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The Complete Idiot's Guide® To Getting Government Jobs by Partnership for Public Service

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Foreign Service Exam

The Foreign Service Exam is a required step to work in the Foreign Service for the State Department and is given several times a year in multiple cities across the country and around the world. The entire process—if you pass each stage—can take from 9 to 11 months. The good news is that the State Department is very clear about what the process is and notifies applicants along the way about whether or not they are still in contention.
It is similar to the bar exam that one must take to become a licensed lawyer. It’s widely known to be difficult to pass, and a great deal of study is strongly recommended. In fact, up to 10,000 applicants take the test each time it is given, but only 25 to 30 percent will pass and move on to ...

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