Alert:

Please be aware that Apple’s latest MacOS, Catalina, does not include support for Adobe Air. Unfortunately, this means that our online exam delivery software will not be compatible with systems running on Catalina as of October 4, 2019. We apologize for this inconvenience, and recommend Mac users with the Catalina OS change their exam-taking device to one that has an approved operating system. Please see page 5 of our technical requirements document for a full list of compatible operating systems.

The Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT)

The Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) is an important part of the FSO selection process, covering the job knowledge, English expression and situational judgement necessary to work as a Foreign Service Officer. The FSOT also includes an essay. View complete information on the FSOT and the selection process.


Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, the U.S. Department of State requires that each candidate be:

  • A U.S. citizen on the date the candidate submits the registration package
  • At least 20 years old and no older than 59 years of age on the day the candidate submits the registration
  • At least 21 years old and not yet 60 on the day the candidate is appointed as a Foreign Service Officer
  • Available for worldwide assignments, including Washington, D.C.

Registering for the FSOT

Candidates complete both registration steps - submitting an application and selecting a seat - during the same five-week period immediately prior to a specific testing window. Applications are valid only for that test and will expire when that testing window closes. The registration period closes three days prior to the opening of the testing window.

If you have a documented need for an accommodation, you must request and receive approval for your accommodation before scheduling your test.

Once an application for a test window is submitted it cannot be changed, and candidates may test only once in a 12-month period. Click here for answers to General FSOT FAQs.

Upcoming Foreign Service Officer Testing Windows

This chart contains relevant dates for the next three Foreign Service Officer Tests. As a reminder you will be able to register – apply and select a seat – for approximately five weeks before each testing window.

  February 2020 June 2020 October 2020
Testing Window Dates February 01 - 08 May 30 - June 6, 2020 October 03 - 10
Registration opens January 02, 2020 April 23, 2020 August 27, 2020
Registration closes January 29, 2020 May 27, 2020 September 30, 2020
List of embassies/consulates* offering the FSOT available at www.careers.state.gov January 2, 2020 April 14, 2020 August 15, 2020

*The FSOT is offered at both domestic and overseas locations.

Beginning with the October 2019 FSOT, candidates’ written essays will be reviewed and scored, along with their Personal Narratives, in the Qualifications Evaluation Panel stage of the selection process. The essay will not be included in your FSOT score and no rescore will be allowed. Your FSOT score will be available to you within one to two days.

Pearson VUE On Base Test Centers (OBTC) to Offer the FSOT

Beginning with the February 2017 FSOT, the Foreign Service Officer Test will be offered at approximately 130 OBTC locations on U.S. military installations in U.S states and territories, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The OBTCs will add additional appointment options during each testing window for those candidates with access to the included military bases.

Use of Overseas Pearson Professional Centers

The Board of Examiners will offer the FSOT at certain overseas Pearson Professional Centers (PPCs). PPCs are wholly owned by Pearson VUE and may not be in the capital. Embassies/Consulates located in other cities may continue to offer the test as their resources permit. Candidates testing in these locations must use their U.S. passports for identification verification.

The FSOT will be delivered at Pearson Professional Centers in the following cities: Melbourne and Sydney (Australia); Sao Paulo (Brazil); Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver (Canada); Paris (France); Frankfurt (Germany); Athens (Greece); Osaka and Tokyo (Japan); Seoul (Korea, South); Mexico City (Mexico); Manila (Philippines); Singapore City (Singapore); Johannesburg (South Africa); Madrid (Spain); Taipei (Taiwan); Bangkok (Thailand); Istanbul (Turkey); and London (United Kingdom).


Other

Find more information on a rewarding career in the Foreign Service. If you have specific questions about the Foreign Service Officer Test you may send them to FSOTQuestions@state.gov.


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OMB Approval Number: 1405-0008 Expiration Date: 3/31/2018

Last updated 2019-02-20