greg (grysar) wrote,

Once more with feeling

I took the foreign service written exam again today. It is the first step towards being a foreign service officer, and is, in fact, a step I've already taken once, but after failing the second tier oral exam I have to start again at the beginning.

I did about the same, which hopefully means I passed again. The biography section, ninety questions trying to get at about twenty bits of information, was again the most annoying chore, and this time I didn't even finish 3 of the 90 questions.

However, I think I did a bit better on the job related information/trivia section.

Two toughest questions in my mind,
The Khyber pass is the main connection between Afghanistan and this country.

It was multiple choice, but all the choices actually bordered Afghanistan, I was torn between Uzbekistan (from which Soviet, and later U.S., troops invaded) and Pakistan, but made the right choice with Pakistan. My logic was that Uzbekistan is too pissant of a country for them too reasonably expect even a Foreign Service candidate to know the name of its passes. Appears I was right, but it is still annoying.

One I still don't know the answer to:
If an employer uses a job requirement that discriminates against persons with disabilities, and a would-be employee sues, does the employer have to prove the condition is sensible, or does the would-be employee have to prove that it is not necessary? (There were two other answers, both obviously wrong)

I figured the burden of proof was on the employer, cause the basis for the suit probably came from the Americans with Disabilities Acts, which is pretty liberal.

I guess these are multiple choice for a reason. Candidates who aren't trivia buffs can't be expected to know the answers to all of these questions, I'll bet a lot of the jockeying for position in the higher percentiles comes down to luck and who can better eliminate the illogical answers and out think the test. Fortunately this is a strong suit for me, but I wonder whether this is actually a good means to test candidates. It does indicate a certain proficiency in BS, ad-libbing, drawing conclusions from limited data, etc. but I've got to wonder if there is a better way to test that sort of thing.
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