USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) administered the chief petty officer exam to 285 petty officers first class Jan. 19 while underway in the Atlantic Ocean.
The annual exam must be completed in less than three hours and consists of 200 questions; 100 test the Sailors' rating knowledge and the remaining 100 questions cover general Navy topics.
"The test can be stressful and challenging," said Chief Navy Counselor Ross K. Tenny, Enterprise's command career counselor. "You have to prepare yourself and not be the one Sailor who drops out of the race. The exam is built to see what level of knowledge an individual has."
Tenny said there is rarely enough time to study on the ship because of the workload and busy schedules, but making time is important for a Sailor's personal career progression.
"The ones wanting to take the exam should be prepared far in advance," said Ensign Daniel R. Morrison, Enterprise's educational services officer. "It's best to start by going back to the basics and studying everything on the bibliographies. There are resources out there and they are there to help you."
Morrison said his department helps ensure those who take the exam have their paperwork in order. Petty officers eligible for the exam are notified of any issues with their service record well in advance.
The rest, however, is up to the individual Sailor.
"I have put in two months of studying," said Personnel Specialist 1st Class Jasper D. Mitchell. "I study off and on because I want to make sure I have a clear head. If you overdo it, you won't retain it."
"When I take a test, I always answer what I know and then look over the questions I am not sure of," said Tenny. "I break the question down to help find the answer. There is always one choice that will make no sense. Then I look at the best possible choice of those remaining."
"These Sailors are the future leaders of America and are the guys who should be the ones taking care of the junior Sailors. It's all about training and getting to the next level," said Morrison.
Exam results typically come out in March. Those who pass the exam have their records reviewed by the chief petty officer selection board. The board takes into account myriad factors, including performance evaluations, while ranking the Sailors eligible for selection. They then make the difficult final decision of which first class petty officers they will choose to become the next Navy chief petty officers.
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