Taking the final step toward the Pinnacle...
The Spaatz Exam is a set of comprehensive examinations serving as the "final test" cadets must complete in order to reach Civil Air Patrol's highest cadet grade of Cadet Colonel. The Spaatz Exam is a major step up from any and all previous assessments completed during a cadet's career, and requires substantial commitment, studying, and training in order to successfully complete.
The exam is broken down into four individual components, each challenging a different aspect of a cadet's proficiency within the program.
Cadets have three attempts to successfully complete all test requirements. Exams successfully completed on a previous attempt do not need to be retaken.
Exam requirements can be found on the National Civil Air Patrol website.
Requesting a Spaatz Exam
Spaatz Exams may be scheduled at any time but may only be conducted once a cadet has achieved Cadet Lieutenant Colonel (Eaker Award milestone). Cadets should start coordinating their request to conduct the Spaatz Exam around Cadet Major, which provides several months to plan and prepare for the exam.
Cadets must be eligible to take the exam by the time the exam date arrives. Cadets may test on or after their date of promotion to Cadet Lieutenant Colonel in eServices.
NOTE: Cadets must have permission from their unit commander prior to requesting to conduct the Spaatz Exam.
The Spaatz Exam will be requested by the cadet via Email: Cadet Programs Development Team
Cadets requesting the Spaatz Exam must provide the:
Date and time of the exam request
Location to conduct the written portions of the exam
Location to conduct the fitness test portion of the exam (if different)
NOTE: The requesting cadet will be expected to arrange/coordinate the exam location(s) on their own. Examples of preferred testing locations include university campuses, high school, or recreation center. Be sure to arrange a location which includes an area to conduct the fitness portion (i.e., indoor or outdoor track) and private/quiet area to conduct the written portion. Isolated areas in loud facilities (i.e., corner space in a gymnasium) are not recommended.
Exams should be requested at least four (4) weeks in advance of the exam date in order to provide ample time to coordinate an exam proctor (to be selected by the Cadet Programs Team), which requires National Headquarters to grant access to administer the exam in eServices.
NOTE: Proctors will not be selected from the cadet's home squadron.
Best Practices for Exam Preparation
The Spaatz Exam is one of the most difficult tasks a cadet can complete in their career. Below are some tips for ensuring your successful completion of every test, first try.
Treat each attempt as if it were your last. Leave no room for error or lack of effort, or give yourself a "burn-attempt" to gauge your readiness. Three strikes, and you're out.
Start studying early. Civil Air Patrol recommends starting to study and train for your Spaatz Exam as a Cadet Captain (12 months out). Follow that recommendation, or even start training earlier!
Train to exceed standards, not just meet them. Especially in the fitness test, stress and pressure can take a significant toll on one's performance during the exam. Train to exceed test standards by at least a quarter of the requirement (or 30 seconds for the run).
Maintain consistency above all else. Once you start, don't stop studying and training. If you feel like you're ready, go through everything again, and again until your test date. Once you stop, the non-committal feeling can set in extremely quickly.