The method for the Sciences Po exams

How to prepare for the exam:

  • Compilation du concours commun
  • How to be productive: 16 hyper-efficient tips
  • How to read faster
  • Mock subjects

How to do the exam well:

  • Method of Contemporary Questions
  • Finding an outline for all your essays
  • 5 easy steps to writing an introduction
  • 20 Rules for Presenting Your Papers Well
  • 31 tips for your essays
  • 50 English linking words for written expression
  • 45 German linking words for written expression


Once you have made it through our selection, scour our site for many more tips! One way is to wander through the archives, or click from link to link to your interests. A second way is to use the search bar when you already have an idea in mind of your needs. Finally, you can also ask your questions below and we will be happy to help you.

2 thoughts on “The method for the Sciences Po exams

  1. Hello, I would like to know how many lines you recommend to give to each part of the contemporary question test. In one of your tips you recommend a page for an intro but also specify that it should only be 15% of the copy. The homework should then be about six pages long, which seems to me very impractical in 3 hours… I was also wondering if the introduction of authors’ theses, literary references should be systematic for each sub-part. Thank you to enlighten me. Sincerely, Lucille

    1. Hello Lucille, Thank you for your question, that will help a lot. Let’s talk about proportions first. Let’s say you base your Contemporary Issues essay on a three-part plan, the most common case.The introduction is almost equivalent to one of these three parts. Can you tell us again where we were talking about 15%, because indeed we should consider going up to 20% (everyone to adapt according to their needs). Ideally this is: 15-20% intro 20-25% part 1 20-25% part 2 20-25% part 3 15-20% transitions between each part conclusions You have to aim for an introductory page. Please note, we are talking about a handwritten page, and here again we give large benchmarks and averages, if only for the simple reason of different sizes of writing. But actually this results in 5 handwritten pages, 6 ideally. It is indeed a very difficult exercise, which Requires practice and to acquire automatisms, in particular by saving a lot of time of the draft, but it is in this way that only candidates who produce an excellent copy will be retained. As a reminder, here are the main steps of the introduction, which will allow you to fill a page quickly. As for your last question, arguing each subsection with at least an author’s thesis or a reference is not an eliminator imperative … but it is preferable and almost unavoidable indeed. Because you have to rely on resources, which had to be studied throughout the year. Where you will be able to assert your more personal reasoning, it is more through the arrangement and articulation of your sub-parts, as well as what you do with the references that you bring. We hope to have clarified your questions, and do not hesitate if you have additional questions. Good luck in this last straight line!

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