Saturday, November 07, 2009

Taking the Orals: The Case Management Exercise

Yesterday I talked a little about Group Exercise portion of the Foreign Service Oral Assessment. Now, I want to talk briefly about the CASE MANAGMENT EXERCISE.

With the written exercise, you will be given a case file. It will include emails and memos discussing an issue at the Embassy. You will likely be a new officer and asked rather quickly to assess the situation and write a memo outlining your suggestions.

You do not need to know what official State Department memo format is.

Keep in mind that you have done essays both on the written exam and for the QEP. The Department already knows you can write. The most important thing to remember is to engage the math. They want to make sure you can look at the facts, make a reasoned decision and have an understanding of the budgetary implications. We aren't talking calculus or trig here. Just simple math.

And don't forget to proof-read! I accidentally turned off the insert function and typed over a few sentences. If I hadn't proof-read, I would have sounded like a blithering idiot.

And I do that well enough without the help of a computer!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for adding these posts about the exam.

The Warpiper said...

The CM was my bugaboo at the Oral Assessment. I don't know how badly I failed it, but afterwards I was sure I had not passed the OA. I think my interview score must have been through the roof, because I felt like I was so-so on the group exercise.

My achilles heel on the CM was that I allowed myself to get bogged down by the details and ran myself out of time. That's my advice for this part... identify the big picture items and address them.

Digger said...

Very good advice Warpiper!