They changed the rules a while back, it used to be if you placed 1st, 2nd or3rd in a level you had to move up (except moving to Masters for that you have to earn 3 EC) But they discovered that some people might be moving up before they were ready.
So now the rule is if you place 1st in levels 1 or 2 you have to move up. But you can start at whatever level you feel comfortable. When they changed the rules I had been in level 3 for awhile, but didn't feel like I belonged.
Deb announced if you hadn't placed first you could move back down. So I went back to level 2 for a few weeks. Once I was more confident I moved back to level 3.
So the choice is really yours, if you want to advance you can, but if you want to stay at that level until you feel comfortable advancing or until you place first, you can do that too.
Here's the link to the guidelines for anyone who needs to look at it.