Hi, I saw you took the FSOT in Feb and passed (congrats!!), so I was wondering if you had any other advice on how to study? I’ve got all the recommended reading and the test packet, but I was just wondering if you could give a more realistic view of how the test is and how your studying prepared you than the information written by people who took the test 20 years ago. Thanks, and good luck in the next steps!

Hey, thanks! Yeah all of my advice was from my parents who took it 25-30 years ago but I think generally it’s about being informed. I studied, but not much and after taking the test it doesn’t seem like something you can prepare for, except English. If you aren’t the grammar police, I’d get really comfortable with the Elements of Style. It’s a classic book and 100% of the English, as far as I can tell is in there. If in your daily life you read up on what’s going on in the world, and more importantly, if you can talk about the origins of those issues you should mostly be good. There are some civics questions, which I think I must have failed. Those are about the set up of the government, congressional committees and who reports on what to who.

I got the study guide and went through one time to see what I could study, but nothing I studied was on the test. It is helpful, though to see what kinds of questions are asked.

Overall, stay informed, ask questions about all the news you read- the most important things you can know are the causes and circumstances of the events which shape the news.

I feel like that was all over, but that’s the best advice I can give.

Best of luck, it’s a tough process but from my close vantage point these 23 years I can attest that the foreign service is an amazing career.

Xo

Katie

This was written on my iPhone with my luck it’s full of lazy grammar after I extolled the virtues of grammar perfection…

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