Monday, November 09, 2009

Taking the Orals: Waiting

When you finish with the three sections of the oral assessment, you will be taken to a room (likely the room where you did the written exercise) to wait.

And wait.

And wait.

I am sure we didn't wait for 20 hours but it certainly felt like it! During that wait, I wondered if cameras were watching us and if this was the final part of the exam. I doubt that it was, but you can never be sure!

Eventually they will call your name. People put a lot of stock in the order they call you, but really, you won't be able to determine anything from it at the time. I know folks who passed who were called out first. My partner was called out last when she passed. I was called out right in the middle (and I was the only person to pass the day I took it). So they may have an order, but you won't know it at the time.

If you have passed, you will be taken to a room and congratulated. You will learn your score (the test is scored on a scale of 1-7. To pass, you must get at least a 5.25 (higher in some cones). Most people score less than 6.0. You can improve your score with military service or by testing in a language. You can get .17 points for most languages, but .4 or .5 for the Critical Needs Languages..think Arabic, etc. The flip side though is that if you take the extra points for language, you must serve in a post using that language in one of your first two tours.) Then the examiners will give you some information and your conditional offer.

Of course, that is when the waiting really begins. For your medical clearance. For your security clearance. For your suitability review. After all that waiting, you will be placed on the register in order of your OA score and the date you received all your clearances. And then you will wait for "tha call" (which is really an email). People are offered jobs beginning with the highest scorers. Some people decline offers (you can do that twice before being removed from the list) or put themselves on a do not call list for a while. You can stay on the register for up to 18 months, at which point if you haven't gotten an offer, you drop off the register.

And then you have to start the process all over again. And wait some more.

1 comment:

Consul-At-Arms said...

I would just add that you don't have to wait until you drop off the Register to start a new FS candidacy; you can take the FSOT again every 12 months and have multiple candidacies in play.