Those who want to be a Foreign Service officer, representing the U.S. around the world, it is mandatory to pass the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT). FSOT will be administered thrice a year. The resumes of those who have cleared the test will be screened by the Qualifications Evaluation Panel (QEP). Those who pass the screening will be called for the oral assessment test administered in person in Washington, D.C. and other main cities in U.S. The oral assessment test checks whether the candidate has the required skills to perform Foreign Service work effectively. After that candidates will have to undergo a background investigation, a meeting with a Final Review Panel and medical clearance. Ultimately a very few applicants will be selected after this final stage.
Applicants should be 20-59 years old on the date of examination. The applicant should be a citizen of the United States and she/he should be available for worldwide assignment, including Washington, D.C.
FSOT is a written exam that assesses candidates’ knowledge of U.S. and world affairs. A Foreign Service officer should be good at administrative management, consular services, political and economic reporting and analysis, and public diplomacy. So the test will be assessing these skills. The test comprises of multiple choice questions and an essay question. There will be three multiple choice sections including job knowledge, English expression and a biographic information section making the candidates describe their work style, manner of interacting and communicating with others and how she/he approach to other cultures. Candidates will also have to write an essay on a given topic within 30 minutes. There are a number of study materials available that helps the candidates to prepare for the exam well.
T-scores are used for the FSOT exam. The candidates should obtain a certain score on the FSOT multiple choice and on the essay question. The cut off scores varies depending on the number of positions that need to be filled. So accordingly a particular number of candidates will be selected for the final rounds.