Ever heard of the Navy Advancement Center? This department of the Navy carries out the Navy advancement-in-rate Examinations that are mandatory for soldier advancement in the Navy.
The center administers most of these 3-hour-long tests every 6 months, and the tests include 200 questions evaluating occupational standards and PMK. Plus, each rate requires a separate test. Sound intimidating? Well, they are, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ace them. Find out what to expect and the best way to study to pass this test!
Studying for the Exam
The study period for the advancement exam is a stressful time: open books everywhere, servicemembers reviewing at every free moment. And many soldiers do not pass the first time they take it. But don’t let this deter you too much. Since the soldiers who pass and advance earn a higher rate and pay, the benefits of going through the process outweigh the stress.
The most important study tool is the bibliography—also called a “bib”—that’s made available 6 months before the test. The bibs are broken into sections according to topic, and the references in each section refer to locations where questions from the exam were taken.
Thoroughly studying the info in each of these is the best way to prepare for the examination. And it’s never too early to start studying. As soon as the bibs come out, hit the books. Most soldiers don’t pass the first time, so keep studying even after you’ve just taken the test to keep all the material sharp in your mind.
You’ll have a much better chance of succeeding on the first try if you study the way you learn best. Since you have 6 months between the time the bibliographies come out and the time of the exam, prioritize your time to make your study plan as efficient and effective as possible. No program is going to be a perfect fit for everyone. Study what you know first to get all of that ground covered and out of the way, or study what you aren’t as familiar with first to spend the most time on what you don’t know. Basically, do what works for you.
Another popular and helpful method with any test anywhere is getting a study buddy. It can be a lot easier to remember long strings of information when someone is there to help and test you. Advancing in the Navy doesn’t need to be a solitary effort.
Other Factors in Navy Advancement
The exam isn’t the only thing that the Navy Advancement Center uses to determine rate increase. Other factors include performance marks average, service in paygrade, awards, and Pass Not Advance (PNA) points. Even though the exam is one of the biggest determiners, these other aspects could make the difference between an E-4 and an E-5.
A Few Helpful Definitions
Bib: short for Navy bibliography, which presents soldiers with resources to study from
FMS: final multiple scores
PMK: professional military knowledge
PNA Points: pass not advanced points
Rate: an enlisted soldier’s pay grade
Rating: signifies the occupational specialty
Rank: a term reserved for naval officers even though it generally means the same things as rate (the pay grade)
To learn more tidbits about the military, check out our Low VA Rates blog.