FSOT Study Guides

FSOT Study Guides

Preparing for the FSOT exam is no small task.  That's why getting a professional FSOT study guide is of extreme importance.  It will help you streamline your studies and ultimately prepare you for the text by giving you experience and a better understanding of what's to come.

However, there are many FSOT study guide books that are absolutely not useful and will only waste your time and money.  So, to help you, I purchased and reviewed each of the following FSOT study guides and created the below list.

FSOT Prep's Recommended FSOT Study Guide List

To help you choose the right FSOT study guide, we have vetted each and everyone and found these to be worth mentioning. Although none are perfect, each one has a different strength. We'll start by showing you a Comparison table of the 4 best FSOT study guides on the market.  Then below that you can see individual information on each.

FSOT Study Guide Comparison Table

FSOT Study Guide Reviews

For more in-depth info on the different study guides, you can check them out below in order of our recommendation due to using them all.

#1. The Complete FSOT Study Guide

The Complete FSOT Study Guide is the FSOT Prep’s favorite Study Guide on the market.

Written by a Foreign Service Officer who has been on both sides of the process: taking the test, and grading it, you are sure to increase your score with this little investment.

Furthermore, because it is one of the cheapest and most up-to-date, we believe this has the best ROI. Its practice test is better than the competition because unlike most, it goes beyond the Knowledge section and digs deep in the English Grammar Usage and even the Personal Statement.

Therefore, you can clearly see why this is the #1 pick of the FSOT Prep.

#2. Foreign Service Officer Test Study Guide

The Foreign Service Officer Test Study Guide is a good second.

Although it does tend to cover a lot of information on the State Department’s website, it has a good grasp on the process and provides MANY recommendations that are worth the price.

Furthermore, it delivers a good FSOT practice test, however, it doesn't cover all sections of the FSOT in their practice test.

Due to the fact that it doesn't cover as much and is more expensive, it gets second place.

#3. FSOT Secrets Study Guide

The FSOT Secrets Study Guide comes in at third place.

They have an excellent layout of information and hold a decent FSOT practice test. However, the pricing and availability made this #3 in our FSOT Study Guide list.  For starters, you cannot buy an ebook version.  An Ebook version would allow you to instantly access the book and for cheaper.

Second, the printed copies come and go making the price fluctuate.

This gets third place because the information was a little on the weak side and you can tell it wasn't written by an FSO. But you could always check it out yourself.

FSOT Study Guide Books NOT to Buy!

Sadly, there are many FSOT study guide preparation books that just don't cut it.  For some, they are just a reprint of the State Department's website and for others, it's just a series of questions that honestly accumulate to make no sense.  Therefore, I had to include a section that talks about which FSOT Study Guide books were not worth your money or your time.

Cliffs TestPrep Foreign Service Officer Exam Study Guide

Hack the FSOT: Biographic Questionnaire Edition

Again, these are a waste of your money and time.

Free FSOT Practice Test

For many of those who are looking for an FSOT study guide, their main objective is to really get their hands on an FSOT practice test.  I would highly recommend taking a Foreign Service Officer Practice Test before taking the real thing...but you probably knew that already.

If you are looking for a great FSOT Practice Test, then make sure to check out our free online FSOT practice test.

Disclaimer About FSOT Study Guide Books

Many people who invest in an FSOT study guide, make the mistake of believing that a study guide will "teach" them everything they need to know. However, you will not find that in any FSOT study guide. The Foreign Service Officer Test is more extensive than the ACT and covers topics like US Government, History, International Politics, Economics, Mathematics, Computer Science, US Society and much more. Furthermore, the level of knowledge required to pass these subjects is above that of a master's level course. As you can see, no book should be able to cover all of this information adequately.

However, if you take the advice of the State Department and read all 59 of their recommended textbooks, you will ultimately spend 10's of 1000's of hours reading countless pages and will still not be guaranteed success in getting selected. Furthermore, the State Department also recommends that you enroll in college/master level programs and other courses so as to prepare for these subjects.

So instead of spending all that time and money following the almost impossible recommendations of the State Department, your best bet is to get a professionally made FSOT Study Guide.

So, remember, an FSOT study guide is supposed to help you maximize your effectiveness and efficiency in preparing for the test...not teach you everything you need to know.  It's a guide...it guides you through the process of studying.


So as you can see, there are a lot of good FSOT Study guides out there. Some have LOTS of content, while others are more streamlined. Some have great practice tests, while others spend more time on the test tips and recommendations. But regardless as to what you specifically prefer, these study guides will help you streamline your study process and help you to more effectively and efficiently prepare for the FSOT test. They are all a small price to pay for your time, energy and potential towards success.

If you think that we missed one, please let us know and we will find a copy and do a review of it. You can contact either below in the comments section or on our contact us page.


  1. Mattie Mylonas
    September 25, 2018 at 22:07

    Hello! These books are really helpful for the test. Are there any books that can be recommended to prepare for other parts of the application process such as the personal narrative and the in person interview? Thank you!

Leave a Reply