Thinking of joining the Foreign Service, but...
Not sure about the career and lifestyle?
Struggling to prepare for the FSOT?
Frustrated with personal narrative writing?
Looking for a community of peers?
We get it.
That's why we created
Preparing you to become a U.S. diplomat
If you’re considering a career as a diplomat, you know it’s a challenging and lengthy process. That’s why we created FSO Compass to support you through every stage of the Foreign Service application process. From writing your application and personal narratives, to preparing for the exam, Compass has you covered.
Unlike traditional “study guides” that can quickly become outdated, we regularly update Compass to ensure that you have the most current information for your application. Our online tests closely mimic the actual exam in terms of format and content so that you can feel confident in your preparation. Our PN Challenge also helps you craft strong, compelling personal narratives. And by training alongside others, you’ll benefit from a sense of community and support as you work towards your goal.
A holistic approach to preparation
Our goal is to provide you with the best preparation option, which means we continually improve and expand what is available. Here are some resources we provide to help you prepare for the application process.
The best way to prepare for an exam as broad as the FSOT is to practice taking the test.
Studies show that practice tests are the best way to prepare for exams. This is because they implement spaced retrieval practice, with the learner pulling information out of their memory when applying it to the question, which hardens that information in memory (Oakley & Sejnowski, 2018). Plus, they alert the student to topics they need help understanding and need to study before the actual exam.
FSO Compass provides practice tests for the Job Knowledge, English Expression, and Essay sections of the FSOT. The tests simulate the actual test in question type, the number of questions, the user interface, and functionality (e.g., skipping and reviewing questions). At the end of each test, we suggest study areas to help you find success.
According to a review of the research on student testing by the American Institutes for Research, “low-stakes, frequent testing can have a positive impact on student learning and achievement” (Black and Wiliam, 1998).
For this reason, we’ve put together a weekly ten-question quiz to help you prepare for the FSOT. These are retired test questions focused on the job knowledge section of the FSOT. With 53 quizzes, you have enough to last through a year of study.
If you’re aspiring to become a U.S. diplomat, our self-paced courses are here to help you succeed.
With four courses to choose from, you’ll have the guidance and support you need to help pass the QEP, from learning about the Foreign Service and the different career tracks available, to submitting your application, writing compelling personal narratives, and preparing for the Foreign Service Officer Test.
We regularly update our courses to reflect changes to the application process, so you can trust that you’re receiving the most accurate and current information.
Consider participating in the Personal Narrative Challenge if you need help writing your narratives.
For 30 days, the Challenge brings together a cohort of FSO candidates who receive accountability, support, and guidance. During the Challenge, receive daily advice on best practices for narrative writing and access to tools to craft solid and compelling narratives. Our writing framework provides structure and guidance, but there is also flexibility to pursue your own schedule within the timeframe.
As part of the group, you’ll submit a new narrative every few days and receive feedback from at least two other members each time. This consistent accountability helps you stay on track with your writing and ensure completion.
Plus, as part of a cohort of members within the FSO Compass community working towards the same goal, you’ll have the support and encouragement of your fellow candidates.
One of the critical features of our online membership is the ability to join a community of like-minded individuals. We understand that the testing process can be long and distinct and that those in your circles may not know what you are going through. With FSO Compass, you’ll find a platform for applicants to support each other.
In Compass, you’ll find a wealth of resources to help you navigate the testing process. From study materials and practice exams to forums and monthly meetings, we’ve created various tools to help you succeed.
Whether you’re just starting on your path to the Foreign Service or far along, you’ll find a supportive and understanding group of candidates in Compass.
Don’t go through the testing process alone. Join Compass.
The monthly virtual meeting is an exclusive opportunity for members to come together and discuss whatever is top of mind, whether the FSO application and testing process or something else. Additionally, it is an opportunity to share ideas and network with other candidates.
The monthly meetings help bring together the Compass community. Don’t miss out on this valuable feature – join us for our next monthly meeting.
As a member of Compass, you’ll have access to a curated list of additional resources to help you study and prepare. Our index includes various materials, such as videos, audio recordings, and text-based material, covering all subject areas on the FSOT. We’ve also included tools to help you improve your essay-writing skills.
We understand that preparing for the FSOT can be overwhelming, and various learning methods exist. We want to support you on your path to the Foreign Service.
Join us as we interview current and former diplomats to learn more about the exciting career and lifestyle of the Foreign Service. Our recent interviews have included a former ambassador, insights into the consular and public diplomacy career tracks, and a deep dive into the role of the OMS. Plus, we’ve even discussed the challenges and joys of raising a family in the Foreign Service.
All members are welcome to participate in these calls and ask their questions live. Can’t make an interview? No problem! We record and transcribe all calls, and you will have access to all past and future recordings.
Each week, we curate a list of virtual events specifically focused on diplomacy, the State Department, and the career and lifestyle of the Foreign Service. With access to our calendar of upcoming events and participating in these informative and engaging events, you can expand your knowledge and understanding of this exciting career path.
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Very true. You could ask yourself questions you find on the internet (e.g., question banks), from a study guide, or in your head, but then you are limited. The practice tests on Compass closely replicate the FSOT.
Each multiple-choice tested section includes:
- Countdown clock,
- Questions that are asked one at a time,
- Questions that simulate all of the testing areas,
- An ‘answer later’ function, and
- A review section.
Likewise, the essay practice test will prompt you with random questions, you will have limited time to select and write your essay, and you will not have access to grammar tools.
There is nothing else online or offline that has as many functions. In short, know this, by completing practice tests that replicate the test and testing environment, like the ones on Compass, you increase your likelihood of scoring well on the FSOT.
The practice test questions on FSO Compass are unique. They are similar to the scope, number, and type of area questions of the actual test. To the best of our ability and knowledge, non of the questions are from former FSOT questions. The practice tests keep to the principles and stipulations of the Non-Disclosure Agreement.
FSO Compass focuses on the Foreign Service Officer (FSO) application and testing process. However, the Foreign Service Specialist (FSS) career tracks and Consular Fellows Program have similar testing components to the FSO track. If any of the above resources resonate with your application process, then feel free to join. We will direct your attention to the specific sections that will benefit you.
You get access to everything already inside FSO Compass straight away! No waiting for content to be released to you, jump in and start using the training immediately. You have immediate access as FSO Compass grows and we add new material.
If you’re not 100% satisfied, you can easily cancel whenever you want on the account page with a click of a mouse.