It’s Not Failure If You Keep Trying: The FSOT

I’ve heard it said before, some of the best things in life only come after failure.

This is great, and very supportive in a father to son kind of fashion, but there is a piece missing. I think that the important lesson to take away from failing at something, is to understand that the only way you succeed in the future, is by learning from the reasons why you have failed, and improving on them.

If you read the previous post then you know I did not pass the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT). I did not pass the test by 0.91 points, just missing the minimum score of 154.

In short, I failed the test.

My Results

What you don’t know from reading the previous post were the scores I received for each section. So, in the spirit of transparency (something I hope to continue with this site) here is the breakdown for the June 2014 FSOT:

Biographic Questionnaire: 43.02
English Expression: 57.72
Job Knowledge: 52.35
Multiple Choice Total: 153.09
Essay Score: 0*

* The essay is only scored if you pass the multiple choice section.

There is no such thing as failure. There are only results. – Tony Robbins

The results shown are clear. I did really well in the English section, I passed the job knowledge, and I did a poor job in the biographic questionnaire. It really is frustrating to think I was only 0.91 points away from passing the multiple choice. However, this is not a blog to complain about not passing, to come up with excuses, or to be angry at the FSOT.

This is a blog to learn from, so that I, and hopefully you, can pass the test next time.

Learning from the FSOT

If we do a very basic breakdown mathematically, in order to pass the multiple choice section of the FSOT, one needs to score an average of 51.33 points in each section. Of the three sections, my bio brought me down the most (missing the mark by about 8 points), and I just passed the job knowledge by 1 full point.

That said, ‘just passing’ should not be the goal. You shouldn’t just try to pass your school exams with a C, you should study for an A. You shouldn’t just kick the soccer ball at the goal, you should aim for the corners. I think you get the point here…

The things is, I cannot get all bent out of shape on the biographical section, because if I had answered just one more question correctly on one of the other two sections, I would probably be over the ‘hump’. That said, you should not get bent out of shape for the questions that could have made a difference.

Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it. – Mia Hamm

So what does this mean? This means I will need to pay particular attention to any information that may assist me in passing the biography section of the FSOT, and keep studying the different parts that encompass the Job Knowledge.

To do this, I will put what I find and learn over the next 10-11 months onto this blog. In essence, this website will be my tool to help me stay on track to increase my understanding of all topics related to passing the FSOT.

Here we go.

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