Study for the FSOT in the Shower

After last week’s extensive post on the Foreign Service Officer Salary: A Comprehensive Guide, which if you have not read I highly suggest checking it out, I decided to give you guys a quick read today.

All right, this is an easy to implement and highly actionable step to help you study for the Foreign Service Officer Test.

How actionable?

It will increase your general knowledge of current events by 34%!


Well, I can’t actually promise you a 34% increase, but I can promise you this- it is very easy to implement.

The tip is to start studying in the shower.

Before you start exiting this post let me explain.

We are all busy people with responsibilities, and places we have to get to. We need to find the little snippets of time here and there to boost our general knowledge of the major events transpiring around the world. The more news we’re exposed to, the better prepared we will be for the FSOT.

Like the State Department says, and that I have quoted numerous times already:

“Foreign Service Officers must be well-informed and knowledgeable across many disciplines… This breadth of knowledge is usually gathered gradually over time. The best foundation is a solid education and a personal life-habit of reading, learning, and expanding one’s understanding of the world.”

Now if you have the time to sit down and read the news, that’s fantastic! However, if you don’t have the time, or are looking for something different, then try this.

Download the NPR One App on your smart phone, open it up, and listen.

Why NPR? I have a few quick reasons for you.

1. The information is updated hourly

This means that no matter what time it is in the day you take your shower, there will be updated news waiting for you. How flexible.

Take showers in the morning once you get out of bed? Great! You can hear about the ongoing events that took place while you were dreaming away with Mr. Sandman. And it’s an active way to wake up.

Take showers in the evening, but haven’t had time to catch up on the news? NPR is there for you.

2. The headline news is just that, headlines

Content covers both national and international events, and is usually just a few sentences per topic.

3. It’s about five minutes long

A shower doesn’t need to be much more than five minutes long. This is a great way to make sure you stay aware of how long you’ve been in the shower. Just think… if you take longer showers and you use NPR headline news to decrease your time in the bathroom, it could lead to a lower cost water bill. The money you then save up could go into buying a subscription to a publication, such as the Economist.

4. It’s free and, for the most part, unbiased.

Even though I suggest the NPR app, you can really use any news program. I just happen to enjoy the free factor, as well as the fact that many controversial topics have been discussed on the hourly news program without sensationalizing.

If you’re interested in listening to the news in the shower, you don’t need any fancy equipment to get started. I have a window in my bathroom and just put the phone on the windowsill and it works perfectly. No window? Get creative with things like re-purposing a suction cup soap holder to hold your phone (like this one). Make sure to keep the phone outside of the arc of water for best sound and to (duh) keep it dry.

Want to get fancier? Try out some waterproof sound speakers.

In what creative ways do you get your news?

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