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

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