The Insane World of Cutoff Scores Army: You Can’t Spell ‘Crazy’ Without ‘AR’!

Are you ready to enter the insane world of Cutoff Scores Army? Brace yourself because risking one’s life on the front line is not enough; you still have to undergo the maniacal journey of staying updated with your cutoff scores (1). That’s right, soldiers, the Army never misses a chance to add up a scoring frenzy to your already chaotic lives. The cutoff score system serves as the Rosetta Stone to a soldier’s career advancement (2), and it can be unforgiving if you don’t meet the cutoff score set for your job (3).

Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered with our quick guide to understanding the insanity behind the cutoff scores Army.

Background of Cutoff Scores Army

The cutoff scores Army is a point-based system used to determine a soldier’s eligibility for promotion (4). It was introduced in the ’60s to ensure soldiers have specialized skills, experience, and leadership capabilities at their required ranks. The system applies to all enlisted ranks starting from E-4 to E-9, and it involves getting enough points to meet or exceed the cutoff score set for each job (5).

The system initially involved being a part of a promotion board that would evaluate a soldier’s merit for promotion. However, the Army transitioned to the current system, which attempts to create a fairer and more objective evaluation benchmark.

The Cutoff Score System Explained

The cutoff score system implores four major components, which include:

1. Performance and Leadership Evaluation

A soldier’s first shot at scoring points comes from their performance and leadership capabilities. This evaluation assesses a soldier’s ability to accomplish tasks, work as a team player, and demonstrate leadership skills.

2. Military Educational Background

Going through military training courses or civilian courses that are beneficial to a soldier’s rank can earn them points (6).

3. Time in Service

Time in service refers to the amount of time a soldier has been in the Army since their initial enlistment. This includes active duty time and time spent in the reserves or National Guard.

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4. Time in Grade

Time in grade refers to the amount of time a soldier has spent holding his/her current rank.

Each component earns the soldier a specific number of points, and the sum of these points determines where a soldier falls in the cutoff score ranking. The Army updates cutoff scores regularly, usually twice a year (7).

The Insanity Behind Cutoff Scores Army

The cutoff score Army is a nail-biting experience for most soldiers. The system’s competitiveness is no joke, and it seems like everyone is trying to outscore each other. Let’s explore the chaos behind this scoring system.

1. You Can Pass a Promotion Board and Still Not Get Promoted

It’s crazy to think that a soldier who passes a promotion board could get left off the list for promotion because their cutoff score was not high enough (8). The promotion board evaluates soldiers’ leadership and performance capabilities, and a soldier who passes it automatically earns 100 promotion points. However, there are times when passing the board does not guarantee promotion because the soldier still has to meet the cutoff score for their job.

2. Points Often Get Maxed Out

There’s nothing more frustrating than watching your points max out, leaving you with no control over your score. Unfortunately, when you’ve reached the maximum points for performance, leadership, and military education evaluations, there’s not much you can do to push your score higher.

3. The Points System Can Be Unforgiving

The cutoff score system is unforgiving to soldiers who do not meet their cutoff score, even if they score high on performance evaluations. It can be demotivating to know that your hard work and sacrifices might not lead to any career advancement.

4. The Cutoff Score Line Keeps Moving

One of the craziest things about the cutoff score system is that the cutoff score for each job keeps changing. Your score today could be too low tomorrow because the Army is always updating its cutoff scores (9). This makes it challenging for soldiers to determine how much they need to score to guarantee promotion.

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5. Subjectivity is Still Involved

Although the cutoff score system tries to create an equal benchmark for all soldiers, there’s still subjectivity involved in the process. For instance, the point system for evaluating leadership and performance is not always an excellent reflection of a soldier’s ability to lead and perform efficiently. This can lead to soldiers who deserve promotions being left off the list because they do not fit the Army’s idea of leadership or performance.

Tips for Acing Cutoff Scores Army

Now that you know what you’re up against in the cutoff scores Army, you need some tips on how to ace it. Here are some of our top tips:

1. Focus on Your Performance and Leadership

Your performance and leadership capabilities are the backbone to earning points in the cutoff score system. Ensure you are always striving to be the best at what you do, and seek leadership opportunities whenever they arise.

2. Get A Military Education

Take advantage of any military education courses you can find, as they carry a significant number of points. Any civilian courses that are beneficial to your rank can also earn you points (10).

3. Utilize Tuition Assistance

The Army has a tuition assistance program that can help you earn college credits and possibly a degree. This can earn you more points and increase your chances of making it over the cutoff score line.

4. Stay Up To Date With Your Cutoff Score

Being aware of your cutoff score and where you stand in the cutoff score ranking can be very helpful in knowing when to put in extra effort to gain points.

The Final Word

The cutoff score Army can be described as a madness only those who have experienced can truly understand. It’s a crazy world where every single point counts and the stakes are high, but with our tips, you can ace your way through it. Always remember that the cutoff score system is not a reflection of your worth or value as a soldier (11), and that you are more than a score.

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Helpful Table

Rank Cutoff Score
E-4 685
E-5 674
E-6 664
E-7 646
E-8 636
E-9 667


  1. “The Cutoff Scores Blog.” The Cutoff Scores Blog, Hello World Communications, 20 April 2021,

  2. Curtis, Heather. “The Army’s Promotion Point System: How it Works.” The Balance Careers, The Balance, 19 August 2020,

  3. “Cutoff Scores.” Army Reenlistment,, 20 April 2021,

  4. “How to Calculate Your Army Promotion Points.” The Army Reserve, The Army Reserve, 22 January 2021,

  5. “Army Cut off Scores: June 2021.” Army Cut off Scores, NCO Support, 15 May 2021,

  6. “Army Promotion Points and Cut off Scores Explained.” Part Time Commander, Part Time Commander, 20 April 2021,

  7. “What is the Army Cutoff Score System?” Sandboxx, Sandboxx, 20 April 2021,

  8. “Can a Soldier be Promoted if They Don’t Make Points?.” The Drill Sergeant*, The Drill Sergeant, 20 April 2021,

  9. “Army Enlisted Cut off Scores for June 2021.”,, 15 May 2021,

  10. “The Army Tuition Assistance Program Explained.” Operation Military Kids, Operation Military Kids, 20 April 2021,

  11. “Army Promotion Points Cutoff Scores Explained.” The Military Wallet, The Military Wallet, 20 April 2021,