Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On the register!

Well, that was fast! In this whole journey to be a Foreign Service Officer, I've been warned that waiting, delay, and uncertainty is the norm. So after passing the oral exam back in November, I figured that getting my medical and security clearances complete and through the system would take a few months. Even with a current security clearance, I assumed that the holidays and the general slow trod of the bureaucratic machine I have come to know so well would put me on the register sometime in January or March. So I was pretty stunned last Friday when I got a letter (not an email) letting me know that I had been placed on the register exactly 30 days after passing the oral!

The upside is that all of the process stuff is out of the way and all I have to do now is concentrate on learning Russian. But the downside is that right now I have over 50 people ahead of me, with more being added as they pass the oral with higher scores or add language points. But, if I pass the Russian phone test sometime in the next year, I would probably end up in the top 5, pretty much guaranteeing me a spot in the next class. Of course, I could still get called up into an A-100 without the language points with the black box of budget + hiring needs + other factors (need for last minute class fillers) = an offer. This equation means that you're number on the list isn't always the end all be all. But I'm not one to rely on chance, so я буду учить русский язык.


  1. Hi Shella,

    Just a friendly reader who just took the FSOT in the Econ cone. Thanks for sharing about your experiences, definitely helpful!

    I noticed that you said there are over 50 people ahead of you on the Econ register, so you're studying Russian to boost your score. Can you give me a general feel for the Econ register? How high of a score does it take to get an invite to A-100 on average?


    1. Hi Faith,

      Thanks for reading! Gives me the incentive to write more (it's always a mystery as to who is out there). It's really hard to tell, but it looks like all the registers have been moving up a little quicker as people expire off and less people are invited to the oral exams. From what I understand, it's the QEP process that gets more or less competitive depending on hiring needs, not the written exam or the oral exam (which are standardized).

      Right now the Econ register looks to be one of the most competitive, and I think I have about 45 people ahead of me. Scores 5.6 or 5.7 and above appear to be getting invites (with classes every 2-3 months), but that changes because of people declining offers and the registers shrinking. Sorry I can't be more help, but the process is just as mysterious for those who are post FSOA as those who are pre FSOA. Best of luck to you!