We know that Wesley Crusher was worried about passing exams to get into StarFleet Academy (Does Starfleet accept cadets based on quotas?).

Since it's clear he was not worried about IQ/science tests, my next best theory (NOT backed up by canon yet) is that he was worried about tests that measure leadership abilities, decisiveness, behavior under pressure, and other such skills that distinguish an officer from an enlisted technician.

Was there any canon material which showed clearly the presence - or absence - of such leadership-related abilities in Wesley?

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    we should ask him twitter.com/#!/wilw Mar 16, 2012 at 13:37
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  • The psych test in Coming Of Age (tinyurl.com/startrektngcomingofage) is along the lines of testing those sorts of abilities Mar 16, 2012 at 13:54
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    As this doesn't address the question directly, commenting -- I think Wesley's concern (his alone, not others) was rooted in a social awkwardness and lack of self-confidence that grew from a fear of disappointing those closest to him (Mom, Picard, Data, Geordi, Ryker, etc). Even though he proved himself time and again, and perhaps because of it and the high expectations as a result, he couldn't shake the doubt nagging at him.
    – Josh
    Mar 16, 2012 at 16:49

2 Answers 2


There are a handful of cases of him acting decisive and leading under pressure:

  • In When The Bough Breaks, he led the children to defy their Aldean kidnappers.
  • It was his actions helping saving the ship (with The Traveler) in Where No One Has Gone Before that led to Picard giving him a field commission of Acting Ensign.
  • Riker gave him command of a science team in Pen Pals. (This occurred after he failed his first entrance exam.)
  • Although he caused the problem in the first place, he also helped solve the nanite infestation in Evolution.
  • At the end of Ménage à Troi, Picard promotes him to full Ensign (after he's passed his exams, but before he's actually reported to the Academy).

Based on their actions, Riker and the Captain clearly believed he had shown leadership abilities. Perhaps those on-screen are enough, or maybe there are additional examples that we have never been privy to.


Neither of the questions addresses it directly, but this one seems the better choice to place the answer:

Wesley Crusher was concerned about not passing the entrance exams due to the Psych Test. He didn't know what his biggest fear was.

Years earlier, due to a choice made by Captain Picard years before, Wesley's father died. It was determined that Wesley may be too afraid to make a choice in a critical situation because he may be too afraid of becoming the cause of someone else's death.

As for a direct answer to this question? In TNG 1x19, Coming of Age, when Wesley takes the test, he does take command of the situation. He doesn't freeze up, and saves the life of the person he's able to reach.

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