With Fall Cycle 224 advancement exams starting in just a month, and for those hoping to earn a crow or put on your next petty officer chevron, it’s time to hit the books.
Success starts with doing the right prep. For me, I hated the idea of wasting my time studying the wrong information, so I would just put it off. But if you know how to study, the task becomes less overwhelming, and the goal more achievable.
1. Make a study plan
Earlier in my career, studying for the exam was frustrating because I didn’t have a study routine. It seemed I was always rushing to cram for what I thought was going to be on the exam.
If you take the time to “Break it down” (see next step) and plan it out, things seem much more manageable. Once you have a grip on what must be done you can create a habit or routine for studying on most days leading up to the exam. Repetition in studying is key, which is why locking into a good study routine is critical early on – it not only helps you, but helps your family and friends support this time because they become a part of that routine.
4. Break it down
Everything you need to study for the exam is listed in the bibliography – but how to tackle that list of references takes some focus. Review your reference guide for your bibliography and locate your Topics and Subtopics list which breaks down your study insights even further to the topics your questions will be about.
Some manuals are thicker than the phone book of a major city, so knowing how to read one can be an art. First, it’s important to read the table of contents to see how topics are broken up. Then, using your bibliography, go to the chapters that you are prompted to and then go to the topics outlined in your NKO subtopics. Once you’re done, review the table of contents again for any subjects that are related, and review as secondary reading.
2. Identify your best study style and stick to it.
For some, distractions are the enemy when it comes to studying. If so, eliminate them. For others, a quiet place to study would drive them mad and insane (that’s me). For them, a coffee shop and music may be best. What ever your flavor plenty studys have shown you should focus on one thing and only one thing for best results. Set aside an hour or so to dive deep in to your bibliography. Get rid of anything that might take your focus away from the task at hand.
3. Strengthen your weak points
Spend just a bit of time brushing up on the more familiar topics before and after the bulk of your study session. Look for the areas where you scored lowest, or just average, on previous tests and focus your energies there. Do not neglect areas in which you know for a fact your knowledge is weak.
5. Start with a review
Begin every study session with a review of what you covered last time to reinforce it. Repetition is a very powerful tool because the more you review subjects, the more it becomes natural knowledge. It also builds confidence when you start answering your questions correctly, faster, and encourages you to want to go on to the next areas where you need more study.
6. Flashcards: Make ’em
Flashcards are one of the easiest ways to implant facts into your working memory and will help you recall any information you dig up and think may be on the test. This is an easy process with sites like NavyStudyGroup.com. The process of quizzing yourself will help you enlarge your brain’s answer bank. The drill of typing facts into your flash cards improves your chances of remembering them later. Some sailors keep small packs in their work center, their rack, at their apartment or in their backpack. Now you can just study online or on your smartphone!
7. Study with a group
Study groups work! Prepping with others helps you sharpen your answers and exposes you to other facts you hadn’t considered. The competitive factor alone was enough to push me harder than I would have if I was on my own.
PMK studying is a great time to pull different rates together to study to get a greater input on the common subjects. All ranks are studying the same PMK bib so you have plenty of group members to choose from.
For more tip for studying for your advancement exam check out our other posts; Navy Advancement Exam: 5 keys to getting results and Navy Exam Myths Debunked.
By Ed Barker, Naval Education and Training Professional Development Center Public Affairs
PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- The January 2018 Navy-wide enlisted examination (Cycle 238) testing date for active duty and full time support Sailors who are advancement eligible to the paygrade of E7 was recently announced in Naval Administrative Message (NAVADMIN) 175/17, released July 14.
Each Navy advancement examination consists of 25 professional military knowledge and 150 job-specific rating technical questions. The Navy-wide examination date is January 18, for USN and Full Time Support (FTS) Sailors eligible to advance to chief petty officer, as well as E6s who are required to take the E7 exam for the limited duty officer program.
"Bibliographies (BIBs) for the E7 January exam are available for download on My Navy Portal and the Navy COOL website," said Master Chief Electronics Technician James Berhalter, command master chief of the Naval Education and Training Professional Development Center (NETPDC). "The E7 advancement process differs from the E4-E6 process in that the final multiple score (FMS) consists of only two elements that are used to rank order eligible E6s: the exam score and performance mark average (PMA)."
Participation in the January exam is only a part of the advancement process for E7. The top 60 percent, ranked by FMS, in each rating get to compete for advancement against peers and have their record sent to the E7 selection boards.
Selection board eligibility results are normally released in mid-March on the Navy Enlisted Advancement System (NEAS) website.
During Advancement Examination Readiness Reviews held at NETPDC, visiting E7-E9 fleet subject matter experts in each enlisted rating ensure all examination questions can be linked to current references and publications. As rating subject matter experts (SME) select questions for the examination, an examination bibliography is developed for that specific cycle's exam, based on the source references used to formulate questions on the exam. The Navy Advancement Center (NAC) updates bibliography information as fleet instructions and manuals change and it is recommended that candidates check their bibliography a few times prior to the exam administration date to make sure they have the most recent BIBs.
"Bibliographies and their listed references should be a critical part of each Sailor's exam preparation program," added Berhalter. "When the Cycle 238 exams were created, each test question was tied to a specific reference, and the bibliography is a compilation of all references used to create that specific exam. With that in mind, I would recommend Sailors use only the official Navy bibliography sources for studying their references."
To download the bibliographies and an exam-specific topic list for the upcoming cycle, go to the Navy Advancement Center's Web portal at www.nko.navy.mil/group/navy-advancement-center/bibliographies, the Navy Credentialing Opportunities Online (COOL) website at www.cool.navy.mil/usn under the credentials tab, or My Navy Portal at www.mnp.navy.mil/group/navy-advancement-center/bibliographies.
Specific information on exam eligibility, clearance requirements and evaluation date requirements are detailed in NAVADMIN 175/17 and on the NEAS website. The NEAS website also enables education services officers (ESO) to verify and correct the list of eligible candidates for their command, and confirm examination ordering information.
E7 exam profile sheets provide candidates with information on how well they did on each topic area, and detail individual FMS totals, as well as minimum selection board cut requirements.
For more information about the Navy Advancement Center and NEAS, visit www.facebook.com/Navy-Advancement-Center-213190711299/.
Additional information on the Naval Education and Training Professional Development Center can be found via www.netc.navy.mil/netc/netpdc/Default.htm.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from Naval Education And Training Professional Development And Technology Center, visit www.navy.mil/local/NETPDTC/.