Testing: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. Who can take the FSI test?
A. U.S. government employees of the Executive Branch and representatives of local government law enforcement departments may take the FSI test. Non-State Department personnel must have their sponsoring agency recommend testing; they must also fund it in advance. Foreign Service applicants may also test if sponsored by the State Department Board of Examiners.

Q. What does the FSI test measure?
A. The FSI test is a language proficiency test that measures language use in social and work-related situations. Speaking, with a strong interactive listening-comprehension component, and reading are tested primarily.

Q. How is the FSI test scored?
A. FSI uses the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) scale, ranging from level 0 (no measurable language proficiency) to level 5 (similar to that of a highly articulate, well-educated native speaker's proficiency). The scale can be found at http://www.govtilr.org/. Self-assessment tools are also available on this site.