Well it wasn't pretty. I had to travel half way around the world after the OA so this is my first chance to share the gory details. I actually wound up doing worse than last year, only passed the SI this time, and wound up with a 5.0. There were twelve of us and don't know how many passed as I was the sixth called out from the room. The only really surprising thing during the brief exit interview is that my examiner went on and on about the numbers, and budget implications on hiring. She very well could have been trying to ease the sting, but was surprised since the 13 D's should be consistently applied in the best of times or the worst of times.
The only thing that I can add without going into the NDA realm is that the different group dynamics during the GE from year to to year will always make it a new experience. Three people from my GE group were still standing and hopefully one of them made it. Everyone was an upgrade IMO from last years group and if the three of us who didn't pass this time fell short of the mark I am even more confused with how the GE is scored. The entire group worked well, adovcated, and pushed back where needed to focus on giving the ambassador the best recommendations. I thought the project we supported wasn't particularly a strong one and was vocal about that without being an ass( or so I think) so I don't have much else to offer.
The SI IMO is still the most straight forward part of the day and I thought the questions were very fair and thought provoking.
I am 0/2 on the CM so don't have the foggiest idea so won't give anyone any bad advice. I definitely had more time to address the quant issues this time around, and definitely devoted more of the memo to facts and figures. There is definitely something in the grading rubric that I must be totally missing.
Having done this twice now I am even more perplexed of what to think about it. In the chit chat that takes place in between sessions and what you see of of 4-5 others during the GE it was the usual, very interesting and diverse group. I'm not sure the process gets it right per se, but with the quality I have seen the last two years I am not sure the OA has to necessarily get it right to assess great people into The State Department.