COVID-related testing information:

Testing candidates: Most Pearson Professional Centers (PPCs) are open for exam delivery. We also continue to deliver exams to any third-party test centers (PVTC and PVTC Selects) with the ability to operate, though some may be operating at limited or changed capacity based on their own discretion or in response to government mandates.

Visit our COVID-19 information page (Opens in new window) for the latest information regarding exam requirements, health and safety practices, and any country-specific policies. For information on rescheduling, refunds, and more, please review our FAQs.

A Career in the Foreign Service

A Career in the Foreign Service

The U.S. Department of State is the United States’ premier diplomatic institution, with opportunities for IT professionals to serve our country overseas and domestically. If you are interested in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, we are now hiring Information Management Specialists for Foreign Service careers.

Among the many benefits you will receive are: paid housing or a housing allowance when serving overseas, health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, paid education for dependent children in K-12 overseas, generous paid leave, and an unprecedented chance to see the world and experience different cultures.

To learn more about the Department of State and a career in the Foreign Service, please visit us at careers.state.gov. For information on IT positions in the Department of State, please visit us at careers.state.gov/irm.

U.S. Department of State Information Management Specialist Test (IMST)

The Information Management Specialist Test (IMST) is a key step in the Foreign Service Information Management Specialist (IMS) selection process, covering job knowledge, English expression and situational judgment necessary to work as an IMS. You can view complete information on the IMS selection process.

The IMST is conveniently offered throughout the U.S., likely in a location near you, and is available Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Some test centers offer testing Monday through Sunday with some evening hours. Click here to find a test center near you.

Please note: New candidates must create a web account before they can submit an application.

Eligibility Requirements

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

  • Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.
  • Be able to obtain a Top Secret - SCI Security Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.
  • Be at least 20 years old to apply; at least 21 years old to be appointed as an IMS.
  • Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).

Education Requirements:

At the time of application, you must have one of the following:
  • IT degree (minimum Associate’s degree). No specialized experience required. OR
  • Non-IT degree (minimum Associate’s degree) with two years of Specialized Experience out of the last five years. OR
  • U.S. military IT-related training or specialty with two years of Specialized Experience out of the last five years. Applicants with U.S. military IT-related training from a U.S. military facility or Academy in fields directly related to the duties described below. A list containing U.S. military occupational specialty codes or designators is provided for your reference.

IT-related degree or training must be in the following: Information Management, Telecommunications Management, Computer Information Systems, Networking, Data Processing, Computer Sciences, Mathematics or other related computer networking fields.

Please refer to the Vacancy Announcement for complete information on eligibility requirements and qualifications.

If you have any questions about this position or the Foreign Service, please email us at DOSITRecruitment@state.gov or search for topics of interest in our forums or FAQs.

If you have questions about the IMS Selection Process, please email us at IMSVacancyInfo@state.gov.


Collection of No-Show Fees

The IMST is offered for free. However, please note that Department of State requires that candidates provide credit/debit card information to Pearson VUE (the test administrator) in order to complete the registration process. The card will be charged $5 to hold the appointment. This fee is fully refundable and will be credited back to the credit/debit card a few weeks after you test. If, however, a candidate either does not take the test or does not cancel an appointment at least 48 hours in advance, the card will be charged an additional $40 for a total no-show fee assessment of $45.


Registering for the IMST

Candidates must complete two registration steps: submitting an application, and selecting an appointment. Applications are valid only for the IMST and will expire after six months. Once an application for the IMST is submitted it cannot be changed until the six months have passed. Candidates may test only once in a 12-month period.


AUTHORIES: The information is sought pursuant to 301(b) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended (22 U.S.C. § 3941(b)).

PURPOSE: The information solicited on this form will be used to determine eligibility to take the Foreign Service Officer Test, to register for the Foreign Service Officer Test, to assess qualifications for selection as a Foreign Service Officer, and to ensure the integrity of the examination process.

ROUTINE USES: The information solicited on this form may be made available to prepare statistical reports and analyses at the Department of State. Such reports and analyses, which are prepared in such a way that they are not individually identifiable, may be shared outside the Department. This information may also be shared with other federal agencies in response to request for information about hiring or retention of an employee or to Members of Congress in response to an inquiry on behalf of the applicant. More information on the Routine Uses for the system can be found in the System of Records Notice State-31, Human Resource Records.

DISCLOSURE: Providing this information is voluntary. Failure to provide the information requested on this form may result in the user’s inability to submit appropriate responses to the FSOT questionnaire and/or the FSOT and oral exam.

Last updated 2021-10-05