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New pretest required before sailors can sit for advancement exam

Sailors (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Spencer Roberts/Released)

Come September 2019, sailors will have to pass an online military knowledge test in order to take the E-4, E-5 and E-6 advancement exams.

The test, announced last week by the Navy, contains 100 questions pertaining to professional military knowledge, or PMK; it must be passed once per pay grade before a sailor is eligible to take the actual advancement exam.

“Direct feedback from sailors” was the reason the Navy gave for the change.

“As part of Sailor 2025 and rating modernization efforts, the PMK exam continues to emphasize the importance of Professional Military Knowledge, while also taking this initial step into the electronic exam process,” Karim Cole, master chief of the Naval Education and Training Command Force, said in a statement.

Currently, advancement exams consist of 150 individual job-specific questions and 25 military knowledge questions. The new advancement exam will contain 175 questions focused solely on the sailor’s job field.

The last major change to the advancement exams occurred in 2012. Before that, the test was 200 questions, with a greater focus on professional military knowledge for higher pay grades.

The online exam for military knowledge will cover five topics: leadership and character, career information, professional conduct, naval heritage, and seamanship. Sailors must achieve a passing score of 80 percent on each topic, with the ability to retake each section until achieving a passing grade.

Sailors must pass the professional military knowledge exam before they can be eligible to start of the advancement exam.

Sailor 2025 is the Navy’s initiative to improve and modernize personnel management and training systems to more effectively recruit, reward and retain sailors. Future program initiatives include revamping pay and personnel systems, transforming the performance evaluation system and easing movement between active and reserve components.

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© 2018 the Stars and Stripes

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