Foreign Service Exam Results

The results for the foreign service exam that was given in early April this year just came out today. Anyone else here take it, and if so, how’d you do?

As for me, I passed! :slight_smile: I’m pretty psyched, because this was the first time I’ve taken the exam, and I didn’t think much of my chances. (Plus, I’ve never taken a poli sci or international relations class in my life, so I felt a bit intimidated going up against all those Georgetown grads and the like.) It’s still a looong road from here to an actual job with the State Department (the orals are daunting!), but I’m just happy to have gotten this far.

Congratulations!! Yay you!!! You’ve taken the first step in a long journey. It took me two times to pass the orals so don’t be disheartened if you don’t pass the first time. Many people don’t. A lot of it also depends on how many people the Department is going to hire during that year. When I joined, they were only hiring about 160 - 200 officers per year. That has increased substantially since late 1999/2000 and often incoming A100 classes are over 100 people. So that increases your chances of passing the orals. Any idea when they are? I’m happy to give you pointers when the time arrives!

congats! I passed the written twice and the orals once, but never got called up. For the oral exam, be prepared to write an essay along the lines of “why I want to be a foreign service officer.” I just wrote the words “all work and no play make Jack a dull boy” 1,000 times. Good luck!

Thank you both for the encouraging words!

How many A100 classes are there usually per year? Any idea how many officers they’re taking nowadays?

The orals begin in DC on September 5th, and go through till sometime in May next year. For various reasons I’m anxious to get them over with as soon as possible, but September 5th is only, what, 6 weeks or so from now?? I don’t think I’ll be ready for the orals that soon; what was the best thing you did to prepare?

Yeah, that essay’s got me nervous. I feel like I’m applying for college again. I was thinking of writing “no beer and no TV make Rodgers something something…”

I’m not sure about the A100 classes. I’m pretty sure it’s based on some secret fomula that no one actually knows because there’s never the right amount of officers for available jobs. Either too many or to few.

Back when I took the test, the essay was submitted when you filled out the written test application. Much easier than having to write it during the orals. IIRC, I had to write a pretend “reporting cable” on one of the role playing exercises.

There’s not really anything you can do to “prepare” for the orals so, if I were you, I’d take them and get them out of the way so you don’t start obsessing. It’s essentially a day of “what would you do if…” exercises, role playing and group “playing well with others” exercises. It’s designed to test your commons sense and decision making skills. Or at least it was back when I took it. Things to remember: wear a suit (and clean undies :wink: ); don’t be overly aggressive or arrogant; ask for opinions of your fellow examinees when doing group exercises; be polite; don’t make snap decisions; be confident; and always remember: the needs of the Service/Department always outweigh your personal needs.

The best thing I did to prepare? Valium. :wink:

It’s a long, emotionally/mentally grueling day. But remember - if you don’t pass, it’s not the end of the world. You can take the test again (and again and again). Well over half of my incoming class didn’t pass the orals on their first attempt. Having gone through them once gives one a decidely better chance the second go-round.


Congratulations, Rodgers01! Good job.

Remember, if Condi doesn’t hire you as an entry-level diplomat (and she’d be crazy not to), you can always give the President a cool million or three and have your choice of ambassadorships…