Browsing all articles in FSOT

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T-Scores Explained

T-Scores Explained

While it may be true that we compete against ourselves, especially in the oral exams, on the written exam, the score is based on our relative position on a standardized curve (T-scores), meaning that the mean number of questions answered correctly may have less or more correlation with final mean T-scores based on how representative the population of test [...]

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Language Skill Levels Explained

Language Skill Levels Explained

Interagency Language Roundtable Language Skill Level Descriptions
The following proficiency level descriptions characterize spoken language  use. Each of the six “base levels” (coded 00, 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50) implies control of any previous “base level’s” functions and accuracy. The ”plus level” designation (coded 06, 16, 26, etc.) will be assigned when proficiency substantially exceeds one base skill [...]

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FSI Courses Are Now Available Online – For FREE

FSI Courses Are Now Available Online – For FREE

The U.S. Foreign Service Institute teaches foreign languages to government diplomats and personnel for duties abroad—and its courses are now available online, for free, to anyone interested in honing their language skills. The extensive library of materials include audio, texts, and tests in 41 different languages.
The Foreign Service Institute’s Language Course web site isn’t actually [...]

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Getting a Job in the Foreign Service

Getting a Job in the Foreign Service

“Diplomat” The word conjures up images of fancy parties, fist-slamming negotiations, and peacemaking in the great capitals of Europe. The truth of the career is that it’s a job that demands hard work but gives great satisfaction. The State Department has been ranked third among ideal jobs for college graduates, the best place for women to [...]

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Preparing for the Bio Section of the FSOT

Preparing for the Bio Section of the FSOT

I suspect the greatest difficulty in preparing for the Bio section is understanding exactly what is being tested. Some people never realize that it derives from popular psychological examinations that were all the rage in the 80’s and 90’s and that strict biographical detail is often secondary to other factors, namely internal consistency and value assessment. The Bio section, [...]

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Excercise 3: Case Management

The third part of the oral assessment is the 90-minute Case Management Exercise. The purpose of this segment is to evaluate the candidate’s management skills, interpersonal skills and quantitative ability. Writing concise, correct, and persuasive English is also important in this exercise. This exercise is indicative of the candidate’s ability to integrate and analyze information, [...]

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Excercise 2: Structured Interview

All candidates participate individually in a Structured Interview conducted by two assessors. For this portion of the Oral Assessment, assessors will have reviewed the candidate’s ACT Application Form, Statement of Interest and stated career track preference. Candidates are expected to respond to questions based on their personal background, experience and motivation.  This portion of the [...]

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Exercise 1: Group Excercises

For the first exercise of the day, candidates are brought together in a group of three to six to comprise an Embassy task force charged with allocating resources to competing projects in their host country. Each candidate receives a package of common background materials as well as a five-page candidate specific project to read and [...]

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STEP 5: Oral Assessments

Candidates who are selected by the Qualifications Evaluation Panel (QEP) are invited to participate in the Oral Assessment, a series of exercises that constitute the next stage of their candidacy. The Oral Assessment is conducted in Washington, D.C. and in various other cities around the United States. Candidates must report to their assigned Assessment Center [...]

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STEP 4: QEP

The Qualifications Evaluation Panel
The QEP, the name given to a panel of three Senior Foreign Service examiners, will review the work and education portions of the application form, their personal narratives and the FSOT/essay results to select those candidates who will be invited to the Oral Assessment.

The test administrator will forward your FSOT scores, along [...]

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