CM3 Level III

The California Measure of Mental Motivation (CM3 III) assesses adult level critical thinking attributes
CM3 Level III

The California Measure of Mental Motivation Level III (CM3 III) is designed to measure the degree to which college students and adults are engaged and motivated toward learning. CM3 III provides valid and reliable data for individuals and groups. The CM3III is designed for use with secondary school and undergraduate level students and adults engaged in training activities. Clients most commonly use the CM3III for advising and retention, adult re-entry, and adult personal development programs.


Population: CM3III is calibrated for the adult learner (young adult through re-entry senior adult) across all fields of study.  

Administration: Administer at any time, in any location with our user-friendly, encrypted, online, multi-lingual interface.

Support Materials: The CM3III User Manual includes all needed information about administering the assessment and interpreting the resulting individual and group scores.

Specs: 30 minutes timed administration; 73 engaging, Likert-style agree/disagree items

Deliverables: Group graphics with statistical summary of scores; Excel spreadsheet of responses to all custom demographic questions, and all scores for each person tested. Optional individual score reports for administrators and/or test takers.

Results Reported with a brief statement of what each metric represents:

  1. Learning Orientation – The discipline of being systematic and organized
  2. Creative Problem-Solving – Approaching problem-solving with innovative ideas
  3. Cognitive Integrity – Courage and drive to seek truth and reach best judgment possible
  4. Mental Focus – Diligence, task-orientation; taking an organized approach to problems
  5. Scholarly Rigor – Putting forth mental effort to understand and master new material
  6. Technological Orientation – Comfort with use/learning of technological tools

Scoring: The CM3 III is scored on a 0-to-50-point scale with a corresponding qualitative rating (Strongly Negative, Somewhat Negative, Ambivalent, Somewhat Positive, Strongly Positive).

Optional Custom Questions: At no additional cost clients can add up to ten client-specific custom descriptive demographic questions to the assessment profile to enable sub-group reports.

Culturally Competent Translations: English, Arabic, Greek and Turkish languages.

License to Administer the CM3 III: Sold globally exclusively to public and private educational institutions; DOE, NSF, NIH, RWJ, and other grant-funded projects; higher education program evaluation consultants; doctoral dissertation scholars; and other government and agency level entities.


Comprehensive assessment support services are available to not-for-profit educational organizations, government agencies, NGOs, dissertation scholars, and funded research clients.

Starting with an initial consultation to learn about your project, our experienced assessment specialists support your project in multiple ways, all included with your purchase of account setup and assessment use licenses. 

  • Instrument selection: We help the client find the academic assessment instrument(s) which best fit the educational level and broad subject matter area of the individuals to be assessed.
  • Administration strategies: Clients can keep test takers anonymous or use personal identifiers; sampling methods can measure an aggregated group profile without testing everyone.
  • Privacy Protection: We assist the client with privacy protection strategies, including, if needed, completely anonymous double-blind assessments.
  • Assessment logistics: We help clients assess program applicants onsite or remotely, gather pretest/post-test learning outcomes data, and generate individual or group logins.
  • Introducing client-specific custom questions: Clients can enable organizing, managing, and analyzing the assessment data that they plan to collect by introducing up to ten client-designed demographic profile questions. We assist clients with this process.
  • Client assessment administration setup: We orient the client to the use of their assessment administration interface by walking them through the processes of creating a testing assignment, including designating the start and end dates and choosing whether to display on-screen assessment results to the individual test-taker.
  • Report Generation: We orient clients on the use of the online report generation tool that produces customized group reports, aggregating and disaggregating data by the demographic variables they have collected (e.g., Training group, admission cohort, school, program, or any other custom demographic data that the client may have included).
  • 24/7/365 emergency technical support for our client testing administrators.

We demonstrate how easy it is to administer assessments even to very young students using our intuitive, browser-based, multilingual online testing system on almost any device: computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Preview Packs enable future clients to experience the intended assessment tool in exactly the same way it will be used in their planned project. The user manual and two logins are included.


CM3 III score metrics: Learning Orientation, Creative Problem-Solving, Cognitive Integrity, Mental Focus, Scholarly Rigor, Technological Orientation (six mindset attributes needed by the engaged learner. Items are drawn from a scientifically developed and tested item pool.

  • 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.
  • 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 III (CM3 III) Report Package includes group summary reports for each group and sub-group in the sample and an optional individual test-taker report for each person assessed.

Reports are generated immediately after the conclusion of testing and are available for clients to download making real time assessment possible. Read more about how our customer support specialists work with clients to select their reporting options on our Services tab or contact us for a consultation.

Group analytics include:

  • Clients can generate and download Excel spreadsheet files of all scores: Learning Orientation, Creative Problem-Solving, Cognitive Integrity, Mental Focus, Scholarly Rigor, Technological Orientation (six mindset attributes needed by the critical thinker). At the option of the client, these also include the responses to custom demographic questions added by the client to the assessment profile, and percentile scores corresponding to the external comparison group selected by the client.
  • Presentation -ready tables and graphic representations of the score distribution for each of the six CM3 III mindset metrics.  
  • Customers who have added custom demographic questions can generate sub-group level reports for these variables, or for specific testing sessions or time periods.   

Optional Individual Test-Taker Reports include:

  • Scores for each of the six CM3 III mindset metrics are reported on a 0-to-50-point scale accompanied with a qualitative interpretation (Strongly Negative, Somewhat Negative, Ambivalent, Somewhat Positive, Strongly Positive).
  • The Individual Test Taker Report can be pushed to an email address of the client’s choosing (for example, to an admissions office email, institutional assessment email, dean’s office email, etc.).
  • The client controls whether individual reports are made available to the test-taker.


Companion Thinking Skills Assessments

Engaging problems and making decisions relies on both reasoning skills and habits of mind. For a complete assessment of critical thinking, it is recommended that skills and mindset be included to assess whether a person is both ‘willing and able’ to think well.

Need to expedite your project?  We can have your first online testing assignment available for your students within 24 hours. Contact us today or get started by calling 650-697-5628 and speaking with one of our assessment specialists today.

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