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How to Pass a Navy Advancement Exam

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Passing an advancement exam requires a little effort and a lot of technique. A few tips can lead you to the most efficient way to make sure that you get a score that will result in advancement. These techniques virtually guarantee an improvement on your score.

Gather your study materials. Go to the Navy Knowledge Online website -- find a link in the References section -- and enter your password. Once there, link to the NPC website and find your bibliography and print it out. Keep it somewhere handy at all times.

Using the bibliography as a guide, print out as much material as you can and keep it near your bed, your toilet, your cubicle -- everywhere. If it's classified, do it as much as you can without breaking the security requirements. Try to study them every day -- a little time a day goes a long way. Devote the majority of your time to the military requirements because they never change and most people do badly on them, so you can really gain some ground with them. Think about it: everyone knows their job -- nobody knows the MILREQs.

While studying, try to pay attention to short bits of facts and figures. If they can't make a multiple choice question out of it, then it won't be on the exam. Take notes if you're really dedicated. Ramp up your studying in the two weeks prior to the exam. Remember: with multiple choice, you don't have to know the answer -- you just have to recognize it.

The night before the exam, study a little bit and go to bed early. Try to go to bed early enough so that you can get at least six hours of sleep and still arrive at the testing site 1 1/2 hours before the exam with coffee and some study material. The goal is to spend this time cramming and waking up. Cramming is a good technique for a multiple choice exam, because you only have to recognize the answer. The extra time spent waking up makes sure your mind is sharp for the exam.

When taking the exam work quickly and answer every question the first time though. Do not leave any blank (anyone who's ever accidentally filled in answers one question off knows why you do this.) If you are not sure about an answer -- answer with your best guess and mark the question in the test booklet. If you have absolutely no idea, and can't eliminate any possible answers, look at the clock. Select the answer based upon which quarter of the clock the second hand is in. This ensures pure random guessing. After you have been through the test one time go back to the questions you have circled. Reread the question and try to eliminate one answer. If you come up with a better answer, change it. If you aren't sure your new answer is better then your old one, leave it alone (your first guess is usually your best guess.)

Make sure your answer sheet is completely and accurately filled out and then turn it in.


Improving your evals is one of the most effective ways to improve your chances to advancement. Good evals are worth a lot of points on an advancement exam. Make sure all of your awards are properly reflected on your exam work sheet. Try to get more awards or a college degree.