, the following changes, amongst others, would have occurred.
In the Customs department, out of the sixteen persons who were successful in competitions for clerkships and gaugerships, four (who obtained respectively 565, 564, 561, and 561 marks) would have been displaced by four unsuccessful candidates, who obtained 691, 651, 621, and 606 marks respectively.
In the Inland Revenue, out of fourteen persons who succeeded, three (with 674, 672, and 658 marks) would have had to give way to three unsuccessful candidates, who obtained 740, 709, and 707 marks respectively.
Consequently, of the 30 vacancies which have been filled up by these competitions, seven have been filled up by men inferior to some of the other competitors.
In noticing these anomalies, we must admit that under any conceivable arrangement there will still remain differences in the average merits of one set of competitors and another set, and candidates may gain or lose by being accidentally placed in a weak or a strong body of competitors; but at all events this evil would be very much diminished by having one large instead of several small competitions.
As a further mode of doing complete justice to meritorious candidates who may have been unsuccessful owing to the still superior merits of others, it may be well that such candidates should have an early opportunity of again competing for the like situation.
In our last Report we gave a detailed description of a competitive examination for certain clerkships in the office of this Commission. A similar examination has taken place very recently for one of these clerkships which had become vacant.
Twenty-six candidates were nominated to compete for this situation:-a junior clerkship with a salary of 100%. a-year, rising by an annual increase of 10l. a-year to
No particular plan was adopted for the purpose of obtaining or selecting candidates. Communications were addressed to a few masters of public schools, offering nominations to such persons as they might recommend. Names were also received from several other persons to whom the intention of holding a competition was known, and permission to compete was given to one or two correspondents who happened to apply for information as to the mode of obtaining entrance into the Civil Service generally.
In order to prevent any candidate from coming forward under false ideas of the nature of the situation to be competed for, letters were addressed to the nominees some time before the day appointed for the examination,
informing them of the precise value of the clerkship and of the conditions of service, and telling them distinctly that the duties of the office would be of a routine character, and that upon their steady discharge of those duties their continuance in the Public Service would depend.
Of the twenty-six candidates nominated, twenty-three were actually examined; two of the remaining three having been prevented by illness from attending, and the other one having voluntarily withdrawn.
Fourteen of the twenty-three who attended were residents in London or its neighbourhood, and nine came up to town from various parts of England.
The sort of education received by the candidates will in some degree appear from the following account of the schools, &c. in which they had been instructed. The statement also gives an indication as to the social position of the candidates.
Place of Education.
Cheltenham Proprietary School.
Hanwell Collegiate School, and King's College.
Hereford Proprietary School.
and King's College.
and private School in Paris.
Leeds Collegiate School and Leeds Free Grammar School.
London University College School.
Midge Holme Public School.
Northern Church of England School.
Private Schools (3).
Royal Naval School, and Oxford University.
Stockwell Grammar School.
Walsall Grammar School.
The following Table shows the number of marks obtained by each competitor:
nominated to compete for
the Junior Situation of
TABLE showing the RESULTS of an EXAMINATION held on the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th days of January 1858, of Candidates
៖ ឌ ឍ ឌី ឌ ឌ | ខ្ចី | Orthography.
Handwriting. Intelligence (in Dictation and Orthography Paper).
||885 558 588 Composition.
NOTE.-The unsuccessful candidates were informed that their names would not be made public unless they expressed a wish to that effect.
Some of the candidates were also examined with credit in extra subjects voluntarily chosen. In these extra examinations,
Mr. Benni showed a perfect knowledge of the Polish, and a thorough knowledge of the Russian and German languages; he also showed very creditable knowledge of Universal History, and creditable knowledge of Mathematical Geography.
Mr. Cowley showed fair elementary knowledge of Algebra.
Mr. Dowden showed fair proficiency in translating from German and from Italian.
Mr. Gloyne showed creditable knowledge of the first six books of Euclid, of Algebra, including Arithmetical and Geometrical Progressions, and of Plane Trigonometry; and very creditable knowledge of Entomology.
No. 4 showed very creditable knowledge of Euclid, Algebra, and Plane Trigonometry, and fair knowledge of the principles of the Differential and Integral Calculus and of the Calculus of Variations; he also showed very creditable knowledge of Inorganic Chemistry, and creditable knowledge of Animal Physiology.
No. 8 showed fair proficiency in translating from Greek, and creditable knowledge of Ancient History.
No. 11 showed creditable knowledge of Elementary Algebra. No. 15 showed fair knowledge of Book-keeping by Double Entry, and fair elementary knowledge of Algebra, as far as Simple Equations.
Since the commencement of the present year a competitive examination of considerable importance has taken place under our superintendence of 37 candidates, being temporary clerks in the War Office, for clerkships on the establishment of that department. The following Tabular view of that examination, shows an amount of merit on the part of the successful candidates which is highly satisfactory, especially as regards those requirements which bear immediately on the duties they will have to perform.