Two Fort Leonard Wood Soldiers, Sgt. Danielle Vaughn and Spc. Neil Moncrieffe, improved their Armed Forces Classification Test’s General Technical scores by at least 30 points each after using the Army’s Basic Skills Education Program.
BSEP, part of the Army Continuing Education System, is a two-week course that offers Soldiers an opportunity to retest and boost their GT scores, which determine their career paths in the Army, said Debra Wales, the installation’s education services officer.
“A GT score for a Soldier sets their trajectory for what they can do in the Army,” Wales said. “The higher that score, the more opportunities they have. The target goal is 110.”
A GT score of 110 is needed for enlisted Soldiers to “drop packets,” or submit applications, to be considered for Officer Candidate School, but that score would also keep Soldiers eligible for most of the Army’s nearly 200 different military occupational specialties, if that individual wished to reclassify.
In other words, Wales said, higher scores open doors.
“The positive for the Army is these Soldiers can now reclass, or maybe drop a packet for warrant officer school, for OCS,” she said. “Sometimes, they’re trying to do drill (sergeant) school, sometimes they’re trying to get into special forces.”
For Moncrieffe, a religious affairs specialist, improving his score was the first step toward achieving his goal of becoming a commissioned officer.
“I was looking into dropping a packet for OCS after I’ve completed my first contract, which I still have a year and a half to go, but after mentioning this to my (noncommissioned officer), he encouraged me to enroll into the BSEP program to increase my GT score … and my GT score was way off at the time,” he said. “I had an 89.”
And after just two weeks of classes with the Truman Education Center, Moncrieffe increased his score by 30 points. He couldn’t believe it.
“I immediately asked (the instructor) if there was a mistake with my scorecard as he showed me the score,” Moncrieffe said. “The feeling was like a dream come true, as the results reflected both the practice and the timing that the instructors put into my classmates and I to ensure that we were mentally prepared for the examination.”
Indeed, Moncrieffe wasn’t alone in his excitement after seeing the results of BSEP.
“He worked very hard, he followed the instructions, he did his homework at night … and he scored a 119, which was amazing,” Wales recalled. “We average about a 15-point increase.”
Vaughn, an animal care specialist assigned to the 94th Engineer Detachment, said she also wanted to have more options for reclassification within the Army, and that desire brought her to BSEP.
“I was very appreciative of the class I got to attend,” she said. “The teacher was phenomenal — she showed us so many ways to get the same answer.”
Vaughn was equally thrilled to see her improvement, raising a GT score of 86 to 121.
Moncrieffe credited BSEP teachers for responding to every question he had.
“Asking questions is a must while you’re seated in the BSEP course,” he said. “There’s no shame in doing that because the instructors are more than happy to assist you.”
Vaughn urged fellow Soldiers not to waste time if they are unhappy with their current GT score.
“Don’t take as long as I did,” she said. “If you’re not at 110, there’s always better. Take the opportunity if it’s there, and attend the classes with an open mind.”
Soldiers can take part in the BSEP and re-take the AFCT three times throughout their careers per current Army regulation, Wales said.
The Truman Education Center holds BSEP courses once per month in a socially distanced classroom onsite at Bldg. 499.
To participate in the program, Soldiers can contact the Truman Education Center directly at 573.596.0172.