Tips for those taking the US Department of State Foreign Service Written Exam?
January 24, 2005 3:27 PM   Subscribe

The US Department of State Foreign Service Written Exam is coming up in just about three months. For those who have taken it in the past, any suggested readings or study tips? For anyone planning on taking it this year, how are you preparing?
posted by NotMyselfRightNow to Education (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This earlier askme thread might be of some help.
posted by loquax at 3:38 PM on January 24, 2005

...and a more recent askme thread here too.
posted by pwb503 at 4:36 PM on January 24, 2005

I have a few friends who have passed. It's tough, and contraray to common opinion, most of the people working in the civil service are pretty impressive.

It used to be well understood that you would be tested on current events from the front page of the New York times. It would be worth reading back as far as you can.

There are also numerous questions on American culture (here you need to be a well-rounded person) and facts drawn from the CIA World Fact Book.

The fact book is not that long-- a few pages on every nation and region. I find myself referring to it frequently.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 4:42 PM on January 24, 2005

Opps I meant foreign service. The rank and file outshine the political leadership, but I have to say, my friends in the F.S., as frustrated as they are with political leaders, really enjoy their colleagues.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 4:50 PM on January 24, 2005

I took a practice exam back in high school and aced everything except the management section. Oh well. It was pretty easy as I seem to recall. If you're good with trivia (particularly trivia pertaining to world events), you should be fine.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 6:30 PM on January 24, 2005

What kind of style of management do you think they're going for, TGO? Is it like the army: direct chain-of-command structure? I tried out for a job at the Gallup organization, and was able to guess the sort of person they were looking for at the types of psychological questions they asked. "I'd rather play sports? or I'd rather read a book?" "I'm a good team-player? or I prefer to do things alone?" "I want this job? I don't want this job."
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:36 PM on January 24, 2005

You might want to brush up on your economics. Not too much, though. I took it two years ago and ten years ago--it seems to have gotten considerably easier. You will want a lot more advice before your oral interview/test.
posted by mookieproof at 10:40 PM on January 24, 2005

Response by poster: Loquax, thanks for that. I searched "foreign service" but not "ambassador." pwb, likewise, thanks, but I'm interested in the Foreign Service, not the Civil Service, and I really hope not to be posted to Illinois. ;-)

Mookieproof, please don't use the "E" word... *shudder*
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:27 AM on January 25, 2005

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