This study examined the effects of trainees’ reactions to skill assessment on their motivation to learn. A model was developed that suggests that two dimensions of trainees’ assessment reactions – distributive justice and utility – influence training motivation and overall training effectiveness. The model was tested using a sample of individuals (N = 113) enrolled in a truck driving training program. Results revealed that trainees’ who perceived higher levels of distributive justice and utility had higher motivation to learn. Training motivation was found to significantly predict several measures of training effectiveness. Trainees’ performance on the pre-training assessment and trait goal orientation exhibited direct and interactive effects on their reactions to the skill assessment. Implications of these findings for future research on reactions to skill assessments are identified along with the practical implications for the design and conduct of training needs assessment.