Learn More About Army Promotion Points and Getting Promoted
If you haven't completed any Army Correspondence Courses, you could be missing out on a serious opportunity to get promoted. Everyone who had ever been in the Army knows that the last thing you want to do when you get off work is to go home and do more Army stuff. However, it doesn't take nearly as long as you may think and the Army Skillport system gives you a big chunk of promotion points that will stay with you throughout your Army Career once they are finished.
Don't let it confuse you when people talk about Skillport Army Courses. There are many different ways people will refer to these courses such as:
- Army E Learning
- Army Skillport
- Army Correspondence Courses
Most soldiers who have tried to start Skillport Army courses have had difficulty because the site is not obvious to find. For a full guide on how to get started with Army Skillport e-learning, check out Army Skillport Login & Registration Guide. It will walk you step by step through the process of registering and taking courses.
How Much of a Difference do They Make?
Each 5 hours worth of Skillport Army courses are worth one promotion point. You can find out how many hours each course is before you start by looking at the course information. Some have the time listed in minutes and some are in hours.
If you are currently a Specialist or Corporal, you can max out your Correspondence Courses at 78 promotion points for Sergeant. This is equivalent to 390 hours on Skillport. If you are currently a Sergeant, you can max out your Correspondence Courses at 84 promotion points for Staff Sergeant. This is equivalent to 420 hours on Army Skillport.
Remember that the Structured Self-Development (SSD) courses are also part of those 78 or 84 points. However, only the SSD courses relative to your rank will stay on your ERB. For example, once you have been promoted to Sergeant, the points from SSD 1 & 2 will no longer count towards your points to achieve Staff Sergeant.
Your Skillport Army courses should show up on your ERB in 2 to 3 week days. A few days after they show up on your ERB, they will be posted to your Promotion Point Worksheet (PPW) if you already have your promotable (P) status. These courses will be listed as Correspondence Courses and detail the number of hours you have completed.
How Long is it Going to Take?
Even though the maximum hours possible for Correspondence courses seems like a lot of time, it doesn't have to take you that amount of time to complete.
I can typically do an hour course in about 5 minutes. The trick is to take courses you are already knowledgeable about so you don't have to sit through the whole course. You can just take the course test and move on to the next one. I suggest trying to Microsoft courses since most people have knowledge about Excel, PowerPoint and Word. I did these and maxed out my 390 hours in about 33 hours. That sounds much better right?
If there are not any courses in an area you find easy, you can always just take the tests and pick random answers and then go back and redo the ones you get wrong. There is almost never a reason to sit through the whole course and waste your time. Shh, don't tell your NCO I said that.
When Can I Start?
I personally started doing correspondence courses before I left for basic. This made it so easy to have the points I needed by the time I was eligible for promotion. So, start now if you haven't already. As long as you have an Army Knowledge Online (AKO) Email, you should be good to go. Don't put it off until the moment when you realize you are close to being promotable. You will be scrambling around trying to do a million things at once. Start early and it will be much less stressful.
What Other Benefits Does Skillport Have?
The Skillport Courses in the ACE College Credit section can actually be transferred to an actual college. If you're going to do Skillport courses, why not get the added benefit of free college credits too.
The down side to the ACE courses is that they are much much harder. There typically is no way to just take the test and pass unless you have extensive knowledge in that area. The tests require you to pass with one time through. You can't go back and re do your wrong answers. You also have to get a passing score in each section to pass. Although, it is great you can kill two birds with one stone, it is much more time consuming. A course listed as taking 3 hour will probably take you much more. So, if you are just after the promotion points, don't bother with the ACE courses.
© 2013 Megan Dodd