DOS Board of Examiners
Date: 2/16/2012 2:49 pm
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The Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) applies to the FSOT, all language tests, and the Oral Assessment for all Foreign Service candidates. In practice, the NDA means you may not discuss the content of ANY of the testing materials with anyone. If you are found to violate the NDA, you will barred for one year from taking the FSOT or, in egregious cases, your candidacy for employment will be terminated.
For full details of the NDA, please visit
From sample questions I have seen on the biographical information section it says that answers are subject to verification. See, For example, at the end of this DOS publication: http://careers.state.gov/uploads/c3/aa/c3aaf51ecdde77b983c7d763bc7d20b0/3-0_FSO_RegGuide.pdf
Is it considered a violation of the NDA to advise someone that he or she had been listed in a test answer as a able to corroborate an applicant's response. For those seeking to keep the news that they are seeking a career change on a need-to-know basis, it may be helpful to give the verifying parties a heads-up that he or she may get a call and ask that they keep it under their hats. How does the DOS look at this type of situation?
This is a very exciting opportunity and I really don't want to do anything in error.
The questions for the Personal Narratives are on the website. You may tell (in fact you should tell) the person you are listing as a verifier that you plan to use them. Otherwise the interviewer has to start from scratch in explaining why they should be willing to talk about you. Reassure them that they are not violating your privacy.