Want accountability, support, and guidance to help you write your personal narratives?

Join the Personal Narrative Challenge!

Highlights include:

  • Be part of a focused group of fellow FSO candidates all writing their personal narratives.
  • Receive daily guidance on writing your personal narratives, including best practices.
  • Submit a new personal narrative every few days, and receive new feedback from at least two other members each time.
  • Tap into consistent accountability checks to help you stay on track with your writing and ensure you get things done!

Join FSO Compass to participate in the Personal Narrative Challenge starting on 
July 15, 2024.


Tell me more...

Why July 15?

Because the registration for the June FSOT begins on August 12. As a “first come, first serve” test with limited availability to take it, you want to submit your application and narratives as soon as possible to get the testing time and date that you want.

Increased accountability to help you write your personal narratives

If you find yourself having a hard time starting or finishing your narratives then some extra accountability might be just what you need to help you stay on track.

Focused around our 30-day writing framework

We’ll be following the 30-day personal narrative writing framework. However, if you want to pursue your own schedule within the timeframe, there is flexibility.

A cohort of members all working together to make progress

FSO Compass is a private community for those who are serious about studying and practicing for the FSOT, and writing their personal narratives. As such, those who participate are less likely to “ghost”. Not only will this help you get results, but you’ll get to connect on a closer level with other members too.

Strengthen your writing

The narratives are a significant hurdle for candidates for an excellent reason – with only 1,300 characters available to you, writing clearly and succinctly is a challenge. We strengthen your writing by requiring you to submit a new narrative every few days and critique others’ submissions every few days.

What you’ll be learning and doing week by week

A comprehensive curriculum to harness the full power of your ideas.
  • Introduction to the Challenge and the six prompts.
  • Find out how to determine your best stories for each narrative.
  • Implement a simple framework to guide your writing.
  • Understand the power of constructive feedback and how to provide it to your peers.
  • Learn about the seven common mistakes to writing your narratives and how to best avoid them.
  • Discover the collection of competencies determined to be essential to successful performance in the Foreign Service.
  • Use a powerful tool to easily improve your writing immediately.
  • Take advantage of simplification to get ahead.
  • Switch your default approach from solo adventure to network gains.
  • Take advantage of your accomplishments in the Challenge and continue your writing momentum. 
  • Get ahead by thinking through accomplishments vs. responsibilities.
  • Jump start the writing of your FSOT application.

Join FSO Compass to participate in the Personal Narrative Challenge starting on
July 15, 2024.


FSO Compass Membership


$ 15 per month
  • Personal Narrative Challenge
  • Practice Tests
  • Courses
  • Library of Resources
  • Community


$ 75 per year
  • Personal Narrative Challenge
  • Practice Tests
  • Courses
  • Library of Resources
  • Community

Got Questions?

Two reasons. First, commitment on your part. It’s true what they say; if you pay for something, you are more likely to commit to the process and thus find success.

Second, access to all of the content on FSO Compass. The challenge could easily be a standalone product. Instead, it is part of FSO Compass and all the material that it includes. You get access to everything right away.

FSO Compass is a membership site with courses, practice tests, a library of resources, and a community.

  • The courses include reviewing the FSO career and lifestyle, selecting your career track, writing compelling personal narratives, and preparing for the FSOT.
  • There are practice tests to help you prepare for the job knowledge, English expression, and essay sections. Including a weekly challenge of 10 questions.
  • A community with forums, monthly membership calls, and monthly interviews with current or former FSOs.
  • And a library of additional resources.

The general structure of the challenge follows:

  • 30 days of advice, accountability, and support
  • Submission of a new personal narrative every few days
  • If you submit a narrative for review, then you must provide constructive feedback to peer narratives within 24 hours after receipt of the narrative

* An important note, providing constructive feedback is an essential aspect of the challenge and one that will improve your writing during the challenge.

Not a problem. Skip the submission, and you are not required to provide feedback to a peer. Catch up with the next submission deadline.

Absolutely! The requirement is the same for all. If you choose to participate, then commit to the process.