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Spring 2022 E-4 through E-6 Advancement Exams – What You Need to Know


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Active Duty and Reserve Full-Time Support (FTS) Navy-Wide Advancement Exam Cycle 255 in NAVADMIN 260/21 on Nov. 17.

COVID-19 precautions will again play a central role in how commands test their Sailors. These details, along with key dates and milestones for Sailors and Commands, are in the message. This means that all active and FTS E-4 advancement exams are again canceled. All qualified E-3s will be selected for advancement using an alternative final score rank order method to determine who advances without an exam score.

This advancement procedure has been in effect since COVID-19 precautions began in early 2020. Navy personnel officials say that fleet feedback from previous rank-order E-4 advancements has been positive, with no negative performance reported from those advanced this way.

As has been procedure the past few cycles, all E-5 and E-6 exams will be given during set testing windows. The E-6 window is March 1 - 15. E-5 exams will occur between March 16 - 30. “These expanded testing windows will allow for smaller groups of test-takers to ensure adequate social distancing can be maintained between testers at testing facilities while maintaining the high standards and continued culture of learning that drive our enlisted advancement system,” wrote Vice Adm. John B. Nowell, Jr., the chief of naval personnel.

Leading up to the exams, Sailors must complete their Professional Military Knowledge Eligibility Exams (PMK-EE) by Jan. 31. The PMK-EE deadline applies to all Sailors regardless of whether they are sitting for an exam or not. For many Sailors, especially SELRES, PMK-EE completion is the only obstacle to advancement. Sailors who have already met this military knowledge testing requirement on previous cycles do not have to retake this exam as it is only required once at each paygrade level. 

Because the Naval Education Training and Professional Development Center (NETPDC) will not receive E-4 exam answer sheets, commands must scrub the records of their advancement eligible E-3 Sailors to ensure all E-4 Enlisted Advancement Worksheets (EAWs) in the Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System are accurate and up to date. The EAWs deadline for Cycle 255 active and FTS Sailors is March 31. Commands should make every effort to spread the administration of the exams evenly throughout each window. This practice minimizes the number of exam-takers on a given day and helps maintain maximum physical distancing. 

Commands are also strongly encouraged to test all candidates for a given rating and paygrade at the same time to maintain exam integrity. Once exams are given, Educational Service Officers are encouraged to expeditiously mail in answer sheet packages to NETPDC and not hold any taken exams until the end of the testing window, ensuring prompt processing. No dates have been set for the release of any advancement results as this will depend heavily on accurate worksheets being submitted upfront and the prompt return of answer sheets once exams are taken. Additional eligibility details and deadlines for each cycle are available in NAVADMIN 260/21 along with key points of contact.

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PMK-EE Deadline for Cycle 255 - Active Duty/ Full-Time Support

PMK-EE COMPLETION DEADLINE: for Cycle 255 (March 2022 E-4 through E-6 Active Duty/ Full-Time Support) is 31 January!  Don't wait until the last minute. Remember PMK-EE completion is required only once per pay grade and can be taken on the PMK-EE mobile app or on Navy eLearning. See NAVADMIN 260/21 for more information.

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