2011 PMF In-Person Assessment: Open Thread

[Also posted here]

Now that the 2011 Presidential Management Fellows semifinalists have been chosen and the PMF Program Office has posted the list, it’s time to think about the next hurdle, the in-person assessment. 1530 people (congratulations to you!) will convoke in four cities around the country between mid-January and late-February for a day-long assessment that includes an individual presentation, a group exercise, and a proctored writing exercise.

This post, and the comment thread, can be used to share assessment preparation tips as well as general tips on navigating the cities in question, so hotel recommendations, flight options, eateries, and in-city transit means are up for discussion. If you would kindly indicate at the beginning of any city-specific information comments which city you are talking about, that would be helpful for people scanning through the comments.

A note on assessment tips: Let’s do our best to preserve the integrity of the assessment process, at least during the assessment window. If, after the assessment window closes, you wish to share your experience in more detail for future applicants, I heartily invite you to do so. Remember that while this assessment window is open, you are effectively competing with one another; plan your strategy accordingly, especially if people start sharing detailed experiences. This, in fact, is the one major drawback I see to conducting this style of assessment: information provided by early testers may have an impact on the results of later testers. Note that this thread can also serve as a place to discuss the merits and drawbacks of an in-person assessment.

Please share with us your plans for the assessment: time and location you’ve selected, preparation tips or guides you think might be helpful, and thoughts on the process so far.

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Dave Uejio

I navigated the last in person assessment process back in 2006, and the best general advice I can give is to give the process the respect and dedication it deserves. I went to a top 15 public policy program, and there was substantial time and guidance given to prepare students for the assessment. If you are coming from a major field of study that does not traditionally produce finalists, see if you can connect with a building on campus that does. If you are coming from a school that does not traditionally produce finalists, you will want to prepare rigorously and practice those behaviors you will be asked to demonstrate, because the semi-finalists at the top policy, public administration and law schools will almost certainly have a leg up on you in terms of structured preparation. If possible find alumni that were a part of the old assessment. Your biggest advantage is that none of us have seen the new assessment.

Chad Falterman

Are any study aids like the ASVAB or Foreign Service Officer exam relevant to the in-person assessment?

Any advice on studying or preparing for this last step of the process would be appreciated.