NOTE on November 3, 2010: If you are reading this post for the first time, please keep in mind that this was written over two years ago. I have decided to leave it up, but I wanted to make sure that all readers understand that all of the below conjecture and guesswork is already out of date conjecture and guesswork!
I got my foreign service score breakdown in the mail yesterday:
Job Knowledge: 60.63
Biographic Info: 46.58
English Expression: 59.74
According to the letter, I had to get at least a 154 on the multiple choice in order to have my essay graded. A passing score on the essay was a 6, with 12 points possible. For the multiple choice sections, no one knows how many points are possible for each section, but I can make a pretty good guess.
I belong to the Foreign Service Officer Test Yahoo Group. There’s a database in the group where people enter their results once they receive their score breakdown. While the database for the 2008 exam currently only has 48 useable entries, I can still take the highest reported scores and make a few hypotheses.
Highest scores as reported on the FSOT Yahoo Group:
Job Knowledge: 63.43
Biographic Info: 72.85 (how did they do that!)
English Expression: 62.22
Essay: 12 (well, we knew that one already)
From this, I would suppose that the highest score may be around 75 for each section? Who knows!
Edit: The general consensus at the Yahoo board is 80 points per section, but still, this is all speculation, no one really knows for certain. Well, the State Department Board of Examiners and ACT know, but they certainly aren’t going to share with the rest of us.
And just for kicks, here’s the mean:
Job Knowledge: 58.28
Biographic Info: 52.93
English Expression: 57.40
and the median:
Job Knowledge: 58.01
Biographic Info: 50.47
English Expression: 57.21
Total: 165.69 (based on the above)
I thought about doing the mode, but since there are only 48 scores, and they calculate to the hundredth, it didn’t make too much sense to do. So I was just above average in this group, with the exception of the biography. But, how do I compare to my previous score? Well, it’s a slightly different test, but i was still able to look up that score.
Job Knowledge: 57.89 (2.74 point gain)
Biographic Info: 42.25 (4.33 point gain)
English Expression: 55.23 (4.51 point gain)
Total: 155.37 (11.58 point gain!)
Essay: n/a (since I didn’t pass that time, it wasn’t graded)
The bottom line is, I passed! But sometimes it’s fun to run the numbers and do some comparisons.