Hypothetically… FSOA Guide Part 2

A few weeks ago, the FSOA Yahoo Group got hacked by a spammer with the typical “get rich” scheme:

I am ROBERT BOILLIN I apologize for the inconvenience and I mention that it is with great sadness and hesitation that I send you this email. My name is Robert Boillin born on 29-07-1942 in Rouvray, in fact I contact you urgently because I have a cancer of esophagus terminally.I was contacted by my bank telling me that The French State would like to recover my funds 27.700.000 € after my death since I am a widower without children (without heir) .I want to donate this money to any honest person. It is in this perspective I ask you to contact me by e-mail my nataire Mr REGIS BERRUET if this gift interests you. I give you my most sincere respect. R. Boillin

giphy1After getting over my annoyance that this spam bot had managed to post the above plea over a dozen times to the FSOA boards, I decided to get creative. I had been recently practicing my hypotheticals for the Oral Assessment and decided to write my own!

Today we’ll be talking about how to study for the Hypothetical Section of the Structured Interview in the Foreign Service Oral Assessment. Quick disclaimer; I have not yet taken the Oral Assessment. These study guides are created from information gleaned from the internet, State Department guides, and what works for me personally. It may not work for you – but if you feel it does, wonderful! (I’ll be sure to update with my score if I pass).

So let’s jump in. Continue reading

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Changes to the October 2017 FSOT

Posting for anyone considering taking the test! I'll update past study guides accordingly and hopefully have some new info on this section of the test. This is straight from PearsonVUE as posted on the Reddit /r/foreignservice page:

"The Biographic Information Questionnaire section of the Foreign Service Officer Test will be discontinued beginning with the October 2017 FSOT. It will be replaced with Situational Judgement Test (SJT) items. The SJT section will present scenarios (i.e., descriptions of situations) that a candidate might encounter on the job as a Foreign Service Officer. Each scenario is accompanied by possible responses to that scenario. For each scenario, candidates select the BEST response and the WORST response. The SJT section of the test consists of 28 scenarios administered in 42 minutes."

More info on the PearsonVUE page once you log in: http://pearsonvue.com/fsot/

Hi all,

I have mentioned the virtual study groups a few times on this blog. I have been the organizer for quite a few sessions on the FSOA Study Portal: http://bit.ly/fsoaprep  and I have had a few people ask how to set up their own study sessions. I thought I’d put together a quick guide here for anyone interesting in setting something up that fits their schedule. The more the merrier! Continue reading

Long Time, New Season!

Hello FS blog readers! Welcome to summer.

Image result for summer meme

Shout out to those excited for the GOT season!

Sorry it’s been so long since we’ve last had a chat. I have quite a bit to catch you up on, plus the rest of the Orals study information I promised in the last post. BUT FIRST! The information that I completely left you hanging on was whether or not I passed the QEP stage and was invited to the Oral Assessment (OA). Well…..

Continue reading

Every Day, In Every Way, I’m Getting Better & Better: QEP & FSOA – Part 1

Qualifications Evaluation Panel (QEP)

Greetings from the madhouse!

When I left you last, I was in the midst of writing my Personal Narratives. I submitted those in the wee hours of the South Korean Morning, complete at last. They were by far the best essays I could have written and that was in no small part due to all the amazing people who helped me edit and review each and every word. For those of you reading who might be just beginning the QEP process, I cannot stress it enough: Get others to read and review your work!

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Getting Personal

When you graduate from university there is this delicious sense of relief that you will never, ever have to write another college entrance exam again. Oh, how wrong you are dear graduate…

Welcome to the Personal Narratives!

img_2657Once you pass the FSOT exam, the next step in the process is the Qualifications Examination Panel (QEP) where you write your Personal Narratives (PNs) so the Board of Examiners (BEX) can review your “Total Candidate” package. They’ll be looking at your initial application* and your test scores alongside 6 short essays. When I say short, I mean SHORT. You have 1,300 characters for each essay. That is less than 10 Tweets!

Your PNs will cover many aspects of your life; they are your one big chance to leap off the page, past your test scores and your resume, to tell a panel of your potential peers how great you are. The BEX panel will consist of a handful of foreign service officers who are in the same career track you are applying for and typically one “civilian.”  Continue reading