Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) is an examination conducted for selection of Foreign Service officers (FSOs). The FSOs represents United States in other parts of the world. They are placed at embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions at more than 250 locations all over the world. They have to choose one of the five career tracks- Consular officer, Management officer, Economic officer, Political officer or Public diplomacy officer. There are five stages in FSO selection- a) Completing a registration package, b) passing the FSOT exam, c) Answering Personal Narrative questions, d) clearance from Qualifications Evaluation panel, and e) passing Foreign Service Oral Assessment. FSOT is conducted by United States Department of State and administered by ACT Inc.
The eligibility conditions for becoming a FSO include-
- The applicant must be a citizen of United States at the date of submission of registration package.
- The applicant must be of age greater than 20 and less than 59 at the time of registration. The age of applicant should be greater than 21 and less than 60 at the time of appointment as FSO.
FSOT exam consists of three multiple choice sections- General Job knowledge, English expression, Biographic information and an essay writing task. The questions in “job knowledge” section are based on knowledge of US history, US political system, geography, non-western history, US foreign policy, international affairs, international relations, international trade, US economics, social and intellectual history, world finance and economic development, comparative politics, western civilization, principles of economics etc. The “English expression” section examines grammar, language usage and writing skills. The “Biographic information” section consists of questions assessing personal experiences, education and previous job performances. There are one or two essays assigned in essay writing section. This exam is administered in 3 hours time period. The time allotted for essay composition is 30 minutes.
This exam is conducted at authorized testing centers throughout United States, 3 times in a year through eight-days testing windows. The applicants require filling out registration package available at careers.state.gov for scheduling this exam. The registrations are done on a first come, first serve basis. The appointments for test are offered 4 to 5 weeks before beginning of testing window. The results are available in approximately 3 weeks from examination.