Archive for the ‘Foreign Service’ Category

Super Critical Needs Language assessment…

July 27, 2011

Dude. Telephone language exams are not easy. Unfortunately I can’t provide any detail on the test due to the non-disclosure agreement, but suffice to say I don’t think I’ll be receiving any bonus points for Modern Standard Arabic. The super critical needs languages are tested immediately after passing the FSOT. It would’ve been great to have that showing in my file before it gets to the QEP. Upon completion of the language test, they do not tell you whether or not you passed, but I have a feeling that it didn’t go well. I’ll know when I get the results from the Board of Examiners. Bummer. After the Orals, I’ll still be able to test in Flemish/Dutch, which will give me the .17 bonus points on my candidacy. I’ll take it…


Foreign Service Written Test Results Published!

July 12, 2011

Today I received the official letter confirming that I passed the FSOT. I am very excited having waited two years since I first took the test to finally pass it! I was also pretty encouraged by my score. In previous years, the letter was simply a pass/fail letter informing you of the outcome. This year they started adding the test results on the letters. In 2011, a multiple choice score of 154 and an essay score of 6/12 is required to go on to the next steps. Here is a breakdown of my scores:

Job Knowledge: 59.91
Biographic info: 73.07
English Expression: 55.93
Total: 188.91
Essay: 8/12

I am still waiting for the test date for Arabic. I received the initial email requesting time to test, but that was a week ago. Now, I will be composing my Personal Narrative essays that are do by next week. Crossing my fingers…

Critical needs language test scheduled

June 30, 2011

I just received my scheduling email for Arabic from the State Department. I have not yet received my pass notification for the FSOT, but I am taking this as a pretty good sign. I have had the same languages on past year’s applications, but never been scheduled to test. I’m fairly confident that means I passed the FSOT this year. A passing language test is valid for 5 years with State. I really wish I could have taken it last year. I’ve been too busy with travel and work this year to put the effort into Arabic, and I’m pretty rusty, but I believe I can pass still. I’ll update this post once I have confirmation of the actual FSOT results. Good luck to all waiting to get the results…

Foreign Service Test – Take 3

May 9, 2011

Just received my test location and date. Time to start writing an essay a night until the day…


June 11, 2010

Today I took the State Department’s Foreign Service Officer Test. American citizens are allowed to take the foreign service test once a year free of charge. This is my second attempt at my dream job.

The test itself is very interesting. I’ll leave it to other blogs to talk about the details of the test (you have to sign a non-disclosure agreement before beginning the test). Last year, I walked away from the test feeling pretty defeated, but I was much better prepared this year and I’m feeling pretty good with my effort.

Becoming a Foreign Service Officer is quite a process. The written test is just the first step in the process. After passing the test, my test scores and application will go before a three person panel of FSOs to decide whether I advance to the next stage. After the panel is the oral assessment. This is an all day group interview consisting of a group exercise, and structured interview. Provided that you pass this step, the State Department conducts a background check for security clearance, and ensures that you are medically fit to live abroad. Once deemed trustworthy and healthy, you are added to the list of eligible FSOs and wait to be chosen by an overseas mission. If you are not selected within a certain time period, you must complete the process over again from the beginning. A long process, but you can bet that those going through the process really care about the job they are applying for, and are probably not likely to look elsewhere once accepted.

I am very excited about the next steps, and I am starting to prepare for the oral assessment already. I have also been studying Modern Standard Arabic for about a year now. The State Department awards bonus points to people who speak “super critical needs languages” (that is the name they use). Hopefully those points will pay off.

I will be updating the blog as the process [hopefully] continues. Otherwise, there is always next year…