Osan adopts electronic promotions testing

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Chase Verzaal
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgts. assigned to the 51st Fighter Wing broke new ground by completing the base's first ever electronic Weighted Airman Promotion System test at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea on Feb. 15, 2024.

The eWAPS test is a modernized version of the pencil and paper test, and was created with the intention of streamlining the exam process for personnel testing for promotion to E-5 and E-6.

Streamlining the process is not only easier for the Airmen who are testing, but for the test control officers and unit WAPS monitors, who no longer have to verify that scantrons are filled out properly or mail in the answer sheets.

“When I was testing to be promoted to Staff Sgt., I took the paper version of the test,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. James Jang, 607th Combat Weather Squadron weather forecaster. “I’m taking the electronic test today, which is just a more efficient, more easily accessible version of the paper version.”

The creation and implementation of eWAPS testing has been an Air Force-level objective since 2022, involving efforts with the Personnel Data Research Institute and PearsonVUE.

PearsonVUE hosts the electronic version of the test and requires Airmen to accomplish tasks prior to testing in order to make the process more efficient. Preparations include responding to invitational emails, creating an account with a password, wearing a uniform to the exam and bringing a common access card to the testing location.

“The scoring process is a lot easier now that we don’t have to use the answer sheet for scoring, and we don’t have to worry about mistakes,” said Yohan Go, 51st Force Support Squadron test control officer. “We have had Airmen that made mistakes using the paper version of the test, and they were unable to be scored.”

With the first test out of the way, many Airmen will have the opportunity to develop in their careers while participating in one of the Air Force’s strides of continuous improvement.

“While the efficiency of the testing process is one of the anticipated benefits, meeting industry standards and innovating to enhance the careers of Airmen are more strategic priorities of the switch.” said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne Bass.