FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER EXAM (FSOE) SAMPLE QUESTIONS 24 November 2012 A. ENGLISH 1. Discuss: Trade liberalization vs.

Safety nets for PH agriculture and other industries. 2. As an FSO, how would you improve the human resources in the PH bureacracy both here and abroad (following the examples of Japan and Singapore)? 3. As an FSO, how would you help address the country’s problems (i.e. income inequality etc.)? 4. It is said that the Philippine political structure is an elite democracy which stems from a “semi-feudal economic system”. First define elite democracy and semi-feudal then discuss how they are connected. 5. Compared to its neighbors, the poverty rate in the Philippines is very high. Explain why this is so. 6. Terror is often used by anti-state groups. Is it also possible for a state to use terror against its citizens? Trace the history of terrorism and relate this to the Philippine situation. 7. How do you preserve your culture and tradition? 8. You have been appointed as an FSO to the Philippine Embassy in Paris. Provide an outline of a 6-month plan to pursue economic diplomacy in France. 9. What do you think is the most significant challenge/problem that the world faces today, and what do you think is the solution? 10. Discuss the significance/importance of Obama’s re-election to the PH. 11. Give an example of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the PH and explain its significance. 12. Should an FSO be fluent in Filipino? 13. TIP: An FSO should have an above-average if not excellent command of the English language. Be prepared to: a. Summarize foreign policy statements b. Write a speech defending the Philippine position on a particular issue c. Diplomatic correspondence B. FILIPINO 1. Discuss the following in three to five paragraphs: a. “Ang katagang “Ka” sa Diwang Pandaigdig ng Pilipino.” b. “Manny Pacquio bilang bayani gaya ni Rizal at Ninoy”
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c. “Kailangan ang kapayapaan para sa kaunlaran” d. “Makatutulong ang globalization sa isang bansa” 2. Translation work (from English to Filipino): President Aquino’s Vin d’Honneur Toast 3. TIP: Like the English test, the Filipino exam assesses the examinee’s ability to express her/himself. Be prepared to discuss the following: a. Philippine arts b. Current PH ssues c. The leftist movement d. Agrarian reform problems e. International issues concerning the PH f. English to Filipino translation and vice versa C. PHILIPPINE CONDITIONS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. Discuss the importance of OFW remittances to the PH economy. Discuss the social aspect of OFWs leaving their family behind. What is the effect of the appreciation of the peso to OFWs? How much is the current Philippine foreign debt? How does inflation affect the purchasing power of an individual? What is the effect of allowing more foreign banks to operate in the Philippines? Define and discuss the relevance to the PH of the following: AFTA, NAFTA, LAFTA, EU, APEC, and EAEC Discuss the recent progress of the Framework Agreement between the MILF and the PH Government. Compare and contrast EDSA 1,2 and 3. Discuss the collapse of the MOA-AD and its implications. Discuss the advantages/disadvantages of the Reproductive Health Bill. Japan protected its industries from imports enabling it to build its own industries. This is a plausible argument for trade protectionism. Provide a critical analysis on the issue in the PH context. Give a critical analysis of the 2013 automated elections. The King of Spain is visiting the PH. Explain the life and work of Jose Rizal. Should the King apologize for his execution? Explain the following to the US Secretary of State: why was the Philippine Independence moved from July 4 to June 12? Was PH culture damaged or enriched by its colonial history? What are the economic and political factors that contributed to the PH’s recent high economic growth? What are the key elements and functions of good governance? How do we fix our dysfunctional democracy (celebrity candidates, “elitocracy” etc.)?


20. Discuss the role of the Church in politics in light of the separation of Church and State? 21. Tuvalu’s Head of State is visiting the PH. Where will you take him? You have three hours and you must give him a taste of Philippine culture. 22. TIP: Read PIDS (Philippine Institute for Development Studies, articles for the socioeconomic conditions in the Philippines. Bulatlat ( articles are also useful for Philippine current events and issues. D. INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS 1. According to Kofi Annan of the UN, security and the protection of human rights are the foundations of development. Explain and relate this to the events of 9/11 and in international affairs. 2. Did the 9/11 events serve a turning point in international affairs/ policies? 3. Will it be profitable for a country to prefer a regional trade alliance over a multilateral one? In what way? 4. Explain the challenges the EU needs to hurdle now that it is expanding its membership. Explain along the lines of a common democratic tradition, the rising euro, migration, etc. 5. What can you say about the dream of the ASEAN to have a common rules-based charter as in the EU? 6. Explain the effects of the ASEAN integrating as an economic bloc like what the European Community did. 7. How has migration affected the new state and the home state in terms of the North-South divide? Explain also based on the viewpoint of the Philippines. 8. Has the ASEAN Way helped ASEAN achieve its goals? 9. Suggest a government policy intervention for transnational immigration and immigrant communities in the PH. 10. Discuss the collapse of the Doha Round and the implications for developing countries like the PH. 11. Explain the following using contemporary events: “The international system breaks down not only because unbalanced and aggressive new powers seek to dominate their neighbors, but also because declining powers, rather than adjusting and accommodating, try to cement their slipping preeminence into an exploitative hegemony.” — David Calleo, “Beyond American Hegemony: The Future of the Western Alliance” (1987) 12. TIP: These topics usually come up: West PH Sea issue, China, ASEAN and PH-US relations. Familiarize yourself with these issues and relate them to Philippine foreign policy. Be ready to explain its effects on the PH.



E. WORLD HISTORY 1. Discuss the conditions that made the domination of Europe in the 16th century possible. 2. Discuss how the following revolutions affected world history: (choose 3) Neolithic, Commercial, Industrial, Scientific, French, American Revolutions. 3. What were the cultural, social, economic and political factors for Europe’s ascendancy in the 16th century? 4. Trace the history of the Middle East (from the Mesopotamian civilization to the present) and explain the Middle East problem as the West sees it. 5. Compare and contrast Indian and Chinese civilizations in terms of religion, political systems, social structure, and contributions. 6. What is the relevance of the Meiji Restoration in Japan? 7. What is the Columbian Exchange and its relevance to the history of world trade? 8. Explain the rise of the Roman Empire. 9. Give the relevant features of the Hague Convention. 10. Describe the commonalities in the following five classical societies and their legacies: Persia, China, Rome, Greece and India. 11. Discuss the benefits of cross-cultural interaction between east and west by colonizers / mariners in the 15th century. Provide examples. 12. Discuss the role of colonialism and imperialism in WW1 and WW2. 13. Discuss the political, economic, social and cultural conditions that contributed to the rise of Europe in the 16th century and how this affected the rest of the world. F. LANGUAGE 1. JAPANESE: Master your katakana and hiragana and a few basic kanji. For the first part, you choose the pronunciation of the kanji, and then supply the kanji for some words. Then you’ll be asked to interpret the meaning of a statement written in Japanese (multiple choice). For the last part, you’ll be asked to fill in the blank with the correct particle: ga, ha, no, he, kara, made, etc.