By Melissa Buckley, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Nov. 7, 2023)— For some service members, taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery in high school is a vague memory, but for ones needing to raise their original scores, the Army’s Basic Skills Education Program is helping them meet, and sometimes even exceed, their goals.

According to Zanti Andriani, an education services specialist for the Army Continuing Education System at Fort Leonard Wood’s Truman Education and Personnel Testing Center, the BSEP course is geared toward service members with General Technical scores of 109 or below.

“Some service members want to reclass into another military occupational specialty that requires a higher GT score. The majority of Soldiers that take the BSEP class need to raise their GT score to at least 110 in order to apply to commission as a warrant officer,” Andriani said.

The BSEP class helps students study for the GT portion, the math and English sections, of the Armed Forces Classification Test. According to Andriani, the ASVAB is administered to new recruits entering the military and the AFCT is used to test active-duty service members.

“I have had several Soldiers come to BSEP with GT scores that are below 90 and leave with scores above 110. That is a huge accomplishment,” Andriani said. “I had a Soldier whose score was below average, but English was their second language. That can make the vocabulary portion of the test very difficult. They worked really hard and after BSEP their new score was 119.”

Andriani said the average GT score increase after the BSEP course is 19 points.

“I love seeing the excitement in Soldiers’ eyes when they see their new, higher score. They love the Army, and you can see it. They want to better themselves for their careers,” Andriani said.

Staff Sgt. Samuel Lovato is an instructor at Range 7 for the Combat Training Company. After taking the BSEP class, his score raised by 35 points, a new class record according to Andriani.

Lovato said he took the BSEP course because after 10 years in the Army, he came to the realization, “I really should have above a 110 GT score.”

He said there have been waivers for some of the opportunities he wanted, but to achieve his ultimate goal, there was no waiver — he needed a 110 GT score, “to see if I can go green to gold or go warrant officer as a backup,” Lovato said.

After taking the AFCT and finding out that he scored the highest of all the BSEP students tested on Fort Leonard Wood, “I was shocked — in disbelief. I felt like they were playing a joke on me because my highest level of education was high school 10 years ago. The BSEP class has given me the confidence to start taking college classes to earn a degree.”

The class Lovato attended this fall was a full day class for 10 days, with testing on the 11th day.

According to Andriani, the class was a half-day class until she changed it to a full-day curriculum in March.

“We had a full-day class at the last installation I worked at. I could see a difference between the scores of those who went to full day and half day. It was significant. We are putting everything in this class from kindergarten to 12th grade. We need Soldiers focused all day to meet their goals,” Andriani said.

The BSEP class is taught once a month in Bldg. 499. Andriani said each class has 15 slots.

“Sometimes, it is on a case-by-case basis. If I have a Soldier with a 110 GT score, but they need a higher score to be able to change jobs, we will consider them, too. Also, if there is space available, we will accept Marines, Sailors, Airmen and even dependents.”

To participate in the program, visit Fort Leonard Wood’s Continuing Education System website or call the Truman Education Center at 573.596.0172. 573.596.0172.

Students attend a Basic Skills Education Program class Monday at the Truman Education and Personnel Testing Center. (Photo by Melissa Buckley, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)











About Fort Leonard Wood

Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post 80 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains nearly 80,000 military and civilians each year.

Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.

Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.