It is a Final Countdown…to my Navy Advancement Exam

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Katarzyna Kobiljak

I don’t know about you but when I was in school and my teacher said we were having a test, I wasn’t exactly a happy camper.

Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Katarzyna Kobiljak prepares to take the 2nd Class promotion exam in San Diego, Calif., Sept. 11, 2014. Navy-wide promotion exams are conducted bi-annually for paygrades E4-E6. (U.S. Navy Photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Greg Badger/Released)

Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Katarzyna Kobiljak prepares to take the 2nd Class promotion exam in San Diego, Calif., Sept. 11, 2014. Navy-wide promotion exams are conducted bi-annually for paygrades E4-E6. (U.S. Navy Photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Greg Badger/Released)

It’s been a few years since I was in grade school but here I am again preparing for another exam. I happen to be one of the thousands of Navy petty officers hoping to advance this cycle and to be perfectly honest, this whole process is stressing me out, even though I have taken the advancement exam once before.

I studied the BIBs. I made different colored flashcards. I took online practice quizzes. I even read questions on the test twice (not just because English is my second language). No matter what I did and despite all my preparations, I still left the test center feeling like an idiot.

At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter how I feel about the test or how stressed out I get. What matters is the reason why.

I want to advance.

There is a lot of pressure and I don’t want to disappoint my family, my friends, my command and of course myself. This is very important to me and I am going to take the exam as many times as it takes to advance.

So yes, maybe the advancement quotas were not the greatest last time. Sure, I felt disappointed, especially because I missed it only by a few measly points. But nothing will stop me from advancing this time around because it is my goal.

I will be a 2nd Class Petty Officer.

To all my fellow test-takers, I want to say good luck and may the force be with you.

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It is a Final Countdown…to my Navy Advancement Exam