I'm taking the FSOT for the second time tomorrow. It's different this go around. I'm much more nervous than I was two years ago, even though I know what to expect. What has changed?
When I signed up to take this exam in February 2009, all I knew was that I wanted to be a diplomat someday. I didn't have a college degree, I was unemployed, and I didn't expect to pass. I hoped to pass, of course, but I thought my chances were slim to none. I didn't know what lay ahead of me. This time, I still don't have a college degree, I'm yet again unemployed, but I know I can pass. I've been through the entire gauntlet, and I know that State thinks I'd be able to hack it in their world. However, the candidate pool is significantly larger than two years ago; it is much more competitive; and State isn't hiring as many people. I could get the exact same questions right, and I could write the same killer essay, and there's no guarantee that I am going to pass. If I don't pass, I can kiss my candidacy goodbye until next year, because I'm set to expire in October. There's so much more riding on this test.
I'm taking a deep breath and trying to calm my nerves. On to tomorrow.