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    Step 1: Choose a Career Track
  • +Choose a Career Track

      Registrants should fully educate themselves about the five Foreign Service careers tracks: Consular, Economic, Management, Political and Public Diplomacy. Review the five career tracks infographic, read the descriptions contained in the Guide to the Foreign Service Selection Process, or visit careers.state.gov.

      Registrants will NOT have the opportunity to change career tracks after submitting the online FSOT registration, so careful thought should be given to making this decision. During the course of a career, however, you can expect to serve in more than one career track and it is not unusual for FSOs to have assignments in two or three different career tracks. Moreover, all new FSOs can expect to serve their first and/or second tour in a consular position.



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  • Step 2: Register for the FSOT
  • +What is the FSOT?

      The Foreign Service Officer test measures your knowledge, skills and abilities, including writing skills that are necessary to the work of a Foreign Service Officer.

      The FSOT is administered online at designated test centers and takes about three hours to complete. It includes three multiple-choice sections:

      • Job knowledge: Questions will cover a broad range of topics including, but not limited to, the structure and workings of the U.S. Government, U.S. and world history, U.S. culture, psychology, technology, management theory, finance and economics, and world affairs.
      • English expression
      • A biographic information section that asks you to describe your work style, your manner of interacting and communicating with others, and your approach to other cultures.

      In addition, you will be given 30 minutes to write an essay on an assigned topic. You must pass the multiple-choice tests to have your essay graded.



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  • +What can I expect after I register?

      When registering, please be aware that all the information you give us is subject to verification, and that any exaggeration of your experience and qualifications, including your language ability, would weaken your candidacy. Misrepresentations may be grounds for terminating your candidacy, or for dismissing you after you have begun work, and may be punishable by fine or imprisonment.

      • After you complete the registration form, wait for on-screen confirmation that your registration was completed and has been successfully submitted.
      • You will receive an e-mail authorizing you to make an online reservation to take the FSOT at a testing location near you.
      • Reserve a seat during any given test window. Test center seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
        You must reserve at least 48 hours prior to the LAST day in that window (exact deadline dates will be given during reservation). Please note that the number of seats for each window is limited.
      • You must reserve a test seat within one year of submitting your Registration Package. Your actual test date may be later than a year after you registered, but you must have reserved your seat within the one-year limit.
      • After you have reserved a seat, you will receive instructions on how to download your admissions letter.
      • Need to cancel or reschedule your test? You will need to cancel your seat at least 48 hours before the test date. Your admissions letter will contain information on how to do so. If you fail to provide this notification, you will be assessed a $50 fee.

      Want to re-take the test? You may take the test only once in an 11-month period. In order to re-take the FSOT, you will need to fill out the Registration Package once more. This will give you the opportunity to update your application. Should you pass the FSOT and essay, you will then submit a Personal Narrative.

      If you have technical problems/questions regarding the Registration Process, please contact Pearson VUE.



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  • Step 3: Take the FSOT
  • +When can I take the test?

      The Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) is administered three times each year, each time for a period, or “window,” of eight days. Candidates who are invited to the Oral Assessmentare only guaranteed an appointment during the dates associated with their FSOT. The Board of Examiners will now also offer the Oral Assessment in San Francisco, California, in January and May. Candidates who would like to take the Oral Assessment in San Francisco will need to send an email to reschedule@state.gov. These appointments, also offered on a first come first served basis, are not scheduled through the Pearson VUE website. The dates below are updated regularly so candidates are advised to check this schedule frequently.

      Test Date

      October 4-11, 2014

      Test Locations

      The list of domestic test sites offering the October 2014 FSOT will be available on the Pearson VUE website on Wednesday, August 27, in a searchable database for candidates to use when scheduling their seats.
      The list of overseas posts offering the October 2014 FSOT will be available on the careers.state.gov website on Tuesday, August 26. On Wednesday, August 27, the participating posts will be included in a searchable database on the Pearson VUE website for candidates to use when scheduling their seats.

      Oral Assessment Dates and Locations

      October 2014 FSOT: early March 2015 to early July 2015
      June 2014 FSOT: early November 2014 to late February 2015
      February 2014 FSOT: mid-July to late October 2014

       

      Deadlines for the October 2014 TEST

      August 27, 2014

      Seat selection opens on the Pearson VUE website. http://www.pearsonvue.com/fsot.

      A candidate may apply to take the FSOT at any time by submitting the eligibility verification and application forms. Seat selection is limited to several weeks before the testing window.

      Candidates who have not submitted eligibility verification and application forms must do so before they will be permitted to select seats.

      Candidates who have already submitted eligibility verification and application forms may begin selecting seats.

      August 26, 2014

      The list of overseas posts offering the October 2014 FSOT will be available (in the section below).

      October 1, 2014, 10:00 AM (U.S. CENTRAL TIME)

      Deadline for candidates intending to test either domestically or overseas to submit completed eligibility verification and application forms.

      October 1, 2014, 10:00 AM (U.S. CENTRAL TIME)

      Deadline for candidates intending to test either domestically or overseas to select a test seat.

      48 hours (two work days) before the start of your test

      Deadline for candidates to cancel test seats without incurring penalties. NOTE: Pearson VUE work days include Saturdays, but not Sundays worldwide.

      It’s best to give yourself plenty of time — avoid waiting until the deadline.



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  • +Where can I take it?

      The test is administered in both domestic and overseas locations. A list of domestic test sites is available in a searchable database when candidates schedule their seats.

       

      List of Overseas FSOT Test Sites, October 4-11, 2014
      Accra AIT Taipei Antananarivo Ashgabat Athens
      Auckland Baku Bamako Bangkok Barcelona
      Berlin Bishkek Brasilia Bridgetown Bucharest
      Caracas Chengdu Chiang Mai Chisinau Colombo
      Dakar Dar es Salaam Dhaka Djibouti City Dublin
      Frankfurt Fukuoka Guangzhou Guayaquil Hanoi
      Helsinki Ho Chi Minh City Hong Kong Hyderabad Islamabad
      Istanbul Jerusalem Kabul Kampala Kathmandu
      Khartoum Kingston Kuala Lumpur La Paz Lilongwe
      Lima London Luanda Lusaka Madrid
      Majuro Manila Mexico City Milan Monterrey
      Montevideo Moscow Mumbai Naha Nairobi
      Niamey Nouakchott Oslo Ottawa Panama
      Phnom Penh Port Au Prince Port of Spain Prague Quito
      Rabat Rangoon Riga Rome San Salvador
      Santiago Santo Domingo Sao Paulo Sarajevo Seoul
      Shanghai Skopje Stockholm Tbilisi Tokyo
      Ulaanbaatar Vilnius Warsaw Yerevan Zagreb

       



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  • +How can I prepare for the FSOT?
  • +Take the Practice FSOT Test.

  • Step 4: Submit a Personal Narrative
  • +How do I submit my Personal Narrative

      Your personal narrative will answer questions describing the knowledge, skills, and abilities you would bring to the Foreign Service. The firm deadline for submission will be three weeks after the request is sent to you.

      The PN offers you the opportunity to highlight not just what you have done, but how you did it and what you learned. You should provide examples from your experiences that show you have the skills to be a successful FSO. This is an important part of the application and is read carefully by each member of a Qualifications Evaluation Panel (QEP) made up of trained Foreign Service Officers. Each career track is reviewed by a different panel made up of officers from that career track.

      The panel assesses the candidate’s file based on six precepts that are predictors of success in the Foreign Service. These precepts are:

      1. Leadership: innovation, decision making, teamwork, openness to dissent, community service and institution building
      2. Interpersonal Skills: professional standards, persuasion and negotiation, workplace perceptiveness, adaptability, representational skills
      3. Communication Skills: written communication, oral communication, active listening, public outreach, foreign language skill
      4. Management Skills: operational effectiveness, performance management and evaluation, management resources, customer service
      5. Intellectual Skills: information gathering and analysis, critical thinking, active learning, leadership and management training
      6. Substantive Knowledge: Understanding of U.S. history/ government/culture and application in dealing with other cultures. Knowledge or application of career track information that is relevant information.

            
      To help write your PN, focus on your own experience in answering the questions. Use these precepts as a guide to (1) give positive examples that demonstrate your abilities; (2) identify learning experiences; and (3) indicate how your learning experience will contribute to success in your chosen Foreign Service career track. Make sure you show why you have skills or interest in the career track you have selected. Please make sure you answer the question.

      • The test administrator will forward your FSOT scores, along with your Registration Package minus any proscribed data (age, ethnicity, etc.), to the QEP.
      • The QEP uses a Total Candidate approach to review your:
        • Educational and work background
        • Responses to the Personal Narrative questions
        • Self-evaluated language skill level
        • FSOT scores.
      • There is no pre-set cut-off score. The QEP evaluates your file within your chosen career track, looking at how well you demonstrate the precepts outlined above.
      • The best-qualified candidates are invited to oral assessments based on the QEP evaluations and State's anticipated hiring needs in each career track, inter alia.

      Although the QEP is a total file review, with no one element dominating all the factors considered, you have the most control over your responses to the PN. Your responses can be influential in determining your standing in your chosen career track. This is your chance to tell your story to the Foreign Service assessors. Bear in mind that your responses are subject to verification by the Board of Examiners.

      Once the QEP is completed, Pearson VUE will inform you of the results via an online letter that you can access using the personal login ID and password you chose when registering.

      In recent years, more than 20,000 candidates have taken the Foreign Service Officer Test annually. A much smaller number advance to the QEP review, and then only a few hundred are invited to the Oral Assessment. Please note that Foreign Service Officer candidate hiring targets are adjusted regularly. Many candidates with excellent qualifications who may have received an invitation to the Oral Assessment at a time of increased hiring authority will not receive one when the Department’s hiring targets are lower or if there is an increase in the number of candidates. The process is highly competitive, and many candidates repeat the process.



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  • Step 5: Take the Oral Assessment
  • +Where do I take my Oral Assessment

      The Oral Assessment is conducted primarily in Washington, D.C., and for limited periods of time in one or two major cities around the United States. This day-long assessment measures your ability to demonstrate the 13 dimensions (pdf) that are essential to the successful performance of Foreign Service work. It includes a group exercise, a structured interview, and a case management writing exercise.

      Oral Assessment exercises:

      • Are based on a job analysis of the work of the Foreign Service.
      • Reflect the skills, abilities and personal qualities deemed essential to the performance of that work.
      • Are not an adversarial process: you do not compete against other candidates but instead are judged on your capacity to demonstrate the skills and abilities necessary to be an effective Foreign Service Officer.

      FSOT Test Window

      Oral Assessment Location

      Oral Assessment Dates

      October 5-12, 2013

      Washington, D.C.

      March 3, 2014 – early July 2014. (Oral Assessment scheduling: Monday, January 27 – Friday, January 31, 2014).

      February 1-8, 2014

      Washington, D.C.

      July 14 - October 31, 2014 (Oral Assessment Scheduling: Monday, June 9 to Friday, June 13, 2014


      Candidates should note that the specific FSOT tests are associated with specific oral assessment dates. Candidates who know that they will be unavailable to take the oral exam during the assessment dates associated with their specific FSOT should select a different FSOT test window.



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  • +How to prepare for the Oral Assessment?

  • Step 6: Clearances – Medical & Security
  • +Tell me more about the Medical Clearance process.

      After you pass the Oral Assessment, you will receive instructions about obtaining medical and security clearances. Visit the Career Resources Download Center for a list of forms intended for those who have received conditional offers of employment after the Oral Assessment. When you receive your medical and security clearances, your candidacy will be reviewed for overall suitability for the Foreign Service by the Final Review Panel.

      If that panel finds you suitable for the Foreign Service, you will be placed on a rank-ordered Register. You should be aware that, depending on your place on the Register and the number of Foreign Service Officers needed, it is still possible that you may not receive an offer of employment.

      The Office of Medical Services of the Department of State determines a candidate's medical fitness and ability to serve overseas. Many Foreign Service posts are located in remote areas with extremely limited medical support; therefore, each candidate must meet rigorous medical standards in order to qualify for the required worldwide medical clearance. Medical clearance determination by Medical Services is based on its thorough review of each candidate's medical history and physical examination, including an individual assessment of his/her specific medical needs and the medical capabilities of Foreign Service posts to meet those needs. All children under six must have their medicals done by their pediatrician.

      After receiving a Conditional Offer of employment, each candidate is provided with the necessary examination forms (with instructions) to give to the examining health care practitioner (MD, DO, NP, PA). We also provide an authorization for the Department of State to pay for the examination. Candidates who live within 50 miles of Washington, D.C. must schedule their medical exams at the State Department’s Office of Medical Services. Those who live more than 50 miles from Washington may have them done by their own physician or at the State Department. Children under the age of six must be seen by their own pediatrician, regardless of location.

      Regardless of who administers the medical clearance exam, the Department's Office of Medical Services determines whether or not a candidate is medically eligible for assignment to all Department of State posts worldwide. While a candidate may effectively manage a chronic health condition or limitation within the United States or in specific areas outside of the U.S., the Office of Medical Services might well determine that the same individual is not eligible for a worldwide ("Class One") medical clearance. Such clearances may only be issued to candidates whom the Office of Medical Services deems able to serve at the most isolated and restricted overseas posts.

      Such a post could feature extreme isolation in terms of limitations on reliable air service in and out of the country, unreliable Internet and telecommunications connections, and/or unreliable postal and delivery systems. Any of these limited services can have a severe adverse impact in terms of both bringing in required medical services and/or supplies, and/or permitting timely medical evacuations. Other infrastructure at such a post might also be inadequate. There might be a poor or negligible public health system, poor sanitation, unreliable electricity and a lack of potable water. There might also be infectious and communicable diseases, such as malaria, dengue fever, typhoid, tuberculosis, rabies, encephalitis and gastrointestinal diseases. There might be no health unit at the post and next to no local medical facilities. The emergency room, for example, might be completely inadequate, without ventilators, defibrillators, x-ray capabilities, etc. There often would be no blood bank or medical supplies or medications available locally. Because of political instability, security could be a concern.

      Candidates should be aware that these posts are not few in number nor confined to a specific geographic region. Also, there are numerous other posts — in Asia and Europe for example — where conditions appear similar to that of the U.S. but which also feature some of these restrictive characteristics.

      As a result of these characteristics of a post, the stress level among employees might be very high. Given these concerns, the Department of State would only assign employees with unrestricted medical clearances to such posts (of which there are many), and is unable to hire new employees without such clearances.

      While the candidate must be medically cleared for worldwide service, the Department of State does not consider the medical condition of eligible family members for pre-employment purposes. State does, however, require that each eligible family member have a medical clearance before they can travel overseas at U. S. Government expense when accompanying an employee on assignment.

      Please note that employees with a family member who has been issued a limited medical clearance (not worldwide) may be assigned to posts where that family member cannot accompany them. We strongly advise candidates to consider this situation as they pursue employment with the Department of State.

      On request, the Director General of the Foreign Service, or designee, may consider granting a waiver of the worldwide availability requirement for a candidate who is unable to qualify for a worldwide medical clearance. Candidates should be aware, however, that the granting of such waivers is rare.

      For more information on medical clearances, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page, or visit the Forums.



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  • +Tell me more about the Security Clearance process.

      Candidates who pass the Oral Assessment must apply for the security clearance required for appointment to the Foreign Service. A comprehensive background investigation, conducted by the U.S. Department of State in cooperation with other federal, state, and local agencies, will provide the information necessary to determine a candidate's suitability for appointment to the Foreign Service and for a Top Secret security clearance. The process considers such factors as: failure to repay a U.S. Government-guaranteed loan or meet tax obligations; failure to register for the Selective Service; past problems with credit or bankruptcy; unsatisfactory employment records; a criminal record or other violations of the law; drug or alcohol abuse; and less than honorable discharge from the armed forces.

      Candidates who hold dual citizenship (pdf), have had extensive travel, education, residence and/or employment overseas, or who have foreign contacts, a foreign-born spouse, immediate family members or relatives who are not citizens of the United States, should be aware that the clearance process will take longer to complete. The background investigation includes interviews with current and previous contacts, supervisors and coworkers. Candidates who do not receive a security clearance are ineligible for appointment. Potential candidates who have any serious issues that may prevent them from receiving a clearance should give some thought to the likelihood of their being found ineligible before starting this process.



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  • Step 7: Final Review Panel
  • +What happens during the Final Review Panel?

      Upon completion of the background investigation and medical examination, a Final Review Panel will examine your file (minus the medical file) to determine your suitability for employment with the Foreign Service.

      The attainment of U.S. foreign policy objectives depends substantially on the confidence of the public (both American and foreign) in the individuals selected to serve in the Foreign Service. The Department of State, therefore, requires the highest standards of conduct by employees of the Foreign Service, including an especially high degree of integrity, reliability, and prudence. Given the representational nature of employment in the Service, employees must observe proper standards at all times. The purpose of the Final Review is to determine, from the candidate's total record, whether the candidate is indeed suitable to represent the United States. The Final Review Panel has the authority to terminate a candidacy.

      In evaluating suitability, the Final Review Panel takes into consideration the following factors:

      • Misconduct in prior employment, including marginal performance or inability to interact effectively with others
      • Criminal, dishonest, or disgraceful conduct
      • Misrepresentation, including deception or fraud, in the application process
      • Repeated or habitual use to excess of intoxicating beverages affecting the ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of the employee's position
      • Trafficking in or abuse of narcotics or controlled substances
      • Reasonable doubt as to loyalty to the U.S. Government
      • Conduct which clearly shows poor judgment and or lack of discretion which may reasonably affect an individual or the agency's ability to carry out its responsibilities or mission
      • Financial irresponsibility, including a history of not meeting financial obligations or an inability to satisfy debts


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  • Step 8: The Register
  • +What is the Register?

      Veterans Preference points or credit for foreign language proficiency (see information below on languages and veterans preference) may raise your standing on the Register.

      You should be aware that your placement on the Register does not guarantee an appointment as a Foreign Service Officer, for the number of appointments depends on the needs of the Foreign Service. Your rank-order on the Register is dynamic. People with higher scores will be placed above you regardless of when they are placed on the Register. Likewise, you will be placed above candidates with lower scores, regardless of how long they have been on the Register. Your name may stay in the Register for a maximum of 18 months. After that, your name will be removed. You may decline the first offer of employment. If you decline a second offer, your name will be removed from the Register.

      However, if you wish to try improve your place on the Register you may re-take the Foreign Service Officer Test again after 11 months, and if again successful on the FSOT, Oral assessment and clearance/review processes your name will be re-entered on the Register.

      If you successfully pass the Foreign Service Officer Test, Qualifications Evaluation Panel, Oral Assessment, security and medical clearances and a Final Review, you are placed on a hiring register. The hiring register is based on the specific career track you chose at the time of registration. Based on your Oral Assessment score, plus any additional credit for language or veterans preference, you are rank-ordered as of that day on your career-track register, where your eligibility is valid for 18 months. You are hired from the register based on the needs in each career track. Any language bonus points, and/or veterans’ preference points are added to your Oral Assessment score after you pass the Oral Assessment. You will receive instructions on how to receive them after you pass the Oral Assessment.

      New Foreign Service Officers begin their careers with a five-week orientation program (known as the A-100 course). The focus of the orientation is on introducing new employees to the structure and function of the Department and its role in the development and implementation of U.S. foreign policy; developing an understanding of the terms of employment; and enhancing core skills needed by all Foreign Service Officers.

      The A-100 course, based at the National Foreign Affairs Training Center in Arlington, is primarily a classroom experience. But it also includes trips to Capitol Hill and to other federal agencies, as well as a three-day offsite at a nearby conference center. In addition to presentations by guest speakers and U.S. Department of State officials, A-100 also includes a series of practical exercises and case studies.

      At the end of orientation, Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) receive their first assignments, which will govern the type of specialized training that follows. For FSOs, that training may include public diplomacy training, consular training, political-economic tradecraft, or management training. Required language training can last for an additional six to nine months. Overall, newly hired FSOs can expect to spend from three months to one year in training before departure for their first overseas assignment.



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  • Some Other Things to Consider
  • +Veterans Preference

      Foreign Service Officer candidates who can document creditable veterans' service by submitting form DD 214 will be given additional points on the Register: 0.175 for a five point standing and 0.35 for a 10 point standing.

      In all cases these points are added after you pass the Oral Assessment. You will receive instructions on how to claim these points after the Oral Assessment.



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  • +Foreign Languages

      While you are not required to know a foreign language, proficiency in a language will enhance your competitiveness on the register by giving you a slight increase in points. Your telephone language score is valid for 18 months or the length of your candidacy or other candidacies you may start during those 18 months. A candidacy begins when you submit your application for a specific position.

      Beginning with the June 2012 FSOT cohort, generalist candidates can receive .17 bump-up points for any one language listed here (pdf) if they pass the telephone language test at a speaking level 3 after passing the Oral Assessment. Candidates testing in the eight languages eligible for higher bonus points need only a level 2 speaking ability (as measured on the telephone test) to obtain the .17 language bonus points. Only the following eight languages are eligible for higher bonus points: Arabic; Chinese (Mandarin); Hindi; Persian (Dari); Persian (Farsi); Pashto; Urdu; and Korean.

      After candidates have passed the Oral Assessment, HR/REE/BEX notifies them of the link to the Career Candidate Handbook, which describes how to arrange a telephone language test with FSI. Candidates may test as soon as they pass the Oral Assessment and do not/not need to wait until they are on the Hiring Register.

      To receive the higher bonus points, candidates who pass the telephone test will then need to pass an in-person, two-hour speaking and reading test conducted by the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, Virginia. Any costs associated with the in-person test (travel, time in Washington) are at the candidate’s expense. Those who achieve a minimum score of 3 speaking and 2 reading (S3/R2) will be eligible to receive a total of .38 bonus points. Candidates who receive a rating of at least 2 speaking and 1 reading (S2/R1) but less than 3 speaking and 2 reading (S3/R2) will be eligible to receive a total of .25 bonus points. Language bonus points will be granted for one language only. Candidates who choose to take the in-person test and do not meet the minimum S2/R1 score will forfeit ALL language bonus points – in other words they will not receive any language bonus points at all.

      Candidates may test in another language only if they fail the initial test or if the second language has a higher point value. . They may also telephone retest in the same language after at least six months. Candidates who do not pass the in-person FSI test may take a first retest after six months; any further retests are authorized only after a one year interval from the last full test in that language. Telephone language scores are valid for 18 months or the length of any candidacy initiated during the 18 month language score validity period. In-person tests are valid for five years or the length of a candidacy initiated during the five-year period.

      A candidacy begins on the date you take the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT). Most candidates will need a country-specific security clearance before being granted the higher language bump-up. Candidates who seek a .38 language bump-up must agree to serve once during their first two assignments and once after reaching mid-level grades of the Foreign Service in a position where that language is required. Candidates must complete their second service commitment prior to being able to compete for the Senior Foreign Service. Candidates who qualify for .25 bump-up points must agree to serve once during their first two assignments in a post where that language is spoken.

      Candidates whose candidacies began prior to the June 2012 FSOT, that is prior to June 2, 2012, will be grandfathered under the previous policy (outlined below).

      For information to help you assess your own speaking level, visit http://www.govtilr.org and click on "Speaking" under the skill level descriptions for a general description of the expected proficiency. The speaking self-assessment tool, available on the same site, will also help you estimate your language proficiency.

      For candidates whose candidacies began prior to the June 2, 2012 FSOT

      Effective January 1, 2012, the Foreign Service Institute only offers phone tests in the languages listed here (pdf). Testing is limited to languages in which the Department has language designated entry-level positions abroad. All passing scores in languages listed garner an additional .17 points. Those candidates with the following recruitment languages - Azerbaijani, Bengali, Chinese, Gujarati, Hindi, Kazakh, Korean, Kyrgyz, Nepali, Pashto, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Singhalese, Tamil, Telugu, Turkish, Turkmen, Urdu, and Uzbek – and who opt-in and make the service commitment, earn a total of .40 points, while those with a passing score in Arabic earn a total of .50 points. To garner these additional points you are obligated to serve in a country where that language is spoken at least twice in your career: once during your first two tours and again after being promoted to the mid-levels of the Foreign Service.

      You may take the phone test after you pass the Oral Assessment. The test results are valid for 18 months or for the life of your candidacy, whichever is longer. In addition, you may claim points in only one language but may test in a second language if that language garners more points.

      For the phone test, an S-3 proficiency level is required for the following languages: Danish, Dutch, French, German, Haitian Creole, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish and Swedish. All other languages listed require an S-2 proficiency.

      For information to help you assess your own speaking level, visit http://www.govtilr.org and click on "Speaking" under the skill level descriptions for a general description of the expected proficiency. The speaking self-assessment tool, available on the same site, will also help you estimate your language proficiency.



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  • +Candidates with Disabilities

      For qualified candidates who will require accommodation upon appointment, the Office of Employee Relations determines reasonable accommodations. To qualify, a candidate must meet all requirements for appointment to the Foreign Service.

      Reasonable accommodation for candidates with disabilities during the FSOT or Oral Assessments

      We welcome candidates who have special needs. In accordance with Federal law, we will provide reasonable accommodation to enable qualified applicants with disabilities to take the Foreign Service Officer Test. We will provide similar accommodation to candidates who are invited to the Oral Assessment.

      In addition to preparing and administering the FSOT, Pearson VUE is responsible for all special accommodation requests for candidates with disabilities.

      Candidates who need accommodations to take the test must apply for special accommodations at least 30 days before the next testing window.

      The accommodation approval process can be lengthy. To allow sufficient time for approval and the necessary arrangements, submit accommodations request in writing with accompanying documentation to Pearson VUE at least 30 days before the requested test date. Follow the detailed instructions for accommodations requests provided at: http://www.pearsonvue.com/accommodations/

      Requests that are incomplete or are not supported by appropriate documentation by the registration deadline may not be approved. We cannot guarantee that the accommodation can be in place if requests are not received at least three weeks prior to the test date. In that case, Pearson VUE will ask you to schedule for the following window.

      Those receiving accommodation will receive a letter from Pearson VUE confirming the accommodation to be provided. If your request is incomplete or does not support the accommodation request, Pearson VUE will notify you in writing. You may then provide complete or updated documents prior to the deadline. Every effort will be made to provide accommodation at your chosen test center. However, be aware that some test centers may be unable to provide certain types of accommodation.

      For a comprehensive description of accommodation requirements, please see the Guide to the Foreign Service Officer Selection Process (pdf).

      For those who are invited to take the Oral Assessment, reasonable accommodations are also available for those who may need them. Contact reasonableaccommodations@state.gov at least three weeks before your scheduled Oral Assessment.



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  • +Commitment to Foreign Service Work
      Anyone applying to be in the Foreign Service must be willing to accept the following three commitments of Foreign Service work: flexibility in assignments, public support of U.S. Government policies and worldwide availability.

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