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COVID-19 precautions will again play a central role this cycle, the message said along with announcing key dates and milestones for the February exams.
This means that all Reserve E-4 advancement exams are again canceled. All qualified E-3’s will be selected for advancement using the alternate rank order final multiple process to determine who advances without the exam score. The only exception is reserve Sailors taking the PRISE-R exams.
This method 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.
All E-5 and E-6, along with reserve E-4 PRISE-R and E-7 exams, will be given during set testing windows. The Selected Reserve E-5, E-6 and PRISE-R exam window is Feb. 1 through Mar. 14. The E-7 exam will be given between 1 and 28 Feb.
“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 personnel in the message.
Leading up to the exams, reserve Sailors must complete their Professional Military Knowledge Eligibility Exams (PMK-EE) by Dec. 31.
The PMK-EE deadline applies to all Sailors regardless of whether they are sitting for an exam or not. 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 (NSIPS) are accurate and up to date. The deadline for this requirement is Feb. 28
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, ESO’s 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 of exams.
No dates have yet been set for the release of either active or reserve advancement results. That release 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 259/21 for the drilling reserve. Key points of contact are also published in each message.
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