California Measure of Mental Motivation Level III

California Measure of Mental Motivation Level III

The California Measure of Mental Motivation (CM3 III) assesses adult level critical thinking attributes Measure what matters: Critical Thinking skills and mindset The California Measure of Mental Motivation (CM3 III) assesses adult level critical thinking attributes Insight Assessment critical thinking tests available in Arabic, Chinese-Simplified, Chinese-Traditional, Dutch, English, Farsi, Finnish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish & Vietnamese translations Brown paper background with a strip of paper torn to reveal the words PREVIEW
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The California Measure of Mental Motivation (CM3) Level III is calibrated to measure the degree to which college students and adults are cognitively engaged and mentally motivated toward intellectual activities

Test Purpose

The desire to think and to learn triggers success in school or on the job.

Motivated people, young or old, are more likely to engage problems, apply knowledge and achieve results as compared to those who are not motivated to put forth any real effort. Students with this mindset and strong mental motivation will be able to succeed across curricular lines.  If students aren’t motivated to do the work of learning, their progress will be limited.

A high school student or young adult who scores well on the CM3 Level lll has demonstrated an internal motivation to think critically when faced with problems to solve, ideas to evaluate or decisions to make.  Assessment of this mindset will provide important individual and group diagnostics:  quick, easy to administer, CM3 Level lll delivers results that are locally relevant immediately. Given at the beginning and/or end of the school year, reports can be used to:

  • Admission and student placement: make sure that the thinking mindset of a student is well matched to the demands of specialized academic programs
  • Identify and provide input about students needing more support or who are less learning oriented so that optimal individualized instruction and learning strategies can be developed
  • Provide objective group data on a class as learners so teachers can strategically plan curriculum and activities, incorporating how students learn as well as what they need to learn
  • Provide objective data for students and parents:  individualized reports can help students and their parents understand the child’s learning style and think about what is going to help them do better in school
  •  Improve critical thinking outcomes: Evaluate the effectiveness of curricular programs, instructional approaches and educational materials in fostering critical thinking learning
  • Documents that students are developing the essential skills that prepare them to eventually succeed in the workplace
  • Assess effectiveness of enrichment programs: Document the effectiveness and outcomes achievement of after school programs, tutors, community based programs, lifelong learning programs as well as educational programs for disadvantaged youth
  • Track development of reasoning skills: use of the CM3 series allows multi-year comparison of student critical thinking mindset from elementary school through high school

Test Overview

The CM3 Level lll measures an individual’s motivation toward problem solving and learning. Students are asked to agree or disagree with developmentally appropriate statements expressing familiar opinions, beliefs, values, expectations and perceptions that relate to the reflective formation of reasoned judgments.  Typically students will take about 20 minutes to complete the CM3 Level lll.

Scale Scores Reported

The CM3 Level lll measures six attribute domains: Mental Focus, Learning Orientation, Creative Problem Solving, Cognitive Integrity, Scholarly Rigor and Technological Orientation.

Test Administration

Insight Assessment offers the industry’s most complete and cost-effective array of testing options including online and traditional paper-and-pencil solutions.

Secure, encrypted online testing is available 24x7x365 with our multilingual delivery options. Our browser or app based online system provides the option of taking our assessments on virtually any device.

Tests are available any time any where, whether directly at your site or multiple sites, at test centers or to individual devices.

Recommended Companion Assessment

Engaging problems and making decisions using critical thinking involves both skills and habits of mind. For a complete assessment of a test taker’s critical thinking, it is recommended both skills and dispositions be measured. Using companion assessments results in a comprehensive measurement of whether a test taker is ‘willing and able’ to think well. We recommend that the CM3 Level lll be taken in conjunction with the Test of Everyday Reasoning (TER).

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The California Measure of Mental Motivation (CM3) Level III measures the degree to which college students and adults are cognitively engaged and mentally motivated toward intellectual activities.  Six important scale scores are reported:

Learning Orientation

The Learning Orientation scale measures the tendency or habit of seeking to increase one’s knowledge and skills; toward valuing the learning process as a means to accomplish mastery over a task; toward being interested in challenging activities; and toward using information seeking as a personal strategy when problem solving. 

Creative Problem Solving

Creative Problem Solving is the habit or tendency of approaching problem solving with innovative or original ideas and solutions; toward feeling imaginative, ingenious, original and able to solve difficult problems; toward engaging in activities such as puzzles, games of strategy; and toward striving to understand the underlying function of objects.

Cognitive Integrity

Cognitive integrity is the habit of interacting with differing viewpoints for the sake of learning the truth or reaching the best decision, it is the tendency to express strong intellectual curiosity and value fair-mindedness and sound reasoning. 

Mental Focus

Mental focus is the discipline or habit of being diligent, systematic, task-oriented, organized, and clear-headed. A positive score indicates a person who endeavors to stay on task and approach problems and learning in systematic, focused, organized, and timely way. Mental focus is valuable because it directs attention to the duties and responsibilities of the task at hand.

Scholarly Rigor

Scholarly Rigor is the habit of working hard to engage and to correctly interpret new material, it is the tendency to put forth the mental effort to achieve a deeper understanding of complex or abstract ideas and information.

  • A positive score on Scholarly Rigor indicates a person with the habit of putting forth effort to engage difficult material and to strive for deeper understanding. A person with this habit would not be put off by the need to read a difficult text or to analyze complicated situations or problems. An ambivalent score is characteristic of someone who occasionally is willing to put forth a serious scholarly effort, but on other occasions does not show that willingness or desire. Characteristically, this person may procrastinate rather than engage seriously in learning. A negative score on the Scholarly Rigor scale points toward the habitual tendency to avoid seeking new knowledge or examining new content in depth. This is characteristic of people who are inclined toward superficial interpretations and who avoid material that is complex or abstract.

Technological Orientation

The Technological  Orientation scale measures the tendency or habit of seeking to increase one’s repertoire of skills and uses of technology-based resources and programs; toward valuing the Internet and other technological means of accessing credible sources of information or researching a problem; toward being interested in staying current and learning about new technologies.

The California Measure of Mental Motivation Level lll (CM3 lll) has been designed to deliver high quality objective metrics on the strengths and weaknesses of key aspects of thinking.

CM3 lll reports deliver individual and group results in a presentation ready format.   Each report includes a wide range of statistical and demographic information about individuals and/or test-taker groups. Test-taker scores and group summaries are presented with interpretative analysis by Insight Assessment measurement scientists.

The CM3 lll measures and reports on an array of mental disciplines:  Mental Focus, Learning Orientation, Creative Problem Solving, Cognitive Integrity, Scholarly Rigor and Technological Orientation.


Insight Assessment clients depend on the comprehensive data and analysis in a CM3 report to provide the insights needed to achieve their assessment goals.  Clients are currently using individual data for professional development, student or in placement, hiring, advising, competency training. Group data is being used for new cohort assessment, outcomes assessment, demonstrating the quality of an educational or training program, demonstrating group proficiency, staff development, admissions and more.

Clients can customize their results package with additional analyses, graphics and interpretative text discussing your scores in relationship to your particular goals and objectives. For further information, see Insight Assessment Reports and Analytics.

Some of the current authorized translations of the California Measure of Mental Motivation (CM3) Level III are listed below. Insight Assessment is constantly working on expanding the multilingual capabilities of our products. Please contact us to discuss the availability of these and other additional language options.:

  • Arabic
  • English
  • Greek
  • Turkish


As a qualified purchaser, we offer the option of purchasing a preview of the assessment experience.

A preview provides you with one or more opportunities to view and experience the assessment from the perspective of the individual being assessed and to see the reporting options.

Your account representative will set up your preview of the instrument on mobile devices or on computers. The preview includes the profile page, an example of the assessment itself, and an example of the individual report that will be provided at completion of the assessment.

Each preview also includes a digital copy of the user manual and resource guide for the specific instrument you are viewing. User manuals provide:

  • a brief description of each metric being assessed by the instrument;
  • a description of how to interpret both individual and group assessment results;
  • a discussion of validity and reliability for the measures;
  • all necessary information about administration of the assessment;
  • many additional resources that we hope you will find useful for designing your assessment project.

Contact us to order a preview now, or receive your preview when you place your first order for assessments.


Request a price quote.

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