At almost all large units (units with a full-time ESO) and many smaller ones, there's no such thing as ordering tests any more. These units, called "library units", maintain a library of tests people at that unit or in the area regularly request. This means tests can be administered at any time without having to order one and wait for it to arrive.
If you're attached to a unit that doesn't maintain a test library, your ESO will order a hard-copy test from the Coast Guard Institute for you when you need it. You will take the test on a paper answer sheet which is then sent to the Institute for scoring.
Library units are also authorized to administer tests using an on-line answer form. When you're done with your test, your responses are submitted electronically to the Institute and scored almost instantly. Unofficial results are sent to you and the ESO by e-mail as soon as your test has been scored. Official results are posted in DirectAccess within 48 hours of your responses being submitted.
Yes. Before you can take what used to be called an end-of-course test (EOCT, now a Rating Advancement Test or RAT), ALCOAST 586/05 and subsequent ALCOASTs announcing the availability of new courses require validation from your supervisor showing "that all performance qualifications are accomplished IAW referenced standards, and ensuring all course materials are completed...." Rating Performance Qualifications (RPQs) for all ratings include, in the "Remarks" section on page 2, a statement that must be completed by your shop chief or division officer stating that you have completed your PQG and EPQs and are eligible to take the RAT. If that statement isn't completed by someone competent to do so, your ESO can't administer the test.
You can download the latest version of your rating's RPQs via the Learning Management System, on the CGPortal.
Once you've got your RPQs signed off and the statement on page 2 signed and dated by your supervisor, you should schedule a time to take the RAT. When you arrive at the test site, present the completed page 2 to the ESO.
Be aware that the pay grade listed on page 2 of your RPQs needs to match the pay grade of the test you're planning to take. So each time you take a test for a higher pay grade in your rating, you need a new page 2 with the pay grade of the test you'll be taking entered into the statement.
At TraCen Cape May, you'll send me an e-mail with the date you'd like to take the test, along with the name of the test you want to take. Every unit has its own procedures for administering RATs.
At TraCen Cape May, you can take a RAT or E-PME Advancement Qualification Exam (AQE) any weekday at 0745. If you absolutely can't take a test at that time, let me know and we'll work out an alternative.
At TraCen Cape May, RATs and AQEs are administered in the Education Center (Mission Support/Admin building, room 113). Your ESO can tell you where RATs are administered at other units.
You will be using a hard-copy test. If your unit is a library unit you will take the test using an on-line answer form. When you're done with your test, your responses are submitted electronically to the Institute and scored almost instantly. Unofficial results are sent to you and the ESO by e-mail as soon as your test has been scored and official results are posted in DirectAccess within 48 hours of your responses being submitted.
If you're taking the test at a unit that doesn't maintain a test library, the ESO will order a hard-copy test from the Coast Guard Institute for you when you need it. You will take the test on a paper answer sheet which is then sent to the Institute for scoring.
The first time you take the NavRul test, it’s a closed-book test. Once you’ve passed, however, all subsequent NavRul tests you take are open-book. There’s no expiration date on your NavRul score.
There is a requirement that boat coxswains take the NavRul test at least every five years. This has nothing to do with whether the test is an open- or closed-book test.
The DWINTO (the original Deck Watch Officer) test is taken without the book. You have five years after passing it to take the open-book renewal test (DWINTR). If it's been more than five years since you passed the DWINTO or a DWINTR test, it will be a closed-book test.
Generally, on open book end-of-course tests you can use only unmarked course materials from the Coast Guard Institute. Also, tabs on pages of the course are prohibited.
Be sure to read the complete instructions from the Coast Guard Institute on what is and what is not allowed.