FSOT Practice Test 2021 and Study Guide [PDF]

FSOT Practice Test 2020 and Study Guide [PDF]: Download free pdf for Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) Exam practice test question answers and the official study guide information PDF.

If you are interested in becoming a Foreign Service Officer (FSO), you must first register for and take the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT). To register for the FSOT, you must meet specific eligibility requirements. These include U.S. citizenship, an age requirement, and worldwide availability.

FSOT Practice Test 2021

The Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) is the first of eight steps in the FSO selection process. It is a computer-based test that consists of four separate test sections:


Total Question

Question Type

Time Duration
Job Knowledge Test



40 minutes.

Situational Judgment Test

28 scenarios


42 minutes

English Expression test



50 minutes

Written Essay Test select one of the three topics

Write 2,800 characters

7 minutes to read this screen

25 minutes to write your essay

The first three sections of the test contain items in a multiple-choice format. The Written Essay appears in the last section of the FSOT. Each section of the test is timed separately and must be completed within the designated time limit.

Official Practice Test 2021

  • FSOT Practice Test: Candidates who wish to take a practice FSOT should visit https://careers.state.gov/survey/FSOT-Careers/.
  • FSOT Practice Test APP: Candidates can also download the Department’s mobile app at https://careers.state.gov/apps/ for additional practice FSOT questions.

FSOT Study Guide [PDF]

Knowledge of the following areas has been identified as essential for success across all five career tracks (Consular, Economic, Management, Political and Public Diplomacy):

  • Proper English usage
  • U.S. society, culture, economy, history, government, political systems and the Constitution
  • World history and geography
  • World political and social issues

In addition, all Foreign Service Officers should have a general understanding of:

  • Basic mathematics and statistics
  • Computer usage
  • Principles of management
  • Effective interpersonal communication
  • Basic economic principles

Greater or more in-depth knowledge is needed in some areas, depending on the career track. In-depth knowledge may be required in the following areas:

  • U.S. and international political and economic principles, issues and history
  • U.S. Government and non-governmental agencies and organizations and their interactions with the Department of State
  • U.S. diplomacy, democratic philosophy and educational practices
  • U.S. policy issues and public and foreign policy formulation
  • Legislation and laws related to Foreign Service issues
  • International economics, finance and commerce
  • Administrative methods and procedures
  • Information and media resources

Information for How to Prepare for the FSOT 2020

  • Foreign Service Officer Selection Process at the Official U.S. Department of State Website 
  • Use the Guide to the Foreign Service Selection Process, (PDF) which contains sample test questions.
  • Mobile Application with over 500 retired questions for additional study [View]
  • Review the Suggested Reading List (PDF)
  • View the Suggested Course List (PDF)
  • Contact a Diplomat in Residence near you if you have questions and to find out about test information sessions that may be held in your area.
  • Official Test Guide and Information Download link