Take a Practice Navy Advancement Test

If you’re serious about your advancement, and you should be, then you’ll want to prepare for the Navy-Wide Advancement Exam (NWAE).

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Navy Advancement


The Navy-Wide Advancement Exam (NWAE)

Advancement in the United States Navy for Enlisted Sailors is based on an overall Final Multiple Score (FMS). A major contributing factor to the final FMS is the Navy-Wide Advancement Exam (NWAE). If you’re taking the NWAE, that means you have met all the necessary requirements for advancement and have been recommended by your Commanding Officer or Officer In Charge. Since the NWAE is such a large factor within your FMS, we have a sample practice test and study resources to help you prepare for the exam.

What is the NWAE?

The NWAE is a standardized exam for active-duty and reserve component Sailors that provides an unbiased factor to help rank qualified candidates for advancement consideration. The exam consists of 175 total questions from your occupational rating. This NWAE Make-Up Guide helps give an in-depth understanding of what content makes up the exam.

There are two windows throughout the year to take the NWAE; Spring and Fall for E4 to E6 candidates, and January/February for Chief candidates. The Navy will typically post the quotas for each rate, so you’ll know how many Sailors can advance, then will release the advancement results a few weeks later. Many rates are very competitive, which only allow a small percentage to advance compared to all who are eligible. This makes the NWAE a very important component in advancement, making every point, actually every hundredth of a point matter.

What is the Final Multiple Score (FMS)?

The Final Multiple Score, or FMS is a system used by the U.S. Navy to determine whether enlisted Sailors are eligible for promotion to the next paygrade. There are nine separate factors that make up the FMS, each with different weight. Sailors have the ability to increase their FMS in all areas, so advancement is completely within your control.

How to Prepare for the NWAE

If you’re serious about your advancement, and you should be, then you’ll want to prepare just like any other exam. The Navy publishes a list of occupational references, known as the Navy Advancement Bibliographies or “The Bibs”, which help guide Sailors in their studies for the NWAE. There are several ways to study the bibliographies and practice exams you can take to help narrow down the information related to your rate, saving you time and helping you study the correct information. We have even included some exam taking tips to help you in your advancement.


  • When are the test dates (per rank / per component)
    • E6 Active Duty exams - First Thursday in March and September
    • E5 Active Duty exams - Second Thursday in March and September
    • E7 Active Duty exams - Third Thursday in January
    • E4/5/6 SELRES Exams - February and August
    • E7 SELRES Exams - February
  • Can I retake the NWAE? How many times?
    • As long as you retain eligibility to promote, you can take the exam every cycle you are eligible until you are advanced.
  • What is a good score?
    • Each advancement cycle, the overall FMS required to advance changes.  Since each rating has a different FMS threshold, there is no one standard for a good score.  The maximum score for any exam, though is 80.  How that factors into your FMS is determined by your paygrade.
  • How many questions are on the NWAE?
    • 175 total questions dealing with your occupational rating.
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