02 March 2007

To go succeed you will be tested

To advance as an enlisted man in the US Navy there are two hoops you have to go through. The first is a performance evaluation by your supervisors. The next step and the favorite of everyone in the Navy is the a 200 question multiple guess test. At all levels from those trying to advance to E-4 (3rd Class Petty Officer) all the way up to the Chief Petty Officer Level (E-7), a test is taken.
What usually happens on test day is similar to taking the SAT's when one was in High school. The test starts promptly at 0700 in the morning and you are given 3 hours to complete the test. When you show up the only thing allowed for use is either a calculator. Then set up on the test table is usually two #2 pencils, two sheets of scratch paper, and usually the advancement worksheet. The advancement worksheet has all of your personal and professional information on it. Such information as how many awards you have, the average score of your performance evals, and time in pay grade and time in active service. Nothing else is allowed on the table or in the testing room.
From there at 0700 you begin the test and for the next three hours you rack your brain and try to data dump everything you should have study or had study the previous 5 months from when the bibliography of books that the test will be based on was published. The really interesting thing about the test is how they will use unusually complex words and sentences to ask a simple thing. For example the test writers might think of a simple question such as "Who tall is a tree in the forest?". So to ask a question like that they will write it similar to this, "While standing next to a tree in a forest and you see the sun is going near its highest peak and your shadow is cast to your starboard side for a total distance of 8ft. What is the total height of the tree?"
There are 200 different questions about about half of them will be written like those above. At the end of it all following the data dump from ones mind you feel incredibly stupid. There have been a few times that I have finished and had to look at my uniform to remember what my name was.
After the test is turned in, you have 3 months to wait for the results and there is the typical results following the grading of a test. Either plenty of teeth gnashing because one passed the test but didn't do it well enough to advance or the jumping for joy happiness because one passes the test and gets the promotion with the more money and more responsibilities.
If you don't make it then you in turn start to go begin studying again and hope that the dice roll right for you.

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