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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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!

Continue reading

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

The Results Are In:

I passed.

To advance to the QEP stage, applicants must have achieved a score of 154 on the multiple choice components of the FSOT and an essay score of at least 6 on a 12-point scale. Essays were scored for those candidates who received at least 154 on the multiple choice section.
There are three parts in the multiple choice section. You scored as follows:
Job Knowledge: 57.6

Biographic Questionnaire: 59.84
English Expression: 60.91
Multiple Choice Total: 178.35
Your Essay Score: 7

Congratulations again. We look forward to receiving your Personal Narratives submission.
Sincerely,
The Board of Examiners

Next up in the list of flaming hoops to jump through: Personal Narratives. More soon, folks. I’m off to do my happy dance for a day or three. Keep reading, this adventure isn’t done yet!

‘Till next time.

 

The Countdown Begins

Hello! It’s been a while hasn’t it? I have been hiding from the cold northern winter of South Korea this week. Our high today was 14F (that’s -10C for anyone outside of the USA, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, or Palau). Brrrr! I just got back from my honeymoon in New Zealand and nursing a sunburn in sub-zero temperatures is just insulting! (But so, so, worth it).

The last few weeks have been a blur of planning and studying and stressing and enjoying holidays. I scheduled my exam for February 3rd at 9:00am in Seoul. About 10 more days left! I have been working nearly non-stop on FSOT materials this past month, so for anyone else out there taking the February exam, this is a bit of what I have been studying. Continue reading