As many as 990,000 candidates took the National Public Servant Exam on Sunday, a decrease of 130,000 from last year, according to the State Administration of Civil Service. China's central authority, their affiliated public institutions and local branches will recruit over 19,000 civil servants in 2014, a slight drop from 2013, according to a statement from the administration. One out of 51 exam takers will succeed in gaining a post this year, according to the statement. The annual exam includes an aptitude test and a written policy essay, and those who pass the written exam will make it to the interview round. The popularity of the exam has been attributed to mounting pressures in finding employment, fairness of the test, and the attractiveness of civil servant jobs, which are stable and respected. Statistics from the administration showed that there were 7.089 million civil servants in China by the end of 2012.