The FSOT is a complete comprehensive test that will challenge you in multiple different categories. According to most, when they finish the test, they are mentally and physically depleted. So, how can your overcome these feelings and help improve your chances of passing the test on the day of? Simply follow these recommendations:
Get a Good Night’s Rest
Hopefully you have spent months preparing for the Foreign Service Officer Test. If not, then an extra 5 or 6 hours won’t really help you. So, instead of trying to cram the night before, you best chance is to get a good night’s sleep.
Medical studies have shown that those who get at least 7 – 9 hours of sleep, perform 25% better than if they didn’t. In a test like the FSOT, it is understandable how a couple of hours could affect your overall sleep. In our post, How Secrets to Answering FSOT Questions, we address some key strategies that previously successful FSOs used when answering FSOT questions that they didn’t know the right answer. Basically, there are ways that you can find the right answer without knowing what it is. However, to do this, you need to be in top condition and your mind must be ready.
Without enough sleep, you mind will be slow and you will be more prone to making mistakes, even on the questions that you know the answer to. So, do yourself a favor and make sure you get an appropriate amount of sleep the night before the test.
Eat an Appropriate Breakfast
Usually the testing time will be early and many people will either skip breakfast or eat something on the way out. However, this action can hurt you in the long run.
While most people believe that they need coffee, they shouldn’t drink it before the test. Coffee will have two negative affects on your body. The first is that you will have a large caffeine rush, however, after 3-4 hours, your body will lose that caffeine and you will feel a significant overcorrection in your body. This is a significant aspect because by the time you get to the second half of the test, you will start to reach that point. This will cause you to be drowsy and lose focus.
The second affect is that it will cause you to have to go to the bathroom more often. Whether or not you can hold it during the test, the added pressure will only serve as a distraction but also increased anxiety, which none of us need more when we take that test.
There are some sources claiming that you should dress in business attire for this exam. They believe that potential graders or interviewers might be there and would judge your overall look. This is wrong! Although you should always look your best (especially for the other parts of the selection process), when taking the FSOT, you should dress for comfort. Understand that most of the testing stations will be located in a “working” place and you shouldn’t roll up in your pajamas and your death metal t-shirt, but you shouldn’t dress in a business suit with a tie.
The test is already uncomfortable, so you might as well increase your comfort level by wearing clothes that are appropriate for the weather and comfortable to sit in.
These tips don’t have a direct affect on your learning level, but will have a huge affect on your scores. Regardless of someone’s training, someone who hasn’t gotten sleep, skipped breakfast and wears a suit that is too tight, will have a lower score than if they had done the above recommendations.
This site has lots of practical inputs and secret ways to improve your overall FSOT score, but these simple steps here, who are almost always overlooked, can have a profound affect on your overall success and therefore shouldn’t be overlooked.