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Foreign language skills are a bonus and can help boost your scores if you pass the exams, but they don’t allow you to sneak in without taking the test.The State Department runs its own mini-university that teaches more than 80 foreign languages.C., and right now I’m spending a year in Kabul, Afghanistan. I also had a passion for travel that was first sparked by a trip I took in college to Europe.
The best way to prepare is to be a well-rounded student and take classes in a variety of subjects. What is the process for applying to the Foreign Service?
There are several portions to the test and each must be passed before you can move along to the next step.
If you pass that portion you are invited to the dreaded oral assessment. The written test is best described as a mix of the SATs and the television game show Jeopardy.
This is a mix of interviews, case management exercises, and a group exercise along with other applicants where you play the role of embassy officers and have to solve a problem together while observed. You can’t just be a big book nerd and hope to pass because while one question may be about the export goods of Brazil, the next might be about the 1991 World Series or the comic strip Dilbert.
What characteristics and background are they looking for in making their selections? Some have claimed the Foreign Service test is one of the toughest exams around.
I haven’t taken that many so I can’t really say, but it is challenging. I didn't see a forum for HSD 2019 yet, so I decided to make one. provides the opportunity for American and Japanese students to meet at Princeton University for ten days of cultural exchange."High School Diplomats (HSD) is a scholarship program that brings together high school students from the United States and Japan each summer through two parallel experiences. HSD Japan allows American students who have successfully completed HSD U. Your passing score from the oral assessment determines your place on the register (the list the State Department pulls from)…that is assuming you also passed the medical and security checks. The oral assessment is easier to prepare for, but much more challenging.Fortunately, there are websites, forums, and even in-person practice sessions conducted by the State Department to help. How competitive is it to be selected as a Foreign Service Officer?For your first two tours you are considered an entry level officer and have your assignment directed.Still, you have a lot of say in where you go and it is rare that people are sent somewhere they are completely opposed to.I don’t know the exact pass rates, but I would guess around 30-40% pass the written and maybe 20-30% pass the oral assessment.I think what the State Department is really looking for is the right combination of knowledge and interpersonal skills.But becoming a Foreign Service Officer, also known as a diplomat, is a job you really should consider if you’re a man who enjoys travel and learning about other cultures, is looking for adventure, and, as the State Department puts it, “you’re passionate about public service” and have a desire to “promote peace, support prosperity, and protect American citizens while advancing the interests of the U. abroad.” Your assignments can take you to any of the 265 American embassies around the world, where you may be attending a swanky treaty event in Europe or fighting human trafficking in Africa.To learn more about this globe-trotting job, today we turn to Shawn Kobb, a diplomat currently working in Kabul, Afghanistan. Tell us a little about yourself (Where are you from? Describe your job and how long you’ve been at it, etc.).