Alert:

Please be aware that Apple’s latest MacOS, Catalina, does not include support for Adobe Air. Unfortunately, this means that our online exam delivery software will not be compatible with systems running on Catalina as of October 4, 2019. We apologize for this inconvenience, and recommend Mac users with the Catalina OS change their exam-taking device to one that has an approved operating system. Please see page 5 of our technical requirements document for a full list of compatible operating systems.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation:

Testing candidates: Check our COVID-19 Update Page to look for testing availability and review the health and safety measures required for testing.

Appointment availability is limited due to social distancing precautions and varies by location. Please note that our customer service wait-times are also longer than usual right now. For information on rescheduling, refunds, and more, please check out our FAQs.

Due to increased demand, check-in wait times may be up to 30 minutes.

Please allow up to five business days for customer support responses from case escalations. We appreciate your patience as we work to help you and other candidates.

The Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT)

The Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) is an important part of the FSO selection process, covering the job knowledge, English expression and situational judgement necessary to work as a Foreign Service Officer. The FSOT also includes an essay. View complete information on the FSOT and the selection process.


Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, the U.S. Department of State requires that each candidate be:

  • A U.S. citizen on the date the candidate submits the registration package
  • At least 20 years old and no older than 59 years of age on the day the candidate submits the registration
  • At least 21 years old and not yet 60 on the day the candidate is appointed as a Foreign Service Officer
  • Available for worldwide assignments, including Washington, D.C.

Registering for the FSOT

IMPORTANT: NEW DATES FOR FSOT ANNOUNCED

The next Foreign Service Officer Test will be offered July 11-25, 2020, with registration open from June 1-July 3. Candidates are encouraged to register early as test sites may be limited due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders. Additionally, the July FSOT will not be offered at U.S. embassies and consulates overseas. Candidates should check the Pearson VUE COVID-19 Update Page regularly for the latest testing availability and to review the health and safety measures required for testing.

Candidates complete both registration steps - submitting an application and selecting a seat - during the same five-week period immediately prior to a specific testing window. Applications are valid only for that test and will expire when that testing window closes. The registration period closes three days prior to the opening of the testing window.

If you have a documented need for an accommodation, you must request and receive approval for your accommodation before scheduling your test.

Once an application for a test window is submitted it cannot be changed, and candidates may test only once in a 12-month period. Click here for answers to General FSOT FAQs.

Upcoming Foreign Service Officer Testing Windows

This chart contains relevant dates for the next three Foreign Service Officer Tests. As a reminder you will be able to register – apply and select a seat – for approximately five weeks before each testing window.

  June 2020 October 2020
Testing Window Dates July 11 – 25, 2020 October 3 – 16, 2020
Registration opens June 1, 2020 August 11, 2020
Registration closes July 3, 2020 September 24, 2020
List of embassies/consulates* offering the FSOT available at www.careers.state.gov N/A August 10, 2020

*The FSOT is offered at both domestic and overseas locations.

Beginning with the February 2020 FSOT, as a part of the registration process, candidates will be asked to complete their Personal Narratives (PNs). Candidates will be asked to address the following six areas: Leadership Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Communication Skills, Management Skills, Intellectual Skills, and Substantive Knowledge. Each of the six PNs will consist of no more than 1,300 characters.

Pearson VUE On Base Test Centers (OBTC) to Offer the FSOT

The Foreign Service Officer Test is offered at approximately 130 OBTC locations on U.S. military installations in U.S states and territories, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The OBTCs will add additional appointment options during each testing window for those candidates with access to the included military bases.

Use of Overseas Pearson Vue Testing sites

The Board of Examiners has expanded the number of Pearson VUE testing sites for the FSOT both domestically and overseas. Embassies/Consulates located in other cities may continue to offer the test as their resources permit. Candidates testing in locations outside the U.S. must use their U.S. passports for identification verification.

Please click on find a testing center to find the closest site available.


Other

Find more information on a rewarding career in the Foreign Service. If you have specific questions about the Foreign Service Officer Test you may send them to FSOTQuestions@state.gov.


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Last updated 2020-07-01