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.
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.
|Testing Window Dates
||February 01 - 08
||May 30 - June 6, 2020
||October 03 - 10
||January 02, 2020
||April 23, 2020
||August 27, 2020
||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.
Beginning with the February 2020 FSOT, as a part of the registration process, candidates will be asked to complete their Personal Narratives (PNs). Candidates will be asked to address the following six areas: Leadership Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Communication Skills, Management Skills, Intellectual Skills, and Substantive Knowledge. Each of the six PNs will consist of no more than 1,300 characters.
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 has expanded the number of overseas Pearson VUE testing sites for the FSOT. Embassies/Consulates located in other cities may continue to offer the test as their resources permit. Candidates testing in locations outside the U.S. must use their U.S. passports for identification verification.
Please click on find a testing center to find the closest site available.
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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