The Foreign Service Officer Test
The Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) is an important part of the FSO selection process, covering the job knowledge, English expression and biographic information necessary to work as a Foreign Service Officer. The FSOT also includes an essay. View complete information on the FSOT and the selection process.
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.
Notice on Change to the FSOT Multiple Choice Section
The Biographic Information Questionnaire section of the Foreign Service Officer Test will be discontinued beginning with the October 2017 FSOT. It will be replaced with Situational Judgment Test (SJT) items. The SJT section will present scenarios (i.e., descriptions of situations) that a candidate might encounter on the job as a Foreign Service Officer. Each scenario is accompanied by possible responses to that scenario. For each scenario, candidates select the BEST response and the WORST response. The SJT section of the test consists of 28 scenarios administered in 42 minutes.
Registering for the FSOT
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.
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.
|October 2017||February 2018||June 2018|
|Testing Window Dates||September 30 to October 7||January 27 to February 3||June 2 to 9|
|Registration opens||August 23||December 13||April 25|
|Registration closes||September 27||January 24||May 30|
|List of embassies/consulates* offering the FSOT available at www.careers.state.gov||August 22||December 12||April 24|
*The FSOT is offered at both domestic and overseas locations.
Pearson VUE On Base Test Centers (OBTC) to Offer the FSOT
Beginning with the February 2017 FSOT, the Foreign Service Officer Test will be 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 Professional Centers
The Board of Examiners will offer the FSOT at certain overseas Pearson Professional Centers (PPCs). PPCs are wholly owned by Pearson VUE and may not be in the capital. Embassies/Consulates located in other cities may continue to offer the test as their resources permit. Candidates testing in these locations must use their U.S. passports for identification verification.
The FSOT will be delivered at Pearson Professional Centers in the following cities: Melbourne and Sydney (Australia); Sao Paulo (Brazil); Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver (Canada); Paris (France); Frankfurt (Germany); Athens (Greece); Osaka and Tokyo (Japan); Seoul (Korea, South); Mexico City (Mexico); Manila (Philippines); Singapore City (Singapore); Johannesburg (South Africa); Madrid (Spain); Taipei (Taiwan); Bangkok (Thailand); Istanbul (Turkey); and London (United Kingdom).
Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 120 minutes per response, including time required for searching existing data sources, gathering the necessary documentation, providing the information and/or documents required, and reviewing the final collection. You do not have to supply this information unless this collection displays a currently valid OMB control number. If you have comments on the accuracy of this burden estimate and/or recommendations for reducing it, please send them to: HR/REE, SA-1, H-518. 2401 E Street NW, Washington, DC, 20522.
OMB Approval Number: 1405-0008 Expiration Date: 3/31/2018