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Testing, Testing

There are some firearms trainers who don’t believe in using standardized and time drills in their classes. “They’re demoralizing,” they say. “They discourage progress by showing the student how bad they actually are,” they say.


You fit the test to the student. After all, you don’t hand a first-grader a pre-Calc math test, do you?

In his book, “Indoor Range Practice Sessions,” Claude Werner has some excellent tests that even the most basic of students can attempt and pass. Going up from there, things like the FLDE exam, the Marine Corps Combat Pistol Qual and the IDPA 5×5 Classifier are a great way to judge a student’s progress.

We as a species love our little tokens of achievement. We may dismiss the idea, but everything from Boy Scout Merit Badges to “Employee of the Month” certificates tell us this isn’t so.

Exams and tests give people something to strive for. They give people a reason to come back for more. No, not everyone is going to do this, but the Type As, the people who want to be the best at everything they do, are going to gobble this up.

They’re asking for more. Why not give it to them?