Preparing for the foreign service exam is a crucial part of obtaining employment with the US Department of State. Without passing this exam, there is no chance of joining the state department in any official capacity. However, with a little preparation and understanding, preparing for the foreign service exam is usually not a problem.
The first step in preparing for the foreign service exam is to determine the dates in your area where the exam will be administered. This will provide a good guide as to how much study needs to be done and how quickly that study needs to be done. Getting ready also means meeting certain deadlines, which are outlined on the state department’s website. Those who miss these deadlines are going to find their entry into this area of civil service delayed.
Deadlines are important for the foreign service exam, not only for candidates within the United States, but also for those outside the United States. It should be noted that foreign service written exam timelines are different for those inside and outside the United States. In general, the deadline for those testing sites outside of the United States is one week before the deadline within the country.
Once the application process is complete, the applicant will be sent an email indicating when they can take the exam. The exam is offered several times a year. Seats can be reserved for the test on a first-come, first-served basis. Those who cannot do so may have to wait several months for the next test date. Commercial testing centers are available throughout the United States and in some countries.
The US Department of State offers a study guide, which can be invaluable to those who have never taken the foreign service exam before and want to make sure they understand what is covered. Other topics to study or review are United States history, economic policy, human behavior, and political science. Keeping up to date with current events is also a good idea. Together, these areas will provide a good foundation for the foreign service exam.
After the written test, there will be some paperwork to fill out and the applicant, if everything passes and looks good, will probably be called in for an oral assessment. This may be one of the longest oral interviews a candidate will ever experience, starting as early as 7 am and ending as late as 6 pm Focusing on these topics and being mentally prepared for a long day is very important.