By Katie McGuire Photos by William Kolb
The cadets of the CLC second regiment spent the last half of this week testing their critical thinking skills as a new part of training this year. They took the Miller’s Analogy Test (MAT), the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA), and the Cadet Development Exam (CDA), serves for which will help determine the cadet’s future regiment and branch and component.
Last year the Cadet Summer Training program tested this new part of training by only giving the cadets the CDA exam. However, this year the Army has decided all three are important to leadership development.
LTC Rob Schiller of the CST S3 Operations and Training Center says these tests, and the military and physical training, are a big part of becoming future officers of the United States Army. “They get to develop themselves as a part of a lifelong journey of learning,” he said.
The MAT is designed to present an analogy and the person has to figure out a way to solve the situation. This exam is derived from businesses around the world, and the U.S. Army believes it is important to cadet leadership training.
The CLA tests the cadets on their critical thinking, scientific reasoning, written communication, and if they can read critically. This exam is also used outside of the Army.
The final exam, the CDA, is the only one of the three that tests military knowledge. Most cadets are MSIII, or a junior in college, and should have learned military science in their R.O.T.C. programs at the universities.
All three exams are taken within a one-to-two hour time period and each are separated by a day, making it a three-day process. The CLA and CDA are multiple choice, however, the MAT is all writing.
LTC Schiller believes these exams are one of the two most important parts of training.
“If I were a cadet two things would be important to me this summer. 1. (the exams) because they measure my cognitive ability, my intellectual capacity which flows in to how they measure me on the merit list and 2. the rest of the summer training,” he said. These two parts of training are two very big steps in leadership development, which is the main focus in the CST this summer.
Later in training the cadets will take the Compass exam. This exam will determine a cadet’s thinking skills, thought process, and their personality.