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Economics and Social Sciences Competitive Entrance Examination (B/L)

Students are selected from a pool of candidates who take exams from the inter-ENS exams. These are the same exams as those in the economics and social sciences entrance exams at ENSAE.

ENSAI admits two categories of students:
- statistical engineers
- INSEE civil servant student statisticians

Around 10 places are granted for the economics and social sciences option.

> List of candidates allowed to compete - Economics and Social Sciences Competitive Examination 2019.
> Consult the acceptance list (non-civil servants) for admissions at ENSAI for 2018-2019

Candidate Profiles

The "Economics and Social Sciences" option of ENSAI's Economics competitive entrance exam is mainly suited for students coming from Khâgne B/L post-secondary preparatory classes (literature and social sciences), as well as for university candidates who have a background in social sciences or MIASHS.

Conditions to Take the Entrance Examinations

- statistical engineering students (civilian): no particular conditions apply.

- civil servant student statisticians for INSEE: candidates must meet the conditions for becoming a civil servant, and specifically have either French nationality or that of an EU Member State or a State signatory to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (or Andorra, Switzerland, or Monaco), and enjoy full rights as a citizen (see information about the entrance examinations).
Candidates must also have either a valid schooling certificate (be a registered student) on September 1st of the year for which the examination is organized, to certify that they are in the second year of the preparatory classes for the grandes écoles entrance examinations, or a level III (2nd year post-baccalauréat) title or degree, or qualifications that are recognized as being equivalent to these titles or degrees. Candidates may only take the competitive exam to become an INSEE civil servant three times.

All candidates must have fulfilled any obligations they may have as regards National Service.


Registration for the Economics Competitive Entrance Examination for:
- statistical engineering students (civilian)
- civil servant student statisticians for INSEE
is via the www.concours-bce.com website.

Examination fees for 2019 :

- for statistical engineering students (civilian) : €55. Students receiving a French grant or bursary are exempt.
- for INSEE civil servant student statisticians: free

Exams and Syllabus

The exams are identical for statistical engineering students (civilian) and INSEE civil servant student statisticians.

The subjects of the written and oral examinations are based on the programs for the entrance exams for ENS in social sciences (CPGE B/L).

Written exams:

The 4 written exams are taken from the group of inter-ENS social science exams (B/L).
The written compositions in social sciences and mathematics are common to all of ENS.
The written language examination is specific to the entrance exam to ENS Cachan and is is conducted for one of the following languages, chosen by the candidate: German, English, Spanish, Italian, Japanese or Russian.
The written exam with the sociology or economics option is also specific to ENS Cachan.

Oral exams:

The Interview lasts 30 minures and aims to evaluate thes candidaste's general knowledge and quality of reflection as well as his/her motivation to become a statistician (engineer or civil servant). The specific format is outlined in the link above.

The Mathemactics oral lasts 30 minutes and tests knowledge from the BL Preparatory classes:
- One exercise drawn at random by the candidate, prepared for 30 minutes, and presented to the jury  for 15 minutes.
- One exercise without preparation time testing a differnt part of the previous exercise, which allows the jury to see the candidat's reactivity in real-time, followed by questions from the jury, for a total of 15 minutes

In every case, every candidate has a Probability/Statistics question, either in the main prepared oral or the secondary activity. The exercise are done on the board. Calculators are not permitted.



Annals 2018

Entrance Examination Regulations

Please refer to the notice regarding entrance examinations to the Ecoles normales supérieures (ENS).

Ensai regulation


Short-listed 2019 - Economics and Social Sciences Competitive Examination - civil servant

Short-listed 2019 - Economics and Social Sciences Competitive Examination - cvil engineer


> Admission list 2018 - Economics and Social Sciences Competitive Examination - civil servant

> Admission list 2018 - Economics and Social Sciences Competitive Examination - civil engineer


> Wainting list 2018 - Economics and Social Sciences Competitive Examination - civil servant

> Wainting list 2018- Economics and Social Sciences Competitive Examination - civil engineer


Useful Links

- ENSAI Admissions Office at +33 (0)2 99 05 32 47 or by e-mail at admission [at] ensai.fr
- BCE website (
banque commune d'épreuves), or joint examination bank: www.concours-bce.com
- INSEE examination service at +33 (0)1 41 17 52 05 or by e-mail at concours@insee.fr
- inter-ENS examination bank by e-mail at concours@ens.fr
- ENS Cachan at +33 (0)1 47 40 20 78 or by e-mail at concours@ens-cachan.fr

ENSAI Student Testimonials