The Board of Foreign Service Examinations (BFSE) announces the conduct of the 2024 FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER (FSO) EXAMINATION.
If you are interested in being a Diplomat, this is your chance. For the requirements, schedule, and other details, please read on.
The Foreign Service Officer Exam or FSO is a test to recruit qualified candidates for appointment to the Foreign Service Officer, Class IV position.
What is an FSO?
FSO stands for Foreign Service Officer IV. They serve as Principal Assistant/Assistant Director in the Department of Foreign Affairs – Home Office, as Third Secretary in Philippine Embassies/Missions, or as Vice Consul in Philippine Consulates.
As Principal Assistant/Assistant Director, the FSO IV supervises entry-level and second-level staff involved in research, analytical, and clerical work.
The FSO IV also drafts reports, correspondences, position papers, talking points, legal opinions or agreements, attends local and international meetings and conferences, and coordinates with government agencies and diplomatic missions on matters pertaining to the mandate of his/her Division.
As Third Secretary, the FSO IV may assume either the role of Economic or Political Officer or both.
As Vice Consul, the FSO IV supervises entry-level and second-level consular staff in carrying out the functions of the Consular Section serves as the Principal Officer tasked to handle assistance-to-nationals cases, and supervises the Administrative Section.
FSO Exam Schedule 2024
The FSOE is held annually. The examination date for the 2024 Foreign Service Officer Exam is set for January 28, 2024. The application period is from September 18, 2023- October 20, 2023 (until 5 pm Only). For the complete details refer to the table below:
|Date of Exam||Name of Exam||Application Period|
|January 28, 2024||CSE-FSO||September 18, 2023- October 20, 2023 (until 5pm Only)|
The CSE Foreign Service Officer Eligibility is valid for two years.
Foreign Service Officer Exam Qualifications
Who is eligible to take the FSO Exam?
To be able to take the FSO Exam, You must possess the following qualifications:
- Citizen and permanent resident of the Philippines
- A graduate of any four-year Bachelor’s degree course
- Two years’ work experience or further studies (or a combination of both)
- No Age Limit
Prospective candidates for the Examination should demonstrate a deep understanding of the economic, political, and social landscape of the Philippines. Additionally, they must exhibit strong proficiency in both verbal and written communication, as well as possess the key attributes necessary for the effective execution of the responsibilities associated with a Foreign Service Officer role.
Moreover, candidates should express a readiness and capability to undertake assignments at any Foreign Service Post as needed.
Foreign Service Exam Requirements
If you are eligible to take the exam, prepare the following requirements:
a Original/Certified true copy (CTC) and photocopy of transcript of records and diploma from the college or university from which the applicant’s degree was obtained, bearing the seal of the college or university.
The photocopy of the transcript of records and diploma will be submitted to BFSE while the original/CTC will be returned to the applicant.
Applicants who obtained a post-graduate degree shall submit an original/certified true copy (CTC) and photocopy of his/her transcript of records and diploma from the institution where the applicant’s post-graduate degree was obtained.
The photocopy of the transcript of records and diploma will be submitted to BFSE while the original/CTC will be returned to the applicant
b Any diploma or certificate of graduation and transcript of records obtained from a foreign school should be certified as a true copy by the foreign school, with the English translation, and duly authenticated by a Philippine Foreign Service Post exercising jurisdiction over the country where the foreign school is located.
The photocopy of the diploma or certificate of graduation and transcript of records duly authenticated by a Philippine Foreign Service Post will be submitted to BFSE while the original will be returned to the applicant.
A. Original and photocopy of the birth certificate issued by the Philippine Statistic Authority (PSA).
The photocopy of the birth certificate will be submitted to BFSE while the original will be returned to the applicant.
B. The Report of Birth issued and authenticated by Philippine Foreign Service Posts (FSPs) may also be submitted in case the birth certificate issued by the PSA is not available. A certification of non-availability of the birth certificate issued by the FSP shall be submitted together with the Report of Birth.
C. For married women, original and photocopy of the marriage certificate issued by the PSA
The photocopy of the marriage certificate will be submitted to BFSE while the original will be returned to the applicant.
D. Two (2) valid government-issued identification cards (IDs). The originals must be presented upon the submission of documents.
Three (3) photocopies of each of the IDs will be submitted to BFSE while the original IDs will be returned to the applicant.
E. For examinees who are currently or previously employed, original and photocopy of the Certificate of Employment issued by the employer.
The photocopy of the Certificate of Employment will be submitted to BFSE while the original will be returned to the applicant.
F. Duly accomplished and notarized Civil Service Commission application form (CS Form No 100) and the Foreign Service Officer Examination (FSOE) application form.
The CSC application form will be submitted by the BFSE Secretariat to the CSC for the Qualifying Test, while the FSOE application form will be kept for the BFSE’s records.
Eight (8) colored photographs: 4.5cm x 3.5cm; with white background; taken within three (3) months prior to filing of application, printed on good quality photo paper, in standard close-up shot; showing the full frontal view of the face of the applicant with the applicant’s full and handwritten (not computer-generated) name tag in the format: First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name, and extension name (if any) and signature over printed name.
Applications with incomplete documentary requirements shall not be accepted. A non-refundable admission fee of five hundred pesos (P500.00) shall be collected once the application form and supporting documents are inspected and accepted by the concerned DFA office.
How to become a Diplomat?
If you are qualified, you can start preparing your documents to apply for the FSO Exam. Submit the requirements here:
|BFSE Secretariat 2nd Floor, DFA Main Building 2330 Roxas Blvd., Pasay City|
|Consular Offices within and Outside Metro Manila|
|Philippine Embassies, Consulates, or Missions Abroad|
FSO Application Process
The Foreign Service Officer Exam has five distinct phases: (1) the Qualifying Test, (2) the Preliminary Interview, (3) the Written Test, (4) the Psychological Test and (5) the Oral Test.
The Qualifying Test is administered by the Civil Service Commission. It is designed to evaluate a candidate’s verbal, analytical, numerical, and managerial abilities. You need to score at least 80% on this test to move on to the next round of the exam.
It shall be administered by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) at the following testing centers: Bacolod City, Baguio City, Cagayan de Oro City, Calasiao, Pangasinan, Cebu City, Davao City, Iloilo City, General Santos City, Legazpi City, Lipa City, Lucena City, Metro Manila, San Fernando City (La Union), City of San Fernando (Pampanga), Puerto Princesa City, Tacloban City, Tuguegarao City, and Zamboanga City.
The BFSE and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) reserve the right to modify this list, depending
on the number of applicants for each testing center.
The Preliminary Interview is conducted by a panel of Foreign Service Officers and is used to evaluate an applicant’s overall potential for becoming a Foreign Service Officer and future Ambassador of the Philippines.
It shall be administered at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Pasay City. Candidates must obtain an average rating of at least 75% to pass the Preliminary Interview and qualify to take the Written Test.
The Written Test aims to assess a candidate’s knowledge and skills on the following topics: English (20%); Filipino (5%); Philippine Political, Economic, Social, and Cultural Conditions (30%); International Affairs (30%); World History (10%); and a Foreign Language (5%). The Written Test is conducted over three consecutive days, and the passing score is 75%.
The Written Test shall be administered at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Pasay City.
The Psychological Test determines an examinee’s suitability for Foreign Service work. If you fail the Psychological Exam, you can re-take the FSO Exam after two years.
The Oral Test evaluates a candidate’s oral skills, logical thinking, values, and attitude. It has three components, namely the Individual Interview, Speech Activity, and Group Discussion. The passing score is 85%.
Overall score in the FSO Examination
Applicants are required to pass all five (5) stages of the FSO Examination in sequence within the prescribed time frame to be considered eligible for appointment to the position of Foreign Service Officer, Class IV.
The official final composite rating of passing examinees shall be the average score of their Written Test and Oral Test, which shall not be lower than eighty (80) percent.
Any applicant who passed the Qualifying Test shall not be allowed to defer taking any of the succeeding stages of the FSO Examination. Moreover, an applicant who fails to show up; arrives late; or does not take the succeeding stages of the FSOE as scheduled, shall be deemed to have failed the examination.
How much is the Salary of an FSO IV/ Diplomat?
How much is the salary of an FSO IV?
An FSO IV has a salary grade of 24. As per Executive Order No. 201, s. 2016, an FSO IV’s basic salary will amount to PHP 83,406, effective January 01, 2019. As for benefits, Section 63 of RA 7157 allows for the provision of allowances and medical insurance to foreign service personnel.
For more details on the 2024 FSO Exam, refer to the PDF below: