Application for the 2023 Foreign Service Officer Exam now OPEN

foreign service officer exam 2023

Foreign Service Officers serve as Principal Assitant or Assistant Director in the Department of Foreign Affairs – Home Office, Vice Consul in Philippine Consulates, or Third Secretary in Philippine Embassies or Missions. Since an FSO holds a high position representing the country, its standards are strict. With that said, here is how to apply for the 2023 Foreign Service Officer Exam in the Philippines.

How to apply for the 2023 Foreign Service Exam?

  1. Print and fill out the duly accomplished form here, to be printed on an 8 ½ inches X 13 inches or a legal-size paper or obtain a copy from the DFA main office, DFA Consular Offices, or Philippine Embassies, Consulates, and Missions abroad.
  2. Print and fill out the Civil Service Form No. 100 here to be printed on 8 ½ inches X 13 inches or a legal-size paper. The CSC form shall be your admission to take the CSE-FSOE Qualifying Text.
  3. Submit these forms to any of the following offices:
Submission Period
BFSE Secretariat2nd Floor, DFA Main Building2330 Roxas Blvd., Pasay City
October 13 to November 25, 2022(until 5:00 PM Only)

Consular Offices within and Outside Metro ManilaPhilippine Embassies, Consulates, or Missions Abroad


October 13 to November 25, 2022(until 5:00 PM Only)

4. Attach the documents requested by the duly accomplished form to the completed application form:

Reminders: Applications with incomplete documentary requirements shall not be accepted. After submitting the application form, the DFA shall collect a non-refundable admission fee of five hundred pesos (₱500.00) once the supporting documents are inspected and verified by the concerned DFA office.

What is the job of a Foreign Service Officer?

The FSO IV, known as the Assistant Director, oversees entry-level and second-level workers performing research, analytical, and clerical work. The FSO IV also attends local and international meetings and conferences. They also produce reports, letters, position papers, talking points, legal opinions or agreements, and coordinate with government departments and diplomatic missions on issues relevant to the mandate of their Division. 



The FSO IV may act as an economic officer, a political officer, or both. As Vice Consul, the FSO IV is responsible for supervising lower-level and second-level consular employees as they carry out the duties of the Consular Section. They also act as the Principal Officer, in charge of matters involving aid to nationals, and manage the Administrative Section.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the application for Foreign Service Exams in the Philippines

Who is qualified to take the FSOE?

You are eligible to take the FSO exam as long as you are a citizen and a permanent resident of The Philippines, and have graduated from a Bachelor’s degree program with two years of work experience or additional education (or a mix of both).

Is there an age limit?

The age limit is no longer observed as all other requirements are met.

How often is the FSOE conducted? What is the schedule of the exams?

The FSO examination is conducted at least once a year. For the 2023 exams, the Qualifying Test will be held on February 6, 2023. The subsequent tests’ timeline will be made public accordingly.




Where are the tests conducted?

Numerous testing centers all over the country are available for conducting the Qualifying Test. After the Qualifying Test, the rest of the exam will be conducted at the DFA main office along Roxas Boulevard. The Formal Dinner is typically held in Metro Manila.

How many phases does the FSOE have?

The FSO Exam has five stages; these are done by order starting with;

  1. The Qualifying Test
    The Qualifying Test tests the applicant’s verbal, analytical, numerical, and managerial abilities. A score of at least 80% is needed to move on to the next exam.
  1. The Preliminary Interview
    The preliminary interview is held after passing the qualifying test. During the interview, a panel of Foreign Service Officers will assess an applicant’s potential to become a Foreign Service Officer and a future Ambassador of The Philippines. The candidates must obtain an overall rating of 75.1%. The preliminary interview is held in Metro Manila.
  1. The Written Test
    This Test aims to assess a candidate’s knowledge and skills on the following topics: Philippine Political, Economic, Social, and Cultural Conditions (30%), International Affairs (30%), English (20%), World History (10%), Filipino (5%), and a Foreign Language (5%). This test is conducted over three consecutive days, and the passing score is 75%.
  1. The Psychological Test
    The Psychological Test determines an examinee’s suitability for Foreign Service work.
  1. The Oral Test
    The Oral Test evaluates a candidate’s verbal skills, logical thinking, values, and attitude. It has three components, which are namely;
    • Individual Interview
    • Group Discussion
    • Formal Dinner

The passing score is 80%.

Any tips in preparation for the Foreign Service Officer Exam?

Many helpful tips and knowledge are available on the DFA Facebook page.

I successfully passed the tests. What now?

Following your selection, you will undergo a six-month training program required by the Foreign Service Act of 1991 to prepare you for your duties as a junior diplomat in the Home Office or at Posts. The DFA will recommend you to the President for a potential appointment as FSO IV after you pass the tests.

Is there an application fee for the Foreign Service Officer Exam in the Philippines?

Yes, there is a 500 PHP non-refundable fee for the admission fee.

What is the Salary Grade of an FSO IV?

The pay grade of an FSO IV is SG24. Section 201 of Executive Order No. 2016’s basic pay for an FSO IV will be PHP 83,406 starting on January 1, 2019. Regarding the benefits, Section 63 of RA 7157 grants medical insurance and allowances to foreign service personnel.

Do I need to retake the Qualifying Test if I cannot pass the Preliminary Interview?

The validity of CSE Foreign Service Officer Eligibility is only for two years. Therefore, if you cannot pass the preliminary interview and take the FSO Exam the following year, you do not have to retake the qualifying test.

Can I retake the FSO Exam if I fail to pass the Psychological Test?

You can retake the FSO Exam only after 2 years from the initial test.

Good luck! – WhatALife/Vaughn

Sources: (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6)


Also read: LGU Salary Grade in the Philippines for the Year 2022

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