A Study of the Retention of Skills and Knowledge Acquired in Basic Training
HUMAN RESOURCES RESEARCH ORGANIZATION ALEXANDRIA VA
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As part of the Armys emphasis on performance-based instruction in Basic Combat Training BCT, a study was performed to measure retention of basic training skills. Two hundred soldiers were administered 13 subtests of the Comprehensive Performance Test CPT in seven subject areas e.g., First Aid, Drill and Ceremonies after finishing BCT, and six weeks later during Advanced Individual Training. Scores from baseline and retention testing are presented, separately and in combination. Findings indicate that the probability of the average soldier passing a CPT subtest at the end of basic training was .81, of passing during retention testing six weeks later, .63, and of passing both at the end of basic training and during retention testing was .55. Depending on the measure of retention used, there was an average decrease of approximately 18 or 26 in performance on the CPT when it was readministered six weeks after the end of BCT. For individual subtests of the CPT, the average decrement in performance ranged between 5 and 44.
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