The June FSOT Is In Two Weeks!

The test is in two weeks!

Freak out!


No, not really.

It might be because I have already gone through this process but I am not stressing about the test.

Is it because I am 100% confident I will pass this time? Or, is it because I have lost interest in the FSO career?

A big NO on both accounts.

To take a cliché term, ‘what will be will be’, or using another phrase, c’est la vie.

If I pass then great, if I don’t… there is next year. There will come a time when “there is next year” will not bring me as much consolation, but for now it works. I think this is because of the research I have done and the knowledge that the average age of new FSOs entering this career are in their early 30s and that only 3-4% of individuals who take the FSOT become Officers. Then again, I am now in my late 20s.

Though becoming a FSO is most definitely my current end goal, I have come to consider it my Plan B. I won’t write about this now, but I welcome you to consider what I mean (I do promise to write a post on it soon).

So what will the next two weeks look like in regards of studying?

First, I will take the online practice test and see where I need practice. Yes, only being two weeks away I might be screwed if there is substantial knowledge I am lacking, but hopefully I just need to bone up on one or two things.

Second, I will read over the constitution and the amendments once more. Just like last year, right before the test, I become very well versed on the Articles, Bill of Rights, etc., and then slowly forget them. Is Article 1 on the Legislative or the Executive Branch? Are there 25 or 27 amendments to the Constitution? If you don’t know I suggest looking it up! Though this is a little corny, I have found a video, thanks Google, by Keith Hughes to help memorize some of the amendments (outside of the Bill of Rights).

Third, geography! I believe I know geography pretty well, I was the Geography Bee champ back in 5th grade (excuse me while I brush my shoulders off), but that doesn’t mean I don’t need a reminder! What’s the name of the sea above Iran? What’s the straight that connects the Atlantic to the Mediterranean? What countries emerged from the breakup of Yugoslavia? Is it from West to East: Sweden, Finland, Norway, or Finland, Norway, Sweden, or Norway, Sweden, Finland (important to know if a question is asked on geopolitical power, the Baltics, and Russia!)? In brief, I will need to go over the capitals, major mountain ranges and bodies of water, and anything else that comes to mind while looking at the map on my wall. Sites that quiz you on geography such as Sporcle are great.

Fourth, a quick rundown on economics and management principles. What does GDP stand for, how does supply and demand interact with one another, is it acceptable as a supervisor to yell when a mistake is made? Again, just a refresher.

Fifth, and final, do more practice questions and do a few practice essays!


So that is my plan, what is yours? For all those taking the test in June, I say good luck to each of us!

Leave a comment if you have suggestions on resources folks can use to help study these last two weeks.


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15 thoughts on “The June FSOT Is In Two Weeks!”

  1. Hey Path To,

    Glad to see a post from you. I wish you the best of luck on the test coming up. Please update us after you take it and after you get your results. I’m interested to hear your take on it this year.

    Do you work in the field of IR currently?

    Just wondering how you’re “feeding” that side of your life since the FS isn’t quite a part of it yet.

    Take care.

    1. Hi Tony,

      Apologies for the long delay. I was studying, then traveling, and now getting back to the blog. If you’ve read my most recent post then you will have an idea of my thoughts, but I don’t believe I will pass it this year. Sigh, next year! As for IR. Unfortunately I do not currently work in it, but I am trying. I’m on the job market with the intent of putting my experiences in program management in the IR field. Besides reading up on international events, I try to travel. Definitely though, finding a job in the IR field is my goal this year.

  2. HERE WE GO!

    32 year old taking the test for second time this month. Last year I passed the questions with a 170.45 (WOOOOT!) but I only got a 4 on the essay.

    I am very excited to try again this year. I just finished my May term history class amid 60 hour work weeks, so I finally have a few spare moments to write practice essays. I did not realize the essay would be required during the FSOT when I went in the first time. I was already flustered from the test and didn’t realize that was the format. Hopefully I’m better prepared this year. I wish you the best of luck this go around.


    1. Colby – Good luck on the test. If you do pass it again, talk to your Diplomat in Residence (DIR) for tips on the narrative. You can find out who your DIR is on the careers website, Careers.state.gov.

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