Forging the Exam
An inside look at NETPDTC
Imagine this. You're standing at morning quarters and your chief tells you he'll be out of the office for about two weeks because he'll be at a rating exam conference in Pensacola, Florida.
Far from the lapping waves, on the outskirts of an old airfield, stands a relic of a barracks facility on Naval Air Station Pensacola's Saufley Field. But these barracks no longer house Sailors. They now contain the brightest minds in the mess. Converted from dormitories into office space, chiefs, senior chiefs, and master chiefs from every rate in the Navy convene here to meticulously read over and revise each of their individual rates' advancement exams.
"We put this test together," said Chief Hospital Corpsman James Hill, one of the exam leaders stationed full-time at Naval Education and Training Professional Development and Technology Center, or NETPDTC aboard Saufley Field. "If you honestly see what's put together here, we're technically giving (Sailors) the exact same pages the questions come from."
When the chiefs mess convenes at NETPDTC they first compare the information in the test to the information stored at NETPDTC's reference library, where each rating's reference materials are kept.
"If we don't have it on the shelf, then we have the electronic version," explained Hill. "If the Sailors cannot get their hands on this in the fleet, we can't test you on it."
That means the exams are written only from reference material that's available to fleet Sailors, making studying easy and material readily available.