Wednesday, June 29, 2011

More Butt Kicking (I passed the FSOT!!!)

I am on a roll today, I think.

Guess who else kicked some serious butt this year?


Photo courtesy of the fabulous Janel Norton.

Me, that’s who!

I just learned that I kicked the FSOT (Foreign Service Officer Test) in the butt earlier this month. I am still in disbelief after last year’s epic failure described here and here. It’s a miracle of miracles really because I had only two weeks to prepare this time around and having a three-month-old doesn’t help. But I guess having gone through it all last year helped because my results improved in all three sections. Here are my FSOT score breakdowns for last year and this year:

                                                                     2010                        2011

Job Knowledge:                              53.58                       53.69

Biographic Information:             31.72                      47.10

English Expression:                       57.67                      61.41

Multiple-Choice Total:               142.97                    162.20

Essay score                                       n/a                               6

I needed a multiple-choice total of 154 or higher in order to get my essay read, which thanks to a dismal Bio section, I didn’t achieve last year. The Bio was still my weakest section this year but it was a little better than last year and that, plus slightly higher scores on the Job Knowledge and the English Expression sections put me over the hump. The minimum passing score for the essay is 6 on a 12-point scale and that’s exactly what I got. Not fantastic, I know, but I ran out of time on the essay, so I am happy I got a 6.

I am majorly relieved that I passed. I was starting to think that I am just not Foreign Service material, so this is a nice surprise. Of course, the FSOT is just the first of multiple steps that I have to take before I can become a Foreign Service Officer. There are no guarantees and I could drop off at any point in the process but without passing the FSOT, I could never have moved on to the next step, so I am taking it one step at a time.

Next, I have until 7/19 to write 6 essays known as Personal Narratives. Wish me luck! I know I will need it big time.


  1. You are awesome. I knew you could do it. HUGE congratulations. That's massive. So delighted for you. Well done.

  2. yay, I am so happy for you! Many congrats!

  3. Congrats! Best of luck with the next step.

  4. I have been following your blog for a while, but have never commented. Congratulations! :D

  5. Awesome!!!
    You are an inspiration. Good luck with your essays.

  6. Congratulations. All your scores improved. Nice one.

    - NJT

  7. You are on the weekly round up! You can find the post at If you have any objections or concerns please let me know! Have a great 4th of July weekend!

  8. Congrats on kicking butt! I would love to get together sometime soon.

  9. Hi Daniela! Thanks so much for sharing your adventures... I have a husband currently undergoing the testing process (again) and it's been enlightening and comforting to follow others' challenges and successes. I must say that this line in particular left an impression: "I was starting to think that I am just not Foreign Service material" Well, to think that you were doubting yourself at one point, but are now a bona fide FSO yourself!! That's just speaks to the fact that not passing a portion of the process shouldn't be a deterrent. I shared your with the hubs, with the encouragement that he shouldn't let test results (pass or not) dictate his motivation to realize a dream... (well, I said that and "Just keep swimming!" Dory is such a wise little fish) ^_^ -Alisha

    1. Couldn't agree with you more, Alisha! I know a lot of great officers who have had to go through the process more than once before they finally got an offer. That's hard and it can be demoralizing but I hope your husband makes it all the way this time. Best of luck!!!


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