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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Cadet Programs Management & Activities  |  Topic: Motivating a Cadet to succeed
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1st Lt Thompson
Seasoned Member

Posts: 352
Unit: GLR-MI-063

« on: September 23, 2017, 11:18:42 AM »

I have a Cadet who, as of this past Thursday, has failed her Wright Brothers exam a total of 12 times. Sitting down with the Cadet, she says she is studying the text and key objectives at the end of each chapter, but when it comes time to test she can't seem to get a passing score.

She breezed through the first 3 (open book) tests with little problem, so obviously my concern is that she only passed because they were open book, and never retained the knowledge. She doesn't have an individual learning plan, nor has she or her parents requested any concessions.

You can tell that her motivation is now low, and understandably so. Over the months she's been trying to accomplish her WB, we've had Cadets join, pass Great Start, promote a few times and will soon outrank her if she doesn't figure out a way to retain enough knowledge to pass the test. With as much difficulty as she's having, if she does finally pass the test, I can't see how she'll ever get past the next milestone as the difficulty will increase quite a bit.

I've had Cadets fail the Wright Brothers 3 or 4 times, but never 12. Has anyone else run into this situation? What have you done to coach your Cadets to success?

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1st Lt Matt Thompson
Squadron Leadership Officer, Squadron Historian
UDF, GTM3, MSA, MS

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 22 MAY 01 (#11401)
NIN
VIP

Posts: 4,664
Unit: of issue

« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2017, 11:30:36 AM »

I had a cadet who joined CAP and was active for a year or so, then life and other things took him out of the mix for the next 12-18 months (he kept his membership up, but he was just not active..  Sports, some family stuff, etc). Finally, he came back and started to get into things, and he went to take his Wright Bros and failed it, then failed it again.

Since I saw the fails, I said "OK, dude, whats going on?"

"Sir, the test doesn't seem to match up to the book!"

"Huh? No, thats not the case.."

After talking to him for a few minutes, it dawned on me that he was using *the wrong books*. He'd originally joined just before the current set of leadership texts was released, so he got the previous ones. Then online testing came along that is based on the current text. Oops.

I gave him a set of the new books and two weeks later he passed his Wright Bros.

Now I don't think a materials mismatch is the case here, but perhaps its time to sit down and do a little review with the cadet  (https://quizlet.com/subject/civil-air-patrol/ maybe?)  over the materials and confirm that the cadet has a firm grasp of the subject matter, and then, if thats solid, look to see if she's got issues with test taking. I doesn't sound like it, but people do react in different ways to a closed-book tests and this could be one of those situations. (I've always been able to breeze thru multiple guess choice tests, but thats just me. Others don't do well on them at all)
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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
Eclipse
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Posts: 27,996

« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2017, 12:05:28 PM »

(I've always been able to breeze thru multiple guess choice tests, but thats just me. Others don't do well on them at all)

Ditto - for me it's always been "You either know the answer or you don't, and if you don't, your guess won't be better after staring at it for 30 minutes...",
Thus some of my comments here about "15 minute GES tests, etc." when you hear others struggling for a prolonged period and still not passing.

At this point she may well be having some test anxiety that is turning off her lights when she starts, because after 12 times, one would think that
by mere random chance she could be guessing the ones she doesn't actually "know".  There's only like what 150 questions in the respective pools for WB?
As you say, she's also probably hearing footsteps of the younger cadets who joined after her as well as seeing those in her peer group run ahead.
That can be as demotivating as positive "together" pressure can be motivating.

Assuming there's no neurological or physiological issues here, some sort of study group or similar is probably in order, preferably
one which doesn't single out the cadet who is struggling more then necessary.

You can couch it in helping those coming up to their WB and have them all work together.  Personally I wish we had enough cadets
at a given level to make that happen because there are clearly retention and "drive-by issues" these days with the Achievements.
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"Effort" does not equal "results".
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1st Lt Thompson
Seasoned Member

Posts: 352
Unit: GLR-MI-063

« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2017, 12:25:35 PM »

I like the idea of a study group, that isn't a bad idea at all. Great idea Eclipse, thank you!
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1st Lt Matt Thompson
Squadron Leadership Officer, Squadron Historian
UDF, GTM3, MSA, MS

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 22 MAY 01 (#11401)
Mitchell 1969
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 689
Unit: PCR-CA-051

« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2017, 04:08:25 PM »

You said that neither she nor the parents have requested concessions. But, have the parents said ANYTHING? I know if it was my kid who had failed an exam 12 times, I’d at least be asking “Hey, what’s going on here?”

I’m thinking a reach out to the parents is in order. Explain what happened, explain that advancement can’t happen without passing. Show them the text on which the exam is based. Then ask “Do you have any ideas that will help me to help your daughter succeed?”  Listen closely to how they answer.


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Bernard J. Wilson, Major, CAP

Mitchell 1969; Earhart 1971; Eaker 1973. Cadet Flying Encampment, License, 1970. IACE New Zealand 1971; IACE Korea 1973.

CAP has been bery, bery good to me.
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 853

« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2017, 05:27:03 PM »

You said that neither she nor the parents have requested concessions. But, have the parents said ANYTHING? I know if it was my kid who had failed an exam 12 times, I’d at least be asking “Hey, what’s going on here?”

I’m thinking a reach out to the parents is in order. Explain what happened, explain that advancement can’t happen without passing. Show them the text on which the exam is based. Then ask “Do you have any ideas that will help me to help your daughter succeed?”  Listen closely to how they answer.

I'd really pause before doing that. CAP may be the one thing this teen is trying to do 'on their own' and the parents may not know the struggle. Going direct to parents could embarrass her and it could wind up being a trust issue, etc., etc.

Talk to the Cadet first.
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MS - MO - AP - MP
Mitchell 1969
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Posts: 689
Unit: PCR-CA-051

« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2017, 06:47:30 PM »

You said that neither she nor the parents have requested concessions. But, have the parents said ANYTHING? I know if it was my kid who had failed an exam 12 times, I’d at least be asking “Hey, what’s going on here?”

I’m thinking a reach out to the parents is in order. Explain what happened, explain that advancement can’t happen without passing. Show them the text on which the exam is based. Then ask “Do you have any ideas that will help me to help your daughter succeed?”  Listen closely to how they answer.

I'd really pause before doing that. CAP may be the one thing this teen is trying to do 'on their own' and the parents may not know the struggle. Going direct to parents could embarrass her and it could wind up being a trust issue, etc., etc.

Talk to the Cadet first.

I think “Talk to the Cadet first” has already happened. I gleaned that from “Sitting down with the cadet, she says...”

But another talk probably wouldn’t hurt.


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_________________
Bernard J. Wilson, Major, CAP

Mitchell 1969; Earhart 1971; Eaker 1973. Cadet Flying Encampment, License, 1970. IACE New Zealand 1971; IACE Korea 1973.

CAP has been bery, bery good to me.
MSG Mac
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,787
Unit: MER-MD-071

« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2017, 08:13:38 PM »

Have you tried making a study guide for her?
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Michael P. McEleney
Lt Col CAP
MSG USA (Retired)
GaryVC
Forum Regular

Posts: 122
Unit: PCR-NV-070

« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2017, 12:17:27 PM »

I’m thinking a reach out to the parents is in order. Explain what happened, explain that advancement can’t happen without passing. Show them the text on which the exam is based. Then ask “Do you have any ideas that will help me to help your daughter succeed?”  Listen closely to how they answer.

I agree with this. There may be some issues there that you aren't aware of. Also what are her scores? Is she just missing with scores in the 70s or is she much farther from passing (we have a cadet who gets 40s on open book tests).  That could suggest the nature of the problem. I presume she is taking the test online. Would she do better with a printed test?
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Eclipse
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Posts: 27,996

« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2017, 12:31:16 PM »

And I strongly disagree with the idea of not involving parents.  I understand the idea of "doing it on her own",
but clearly she can't, and it's a parent's responsibility to help in these cases.

Any idea of hiding it from them will end badly, just like pretty much any other situation where society
has decided it's OK for minors to make life decisions without parental involvement, yet parents are still
held responsible for the outcomes.

When I see how involved my wife is with out kids Boy Scout stuff, I am always taken aback a bit with parents
we never see or hear from.
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"Effort" does not equal "results".
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

Brit_in_CAP
Seasoned Member

Posts: 361
Unit: MER-VA-002

« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2017, 10:49:42 PM »

Withdrawn...
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Brit_in_CAP
Seasoned Member

Posts: 361
Unit: MER-VA-002

« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2017, 10:50:24 PM »

And I strongly disagree with the idea of not involving parents.  I understand the idea of "doing it on her own",
but clearly she can't, and it's a parent's responsibility to help in these cases.

Any idea of hiding it from them will end badly, just like pretty much any other situation where society
has decided it's OK for minors to make life decisions without parental involvement, yet parents are still
held responsible for the outcomes.

When I see how involved my wife is with out kids Boy Scout stuff, I am always taken aback a bit with parents
we never see or hear from.
+1 here, esp the last sentence.
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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Cadet Programs Management & Activities  |  Topic: Motivating a Cadet to succeed
 


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