Marine Corps recruits must pass a hearing test at MEPS. There isn’t a whole lot you can do to prepare for this one; you either have good hearing or you don’t. There are different levels of hearing though, so if you don’t pass the test with a perfect score, you may still apply for a waiver if the job you want doesn’t require the highest hearing level.
A few tips for passing the MEPS hearing test:
- Make sure you don’t have an ear infection at all before you go. Have you been swimming lately?
- Clean out your ears! Make sure you don’t have a wax build-up (the doctors won’t disqualify you for a wax build-up, but they might make you go to a nearby doctor’s office to get it removed, which may add an entire day to your MEPS visit.)
- Don’t listen to loud music or go hunting or shooting or ANYTHING loud ahead of time that might create ringing in your ears
- Don’t wear earrings during the hearing test. You want your ear to not be obstructed at all.
The Marine Corps Hearing Conservation Program (MCHCP)
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for members of the military to suffer from hearing loss from a variety of loud sounds (i.e., gunfire, explosions, airplane engines, etc.) Gunfire in particular can be damaging to Marines ears due to the high-intensity impulse. Often, Marines don’t notice that they are losing their hearing as it can happen slowly over a long period of time.
In April of 2010, the Marine Corps Times published an article titled “War is Hell — On Your Hearing”. In the article, it is written that “Defective hearing and tinnitus are the most common service-connected conditions diagnosed among veterans” and that around 50,000 Iraq and Afghanistan vets have reported hearing loss.
For anyone wanting to be a Marine Corps recruit, take your hearing seriously. Once you lose it, you can’t get it back. Don’t cheat on the test (if that’s even possible) and practice safe hearing practices throughout your military career.