Consular Fellows Program Test (CFPT) Practice Test

If you’re passionate about languages and dream of serving your country through the U.S. Department of State, consider joining the Consular Fellows Program. To help you nail the selection process, we’ve put together this guide and practice test to help you pass the Consular Fellows Program Test (CFPT).

A brief review of the Consular Fellows Program

The Consular Fellows Program is a unique opportunity the U.S. Department of State offers for individuals with language skills to serve as Foreign Service Consular Fellows at U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide. Consular Fellows are typically hired for a limited non-career appointment of up to five years and perform many of the same duties as career ConsularForeign Service Officers. For more information, review our introductory guide.

Consular Fellows Program Test (CFPT) Overview

Once you have applied and selected your test date through Pearson, you will take the Consular Fellowship Program Test (CFPT). The CFPT includes four sections: Comprehending Regulations, English Expression, Job Knowledge, and Situational Judgment. The last three sections are also part of the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) (for a deeper dive into these sections, visit this guide). These sections only contain multiple-choice questions.

Comprehending Regulations: candidates must select the correct answer by interpreting the presented regulations. 

English Expression: this knowledge area encompasses English expression and language usage skills required for preparing or editing written reports, including correct grammar and good writing at the sentence and paragraph level. 

Job Knowledge: questions will cover a broad range of topics including, but not limited to, the structure and workings of the U.S. Government, U.S. and world history, U.S. culture, psychology, technology, management theory, finance and economics, and world affairs. 

Situational Judgment: this section will present scenarios (i.e., descriptions of situations) that a candidate might encounter on the job.

For test-taking strategy and study guidance on the English Expression, Job Knowledge, and Situational Judgment sections, you may review this guide that applies to the FSOT and CFPT.

Also, as we’ve stated, the CFPT and FSOT are very similar. However, the CFPT has no essay section, and the multiple choice sections provide less time than the FSOT. Not keeping track of time is one of the main reasons why candidates do poorly on a test.

Registering for the CFPT and test dates

To register for the CFPT, candidates must apply and select an appointment. Applicants have six months to schedule an appointment for the test. However, we recommend taking the test as soon as possible. Unlike the FSOT, the CFPT is an on-demand test with no testing window. Similar to the FSOT, candidates may test only once in 12 months.

Consular Fellows Program (CFPT) Practice Test

The following sample questions are from the CFPT sample questions document published by the Department of State. These examples will further your understanding of the types of questions the test may ask you to answer.

Comprehending Regulations

Consular officers need to be aware of several new grounds for visa ineligibility. The 1996 amendments:

  • Create a new ineligibility for anyone unlawfully present in the United States for 6 months or more, after April 1, 1997. Those unlawfully present for 6 months, but less than 1 year, are ineligible to be readmitted to the United States for 3 years after leaving. Those unlawfully present for one year or more are ineligible for 10 years;
  • Require, for the first time, a contractually enforceable affidavit of support (AOS) in all cases of family sponsored immigration, to deter the entry of those immigrants “likely to become a public charge;”
  • Expand the category of aliens medically ineligible to immigrate to include those who have not received vaccinations for certain communicable diseases;
  • Make ineligible for admission aliens who have illegally voted in U.S. elections or have falsely claimed U.S. citizenship to obtain benefits under the INA;
  • Deny visas to those who renounced U.S. citizenship to avoid paying taxes; and
  • Add a new procedural ineligibility for applicants who, having been admitted to the United States on valid NIVs, overstayed the period authorized by DHS by even one day. These applicants must return to the country of their overseas residence to obtain a new NIV.


  1. Which of the following statements is true based on the passage?
    1. Aliens unlawfully staying in the U.S. for more than a year are ineligible for 3 years.
    2. Aliens unlawfully staying in the U.S. for more than 3 years are ineligible for 10 years.
    3. Aliens unlawfully staying in the U.S. for 6 months to less than a year are ineligible for a year.
    4. Aliens unlawfully staying in the U.S. for more than 10 years are ineligible for 3 years.
  2. Which of the following statements is true based on the passage
    1. Family sponsored immigration requires contractually enforceable legal proof of financial support.
    2. Applicants who overstay the authorization period of an NIV are ineligible for 1 year.
    3. Vaccinations for certain communicable diseases may not lead to an ineligible decision if the vaccinations can be obtained immediately after entering the U.S.
    4. Applicants must pay back taxes in order to be given a visa.
  1. Answer B is correct. Rationale: the passage states, “those unlawfully present for one year or more are ineligible for 10 years”. 
  2. Answer A is correct. Rationale: the passage states, “require a contractually enforceable affidavit of support (AOS) in all cases of family sponsored immigration, to deter the entry of those immigrants “likely to become a public charge;”

English Expression

Question 1: If you are a temporary agricultural worker, you must receive a written description of the terms of your employment no latter than the first day of work.

For underlined section 1, which of the following is correct?

  1. latter than
  2. later than
  3. latter then
  4. later then

Question 2: You are receiving this pamphlet because You have applied for a nonimmigrant visa to work or study temporarily in the United States.

For Line 2 in the passage above, indicate whether there are any errors using the list below. There will only be one error at most on any line.

  1. Misspelled word (a word that is not spelled correctly)
  2. Improper word choice (either a word that is grammatically correct but does not make logical sense or an improperly pluralized noun)
  3. Verb tense or agreement (a verb that does not denote the proper tense)
  4. Punctuation error
  5. Capitalization error
  6. No errors in line
  1. Answer B is correct. The word ‘latter’ refers to a happening at the end of any activity. ‘Latter’ is used as an adjective. The word ‘later’ refers to a time afterward or after a point of time in the present. ‘Later’ is used as an adverb. Answer E is correct. The second “you” is capitalized incorrectly.
  2. Answer E is correct. The second “you” is capitalized incorrectly.

Job Knowledge


  1. Following WWII, the United States instituted a massive effort to rebuild Europe. What is the name to this policy?
    1. Marshall Plan
    2. NATO
    3. SEATO
    4. Point Four
  2. In some states, laws have been passed to protect journalists’ sources. What are these laws called?
    1. Shield laws.
    2. Press protection laws.
    3. 1st Amendment laws
    4. Source protection laws.
  1. Option A is correct. On April 3, 1948, President Truman signed the Economic Recovery Act of 1948. It became known as the Marshall Plan, named for Secretary of State George Marshall, who in 1947 proposed that the United States provide economic assistance to restore the economic infrastructure of postwar Europe.
  2. Option A is correct. Shield laws are statutes that provide journalists either an absolute or qualified privilege to refuse to disclose sources used or information obtained in the course of news gathering.

Situational Judgment


  1. Suppose a team member is bothered about something. What advice would you give this team member?
    1. Hide his or her feelings and “deal with it,” because this promotes the good of the group and maintains peace and harmony.
    2. Talk privately to one or two team members who are sympathetic and willing to listen.
    3. Constructively voice the concern and ask the group to consider ways to resolve it.
    4. Pretend it doesn’t exist and just go about his or her work.
  2. Suppose the employees you work with are in an argument with each other about who should do a very disagreeable, but routine task. Which of the following would be the MOST effective advice to resolve this situation? What would be the LEAST effective advice?
    1. Have the supervisor decide, because this would avoid any personal bias.
    2. Arrange for a rotating schedule so everyone shares the chore.
    3. Let the workers who show up earliest choose on a first-come, first-served basis.
    4. Randomly assign a person to do the task.
  1. Option C is correct. This is the most proactive approach that seeks to resolve the issue.
  2. Option B is the MOST effective advice to resolve this situation as it evenly distributes the burden of the disagreeable task among all employees, ensuring fairness and preventing resentment. By creating a systematic approach, employees can plan and prepare for their turn to complete the job, reducing the potential for conflict in the future.

    Option C is the LEAST effective advice as this approach can be perceived as unfair because it rewards employees who arrive early. This approach also does not guarantee even task distribution among all employees, which could lead to resentment and ongoing conflicts among the team, especially if some employees consistently arrive earlier than others due to personal circumstances or other reasons.

Our recommended resource to help you prepare for the CFPT

If you’ve found the above helpful, consider checking out our highest recommended resource to study and prepare for the CFPT, FSO Compass.

FSO Compass provides comprehensive online training for aspiring U.S. diplomats with leading resources and a motivating community. Tools to help you succeed include multiple practice tests with answer explanations, weekly quizzes, study material on the CFPT sections, a course to help you write strong personal narratives, and a community of applicants supporting one another through the application process. 

Frequently asked questions

Is there a charge/fee to take the CFPT?
There is a $5 sitting fee for the CFPT. You will receive a refund one to three weeks after the testing event. However, should a candidate fail to appear for the CFPT or not cancel a previously-scheduled appointment 48 hours before the appointment, the candidate is assessed a $45 no-show fee.

When I take the CFPT, where can I get my results?
Candidates will receive their results immediately after testing.

How long is my CFPT score valid?
A CFPT score is valid only for the period in which the testing occurred. For example, if a candidate passed the CFPT and was invited to undergo language fluency tests but chose not to, that would be the end of the process. The candidate would have to retake the CFPT 12 months later to begin the process over again.

Will taking the CFPT make me ineligible for the Foreign Service Officer Test?
No, it will not. You may take each test once every 12 months.

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