Tuesday, July 13, 2010

FSOT Score Breakdown

I got my FSOT score breakdown yesterday. Not proud of it but thought posting it here will motivate me to do better next year. (That and I am just a sucker for pain and public humiliation.)

So, here we go: I needed a minimum of 154 on the multiple-choice part of the test to get my essay read. My score was lower, so my “brilliant” little essay was irrelevant.

My Job Knowledge and English Expression were not too shabby. They were not the highest I’ve seen but I am pleased with them, though I know I can improve them a little. 

FL 011

However, it’s the Biographic Information (Bio) section where things got really “epic.” Seeing my Bio score felt like falling flat on my face! It may well be the lowest Bio score I’ve ever seen! Part of it is that I didn’t finish the section but that can’t be everything.  A score this “epic” seems to suggest that I didn’t really get what that section was all about. And to be perfectly honest, I didn’t really prepare for it either. I looked at my resume a couple of times and that’s it because that section was all about me and what I’ve done in the past. And I’m supposed to know myself, right? Wrong!

So, it will be back to square one with the Bio section. Because with a score this bad, the only way to go is up, right.

One tip I got from the yahoo FSOT group that would have helped me with the time, if I knew it before the exam, is to answer all the questions that don’t require examples first because they are less time-consuming and then go back to the ones that require examples. This way even if you run out of time you’ve answered all the easy questions and perhaps most of the time-consuming ones.

If you have any other ideas/suggestions on the Bio section, please, send them my way. I would greatly appreciate them!


  1. i think this is promising!! The bio is probably the easiest to improve w/o a lot of work. First of all, yes, you have to finish the section, so you have to keep an eye on the clock. I totally agree w that suggestion about moving on. You can flag questions to come back to and I think it also shows you all the ones you haven't answered. i made use of both those features. I would answer the example questions quickly if I could, but if I got stumped- next question. And now that you know what type of questions are on there, you'll be better prepared. I think this is great news for next year!!

  2. I also had issues with the bio section. The first time I scored a 36.97. The second time I scored a 53.24. It gets easier the second time.

    Like you, I didn't finish the first time. I was trying to write complete and coherent sentences in the details section and I ran out of time. The second year, I used bullet points, which sped things up a lot.

    It's too hard to come up with examples on the spot. You now have a year to prepare examples. Now that you know what qualities they are looking for, you'll recognize them in your own actions all the time. Take a look at the 13 dimensions that they test for at the OA and make a list of examples of you living those qualities. This not only helps when you get to the OA, but helps with the bio too.

    My first time around, I was also too hard on myself. This isn't a time to be modest.

    If you're interested, you can read what I wrote at the time. First few entries here:

    Good luck to you.

  3. Oh Daniela, I know that 'not passed' feeling very well. My bio section was always my weakest point too. I think njtworld has some very sound advice, and just look at that score improvement! Use your next 10 months wisely, and you'll definitely pass next time.

  4. by the way, and I can't believe I didn't notice this the first time around, way to rock the English expression when it's not even your first language!!!

  5. Thank you all for the advice and encouragement. It's comforting to know that you have had similar experiences but have overcome them. If you could improve your scores, maybe I could too.

    I asked my husband for advice with the Bio section but he says he doesn't remember what was on it. Plus, he is not like me. He never prepared for the FSOT and passed it four times (though he did stumble at the Oral Assessment three times). I have my work cut out for me with the FSOT but I'll just keep at it.

  6. I agree with the advice given. Work on the questions without examples first. Don't be humble on the questions that ask for you to judge yourself (don't lie, obviously, but it's a good time to preen). Most importantly, I think, is to be consistent. I seem to recall there are a lot of duplicative questions that I think are used to assess your truthfulness, so be sure to keep track of questions that ask about similar qualities and make sure your answers synch up. Make sure you answer everything! Best of luck!

  7. Даниела, здравейте - и аз преживях подобно на Вашето разочарование:
    Job knowledge: 59.91
    Bio Info: 39.35
    Multiple choice: 50.46
    Нова година - нов късмет!

    1. Съжалявам, че не сте успели този път, но не се отчайвайте. Опитайте пак. Аз успях втория път. Резултата ми беше 162.20. За повече информация вижте тук: http://tukytam.blogspot.in/2011/06/more-butt-kicking.html#comment-form

      Искрено ви желая успех!!!

    2. Здравейте пак -
      Job knowledge: 53.77 (59.91)
      Bio Info: 60.77 (39.35)
      Multiple choice: 59.54 (50.46)
      Total 174.08 (149.72)
      Essay 6 (n.a.)

  8. Bravo! "Smachkali" ste bio section! Stiskam palci za ostanalite krygove!!!

  9. I took the FSOT in October and was 1.4 points away from the passing score and the my lowest section was the bio, which I also didn't prepare for. Any concrete tips on how I can work to improve on the bio section? Thanks in advance, for your help!

    - T

    1. Hi I don't have more specific advice about the bio section but I highly recommend doing the questions that don't require typewritten answers first. Also, practicing with the questions provided at the State Dept website. Coming up with list of things/accomplishments for various situations, kinda like the way you would prepare for a situational interview. That will help you later with the Oral Assessment too. Best of luck!!!

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