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fufu
09-18-2013, 04:17 AM
I've been playing with the WAPS Calculator lately. By all accounts, my board score will be below average. Assuming that, I need about 135 on the PDG to be competitive. Needless to say, that isn't possible on a 100 question exam.

Would you study? Or say F-it and wait till it is at least possible that you can make it?

akruse
09-18-2013, 06:01 AM
I've been playing with the WAPS Calculator lately. By all accounts, my board score will be below average. Assuming that, I need about 135 on the PDG to be competitive. Needless to say, that isn't possible on a 100 question exam.

Would you study? Or say F-it and wait till it is at least possible that you can make it?

Why would you study if you have to score a 135?

Drackore
09-18-2013, 07:25 AM
In this particular case, I would just pull out a jar of vaseline and use the internet for what it was intended for.

technomage1
09-18-2013, 07:31 AM
Why bother? Granted, the cutoff score isn't cast in stone for this cycle, but 35 points is a big gap.

CJSmith
09-18-2013, 11:09 AM
For me, I'd always study at least a bit. As everyone knows, board scores are unpredictable and you don't want to be that guy that missed it by a point. Happened to a previous supervisor I had. She didn't think she had a shot whatsoever. Turned out she got a better board score than expected and missed it by 2 points. She got it the next year.

Chief_KO
09-18-2013, 11:47 AM
Using that WAPS calculator is a mistake too many make. Who cares what last year's cutoff was. Have you had a Chief review your record and give you his/her assessment? Have you asked for/received a copy of your folder? I would put together a package for all my SNCOs (from ARMS/PRADA), about half were missing a dec or EPR (even though it showed on their DVR). Those are things you can control.
Too many Airmen use that calculator, plug in the numbers and either don't study (thinking they have no chance) or study & test to get a 65 cause that's what the calculator told them they would need. Always study & test to get a 100 (even if you don't score that high).
Like others said, why not try...you never know...

Rusty Jones
09-18-2013, 12:45 PM
There's actually an incentive for studying in the Navy, even though you won't make it - PNA (Passed, Not Advanced) points that get added to your overall score on the next exam. You can rack them up from five exams.

Though they decreased in weight by half when MCPON Campa tweaked the advancement system. PNA points seem good on the surface, until you consider the fact that they drive up the cutoff scores; making it impossible to advance in some rates without a certain number of exams' worth of PNA points under your belt.

All in all, I didn't study if it was impossible to make it. I'm good enough to max out on the number of PNA points without studying anyway.

Instead, I used that time to work on my degrees. And that's what I'd recommend to anyone.

71Fish
09-18-2013, 12:51 PM
In this particular case, I would just pull out a jar of vaseline and use the internet for what it was intended for.

There are so many better products on the market than Vaseline.

20+Years
09-18-2013, 01:05 PM
There have been several cycles I didn't study. Usually, I felt or knew I could not make the cutoff, so I saved my time. I am sure some years were just laziness. Whithout study I am a low 60s PFE/PDG. With usually a 68-70. Thats a few weeks preperation time. I will say this though; the one thing I wish I could change about my career is how hard I studied. I am now backed into a corner of 3 test cycles to HYT. While that should be possible, I don't like the pressure.

This will be the first year ever I am going to commit to long term study. Now I just need a plan.

Sarge 25+
09-18-2013, 01:20 PM
You could also use this as an opportunity to preview the test content for when you feel you do have a competitive board score. Take the test and then immediately after, review the PDG and highlight all test questions that come to mind. Include notes on what was asked, how it was asked and what the discriminator was (some, none, or all, always, never etc...). Especially annotate those gotcha questions that you've never seen before even after studying. By doing this you should have 80-90% of next year's test and you'll be that much further ahead.

akruse
09-18-2013, 01:49 PM
Too many Airmen use that calculator, plug in the numbers and either don't study (thinking they have no chance) or study & test to get a 65 cause that's what the calculator told them they would need. Always study & test to get a 100 (even if you don't score that high).
Like others said, why not try...you never know...

I've always heard this preached but have never heard someone actually do it. How would one go about getting just a 65?

BOSS302
09-18-2013, 01:55 PM
I've always heard this preached but have never heard someone actually do it. How would one go about getting just a 65?

Through Lvl. 96 Airman Magic.

akruse
09-18-2013, 01:56 PM
Lightning bolt?

Bumble78
09-18-2013, 02:03 PM
I am in the same boat. Depending on my board scores and cut offs, I would need 140ish. I am also PCSing so may study on the plane, but this year I am not going to devote any serious time to it. Plus, I am not sure I would be comfortable being an E8.

20+Years
09-18-2013, 02:30 PM
Going into your first board score is definitely an uncertain thing. In general, my friends have done better than they expected. It was the ones who thought they had a high board score locked in that were often surprised. Once you see your first board score, and your ranking among peers, the picture becomes much, much clearer.

BRUWIN
09-18-2013, 02:34 PM
The problem with not studying is many people later discover that their board score turned out much better than expected and they may have made it if they did study. I don't know how many people I've come across that ended up having higher than expected board scores and didn't make it because they didn't study.

I always studied some just in case. My goal was to shoot for 60s. I didn't study hard...just enough that if I did get a decent board score I could pick up the stripe. One thing I learned over the years was to never close a door that may be cracked open just enough to let you in. When I picked up E-8 and E-9, I made it with low 60's both times. I probably studied 10-12 hours each for both stripes. Both times I didn't think I had a shot but I studied anyways.

BRUWIN
09-18-2013, 02:42 PM
Plus, I am not sure I would be comfortable being an E8.


Those that are honest enough to question their ability to be an E-8 will probably make good E-8s because they recognize their weaknesses and either try to improve them or delegate appropriately. It's the overconfident, swashbuckling, change the world types people need to be careful of. I personally watched one unit trust one of these people and it cost them over $3 million thanks to one of his "fixes." And he left me to tap dance in front of the Maintenance Group CC to explain his screwed up "fix" because he was PCSing. I was like one of Charlie Manson's followers and I had a knife in his back the entire time I was in that office explaining it.

fufu
09-18-2013, 04:00 PM
Using that WAPS calculator is a mistake too many make. Who cares what last year's cutoff was. Have you had a Chief review your record and give you his/her assessment? Have you asked for/received a copy of your folder? I would put together a package for all my SNCOs (from ARMS/PRADA), about half were missing a dec or EPR (even though it showed on their DVR). Those are things you can control.
Too many Airmen use that calculator, plug in the numbers and either don't study (thinking they have no chance) or study & test to get a 65 cause that's what the calculator told them they would need. Always study & test to get a 100 (even if you don't score that high).
Like others said, why not try...you never know...

Yes, I've had two chiefs review my latest EPRs and DVR. Both said I'd get a low board score.

No, I haven't requested a copy of my folder. I did review my PRDA online. My 2 decs are there, 10 eprs and such.

Perhaps, I'll read thru the material. I don't want to be the guy that could have made it with a 75 and didn't try.

20+Years
09-18-2013, 05:35 PM
I think they are now converting to a system where you don't request your record anymore... you check PDRA. True?

garhkal
09-18-2013, 07:09 PM
I've been playing with the WAPS Calculator lately. By all accounts, my board score will be below average. Assuming that, I need about 135 on the PDG to be competitive. Needless to say, that isn't possible on a 100 question exam.

Would you study? Or say F-it and wait till it is at least possible that you can make it?

I have studdied even when i couldn't make it on that test due to the navy giving Pass/not advanced points to your next cycles.

But one could also ask, should you be REQUIRED to take the test, knowing that no matter how high you get, the cut off point is going to be impossible to make.
Had several instances, even if i aced the test, maxed my awards points, eval points and PNA points, i would still have come under the cut off point mark by 10 or so points... BUT even with that, was told by my chain of command (navy) that we can't choose to NOT take the test...

imported_DannyJ
09-18-2013, 07:18 PM
I think they are now converting to a system where you don't request your record anymore... you check PDRA. True?

This would be fine if PRDA didn't put everything in size 3 font.

jondstewart
09-19-2013, 01:38 AM
First time I tested for SSgt (1992 or 1993), I would have had to make at least 90 on the exam and it was PFE only. And that's back when most people had E4 on for at least 3-4 years before they made it

Likewise from the original poster, I assume he was going for SMSgt or CMSgt. I knew one man that made SSgt, TSgt, and MSgt the first time and sewed on MSgt at 10 years and he ended up retiring a MSgt at 26 years. Said making the top two was all politics, but what I think it was he didn't have many decorations and the highest one was an AFCOM. Also, probably no CCAF and assumingly a smattering of $ EPR's. I don't see how else he couldn't make it

man
09-19-2013, 10:52 AM
I think they are now converting to a system where you don't request your record anymore... you check PDRA. True?

I believe it has been changed to an electronic request.

BRUWIN
09-19-2013, 10:58 AM
. I knew one man that made SSgt, TSgt, and MSgt the first time and sewed on MSgt at 10 years and he ended up retiring a MSgt at 26 years. Said making the top two was all politics, but what I think it was he didn't have many decorations and the highest one was an AFCOM. Also, probably no CCAF and assumingly a smattering of $ EPR's. I don't see how else he couldn't make it

When I was in maintenance I knew a guy like that too. He just didn't give two shits whether he made it or not...which is fine. He had a very distinguished career and never said anything bad about the process...it was just a process he wanted no part of.

Pullinteeth
09-19-2013, 01:21 PM
I only tested once and did abcdcba for both tests. I only study when I want to and what I want to. I have some old PFEs and PDGs at my desk primarily for reference but the only thing they are really good for is the history stuff and even that you can get better info elsewhere.

Chief_KO
09-19-2013, 10:09 PM
WRT to PRDA & electonic records: Yes, there is no more visiting AFPC to look at your folder, same thing: no mailing a hardcopy to you. You can request via .mil emial (CAC) for an electronic version (as is) and (as met) that will be emailed to you (zip). The (as is) is as of the date of request, the (as met) is what the board saw. This could be the same, but if there was a missing doc I'd by the as is (or new docs) would be in the as met. PRDA is the data source, so it's best to check it first yourself. Also, the entire decoration needs to be there (back when the citation was separate from the award). If it shows in your DVR, it does not mean it is in your folder. PCS medals, deployment medals have been known to not get into your folder...and yes it is YOUR responsibility.

WRT scoring a 65...what I meant is the mental image. By looking at a spreadsheet and determining what "you think" you will need sets you up mentally for failure more often than success. Study and test to score a 100...which you probably won't (and OSI will visit if you do), but it's much better to study & test for a 100 and get an 85 (yes you failed to meet the goal), than study & test for a 70 (cause that's what WAPS.xls told you) and get a 72 only for you to have needed a 74.

WRT those not wanting to get promoted at a certain time, I too have no problem. Enjoy the day off of work, go in to the testing center and make designs on the scantron sheet, no problem. That is one benefit of the enlisted promotion system...you can have some control on when you want to get promoted. Just don't be a ROAD Turd along the way.

WRT to a Chief's review of your folder and providing you with his/her assessment. Hopefully that came with some advice as to what you can do to become more promotable (if that is what you desire).

LogDog
09-20-2013, 04:47 AM
Go ahead and study. Some of the material you studied this year you'll remember for next year's test. As for the board score, like others have said the scores fluctuate so don't gamble that your board score will be the same. Let others assume they haven't a chance to make it even if their packages are a little stronger than yours. Your equalizer could be the test because you studied for it.

fufu
09-22-2013, 02:15 AM
WRT to PRDA & electonic records: Yes, there is no more visiting AFPC to look at your folder, same thing: no mailing a hardcopy to you. You can request via .mil emial (CAC) for an electronic version (as is) and (as met) that will be emailed to you (zip). The (as is) is as of the date of request, the (as met) is what the board saw. This could be the same, but if there was a missing doc I'd by the as is (or new docs) would be in the as met. PRDA is the data source, so it's best to check it first yourself. Also, the entire decoration needs to be there (back when the citation was separate from the award). If it shows in your DVR, it does not mean it is in your folder. PCS medals, deployment medals have been known to not get into your folder...and yes it is YOUR responsibility.

WRT scoring a 65...what I meant is the mental image. By looking at a spreadsheet and determining what "you think" you will need sets you up mentally for failure more often than success. Study and test to score a 100...which you probably won't (and OSI will visit if you do), but it's much better to study & test for a 100 and get an 85 (yes you failed to meet the goal), than study & test for a 70 (cause that's what WAPS.xls told you) and get a 72 only for you to have needed a 74.

WRT to a Chief's review of your folder and providing you with his/her assessment. Hopefully that came with some advice as to what you can do to become more promotable (if that is what you desire).

Can't study for 143.... Oh well, there is always waiting till retirement....only 4 years and 6 months.

Chief_KO
09-22-2013, 12:30 PM
Can't study for 143.... Oh well, there is always waiting till retirement....only 4 years and 6 months.

What is the 143 based on? Previous test/board score?

Mastercone
09-22-2013, 07:19 PM
First time I tested for SSgt (1992 or 1993), I would have had to make at least 90 on the exam and it was PFE only. And that's back when most people had E4 on for at least 3-4 years before they made it

Likewise from the original poster, I assume he was going for SMSgt or CMSgt. I knew one man that made SSgt, TSgt, and MSgt the first time and sewed on MSgt at 10 years and he ended up retiring a MSgt at 26 years. Said making the top two was all politics, but what I think it was he didn't have many decorations and the highest one was an AFCOM. Also, probably no CCAF and assumingly a smattering of $ EPR's. I don't see how else he couldn't make it

A lot of what you say is true. Yet, there are some who have mastered the promotion process to the point where they have made SrA below the zone(this may no longer exist), SSgt, TSgt, & MSgt first time. I knew a guy who had a line number for CMSgt at 13 years and sewed it on at 14 years which, by law, is the fastest you could make it back in the 80's. Every promotion cycle tells a story. The ones who have been in the service the shortest time with the lowest Time-in-Grade and Time-in-Service have the highest line numbers which means they will sew it on in the last month of that promotion cycle. The ones who have the lowest line numbers have the most Time-in-Grade and Time-in-Service and sew it on in the first month of the cycle. In other words, regardless of the grade, whoever has the highest line number for promotion in any given promotion cycle, also has the lowest time in grade and time in service in the USAF out of all of the selectees for that cycle.

Test psychologists design the tests so that the average promotion test score for either SKT or PDG(PFE) will be in the 50s for those who typically do not study. Many do not study. I'm sure the excuses today are offered by non-selectees are the same as those of previous generations of every promotion cycle, i.e., "I'm just not good at taking tests" or "I was really sick the week that I tested", etc. The bottom line is that they did not study or do not know how to study if they claim that they did study.

Up to the grade of MSgt, the individual controls more than half of the outcome of his total promotion score through the maximum 200 points he or she can receive on each testing cycle. Those testing scores can easily overcome any other shortfalls such as a less than stellar EPR history, Time in Grade, Time in Service, Awards & Decorations, etc.

In some career fields such as the many very small intelligence sub-career fields, it is impossible to get promoted even with perfect scores because the career field only has two guys testing for E-6 and the one TSgt slot for that career field AFSC is occupied. Thus, the selection rate is ZERO for that field. It happens. On the other hand, if someone retires from one of these small AFSCs, and there is only one eligible, they can get selected with zeroes on the exams and less than perfect APRs because the USAF is going to promote 1 person to fill that slot.

The best career fields for promotion are the largest career fields such as supply, security police, personnel, services, etc. because the required aptitude for these fields is low and they typically have the largest volume of slots for promotion each cycle. If the USAF selection rate is 10% and you have one career field where you might be competing against 30 others versus 2000 others in another career field, then you want to be in the larger career field which will promote 200 out of the 2000 versus only 3 for the smaller field.

Your best point was about the board scores. There are thousands of E-7's on the retirement rolls who could never make E-8 when they were in because they might have had one 8 APR from a supervisor years earlier. The promotion boards for E-8 and E-9 consider EPRs going back 10 years which means the likelihood of being selected for E-8 or E-9 is virtually ZERO. Just look at the average EPR scores for SELECTEES to E8 & E9 which is typically 135. Then look at the average EPR scores for non-selectees which is where you will find virtually ALL of the "LESS THAN 5's."

Unlike promotions to E-5 thru E-7, board scores for E-8 & E-9 make up more than 50% of your total WAPS score which means you're at the mercy of the board. While many would like to think these boards take their time and favorably scrutinize even the worst folder, the bottom line is that they thin out the pile very quickly.

I am going to make a separate post after this one which will have a link to a PDF about the USAF E-8 & E-9 promotion process which is the most in-depth I could find online. If many took the time to fully comprehend the promotion process and where they fit in, the better chances they would have for selection come test time. You have to play to win in order to get promoted.

Mastercone
09-22-2013, 07:25 PM
USAF promotion process to E-8 & E-9
Professional Enhancement Seminar

http://www.501csw.usafe.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-120223-003.pdf

jondstewart
09-22-2013, 10:14 PM
A lot of what you say is true. Yet, there are some who have mastered the promotion process to the point where they have made SrA below the zone(this may no longer exist), SSgt, TSgt, & MSgt first time. I knew a guy who had a line number for CMSgt at 13 years and sewed it on at 14 years which, by law, is the fastest you could make it back in the 80's. Every promotion cycle tells a story. The ones who have been in the service the shortest time with the lowest Time-in-Grade and Time-in-Service have the highest line numbers which means they will sew it on in the last month of that promotion cycle. The ones who have the lowest line numbers have the most Time-in-Grade and Time-in-Service and sew it on in the first month of the cycle. In other words, regardless of the grade, whoever has the highest line number for promotion in any given promotion cycle, also has the lowest time in grade and time in service in the USAF out of all of the selectees for that cycle.

Test psychologists design the tests so that the average promotion test score for either SKT or PDG(PFE) will be in the 50s for those who typically do not study. Many do not study. I'm sure the excuses today are offered by non-selectees are the same as those of previous generations of every promotion cycle, i.e., "I'm just not good at taking tests" or "I was really sick the week that I tested", etc. The bottom line is that they did not study or do not know how to study if they claim that they did study.

Up to the grade of MSgt, the individual controls more than half of the outcome of his total promotion score through the maximum 200 points he or she can receive on each testing cycle. Those testing scores can easily overcome any other shortfalls such as a less than stellar EPR history, Time in Grade, Time in Service, Awards & Decorations, etc.

In some career fields such as the many very small intelligence sub-career fields, it is impossible to get promoted even with perfect scores because the career field only has two guys testing for E-6 and the one TSgt slot for that career field AFSC is occupied. Thus, the selection rate is ZERO for that field. It happens. On the other hand, if someone retires from one of these small AFSCs, and there is only one eligible, they can get selected with zeroes on the exams and less than perfect APRs because the USAF is going to promote 1 person to fill that slot.

The best career fields for promotion are the largest career fields such as supply, security police, personnel, services, etc. because the required aptitude for these fields is low and they typically have the largest volume of slots for promotion each cycle. If the USAF selection rate is 10% and you have one career field where you might be competing against 30 others versus 2000 others in another career field, then you want to be in the larger career field which will promote 200 out of the 2000 versus only 3 for the smaller field.

Your best point was about the board scores. There are thousands of E-7's on the retirement rolls who could never make E-8 when they were in because they might have had one 8 APR from a supervisor years earlier. The promotion boards for E-8 and E-9 consider EPRs going back 10 years which means the likelihood of being selected for E-8 or E-9 is virtually ZERO. Just look at the average EPR scores for SELECTEES to E8 & E9 which is typically 135. Then look at the average EPR scores for non-selectees which is where you will find virtually ALL of the "LESS THAN 5's."

Unlike promotions to E-5 thru E-7, board scores for E-8 & E-9 make up more than 50% of your total WAPS score which means you're at the mercy of the board. While many would like to think these boards take their time and favorably scrutinize even the worst folder, the bottom line is that they thin out the pile very quickly.

I am going to make a separate post after this one which will have a link to a PDF about the USAF E-8 & E-9 promotion process which is the most in-depth I could find online. If many took the time to fully comprehend the promotion process and where they fit in, the better chances they would have for selection come test time. You have to play to win in order to get promoted.

I'll have to disagree with the required aptitudes of the Services career field on the SKT, since I was Services. Many people think we are just short order cooks, janitors, and handing out basketballs at the fitness center, but the SKT volumes also cover field logistics and setup, mortuary affairs, recreation activities and setup, general management, SIMS or computer IT, etc. I had a hell of a hard time making TSgt and wore SSgt for 7 years. I made TSgt with just high 50's on both tests, since I had the TIG.

I used to think you had to be good at politicking, manipulating the system to your advantage, look out for number one, and do a lot of brown nosing to make E8 and E9, but knew many fine individuals that retired at those ranks who were truly good and honest people that took care of and looked out for their troops

What I really don't like is that in the Army, you have people with the reading level and vocabulary of a 5th grader that are E8's by their 15th year and have few job skills other than knowing how to intimidate and dominate. And you have many intelligent people in some more strenuous career fields that retire as E6's.

Chief_KO
09-23-2013, 12:57 AM
Test psychologists design the tests so that the average promotion test score for either SKT or PDG(PFE) will be in the 50s for those who typically do not study. Many do not study. I'm sure the excuses today are offered by non-selectees are the same as those of previous generations of every promotion cycle, i.e., "I'm just not good at taking tests" or "I was really sick the week that I tested", etc. The bottom line is that they did not study or do not know how to study if they claim that they did study.

Not quite. I was on a team that wrote one of the PFE exams a few years ago. Chiefs volunteer to write PFE / USAFSE tests. The Chief cannot have any relatives in the AF who could be taking a test in the upcoming year. The Chiefs are selected to best represent a cross section of the AF (sex, race, AFSC, MAJCOM) so that each group is not overly influenced by a certain demographic. Each group writes only 1 exam (A & B versions) and you don't know in advance whether you are writing for SSgt or MSgt PFE. I think USAFSE is written by command chiefs, but I honestly don't recall.
Each team is six chiefs (mine had 2 females, 4 males (1 was aircrew) from 5 different MAJCOMs (2 were ACC)). First thing after we were sworn in was to take last years test to re-familiarize ourselves with testing. Then we critiqued the test as a group (there was one question we all agreed upon was simply a "trivia hunt" that had no real importance. The we reviewed the challenges that were made to the test. Most challenges (95%) are not based on errors in the PDG but rather the test taker bringing in "how my unit does it" or other information from outside sources. In reality, the test we took and reviewed had 9-10 challenges, all of which were unsubstantiated. Then we reviewed the survey data (I forget the name) that showed what those who currently hold the rank (and their enlisted superiors) feel are important areas to know from the PDG. With this information and our own experiences we laid out chapter by chapter how many questions we wanted to ask from each (totaling 100) (A&B are the same, just different questions but with the same breakout). This took a whole day.
Then we got into the test database and validated questions 3 years or older (no questions from the previous 3 years can be reused). The questions that are still valid have the reference updated and if we wanted to re-word the question we could do so. This was another day or so.
Now we got around to writing out tests. We could reuse those questions that were 3 years or older that we had validated. Again, if we wanted to reuse the question we could edit it for readibility, clarity, etc.
And then we wrote new questions. The test question writing took 2 - 3 days or so. The longest we spent on a single question was about 5 hours.
We also wrote & edited the acronym listing, not every acronym used on the test needs to be in the listing; just those that are new or possibly not known across the entire AF.
Along the way the test psychologists (there are 2 per team) reviewed our work to ensure it meets standards.
We also wrote the test key, balancing the correct answer so there is approximately even split between A, B, C, D. Also there is a limit to how many of the same response you can have in a row.
After all that was done, we came in the next day and took our test just like the Airman would; printed hard copy. Seeing it that way (even after working on it for several days) was different and we caught things that we changed. (both versions).
Finally, another hard copy print & review.
Takeaways: All six Chiefs had to agree on each question and each of the incorrect choices. There were a few times we discussed a question for awhile before we came to an agreement. There is NO OUTSIDE INFLUENCE on the test writing team. There is no message from the CMSAF, CSAF, or the test unit (used to be AFOMS) regarding what should/should not be on the test or on any particular question. The only input from the test psychologists regarding wording etc., not the topic. When reviewing the previous years test we looked at the statistics, each question is measured independently (easy, medium, hard) based upon the results from the test itself. We honestly had ZERO idea if the test questions we wrote were easy or hard. The only thing for sure was that each and every question (and correct answer) came directly from the PDG.

That was one of the coolest things I got to do as a Chief.

Mastercone
09-23-2013, 05:20 AM
I doubt the requirement for the fields I mentioned have changed much but back in the 70s a GENERAL score of 40 on the ASVAB was all that was required for entry into the fields that I mentioned. That doesn't mean that the fields are loaded with dummies. It simply means that your opportunity for success in the promotion system has the potential to be far easier due to the larger number of stripes available in each promotion cycle versus fewer available stripes each cycle in a smaller career field such as CRYPTO where you might need a 90 in GENERAL or ELECTRONICS for entry.

For what its worth, the Air Force has always had the slowest promotion system of all of the services. Very slow.


I'll have to disagree with the required aptitudes of the Services career field on the SKT, since I was Services. Many people think we are just short order cooks, janitors, and handing out basketballs at the fitness center, but the SKT volumes also cover field logistics and setup, mortuary affairs, recreation activities and setup, general management, SIMS or computer IT, etc. I had a hell of a hard time making TSgt and wore SSgt for 7 years. I made TSgt with just high 50's on both tests, since I had the TIG.

I used to think you had to be good at politicking, manipulating the system to your advantage, look out for number one, and do a lot of brown nosing to make E8 and E9, but knew many fine individuals that retired at those ranks who were truly good and honest people that took care of and looked out for their troops

What I really don't like is that in the Army, you have people with the reading level and vocabulary of a 5th grader that are E8's by their 15th year and have few job skills other than knowing how to intimidate and dominate. And you have many intelligent people in some more strenuous career fields that retire as E6's.

Mastercone
09-23-2013, 06:17 AM
Not quite. I was on a team that wrote one of the PFE exams a few years ago. Chiefs volunteer to write PFE / USAFSE tests. The Chief cannot have any relatives in the AF who could be taking a test in the upcoming year. The Chiefs are selected to best represent a cross section of the AF (sex, race, AFSC, MAJCOM) so that each group is not overly influenced by a certain demographic. Each group writes only 1 exam (A & B versions) and you don't know in advance whether you are writing for SSgt or MSgt PFE....That was one of the coolest things I got to do as a Chief.

I was already up to several paragraphs in my post. It should be obvious to many that there is no easy way to cover everything on a particular subject on these boards. So here are a few more paragraphs.

I agree that senior enlisted personnel from all career fields have assembled questions for use in promotion exams and have so for decades or at least 1971 when WAPS testing first begun. In the end, the test psychologists at the AIR FORCE OCCUPATIONAL MEASUREMENT SQUADRON at Randolph AFB, Texas oversee many of the exams. I would hope that they have the continuing assistance of senior enlisted members from individual AFSCs during this process. What you described sounds like a much more elaborate and regimented process being done today. There was a time where senior enlisted personnel Air Force wide wrote individual questions and submitted them to Randolph for eventual promotion test consideration. I'm sure even then they had procedures for eliminating duplicity and erroneous questions and could eventually come up with a concise test for each AFSC.

The test psychologists help decide what might be too simple or too easy, they help reword or rephrase questions to meet certain standards. For example, the verbiage must be at an eighth grade reading level, etc. But the tests are designed so that a person who is of general competence in his or her AFSC and has not studied will generally score in the 50s. Think about it, if most everyone in an AFSC could avoid studying for a promotion test and ultimately score a 75 or 80, then something was wrong with composition of that promotion exam.

In my day, they (AFOMS) handled this for just about every test imaginable from promotion tests and exams to CDC course exams, etc. The organization is still there. But instead of the generic term test psychologist that I used, it is more accurately described as a Behavioral Scientist, AFSC 61B. The reason they have always used senior enlisted members from different AFSCs to submit questions for the various enlisted promotion tests is that there is no way for a test psychologist to fully know or understand what would be considered pertinent knowledge for each individual AFSC. Additionally, senior NCOs generally have no interest in these exams since they have already achieved the grade of E7 or above and need not concern themselves with SKT exams since they no longer apply to their future promotion opportunities.

Even now, I am sure that questions are successfully challenged in each promotion cycle. This is why it is not uncommon to see a resulting test score of 86.66 versus an even score of 88. This is because during the scoring process, the percentile test score is based on the percentage of total authentic questions finally scored. In other words, everyone that takes a test has 100 questions to answer. Yet, by the time the final scores were released, say 3 questions on one SKT exam had been successfully challenged and stricken from consideration. Presuming that ONLY the examinee's INCORRECT answers were stricken of these three, then his or her score would be (for example) 90.72 instead of the original 88.00. On the other hand, if another examinee also scored an 88.00 but three of his or her CORRECT answers happened to be the three questions stricken from consideration, then his or her test score for that exam would be 87.63 instead of 88.00.

Chief_KO
09-23-2013, 08:23 PM
I was already up to several paragraphs in my post. It should be obvious to many that there is no easy way to cover everything on a particular subject on these boards. So here are a few more paragraphs.

I agree that senior enlisted personnel from all career fields have assembled questions for use in promotion exams and have so for decades or at least 1971 when WAPS testing first begun. In the end, the test psychologists at the AIR FORCE OCCUPATIONAL MEASUREMENT SQUADRON at Randolph AFB, Texas oversee many of the exams. I would hope that they have the continuing assistance of senior enlisted members from individual AFSCs during this process. What you described sounds like a much more elaborate and regimented process being done today. There was a time where senior enlisted personnel Air Force wide wrote individual questions and submitted them to Randolph for eventual promotion test consideration. I'm sure even then they had procedures for eliminating duplicity and erroneous questions and could eventually come up with a concise test for each AFSC.

The test psychologists help decide what might be too simple or too easy, they help reword or rephrase questions to meet certain standards. For example, the verbiage must be at an eighth grade reading level, etc. But the tests are designed so that a person who is of general competence in his or her AFSC and has not studied will generally score in the 50s. Think about it, if most everyone in an AFSC could avoid studying for a promotion test and ultimately score a 75 or 80, then something was wrong with composition of that promotion exam.

In my day, they (AFOMS) handled this for just about every test imaginable from promotion tests and exams to CDC course exams, etc. The organization is still there. But instead of the generic term test psychologist that I used, it is more accurately described as a Behavioral Scientist, AFSC 61B. The reason they have always used senior enlisted members from different AFSCs to submit questions for the various enlisted promotion tests is that there is no way for a test psychologist to fully know or understand what would be considered pertinent knowledge for each individual AFSC. Additionally, senior NCOs generally have no interest in these exams since they have already achieved the grade of E7 or above and need not concern themselves with SKT exams since they no longer apply to their future promotion opportunities.

Even now, I am sure that questions are successfully challenged in each promotion cycle. This is why it is not uncommon to see a resulting test score of 86.66 versus an even score of 88. This is because during the scoring process, the percentile test score is based on the percentage of total authentic questions finally scored. In other words, everyone that takes a test has 100 questions to answer. Yet, by the time the final scores were released, say 3 questions on one SKT exam had been successfully challenged and stricken from consideration. Presuming that ONLY the examinee's INCORRECT answers were stricken of these three, then his or her score would be (for example) 90.72 instead of the original 88.00. On the other hand, if another examinee also scored an 88.00 but three of his or her CORRECT answers happened to be the three questions stricken from consideration, then his or her test score for that exam would be 87.63 instead of 88.00.

AFOMS still exists, although it is all civilian for the last few years and is now a directorate under AFPC. https://www.omsq.af.mil/PD/index.htm
My experience was that the test psychologists recommended changes but did not make any changes. But after we submitted our questions there could be some minor edits for readibility, etc. Several years ago all PFE/USAFE exams were changed from a scenario to a simple statement to eliminate a lot of the interpretation. Now it is straight fact-based and very easy to understand questions. Testing accuracy (number of questions sucessfully challenged is less the 2% overall).
The biggest shortfall is the low response rate to the survey questionaires...33% is considered good. This means that 33% of Airmen are telling AFOMS what information should be tested. Second shortfall is errors in the PDG. AFOMS does not write the PDG per se, they take what is written by the SMEs (which could be a TSgt - Lt Col or GS) and make edits for readibility etc. Each year they task the SMEs to review and update, but it is on the SME to do so. However, if you find errors while studying (typo, readability, or incorrect outdated info) and report to AFOMS, then it will be fixed.
As for being a test writer, when we did a "find" in the PDG for a certain subject we also identified if there was any conflicting or incorrect information that could be in a different chapter or elsewhere.

The SKT is much harder to write, hence why there are some questions repeated year to year since there are multiple sources that could be used (CDCs, TOs, commerical manuals, etc. per each AFSC). I believe 25% must be changed each year, unlike the PFE/USAFE which is 100% new each year.

LogDog
09-23-2013, 10:31 PM
AFOMS still exists, although it is all civilian for the last few years and is now a directorate under AFPC. https://www.omsq.af.mil/PD/index.htm
My experience was that the test psychologists recommended changes but did not make any changes. But after we submitted our questions there could be some minor edits for readibility, etc. Several years ago all PFE/USAFE exams were changed from a scenario to a simple statement to eliminate a lot of the interpretation. Now it is straight fact-based and very easy to understand questions. Testing accuracy (number of questions sucessfully challenged is less the 2% overall).
The biggest shortfall is the low response rate to the survey questionaires...33% is considered good. This means that 33% of Airmen are telling AFOMS what information should be tested. Second shortfall is errors in the PDG. AFOMS does not write the PDG per se, they take what is written by the SMEs (which could be a TSgt - Lt Col or GS) and make edits for readibility etc. Each year they task the SMEs to review and update, but it is on the SME to do so. However, if you find errors while studying (typo, readability, or incorrect outdated info) and report to AFOMS, then it will be fixed.
As for being a test writer, when we did a "find" in the PDG for a certain subject we also identified if there was any conflicting or incorrect information that could be in a different chapter or elsewhere.

The SKT is much harder to write, hence why there are some questions repeated year to year since there are multiple sources that could be used (CDCs, TOs, commerical manuals, etc. per each AFSC). I believe 25% must be changed each year, unlike the PFE/USAFE which is 100% new each year.
Chief, your experience on the PFE test sounds identical to my experience as a "Subject Matter Expert" when I was selected to help with a major re-write of our career SKT. I don't know what it was like in the 1971 WAPS testing that Mastercone references. The earliest WAPS tests I took were in the late 70s and I scored in the low 70s on each test.

Like you, our team took previous year's SKT test. Afterwards, we went through each question and validated whether it was still valid, out of date, or such that it was open to interpretation. After we determined which questions to toss, we divided up the chore of writing replacement questions/answers using the two manual related to our career field. For every answer, we had to provide the manual reference down to the chapter, paragraph, and sentence. As for the answers, our answers were written in a particular format, according to the test psychologist instructions, so it wasn't as easy to figure out the answer like on a high school or college test. You could figure out the answer but you also had to know the material to figure it out.

At the end of the day, we would review our questions and discuss any problems we had. In some instances, we threw out questions because it wasn't fair to ask a technical (computer programming/operations) questions that only a handful of those testing would ever perform. Once we agreed upon the question and answers we submitted the our test psychologist. She would review them, check the reference(s), and if it looked good she would forward them to her supervisor for review and approval. Once we finished the re-write, we too took the test and among the four of us the highest score was 69 and he was the career field course writer.

From my experience, the test was fair, we didn't put in any "gotcha" questions (we actually rejected submissions), and was targeted to was people were actually doing in the field.

Mastercone
09-24-2013, 02:03 AM
Promotion quotas are not set within each career field, they are based on AF-wide vacancies for a particular grade. Then, they are applied to each AFSC.

For example, the AF determines they need to promote 20% to MSgt...that 20% is then applied to each AFSC whether that AFSC has openings or not. This often results in some career fields being short in particular ranks, while others are fat in particular ranks. At MSgt and below, the Cross-training program sometimes attempts to level this out, although, it seems the same career frields are always short or fat...and not just in TSgts :-) BRUWIN

I wasn't trying to suggest that this was the case but my post does seem ambiguous enough where someone might draw that conclusion. My experience is based on my most recent experiences with the promotion system which was in the late 80s. Back then, there were at least fifty oddball AFSCs that were very small because they were suffixed AFSCs. For example, a suffixed AFSC of the Supply field AFSC(645X0) was 645X0A Munitions Supply. While the Supply AFSC had roughly 26,000 members, the munitions supply AFSC consisted of only 450 USAF-wide. No one wanted the munitions suffix because the promotion opportunities were obviously much smaller.

But the AFSCs I am referring to were so unbelievably small that I recall examining the promotions statistics by AFSC at what was then known as the CBPO. Some AFSCs in those days would have one eligible for promotion and the selection rate was either zero or 100%. My recollection is that many of these suffixed AFSCs were in the intelligence, crypto, or language specialties. Now I might have only surmised that a selection in these AFSCs was based on need for that small AFSC because there was no other way to understand why some AFSCs had a ZERO selection rate and others had a 100% rate even though there was just one eligible member in that AFSC for promotion. I remember instances of seeing 2 eligibles in an AFSC and one promoted for a selection rate of 50% as well.

If we followed the general promotion rules that you mentioned, and I fully agree that this has always been the norm for ordinarily populated AFSCs, then those in the smaller AFSCs would never have to study for promotions. One, in those AFSCs, everyone likely knew who the others were in an AFSC which, in many instances, had less than 10 members across all grades. If they fundamentally understood that they would be the ONLY ELIGIBLE for promotion to a certain grade that year in their AFSC and that someone is always selected no matter how slight the selection percentage, then their selection for promotion would be automatic. In fact, presuming perfect timing and that this principle for selection was always automatic in ANY AFSC even if there was just one eligible, and the person eligible was always the lone eligible in his or her AFSC each time he or she was eligible for promotion, then promotion would have been automatic the first time and every time for each and every promotion grade. Yet, the selectee time in service for these AFSCs was average and nothing remarkably stood out.

Mastercone
09-24-2013, 02:32 AM
Chief, your experience on the PFE test sounds identical to my experience as a "Subject Matter Expert" when I was selected to help with a major re-write of our career SKT. I don't know what it was like in the 1971 WAPS testing that Mastercone references. The earliest WAPS tests I took were in the late 70s and I scored in the low 70s on each test....

Your description of the process seems very accurate as well. One question though. You mentioned scoring in the low 70s on each exam. Did you study? My guess is that you did.

My point is that whether by design or not, the typical USAF averages on promotion exams for non-selectess in those days was in the 50s. Of course, a studied or prepared person would score higher but not necessarily be guaranteed to be a selectee.

From last year's E-6 selection cycle on AVERAGES FOR SELECTEES ONLY:

6/19/2012 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO - RANDOLPH, Texas -- Air Force officials selected 8,518 of 37,402 eligible staff sergeants for promotion to technical sergeant for a selection rate of 22.77 percent.

The average score for those selected was 321.94, with an average time in grade of 5.39 years and time in service of 10.58 years respectively. Weighted factor averages included the following: 132.69 for enlisted performance reports, 5.59 for decorations, 75.37 for the promotion fitness exam and 55.39 for the specialty knowledge test.

For what it's worth, the technical school instructors and the CDC writers generally fare better on the promotion exams because of their fluent knowledge of the material.

Chief_KO
09-24-2013, 03:41 AM
My experience and opinion on test scores: PFE/USAFSE scores are traditionally higher because the amount of material to study is much smaller (1 book) than the SKT (multiple CDCs, possible commercial publications, TOs, etc.). Also, since the PDG changes every two years (and all are issued the new one or has access electronically) most study (or at least access) the correct material. SKT study resources are a toss-up. Those that are interested in promotion actually look at the WAPS Catalog to make sure they are studying the correct material. Some study the wrong volumes of their CDCs or have old versions..chances are very good that the CDCs you used to get your 5-lvl as an A1C are not the same CDCs for your TSgt SKT. Also the test questions for the PFE/USAFSE can be much clearer to answer, CDC questions could be more in depth system troubleshooting, etc. But probably the biggest difference is that too many choose not to study (cause they "know their job") and then complain when questions come from the area of their jobs that they don't perform at base X. Of course CDCs and the SKT are built off of the various job surveys conducted by AFOMS, but when 33% is considered "good" response it is pretty easy for the technical material to not be an accurate reflection of what is going on in the field.

Off topic a little, but my tour as a tech school instructor taught me more on the big picture and how all those parts fit together. On paper, a perfect system...only flaw, need for feedback and input from Airmen in the field.

LogDog
09-24-2013, 04:59 AM
Your description of the process seems very accurate as well. One question though. You mentioned scoring in the low 70s on each exam. Did you study? My guess is that you did.
Yes, I did study. It was for SSgt and I made it on the first try which surprised everyone in my shop and the hospital because the squadron (this was before the hospital was made a group command) was notified that only 1 person had made SSgt. I thought it was going to be an SrA in another career field because he missed promotion the previous cycle by 1 point. As for studying, we had two manuals we were tested on and during duty hours my nose was always in them because I was doing jobs usually handled by SSgts and TSgts and I had to know how to do the jobs.


My point is that whether by design or not, the typical USAF averages on promotion exams for non-selectess in those days was in the 50s. Of course, a studied or prepared person would score higher but not necessarily be guaranteed to be a selectee.[./Quote]
That may be so but from what I saw and experienced was a lot of people didn't put in much study time because they didn't think they could get promoted because they didn't have enough TIG and decorations. What I kept telling people is WAPS is a visible promotion system and they show you what you need to do for promotion. Studying for the SKT and PFE tests was necessary if you wanted to be promoted.

[Quote]From last year's E-6 selection cycle on AVERAGES FOR SELECTEES ONLY:

6/19/2012 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO - RANDOLPH, Texas -- Air Force officials selected 8,518 of 37,402 eligible staff sergeants for promotion to technical sergeant for a selection rate of 22.77 percent.

The average score for those selected was 321.94, with an average time in grade of 5.39 years and time in service of 10.58 years respectively. Weighted factor averages included the following: 132.69 for enlisted performance reports, 5.59 for decorations, 75.37 for the promotion fitness exam and 55.39 for the specialty knowledge test.
Again, it comes down to studying. The low score for SKT tells me people didn't spend enough time studying for the SKT test and instead relied on their field knowledge. I never scored lower than the high 60s for either test but that's because I took the responsibility and studied.


For what it's worth, the technical school instructors and the CDC writers generally fare better on the promotion exams because of their fluent knowledge of the material.
I worked with the CDC writer (we were both MSgts) when I did the major rewrite of our SKT and he only scored about a 70 on the SKT test so I really can't say, based upon one example, whether or not they fare better. I don't ever recall hearing about instructors or CDC writers doing better or getting promoted sooner because of the position they held.

Mastercone
09-24-2013, 05:19 AM
Yes, I did study....My point is that whether by design or not, the typical USAF averages on promotion exams for non-selectess in those days was in the 50s. Of course, a studied or prepared person would score higher but not necessarily be guaranteed to be a selectee.

Don't worry, not much seems to have changed in the past 30-plus years. Take a look at the numbers below.

To further buttress the point about test score averages between selectees and non-selectees, below are the results from the 2012 E7 cycle. Miraculously, the average test scores for non-selectees are in the 50s.


CYCLE 12E7: AF Averages-----SKT-----PFE
AF AVG ELIGIBLES------------53.49----59.82
NONSELECT-------------------50.86----56.05
SELECTEE--------------------60.42----69.71


In earlier posts, I erroneously referred to the PFE test as an either/or presumption that the PFE test was now known as the PDG. I honestly do not know what PDG is but the PFE is still the PFE which is comforting to know. I've noticed other comments about commercial source material used for test preparation and can say that the testing process has changed very much. Good luck to all.

fufu
09-27-2013, 03:31 AM
What is the 143 based on? Previous test/board score?

The average board score in my career field is 323, the 2 selectees average 375 board scores. As I've stated earlier in this tread, I've had my records reviewed and I'll be considered below average. So, if were to get the average of 323, I still need well over a 100 on the test. I'm mathematically ineligible to make it, barring some completely off the wall super high board score near 400. Being that I'm not a bake sale ninja, Top 3 Pres, have -0- MSMs, no annual/base/MAJCOM awards.... I'd say I know right where I stand.

20+Years
09-27-2013, 10:51 AM
In earlier posts, I erroneously referred to the PFE test as an either/or presumption that the PFE test was now known as the PDG. I honestly do not know what PDG is but the PFE is still the PFE which is comforting to know. I've noticed other comments about commercial source material used for test preparation and can say that the testing process has changed very much. Good luck to all.

The PFE was indeed replaced by the PDG (Professional Development Guide). It is virtually the same book, new title. Has all the same type info; history, conduct, standards... but has new topics like the PT regulations. You will find some of the older guys still call it the PFE, which generally confuses the younger Airmen. Its kind of like saying your headed to CBPO when everyone now calls it the MPS (used to be MPF too).

Chief_KO
09-28-2013, 02:35 PM
One big difference between the PDG and the PFE (as a book, not the test). The PFE manual was strictly to be used for test prep for WAPS. You were only issued one when you became a SrA and would be testing in the upcoming cycle (A or B depending on your DOR). No one else had a copy (unless someone hooked them up). Changing to a PDG (and making available first world-wide via e-pubs) meant everyone E-1 to O-10 (and anyone with internet access) had a PDG. AF recognized a lot of information of value is in that book and it should be available as a reference (not policy as it is a pamphlet, not instruction) for all. The test is still the PFE, but the study material is the PDG. For all those that lament on higher promotion rates (which the promotee has no control over) forget this contributing factor: earlier access to the test study material; I've seen A1Cs studying the PDG.
I made sure to provide the link to the PDG to all my Officers (unless they had a hard copy), and they were amazed to see how much valuable information is between those covers. It really helped them to better understand the enlisted corps, especially WAPS testing.
One thing to consider: Surveys from the Airmen (at least those that responded) show more and more do not want the hard copy, only electronic. I would not be surprised that the hardcopies go away in the future or the number of those printed decreased dramatically. Also, in case no one was aware, there are interactive games & MP3s on the afoms website as well. Really no reason to buy PDG Gold, etc. since the AF is giving you additional study methods for free IMO.

jondstewart
09-30-2013, 06:22 PM
And of course many objective and type A personalities say "if you studied, you'll know it or make it". Not everybody is wired the same! I studied my butt off many times and STILL made only 50's on both tests! The year I made SSgt with a 79 on PFE was the exception to the rule!

Chief_KO
09-30-2013, 06:32 PM
Another problem is the folks who go out after the test and highlight their PDG. Yes you did remember about 75 questions....but you honestly have no idea what you answered. Many folks "self predict" their scores..."I got at least a 75" then get PO'd when results come out and the score was a 65.
I hope they someday go to automatic/computer based testing. Once you're done, you get a printed receipt with a tentative score.
Also, I wish they would stop having to read the testing instructions. Once you learn how to fill in the oval in BMT, we will never tell you how to do that again!

jondstewart
09-30-2013, 06:53 PM
OR how about just do away with tests altogether! We're enlisted! Enlisted people in the Air Force should be uneducated trash like they are in the Army! You have functional illiterates in the Army that are E8's by their 15th year!

BENDER56
09-30-2013, 06:53 PM
Another problem is the folks who go out after the test and highlight their PDG. ...

I don't know if this has been addressed, but spouses of the same rank should be required to test on the same day.

I remember a couple, both SSgts, at Sheppard in the '90s who openly admitted that the first one to test would go straight to their PFE Study Guide and SKTs and highlight as many of the questions he/she could remember. Then he/she would share this info with the spouse before she/he tested. Unethical and illegal yes, but if you want to increase your household income it makes perfect sense.

And no, I didn't report them. But that's a separate discussion.

jondstewart
09-30-2013, 06:58 PM
I don't know if this has been addressed, but spouses of the same rank should be required to test on the same day.

I remember a couple, both SSgts, at Sheppard in the '90s who openly admitted that the first one to test would go straight to their PFE Study Guide and SKTs and highlight as many of the questions he/she could remember. Then he/she would share this info with the spouse before she/he tested. Unethical and illegal yes, but if you want to increase your household income it makes perfect sense.

And no, I didn't report them. But that's a separate discussion.

Please! Integrity and honesty means nothing! Ditch that stupid little light blue core values book! You think those that made Chief were honest and ethical their career? They pulled strings, played politics and the like, even those that were kind and treated subordinates with respect!

BRUWIN
09-30-2013, 10:16 PM
Please! Integrity and honesty means nothing! Ditch that stupid little light blue core values book! You think those that made Chief were honest and ethical their career? They pulled strings, played politics and the like, even those that were kind and treated subordinates with respect!

I'd like to think I was honest. Played politics? Maybe a little but trying to get a Chief stripe didn't consume me. There was a point when I was an E-8 that I even gave up on the idea. If you ask me, Chief is a little bit about luck, a lot about the good people that helped you (subordinates included), and having the bad people being limited in their ability to totally screw you (closely related to luck). Some perserverance on my part was all that was required. In my instance that's all Chief was...maybe not for others.

Bunch
09-30-2013, 11:37 PM
I don't know if this has been addressed, but spouses of the same rank should be required to test on the same day.

I remember a couple, both SSgts, at Sheppard in the '90s who openly admitted that the first one to test would go straight to their PFE Study Guide and SKTs and highlight as many of the questions he/she could remember. Then he/she would share this info with the spouse before she/he tested. Unethical and illegal yes, but if you want to increase your household income it makes perfect sense.

And no, I didn't report them. But that's a separate discussion.

My first wife was SSgt just a year before I tested. We never spoke about testing material when I came to test. It wasn't even brought up in our household the subject of she helping me prepare or study for the test. I'm not naive to think it doesn't happen but if it does is not only confined to mil to mil households, people who will cheat or try to find at advantage will do whatever.

Bunch
09-30-2013, 11:41 PM
Please! Integrity and honesty means nothing! Ditch that stupid little light blue core values book! You think those that made Chief were honest and ethical their career? They pulled strings, played politics and the like, even those that were kind and treated subordinates with respect!

You might call me naive but I don't truly believe that ALL Chiefs that made the rank did so by being dishonest and/or unethical.

sandsjames
10-01-2013, 12:31 AM
My first wife was SSgt just a year before I tested. We never spoke about testing material when I came to test. It wasn't even brought up in our household the subject of she helping me prepare or study for the test. I'm not naive to think it doesn't happen but if it does is not only confined to mil to mil households, people who will cheat or try to find at advantage will do whatever.

Damn...that's pretty good integrity...if it's true. If my wife and I were taking the same test, I know we'd be studying together...wrong or not.

Honestly, I don't see an issue with people studying together, especially since we are supposedly better troops for knowing the information. If that's true, I'd think they'd want everyone knowing the information, no matter how they learned it.

20+Years
10-01-2013, 09:24 PM
Damn...that's pretty good integrity...if it's true. If my wife and I were taking the same test, I know we'd be studying together...wrong or not.

Honestly, I don't see an issue with people studying together, especially since we are supposedly better troops for knowing the information. If that's true, I'd think they'd want everyone knowing the information, no matter how they learned it.

+1

I don't think group study is wrong....IF....no one who has already tested can participate & no references to previous years test are used in a group capacity.

BRUWIN
10-02-2013, 06:36 PM
+1

I don't think group study is wrong....IF....no one who has already tested can participate & no references to previous years test are used in a group capacity.

The problem with group study is not that the AF doesn't want people to learn the information through others....it's just that group study could invariably lead to test compromise. It would be easy for a group to sit down with their highlighted PDGs and inevitably begin talking about the test without even realizing it. I'm all for the ban on group study. When I was coming through the ranks test compromise was a real issue and I'm sure it occurred a lot more frequently than what the AF was able to investigate.

Think about it...the NCO and SNCO academies teaches a lot of what is in the PDG. One could easily say that is group study...particularly in the areas of Leadership and counseling. However, they teach it in a forum that doesn't allow for any test compromise.

sandsjames
10-02-2013, 07:18 PM
The problem with group study is not that the AF doesn't want people to learn the information through others....it's just that group study could invariably lead to test compromise. It would be easy for a group to sit down with their highlighted PDGs and inevitably begin talking about the test without even realizing it. I'm all for the ban on group study. When I was coming through the ranks test compromise was a real issue and I'm sure it occurred a lot more frequently than what the AF was able to investigate.

Think about it...the NCO and SNCO academies teaches a lot of what is in the PDG. One could easily say that is group study...particularly in the areas of Leadership and counseling. However, they teach it in a forum that doesn't allow for any test compromise.

When I was a young SrA stationed in Guam, our NCOIC would gather all the Airmen each morning and ask questions from the PDG (PFE) and the CDC's. Whoever had the highest point total at the end of the week was given a "comp day". Word got out and we were told to stop because it was "test compromise". The daily quiz was the best motivation any of us ever had to study the CDC's/PFE (and most were not even test eligible at the time). And the questions were almost always about standards and job specific stuff. Every bit of information was stuff our NCOIC deemed necessary for us to know. Most of it was specifically related to our STS.

I think they should also ban people from running/working out together. If you want to do well on your PT test, you should do it on your own. I don't want someone who knows how to get in shape to pass helping someone else. Sounds like test compromise to me.

BRUWIN
10-02-2013, 10:08 PM
I think they should also ban people from running/working out together. If you want to do well on your PT test, you should do it on your own. I don't want someone who knows how to get in shape to pass helping someone else. Sounds like test compromise to me.

Well they already ban helping people that fall out or hurt themselves during the PT test. We were briefed to keep running and not to stop to help others. In all fairness...I have never been trained in CPR anyways so to have stopped to give help would only have been an attempt on my part to get out of PT testing. That's obviously how it would have been viewed. So we just kicked them to the side and moved on. That's what would happen to an AF member in theater during war...you just shove them off the chair and take their keyboard over. War is hell.

BOSS302
10-02-2013, 10:35 PM
I think they should also ban people from running/working out together. If you want to do well on your PT test, you should do it on your own. I don't want someone who knows how to get in shape to pass helping someone else. Sounds like test compromise to me.

I like to laugh at the guy(s) who finish the 1.5 mile run first and then circle back and run with the remaining runners as they attempt to "motivate" them to go faster.

I also laugh at the "Fake Accolades Guy"...aka...the dude who sees it as his mission to give everyone a high five as they cross the finish line with a generic, "Good run!", thrown-in for good measure. Don't touch me and don't talk to me.

sandsjames
10-02-2013, 11:48 PM
I like to laugh at the guy(s) who finish the 1.5 mile run first and then circle back and run with the remaining runners as they attempt to "motivate" them to go faster.

I also laugh at the "Fake Accolades Guy"...aka...the dude who sees it as his mission to give everyone a high five as they cross the finish line with a generic, "Good run!", thrown-in for good measure. Don't touch me and don't talk to me.

Yeah, that's pretty awesome. Gotta love those guys.

BRUWIN
10-03-2013, 02:41 AM
I also laugh at the "Fake Accolades Guy"...aka...the dude who sees it as his mission to give everyone a high five as they cross the finish line with a generic, "Good run!", thrown-in for good measure.

I used to do that. However, it only resulted in one or two high fives for the two retards that were behind me.

raustin0017
10-03-2013, 02:22 PM
Testing for TSgt 1st time.
Chief: "Austin how is the studying going?"
Me: "Not so good Chief...even if I score 100 on both test I can't make it."
Chief: "Austin you score 100 on both test and I will get you promoted."
Me: "Really?"
Chief: "Yes really."

Did not score 90s on both test but did study hard. The results: By me taking the time and attempting to do my best allowed my memory to hold more info. After the test...I was able to highlight more of the questions on both test. Paid off the in the long run.

Pullinteeth
10-03-2013, 02:32 PM
I'd like to think I was honest. Played politics? Maybe a little but trying to get a Chief stripe didn't consume me. There was a point when I was an E-8 that I even gave up on the idea. If you ask me, Chief is a little bit about luck, a lot about the good people that helped you (subordinates included), and having the bad people being limited in their ability to totally screw you (closely related to luck). Some perserverance on my part was all that was required. In my instance that's all Chief was...maybe not for others.

My mantra throughout the years ihas always been that I can always outlast a bad supervisor. Don't get me wrong, I have had and continue to have heated discussions with people I disagree with (imagine that right) but I refuse to let a bad supervisor ruin my career. It has worked pretty well since I adopted it back in 2003...have been promoted 3x since. While I'm not a Chief, I think SMSgt is fairly respectable.

SomeRandomGuy
10-03-2013, 02:35 PM
My mantra throughout the years ihas always been that I can always outlast a bad supervisor. Don't get me wrong, I have had and continue to have heated discussions with people I disagree with (imagine that right) but I refuse to let a bad supervisor ruin my career. It has worked pretty well since I adopted it back in 2003...have been promoted 3x since. While I'm not a Chief, I think SMSgt is fairly respectable.

It is even better when you outlast the supervisor and then become his/her supervisor. When I was a SrA we had another SrA in my section who was at like 7 years. When the NCOIC was gone they put him in charge of the section even though he was incompetent. When SSgt results came out I made SSgt and he didn't. The NCOIC left and I became NCOIC and his new boss.

sandsjames
10-03-2013, 03:33 PM
My mantra throughout the years ihas always been that I can always outlast a bad supervisor. Don't get me wrong, I have had and continue to have heated discussions with people I disagree with (imagine that right) but I refuse to let a bad supervisor ruin my career. It has worked pretty well since I adopted it back in 2003...have been promoted 3x since. While I'm not a Chief, I think SMSgt is fairly respectable.

Don't they promote like 82% to SMSgt now? It's like making Major. Don't get too comfortable...in a few years, SMSgt will be the new TSgt...