There are three primary ways of becoming a Foreign Service Generalist without having to take the dreaded FSOT, or written test as it’s casually known:
- Gain entry into a specialized State Department undergraduate or graduate internship program,
- Gain entry as a Foreign Service Specialist then apply for the Mustang Program, or
- Gain entry as a Civil Servant and apply for a “Skill Code Change”.
If you’d like to learn more, leave me a comment and I can answer your questions.
Getting into the last two jobs is not hard, it just requires the right timing when jobs open up. In all three options, you do NOT have to take the written exam but you eventually have to take the Foreign Service Oral Assessment. But by the time you get around to taking the Oral Assessment, you’ll have had three to five years in the Foreign Service, experience that will directly influence your suitability for passing the Oral Assessment. And if you fail the Oral Assessment, you’ll at least still have a job with the State Department, with opportunities to travel all over the world while still accruing the same benefits as regular Foreign Service Officers.
So in short, if you failed the FSOT or can’t be bothered to spend all that time studying for it, there are other options for becoming a Generalist.