Academic Skills Training Q&As

Need to improve your math and writing skills?

In the military, strong academic skills, like math and writing, are extremely beneficial to your success in training and advancement in every occupational field. The Department of Defense (DoD) Voluntary Education (VolEd) program offers no-cost, self-paced, academic skills training courses to improve a member’s math and communications skills. OASC, the Online Academic Skills Course, and CPST, the College Placement Skills Training, are designed to help you and other members strengthen reading comprehension, writing, and math skills to excel in your jobs, advance in your careers, or continue your education.

Q1. What is the Online Academic Skills Course (OASC)?

A1. This course provides military students with fundamental math and verbal skills improvement.

Q2. How much time does an individual need to dedicate to the OASC course?

A2. The time needed to complete the OASC course varies based on the goals of each individual and the skill level with which you begin the course. The lessons for each course contain 20-minute segments on a variety of related topics. OASC allows you the flexibility to complete as few or as many segments as you would like each time you log on, so you can complete the course at a pace that works best for you. On average, it takes 20 to 30 hours to complete the pre-assessments and post-assessments, all of the lessons in the full Learning Path, all of the quizzes and practice sets.

Q3. What is College Placement Skills Training (CPST)?

A3. The CPST course helps prepare you and other members for college level coursework with 116 available lessons. The goal of CPST is to ensure that you are able to successfully place into college level math and English courses. Completing the training can help you avoid the extra time and tuition costs associated with taking non-credit bearing, developmental courses.

Q4. Are OASC and CPST the same courses?

A4. OASC and CPST are two different courses with one registration. Although they are separate courses, they have the same design. Both courses offer pre-assessments to determine your strengths and weaknesses. The courses are self-paced and customized according to answers on the pre-assessment. Personalized learning paths are designed for each student, with lessons that specifically address individual weaknesses. Students may choose an abbreviated review with shortened lessons or add to a customized lesson path.

Q5. Who is eligible and how much does it cost?

A5. Both OASC and CPST courses are available at no cost to all active duty, Guard, and Reserve military members (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard). Users have the ability to take both courses with the same login. You can return and access the courses at any time. Visit the DANTES website and the OASC/CPST page for more information.

Other DANTES Program Resources

Other tools and resources to help you in your education journey include:

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