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.
FSOT At-Home Online Proctored Testing (OnVUE) Available!
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
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 upcoming Foreign Service Officer Test. As a reminder you will be able to register – apply and select a seat – for approximately five weeks before each testing window.
|Testing Window Dates
||May 29 – June 9, 2021
||April 22, 2021
||May 27, 2021
|Testing Window Dates
||October 2 - October 9, 2021
||August 26, 2021
||September 30, 2021
*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.
Click here to learn more about on base testing at Pearson VUE »
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.
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.
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: 3/31/2021
AUTHORIES: The information is sought pursuant to 301(b) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended (22 U.S.C. § 3941(b)).
PURPOSE: The information solicited on this form will be used to determine eligibility to take the Foreign Service Officer Test, to register for the Foreign Service Officer Test, to assess qualifications for selection as a Foreign Service Officer, and to ensure the integrity of the examination process.
ROUTINE USES: The information solicited on this form may be made available to prepare statistical reports and analyses at the Department of State. Such reports and analyses, which are prepared in such a way that they are not individually identifiable, may be shared outside the Department. This information may also be shared with other federal agencies in response to request for information about hiring or retention of an employee or to Members of Congress in response to an inquiry on behalf of the applicant. More information on the Routine Uses for the system can be found in the System of Records Notice State-31, Human Resource Records.
DISCLOSURE: Providing this information is voluntary. Failure to provide the information requested on this form may result in the user’s inability to submit appropriate responses to the FSOT questionnaire and/or the FSOT and oral exam.