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Two instruments to assess critical thinking learning environments that were developed and validated by faculty and staff at the University of Louisville.

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“There has been a lot of value gained from using the critical thinking inventories. It helps faculty members compare their own perspectives on what is happening in the classroom with the perspectives of their students. It gives you a way to address issues in a course and decide what you want to tweak or change in your teaching.” -Alan Attaway Professor in Department of Accountancy, College of Business

What are the Critical Thinking Inventories?

The Critical Thinking Inventories (CTIs) are short, Likert-item instruments that assess a course learning environment as it relates to critical thinking skill-building. There are two separate instruments:

The LCTI and TCTI are validated instruments that provide you with a quick, anonymous way to self-assess the critical thinking characteristics of your course from your own perspective and the perspective of your students. The results from these inventories may be used by instructors or by academic programs to help inform how instructors can facilitate critical thinking skill building within a specific course and/or by the university to assess and improve the integration of critical thinking within the undergraduate educational environment.

Why were the CTIs developed?

Despite a nationwide emphasis on critical thinking in higher education by both higher education institutions and potential employees of college graduates for the last three decades, there are no standardized instruments available to assess actual or perceived abilities of instructors to develop students’ critical thinking skills (van Zyl, Bays, & Gilchrist, 2013). The CTIs were developed here at UofL to address this gap in the field and to support our institution’s self-identified goal of fostering our students’ critical thinking skills. Appropriate statistical analyses conducted at UofL showed the instruments to be both reliable and valid. You can read more about the development and validation of the CTIs in the following peer-reviewed article:

How can I easily administer the LCTI to my students?

Both the LCTI and TCTI contain 11 Likert items and should each take no more than 5 minutes to complete. The LCTI student instrument can be deployed and is viewable within the “Assignments” section under “Assessments” -> “Survey” in your Blackboard course shell. The instructor can control visibility and access of the instrument via standard Blackboard control functions. All student responses from the LCTI remain anonymous. Please refer to the document titled “LCTI Survey Deployment” [PDF] for detailed instructions on making the assessment visible to students.

How do I complete the TCTI that is designed specifically for instructors?

The TCTI instructor instrument is for your use only and is not located in your Blackboard course shell. Instructors can access and download an Adobe copy of the TCTI below. You can fill out the inventory at the beginning or end of the semester. Ideally, you will compare your self-assessment scores with the aggregated student scores at the end of the semester. You can then affirm the alignment of or identify possible gaps between your own perceptions and your students’ perceptions in order to make adjustments to the learning environment.

How do I review my results from students?

You will have complete access to student responses on the LCTI within your Blackboard Learn course shell. The course grade center will record which student completed the LCTI, but will only report out individual responses in aggregated form. Detailed instructions for accessing the student data is located here [PDF] . You will be given the opportunity to submit their data to the Quality Enhancement Plan team to have those data converted to a CTI feedback report. IL Barrow, QEP Specialist for Assessment, at the Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning is available upon request to assist you in organizing and using your data for continuous improvement.

Where can I find additional information on the use of the CTIs?

For additional questions, please download an exhaustive Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document for instructors here [PDF] .

Who can I contact for additional information on the CTIs?

IL Barrow, QEP Specialist for Assessment [email protected]

Copyright © 2012 - University of Louisville , Delphi Center


Critical Thinking Test: Sample Questions with Explanations (2023)

Last updated 12/2022.

Employers value and seek candidates who demonstrate advanced critical thinking skills. They often administer critical thinking tests as part of their hiring process. Critical thinking tests can be very difficult for those who don’t prepare. A great way to start practicing is by taking our critical thinking free practice test.

What Does The Critical Thinking Test Include?

The Critical Thinking Test assesses your capacity to think critically and form logical conclusions when given written information. Critical thinking tests are generally used in job recruitment processes, in the legal sector. These tests measure the analytical critical thinking abilities of a candidate.

Why Is Critical Thinking Useful?

Critical thinking is put into action in various stages of decision-making and problem-solving tasks:

What is Watson Glaser Test and what Critical Thinking Skills it Measures?

The most common type of critical thinking test is the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (W-GCTA). Typically used by legal and financial organizations, as well as management businesses, a Watson Glaser test is created to assess candidates’ critical thinking skills.

The test consists of 10 questions to be answered in 10 minutes approx (although there is no timer on the test itself). Our test is slightly harder than the real thing, to make it sufficiently challenging practice.

You need to get 70% correct to pass the test. Don’t forget to first check out the test techniques section further down this page beforehand.

Pass Percentage

The test is broken down into five central areas:

The Five Critical Thinking Skills Explained

1. Recognition of assumption You’ll be presented with a statement. The statement is then followed by several proposed assumptions. When answering, you must work out if an assumption was made or if an assumption was not made in the statement. An assumption is a proclamation that an individual takes for granted. This section of the tests measures your ability to withhold from forming assumptions about things that are not necessarily correct.

Charlie’s fundraising team is leading the charity event so that it can meet its goal.


Correct answer: b.


Although the passage does state that Charlie’s fundraising team is doing its best so that the charity event can meet its goal, nowhere did it state that their team is leading the event.

Evaluation of arguments You will be presented with an argument. You will then be asked to decide whether the argument is strong or weak. An argument is considered strong if it directly connects to the statement provided, and is believed to be significant.

Should participation awards be given at every competition?

No, participation awards should not be given in every competition because studies have shown that this would cause the participants to put in less effort because they will get a prize no matter what the outcome is.

Correct Answer: A

This is a strong argument as it provides evidence as to why participation awards should not be given in every competition

3. Deductions In deduction questions, you will need to form conclusions based solely on the information provided in the question and not based on your knowledge. You will be given a small passage of information and you will need to evaluate a list of deductions made based on that passage. If the conclusion cannot be formed for the information provided, then the conclusion does not follow. The answer must be entirely founded on the statements made and not on conclusions drawn from your knowledge.

In a surprise party for Donna, Edna arrived after Felix and Gary did. Kelly arrived before Felix and Gary did.


Kelly arrived before Edna.

For questions like this, jot down the clues to help you out. Use initials as a quick reference.

K | F&G | E

Looking at the simple diagram, “K”, which stands for “Kelly,” arrived before Edna “E” did. The answer is A.

4. Interpretation In these questions, you are given a passage of information followed by a list of possible conclusions. You will need to interpret the information in the paragraph and determine whether or not each conclusion follows, based solely on the information given.

A number of students were given the following advice:

“The use of powerful words is a technique, which makes you a better writer. Your choice of words is very important in molding the way people interaction with the article. You should use powerful words to spice up your article. Power words should be used liberally to enhance the flavor of what you write! ”

If Bruce was writing an essay, he should use powerful words to give his essay more flavor.

In the fourth sentence, it is stated, “Power words should be used liberally to enhance the flavor of what you write!”

Thus, if you were to write an essay, using powerful words can give more flavor to it.

5. Inferences An inference is a conclusion made from observed or supposed facts and details. It is information that is not apparent in the information provided but rather is extracted from it. In this section, you will be provided with a passage of information about a specific scene or event. A list of possible inferences will then be given, and you will need to decide if they are ‘true’, ‘false’, ‘possibly true’, ‘possibly false’, or whether it is not possible to say based on the information provided.

With the advancement of technology, the need for more infrastructure has never been higher. According to the plan of the current U.S. Administration, it aims to put a $1 trillion investment on improving infrastructure, a portion of which will include priority projects and technologies that can strengthen its economic competitiveness such as transportation, 5G wireless communication technology, rural broadband technologies, advanced manufacturing technologies, and even artificial intelligence.

It stated that it expects to work with Congress to develop a comprehensive infrastructure package, which is expected to have a budget of $200 billion for certain priorities.

The United States government is allocating $200 billion of the $1 trillion infrastructure budget to improve transportation, 5G wireless communication technology, rural broadband technologies, advanced manufacturing technologies, and even artificial intelligence.

Although it was mentioned in the passage that the U.S. government is to allocate $200 billion on certain priorities, it did not specify if these certain priorities were for ‘transportation, 5G wireless communication technology, rural broadband technologies, advanced manufacturing technologies, and artificial intelligence’ or if the aforementioned priorities will have a different allocation.

What we can be sure of, however, is that at least a portion of the $1 trillion infrastructure budget will be used on the mentioned priorities regardless, meaning that there is a chance that $200 billion will be used on those aforementioned areas.

Improve Your Score with Prepterminal’s Critical Thinking Course

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Prepterminal’s preparatory critical thinking course features a structured study course along with critical thinking practice tests to help you improve your exam score. Our course includes video and text-based information presented in a clear and easy-to-understand manner so you can follow along at your own pace with ease.

*Note: EY Assessment and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with PrepTerminal or this website.

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What is the UFCTI?

Are you a seeker, are you an engager, about critical thinking.

critical thinking group

While critical thinking is an important attribute for success, it is not easily defined. The UFCTI measures critical thinking styles on a continuum that ranges between engagement and seeking information. Neither category represents a good or bad critical thinking style. We do this so that your team or organization can capitalize on each other's strengths.

By understanding how different people think critically about an issue, you can put your team members in a position to succeed by grouping people together in the most effective way.

How to use the UFCTI

Accessing the ufcti, applying the results, start the training.

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Critical Thinking Tests

Critical thinking tests, sometimes known as critical reasoning tests, are often used by employers. They evaluate how a candidate makes logical deductions after scrutinising the evidence provided, while avoiding fallacies or non-factual opinions. Critical thinking tests can form part of an assessment day, or be used as a screening test before an interview.

What is a critical thinking test?

A critical thinking test assesses your ability to use a range of logical skills to evaluate given information and make a judgement. The test is presented in such a way that candidates are expected to quickly scrutinise the evidence presented and decide on the strength of the arguments.

Critical thinking tests show potential employers that you do not just accept data and can avoid subconscious bias and opinions – instead, you can find logical connections between ideas and find alternative interpretations.

This test is usually timed, so quick, clear, logical thinking will help candidates get the best marks. Critical thinking tests are designed to be challenging, and often used as part of the application process for upper-management-level roles.

What does critical thinking mean?

Critical thinking is the intellectual skill set that ensures you can process and consider information, challenge and analyse data, and then reach a conclusion that can be defended and justified.

In the most simple terms, critical reasoning skills will make sure that you are not simply accepting information at face value with little or no supporting evidence.

It also means that you are less likely to be swayed by ‘false news’ or opinions that cannot be backed with facts – which is important in high-level jobs that require logical thinking.

For more information about logical thinking, please see our article all about logical reasoning .

Which professions use critical thinking tests, and why?

Typically, critical thinking tests are taken as part of the application process for jobs that require advanced skills in judgement, analysis and decision making. The higher the position, the more likely that you will need to demonstrate reliable critical reasoning and good logic.

The legal sector is the main industry that uses critical thinking assessments – making decisions based on facts, without opinion and intuition, is vital in legal matters.

A candidate for a legal role needs to demonstrate their intellectual skills in problem-solving without pre-existing knowledge or subconscious bias – and the critical thinking test is a simple and effective way to screen candidates.

Another industry that uses critical thinking tests as part of the recruitment process is banking. In a similar way to the legal sector, those that work in banking are required to make decisions without allowing emotion, intuition or opinion to cloud coherent analysis and conclusions.

Critical thinking tests also sometimes comprise part of the recruitment assessment for graduate and management positions across numerous industries.

The format of the test: which skills are tested?

The test itself, no matter the publisher, is multiple choice.

As a rule, the questions present a paragraph of information for a scenario that may include numerical data. There will then be a statement and a number of possible answers.

The critical thinking test is timed, so decisions need to be made quickly and accurately; in most tests there is a little less than a minute for each question. Having experience of the test structure and what each question is looking for will make the experience smoother for you.

There are typically five separate sections in a critical thinking test, and each section may have multiple questions.

Inference questions assess your ability to judge whether a statement is true, false, or impossible to determine based on the given data and scenario. You usually have five possible answers: absolutely true, absolutely false, possibly true, possibly false, or not possible to determine.


In this section, you are being assessed on your ability to avoid taking things for granted. Each question gives a scenario including data, and you need to evaluate whether there are any assumptions present.

Here you are given a scenario and a number of deductions that may be applicable. You need to assess the given deductions to see which is the logical conclusion – does it follow?


In the interpretation stage, you need to read and analyse a paragraph of information, then interpret a set of possible conclusions, to see which one is correct. You are looking for the conclusion that follows beyond reasonable doubt.

Evaluation of Arguments

In this section, you are given a scenario and a set of arguments that can be for or against. You need to determine which are strong arguments and which are weak, in terms of the information that you have. This decision is made based on the way they address the scenario and how relevant they are to the content.

How best to prepare for a critical thinking test

The best way to prepare for any type of aptitude test is to practice, and critical thinking tests are no different.

Taking practice tests, as mentioned above, will give you confidence as it makes you better understand the structure, layout and timing of the real tests, so you can concentrate on the actual scenarios and questions.

Practice tests should be timed. This will help you get used to working through the scenarios and assessing the conclusions under time constraints – which is a good way to make sure that you perform quickly as well as accurately.

In some thinking skills assessments , a timer will be built in, but you might need to time yourself.

Regular practice will also help you to identify if there are any sections of the critical thinking test that you need to work on. Most tests will provide an explanation to each answer, as in the examples above.

Publishers of critical thinking tests

The watson glaser critical thinking test.

The Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (W-GCTA) is the most popular and widely used critical thinking test. This test has been in development for 85 years and is published by TalentLens .

The W-GCTA is seen as a successful tool for assessing cognitive abilities, allowing recruiting managers to predict job success, find good managers and identify future leaders. It is available in multiple languages including English, French and Spanish.

The test itself can be used as part of an assessment day or as a screening assessment before an interview. It consists of 40 questions on the 5 sections mentioned above, and is timed at 30 minutes. Click here for more information on Watson Glaser tests .

SHL critical reasoning test

SHL is a major aptitude test publisher, which offers critical thinking as part of its testing battery for pre-employment checks.

SHL tests cover all kinds of behavioural and aptitude tests, from logic to inference, verbal to numerical – and with a number of test batteries available online, they are one of the most popular choices for recruiters.

Cornell critical thinking test

The Cornell critical thinking test was made to test students and first developed in 1985. It is an American system that helps teachers, parents and administrators to confidently predict future performance for college admission, gifted and advanced placement programs, and even career success.

Prepare yourself for leading employers


5 Example critical thinking practice questions with answers

In this section, you need to deduce whether the inferred statement is true, false or impossible to deduce.

The UK Government has published data that shows 82% of people under the age of 30 are not homeowners. A charity that helps homeless people has published data that shows 48% of people that are considered homeless are under 30.

The lack of affordable housing on the sales market is the reason so many under-30s are homeless.

The information given does not infer the conclusion given, so it is impossible to deduce if the inference is correct – there is just not enough information to judge the inference as correct.

The removal of the five-substitution rule in British football will benefit clubs with a smaller roster.

Clubs with more money would prefer the five-substitute rule to continue.

Assumption Not Made

This is an example of a fallacy that could cause confusion for a candidate – it encourages you to bring in any pre-existing knowledge of football clubs.

It would be easy to assume the assumption has been made when you consider that the more money a club has, the more players they should have on the roster. However, the statement does not make the assumption that the clubs with more money would prefer to continue with the five-substitute rule.

critical thinking tests

All boys love football. Football is a sport, therefore:

In this section we are looking for the conclusion that follows the logic of the statement. In this example, we cannot deduce that girls do not love football, because there is not enough information to support that.

In the same way the conclusion that all boys love all sports does not follow – we are not given enough information to make that assumption. So, the conclusion that follows is 3: boys are more likely to choose football than any other sport because all boys like football.

The British Museum has a range of artefacts on display, including the largest privately owned collection of WWII weaponry.

There is a larger privately owned collection of WWII weaponry in the USA.

Conclusion Does Not Follow

The fact that the collection is in the British Museum does not make a difference to the fact it is the largest private collection – so there cannot be a larger collection elsewhere.

The Department for Education should lower standards in examinations to make it fairer for less able students.

In this case, we need to assess which argument is most relevant to the statement. Both 1 and 4 refer to students in particular situations, which isn’t relevant to the statement. The same can be said about 2, so the strongest argument is 3, since it is relevant and addresses the statement given.

critical thinking inventory test

Within two hours of practice I have improved my score from 50% correct to 88%.

Critical Thinking Tests FAQs

What are the basics of critical thinking.

In essence, critical thinking is the intellectual process of considering information on its merits, and reaching an analysis or conclusion from that information that can be defended and rationalised with evidence.

How do you know if you have good critical thinking skills?

You are likely to be someone with good critical thinking skills if you can build winning arguments; pick holes in someone’s theory if it’s inconsistent with known facts; reflect on the biases inherent in your own experiences and assumptions; and look at problems using a systematic methodology.

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Critical Thinking Tests Tips

The most important factor in your success will be practice. If you have taken some practice tests, not only will you start to recognise the way questions are worded and become familiar with what each question is looking for, you will also be able to find out whether there are any parts that you need extra practice with.

It is important to find out which test you will be taking, as some generic critical thinking practice tests might not help if you are taking specific publisher tests (see the section below).

2 Fact vs fallacy

Practice questions can also help you recognise the difference between fact and fallacy in the test. A fallacy is simply an error or something misleading in the scenario paragraph that encourages you to choose an invalid argument. This might be a presumption or a misconception, but if it isn’t spotted it can make finding the right answer impossible.

3 Ignore what you already know

There is no need for pre-existing knowledge to be brought into the test, so no research is needed. In fact, it is important that you ignore any subconscious bias when you are considering the questions – you need logic and facts to get the correct answer, not intuition or instinct.

4 Read everything carefully

Read all the given information thoroughly. This might sound straightforward, but knowing that the test is timed can encourage candidates to skip content and risk misunderstanding the content or miss crucial details.

During the test itself, you will receive instructions that will help you to understand what is being asked of you on each section. There is likely to be an example question and answer, so ensure you take the time to read them fully.

5 Stay aware of the time you've taken

This test is usually timed, so don’t spend too long on a question. If you feel it is going to take too much time, leave it and come back to it at the end (if you have time). Critical thinking tests are complex by design, so they do have quite generous time limits.

For further advice, check out our full set of tips for critical thinking tests .

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Reviews of our Watson Glaser tests

What our customers say about our Watson Glaser tests

Jozef Bailey

United Kingdom

April 05, 2022

Doesn't cover all aspects of Watson-Glaser tests but useful

The WGCTA uses more categories to assess critical thinking, but this was useful for the inference section.

April 01, 2022

Just practicing for an interview

Good information and liked that it had a countdown clock, to give you that real feel in the test situation.

Jerico Kadhir

March 31, 2022

Aptitude test

It was OK, I didn't understand personally whether or not the "cannot say" option was acceptable or not in a lot of the questions, as it may have been a trick option.

Salvarina Viknesuari

March 15, 2022

I like the test because the platform is simple and engaging while the test itself is different than most of the Watson Glaser tests I've taken.

Alexis Sheridan

March 02, 2022

Some of the ratios were harder than I thought!

I like how clear the design and layout is - makes things very easy (even if the content itself is not!)

Cyril Lekgetho

February 17, 2022

Mental arithmetic

I enjoyed the fact that there were multiple questions pertaining to one passage of information, rather than multiple passages. However I would've appreciated a more varied question type.

Madupoju Manish

February 16, 2022

Analytics are the best questions

I like the test because of its time schedule. The way the questions are prepared makes it easy to crack the original test.

Chelsea Franklin

February 02, 2022


I haven't done something like this for ages. Very good for the brain - although I certainly experienced some fog whilst doing it.

[email protected]

January 04, 2022

Population/exchange rates were the hardest

Great test as it felt a bit time pressured. Very different types of questions in terms of difficulty.

faezeh tavakoli

January 02, 2022

More attention to detail + be more time conscious

It was asking about daily stuff we all deal with, but as an assessment it's scrutinising how we approach these problems.

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Critical Thinking Tests

Critical Thinking Tests

Updated January 24, 2023

Nikki Dale

What Is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking is the ability to scrutinize evidence using intellectual skills. Reflective skills are employed to reach clear, coherent and logical conclusions – rather than just accepting information as it is provided.

Critical thinking tests measure the candidate’s understanding of logical connections between ideas, the strength of an argument, alternate interpretations and the significance of a particular claim.

A major facet of critical thinking is the ability to separate facts from opinions and work against any subconscious bias.

In critical thinking tests, employers are looking for people who can think critically about information, showing they are open-minded, good problem-solvers and excellent decision-makers.

Who Uses Critical Thinking Tests and Why?

Critical thinking tests assess how well a candidate can analyze and reason when presented with specific information.

They are used as part of the application process in several industries, most commonly for professions where employees would need to use advanced judgment and analysis skills in decision-making.

For example:

Academic applications – In some instances, critical thinking tests are used to assess whether prospective students have the skills required to be successful in higher education.

Law – Critical thinking assessments are often used in the legal sector as part of the application process. In many law positions, facts are more important than opinion, subconscious bias or pre-existing ideas so an applicant needs to be skilled in critical thinking.

Finance – In financial institutions, decisions often need to be made based on facts rather than emotion or opinion. Judgments made in banking need to be skilled decisions based on logic and the strength of data and information – so to be successful, candidates need to demonstrate that they will not accept arguments and conclusions at face value.

Graduate roles – In some sectors, critical thinking tests are used in graduate recruitment because they are considered to be predictors of ability.

With several different tests available, suited to different industries, many top-level jobs are likely to include critical thinking assessments as part of the application process.

Critical Thinking Tests Explained

Critical thinking tests are usually presented in a similar format no matter who the publisher is. A paragraph of information and data is given, with a statement that is under scrutiny.

Multiple-choice answers are presented for each statement, and there may be more than one question about the same paragraph.

While each question is presented in the same way, different aspects of critical thinking are assessed throughout the test.

Assessing Assumptions

For this type of question, there may be something ‘taken for granted’ in the information provided – and it might not be explicitly stated.

The candidate needs to evaluate the scenario and conclude whether any assumptions are present. The statement below the scenario may or may not support the statement and the answer selection will be about whether the stated assumption is made or not made in the scenario.

Example Question for Assessing Assumptions

Practice Critical Thinking Test with JobTestPrep

The mainstream media presents information that is supported by the political party in power.

Assumption: The information that the mainstream media presents is always correct.

a) Assumption made b) Assumption not made

Determining Inferences

Following a paragraph of information containing evidence, you will be presented with an inference and need to assess whether the inference is absolutely true, possibly true, possibly false, absolutely false, or it is not possible to reach a decision.

An inference is a conclusion that can be reached based on logical reasoning from the information. Although all the evidence to support (or not support) the inference is included in the passage, it will not be obvious or explicitly stated, which makes the inference harder to conclude.

Example Question for Determining Inferences

It has been snowing all night and there is thick snow on the ground. Today’s weather is sunny and bright.

Inference: The snow will melt today.

a) Possibly true b) Absolutely true c) Possibly false d) Absolutely false e) Not possible to reach a decision

Making Deductions

For this type of question, the information presented will be a set of factual statements and the candidate will need to decide if the deduction applies or does not apply.

This logical thinking is a top-down exercise where all the information is provided and needs to be read in the order it is presented.

If statement A = B, does B = C? There should be no grey areas – it either does or does not follow.

Example Question for Making Deductions

All plants have leaves. All leaves are green.

Proposed deduction: All plants are green.

a) Deduction follows b) Deduction does not follow

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Interpretation of Conclusions

Presented with information, the candidate needs to assess whether a given conclusion is correct based on the evidence provided.

For the purposes of the test, we need to believe that all the information provided in the paragraph is true, even if we have opinions about the correctness of the statement.

Example Question for Interpretation of Conclusions

When cooking a meal, one of the most important things to get right is the balance between major food groups. Satisfaction from a good meal comes from getting the most nutrition and can therefore be attributed to a wide variety of flavors, including vegetables, a good source of protein and carbohydrates. A balanced diet is about more than just everything in moderation and should be considered a scientific process with measuring of ingredients and efficient cooking methods.

Proposed conclusion: The best meals are those that are scientifically prepared.

a) Conclusion follows b) Conclusion does not follow

Evaluation of Arguments (Analysis of Arguments)

In this analysis section, the candidate is presented with a scenario and an argument that might be in favor of the scenario or against it.

The candidate needs to evaluate whether the argument itself is weak or strong. This needs to be based on the relevance to the scenario and whether it accurately addresses the question.

Example Question for Evaluation of Arguments

Should all drugs be made legal?

Proposed argument: No, all drugs are dangerous to everyone.

a) Argument is strong b) Argument is weak

Most Common Critical Thinking Tests

Watson glaser test.

Watson Glaser is the most commonly used test publisher for critical thinking assessments and is used by many industries.

When sitting a Watson Glaser test, your results will be compared against a sample group of over 1,500 test-takers who are considered representative of graduate-level candidates.

The test is usually 40 questions long, with 30 minutes to answer, but there is a longer version that asks 80 questions with a time limit of an hour.

Who Uses This Test?

The Watson Glaser Test is used in a wide variety of industries for different roles, especially in the legal and banking sectors. Some employers that use the Watson Glaser Test are:

What Is the RED model?

The Watson Glaser Test is based on something called the ‘RED model’. The questions in the test are based on:

The science behind the Watson Glaser Test shows that candidates who show strong critical thinking skills in these areas are more likely to perform well in roles where logical decisions and judgments have to be made.

Where to Take a Free Practice Test

Watson Glaser Tests have a specific layout and format. If you are going to be completing one of the assessments as part of your application, it’s best to practice questions that match the test format.

You can find Watson Glaser practice tests at JobTestPrep as well as a prep pack to give you all the tips, tricks and information you need to make the most of your practice time.

Take a Practice Watson Glaser Test

SHL Critical Reasoning Battery Test

The SHL Critical Reasoning Battery Test includes questions based on numerical, verbal and inductive reasoning. This test is usually used for managerial and supervisory roles, and can include mechanical comprehension if needed for the job role (usually in engineering or mechanical roles).

You can find out more on JobTestPrep’s SHL Critical Reasoning Battery pages .

Take a Practice SHL Test

The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is an online adaptive test – using sophisticated algorithms to adjust the difficulty of the questions according to the answers already provided.

Questions include integrated, quantitative and verbal reasoning as well as an analytical writing assessment. The GMAT is widely used to predict performance in business or management programs in more than 1,700 universities and organizations.

Take a Practice GMAT

How to Prepare for a Critical Thinking Test

Preparation is key to success in any pre-employment assessment. While some people think critical reasoning is not a skill you can practice, there are some steps you can take to perform at your best.

Critical thinking tests are straightforward but not necessarily easy.

Step 1. Consider Buying a Preparation Pack

If you can determine who the publisher is for the test you will take, it may be worthwhile investing in a prep pack from that particular publisher.

JobTestPrep offers prep packs for many major test publishers. These packs include realistic practice tests as well as study guides, tips and tricks to help you build your own question-solving strategies.

Step 2. Use Practice Tests

Even if you decide not to purchase a prep pack, taking practice tests will help you focus on the areas where you need to improve to be successful.

It is important to find out the publisher of the test you will take because not all critical thinking tests are at the same level and they may not follow the same structure. Timings, answering methodologies and the number of questions will vary between publishers.

You can usually find out the test publisher before you take the assessment by asking the recruiter or searching online.

Step 3. Practice Under Test Conditions

Critical thinking tests are timed. To give yourself the best chance of achieving a high score, you need to answer the questions quickly and efficiently.

Practicing under test conditions – including the time limit – will help you to understand how much time you need to spend on each question and will help you to develop efficient time management skills for the assessment.

Practicing under test conditions will also help you focus so you can make the most of the session.

Step 4. Practice Abstract Reasoning

Abstract reasoning is a form of critical thinking that uses logic to form a conclusion. Some abstract reasoning tests are presented as word problems.

Practicing these is a good way to flex critical thinking muscles. You can find practice questions on the Psychometric Success website .

Step 5. Practice Critical Thinking in Everyday Life

Reading widely, especially non-fiction, is a good way to practice your critical thinking skills in everyday life.

Newspaper articles, scientific or technical journals, and other sources of information present an opportunity to think about:

Step 6. Revise Logical Fallacies

Knowledge of logical fallacies will help you to judge the effectiveness of an argument. Fallacy describes ‘faulty reasoning’ in an argument and is often seen in hyperbole or opinion pieces in newspapers and magazines.

There are many types of fallacy that you might come across, such as:

There are many others, including red herrings, appeal to authority and false dichotomy. Learning these will help you to identify a weak argument.

Step 7. Focus on Long-Term Practice

Cramming and panicking about a critical thinking assessment is rarely conducive to great performance.

If you are looking for a career in a sector where critical thinking skills are necessary, then long-term practice will have better results when you come to be assessed. Make critical thinking a part of life – so that every day can be a chance to practice recognizing assumptions.

Key Tips for Critical Thinking Test Success

Understand the format of the test and each question type.

Familiarity is important for any assessment, and in critical thinking tests, it is essential that you can recognize what the question is looking for. As mentioned above, this is usually one of the following:

Practice tests will help you become comfortable with the structure and format of the test, including ways to answer, and will also demonstrate what the question types look like.

Read Test Content Carefully

Taking time to read and understand the content provided in the question is important to ensure that you can answer correctly.

The information you need to determine the correct answer will be provided although it might not be explicitly stated. Careful reading is an important part of critical thinking.

Only Use the Information Provided

While some of the information provided in the critical thinking test might be related to the role you are applying for, or about something that you have existing knowledge of, you mustn't use this knowledge during the test.

A facet of critical thinking is avoiding subconscious bias and opinion, so only use the information that is provided to answer the question.

Look Out for Facts and Fallacies

Throughout the critical thinking test, look out for facts and fallacies in the information and arguments provided.

Identifying fallacies will help you decide if an argument is strong and will help you answer questions correctly.

Final Thoughts

Critical thinking tests are used as pre-employment assessments for jobs that require effective communication, good problem-solving and great decision-making, such as those in the legal sector and banking.

These tests assess the ability of candidates to question and scrutinize evidence, make logical connections between ideas, find alternative interpretations and decide on the strength of an argument.

All critical thinking tests are not the same, but they do have similar question types. Learning what these are and how to answer them will help you perform better. Practicing tests based on the specific publisher of your test will give you the best results.

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Critical Thinking test

This Critical Thinking test measures your ability to think critically and draw logical conclusions based on written information. Critical Thinking tests are often used in job assessments in the legal sector to assess a candidate's  analytical critical  thinking skills. A well known example of a critical thinking test is the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal .

Need more practice?

Score higher on your critical thinking test.

The test comprises of the following five sections with a total of 10 questions:

Instructions Critical Thinking test

Each question presents one or more paragraphs of text and a question about the information in the text. It's your job to figure out which of the options is the correct answer.

Below is a statement that is followed by an argument. You should consider this argument to be true. It is then up to you to determine whether the argument is strong or weak. Do not let your personal opinion about the statement play a role in your evaluation of the argument.

Statement: It would be good if people would eat vegetarian more often. Argument: No, because dairy also requires animals to be kept that will have to be eaten again later.

Is this a strong or weak argument?

Strong argument Weak argument

Statement: Germany should no longer use the euro as its currency Argument: No, because that means that the 10 billion Deutschmark that the introduction of the euro has cost is money thrown away.

Overfishing is the phenomenon that too much fish is caught in a certain area, which leads to the disappearance of the fish species in that area. This trend can only be reversed by means of catch reduction measures. These must therefore be introduced and enforced.

Assumption: The disappearance of fish species in areas of the oceans is undesirable.

Is the assumption made from the text?

Assumption is made Assumption is not made

As a company, we strive for satisfied customers. That's why from now on we're going to keep track of how quickly our help desk employees pick up the phone. Our goal is for that phone to ring for a maximum of 20 seconds.

Assumption: The company has tools or ways to measure how quickly help desk employees pick up the phone.

Conclusion: Some snakes hatch their eggs themselves.

Does the conclusion follow the statements?

Conclusion follows Conclusion does not follow

(Continue with the statements from question 5.)

Conclusion: Some animals that lay eggs only have one lung.

In the famous 1971 Stanford experiment, 24 normal, healthy male students were randomly assigned as 'guards' (12) or 'prisoners' (12). The guards were given a uniform and instructed to keep order, but not to use force. The prisoners were given prison uniforms. Soon after the start of the experiment, the guards made up all kinds of sentences for the prisoners. Insurgents were shot down with a fire extinguisher and public undressing or solitary confinement was also a punishment. The aggression of the guards became stronger as the experiment progressed. At one point, the abuses took place at night, because the guards thought that the researchers were not watching. It turned out that some guards also had fun treating the prisoners very cruelly. For example, prisoners got a bag over their heads and were chained to their ankles. Originally, the experiment would last 14 days. However, after six days the experiment was stopped.

The students who took part in the research did not expect to react the way they did in such a situation.

To what extent is this conclusion true, based on the given text?

True Probably true More information required Probably false False

(Continue with the text from 'Stanford experiment' in question 7.)

The results of the experiment support the claim that every young man (or at least some young men) is capable of turning into a sadist fairly quickly.

Conclusion: One can assume that no Dutch flag will fly at government buildings at night, unless it is illuminated by spotlights on both sides.

Does the conclusion follow, based on the given text?

(Continue with the text from 'Dutch flag protocol' in question 9.)

Conclusion: If the protocol is followed, the orange pennant will always be longer than the horizontal bands/stripes of the flag.

Please answer the questions below. Not all questions are required but it will help us improve this test.

My educational level is

-- please select -- primary school high school college university PhD other

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Attention: CAT and COVID-19 Given the current circumstances with COVID-19 and the closure of many campuses, we will be allowing the online administration of the CAT outside of a proctored setting. We will work with institutions to setup proctor accounts and specific blocks of time during which a student can log in and complete the CAT. We are also offering online, virtual trainings to engage faculty in the evaluation of student performance on the CAT and the development of CAT Apps. If have questions about an online CAT administration or virtual trainings, please contact  [email protected] .

The Critical-thinking Assessment Test (CAT) was developed with input from faculty across a wide range of institutions and disciplines, with guidance from colleagues in the cognitive/ learning sciences and assessment and with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

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to assess a broad range of skills that faculty across the country feel are important components of critical thinking and real world problem solving.

to emulate real world problems. All questions derived from real world situations with most questions requiring short answer essay responses.

faculty in the assessment and improvement of student critical thinking skills and connects faculty to a teaching community.

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We encourage faculty involvement in the scoring process to help them understand student's strengths and weaknesses. Faculty can also use the CAT instrument as a model for constructing better course assessments using their own discipline content.

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Over 350 institutions across the country have used the CAT for course, program, and general education assessment. NSF support also helped establish the Center for Assessment and Improvement of Learning to distribute the CAT and provide training, consultation, and statistical support to users.

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See the Narrated Video Below for an Overview of the CAT Instrument

The Critical Thinking Assessment Test was developed with support from the National Science Foundation TUES (CCLI) Division (under grants 0404911, 0717654, and 1022789 to Barry Stein, PI; Ada Haynes, Co-PI; & Michael Redding, Co-PI). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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8 Most Popular Free Critical Thinking Resources and Tools

Free Critical Thinking Resources

Free critical thinking resources and tools

Are you interested in the importance of improving critical thinking skills and mindset,  then, you’ll want to save this list of popular free resources., here are eight of insight assessment’s most used  critical thinking resources for teachers, trainers and others who are involved in developing learning outcomes assessment projects..

Feel free to download and use these teaching and training tools in your work to promote improved thinking in students and adults:

Be sure to check out the rest of the free Resources on the Insight Assessment website.

We make these teaching, training and learning tools available as part of our commitment to supporting the measurement and improvement of good thinking worldwide.

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Critical Thinking Skills Toolbox

critical thinking inventory test

CTS Tools for Faculty and Student Assessment

A number of critical thinking skills inventories and measures have been developed:

     Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA)      Cornell Critical Thinking Test      California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI)      California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST)      Health Science Reasoning Test (HSRT)      Professional Judgment Rating Form (PJRF)      Teaching for Thinking Student Course Evaluation Form      Holistic Critical Thinking Scoring Rubric      Peer Evaluation of Group Presentation Form

Excluding the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal and the Cornell Critical Thinking Test, Facione and Facione developed the critical thinking skills instruments listed above. However, it is important to point out that all of these measures are of questionable utility for dental educators because their content is general rather than dental education specific. (See Critical Thinking and Assessment .)

Table 7. Purposes of Critical Thinking Skills Instruments

  Reliability and Validity

Reliability means that individual scores from an instrument should be the same or nearly the same from one administration of the instrument to another. The instrument can be assumed to be free of bias and measurement error (68). Alpha coefficients are often used to report an estimate of internal consistency. Scores of .70 or higher indicate that the instrument has high reliability when the stakes are moderate. Scores of .80 and higher are appropriate when the stakes are high.

Validity means that individual scores from a particular instrument are meaningful, make sense, and allow researchers to draw conclusions from the sample to the population that is being studied (69) Researchers often refer to "content" or "face" validity. Content validity or face validity is the extent to which questions on an instrument are representative of the possible questions that a researcher could ask about that particular content or skills.

Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal-FS (WGCTA-FS)

The WGCTA-FS is a 40-item inventory created to replace Forms A and B of the original test, which participants reported was too long.70 This inventory assesses test takers' skills in:

     (a) Inference: the extent to which the individual recognizes whether assumptions are clearly stated      (b) Recognition of assumptions: whether an individual recognizes whether assumptions are clearly stated      (c) Deduction: whether an individual decides if certain conclusions follow the information provided      (d) Interpretation: whether an individual considers evidence provided and determines whether generalizations from data are warranted      (e) Evaluation of arguments: whether an individual distinguishes strong and relevant arguments from weak and irrelevant arguments

Researchers investigated the reliability and validity of the WGCTA-FS for subjects in academic fields. Participants included 586 university students. Internal consistencies for the total WGCTA-FS among students majoring in psychology, educational psychology, and special education, including undergraduates and graduates, ranged from .74 to .92. The correlations between course grades and total WGCTA-FS scores for all groups ranged from .24 to .62 and were significant at the p < .05 of p < .01. In addition, internal consistency and test-retest reliability for the WGCTA-FS have been measured as .81. The WGCTA-FS was found to be a reliable and valid instrument for measuring critical thinking (71).

Cornell Critical Thinking Test (CCTT)

There are two forms of the CCTT, X and Z. Form X is for students in grades 4-14. Form Z is for advanced and gifted high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, and adults. Reliability estimates for Form Z range from .49 to .87 across the 42 groups who have been tested. Measures of validity were computed in standard conditions, roughly defined as conditions that do not adversely affect test performance. Correlations between Level Z and other measures of critical thinking are about .50.72 The CCTT is reportedly as predictive of graduate school grades as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), a measure of aptitude, and the Miller Analogies Test, and tends to correlate between .2 and .4.73

California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI)

Facione and Facione have reported significant relationships between the CCTDI and the CCTST. When faculty focus on critical thinking in planning curriculum development, modest cross-sectional and longitudinal gains have been demonstrated in students' CTS.74 The CCTDI consists of seven subscales and an overall score. The recommended cut-off score for each scale is 40, the suggested target score is 50, and the maximum score is 60. Scores below 40 on a specific scale are weak in that CT disposition, and scores above 50 on a scale are strong in that dispositional aspect. An overall score of 280 shows serious deficiency in disposition toward CT, while an overall score of 350 (while rare) shows across the board strength. The seven subscales are analyticity, self-confidence, inquisitiveness, maturity, open-mindedness, systematicity, and truth seeking (75).

In a study of instructional strategies and their influence on the development of critical thinking among undergraduate nursing students, Tiwari, Lai, and Yuen found that, compared with lecture students, PBL students showed significantly greater improvement in overall CCTDI (p = .0048), Truth seeking (p = .0008), Analyticity (p =.0368) and Critical Thinking Self-confidence (p =.0342) subscales from the first to the second time points; in overall CCTDI (p = .0083), Truth seeking (p= .0090), and Analyticity (p =.0354) subscales from the second to the third time points; and in Truth seeking (p = .0173) and Systematicity (p = .0440) subscales scores from the first to the fourth time points (76). California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST)

Studies have shown the California Critical Thinking Skills Test captured gain scores in students' critical thinking over one quarter or one semester. Multiple health science programs have demonstrated significant gains in students' critical thinking using site-specific curriculum. Studies conducted to control for re-test bias showed no testing effect from pre- to post-test means using two independent groups of CT students. Since behavioral science measures can be impacted by social-desirability bias-the participant's desire to answer in ways that would please the researcher-researchers are urged to have participants take the Marlowe Crowne Social Desirability Scale simultaneously when measuring pre- and post-test changes in critical thinking skills. The CCTST is a 34-item instrument. This test has been correlated with the CCTDI with a sample of 1,557 nursing education students. Results show that, r = .201, and the relationship between the CCTST and the CCTDI is significant at p< .001. Significant relationships between CCTST and other measures including the GRE total, GRE-analytic, GRE-Verbal, GRE-Quantitative, the WGCTA, and the SAT Math and Verbal have also been reported. The two forms of the CCTST, A and B, are considered statistically significant. Depending on the testing, context KR-20 alphas range from .70 to .75. The newest version is CCTST Form 2000, and depending on the testing context, KR-20 alphas range from .78-.84.77

The Health Science Reasoning Test (HSRT)

Items within this inventory cover the domain of CT cognitive skills identified by a Delphi group of experts whose work resulted in the development of the CCTDI and CCTST. This test measures health science undergraduate and graduate students' CTS. Although test items are set in health sciences and clinical practice contexts, test takers are not required to have discipline-specific health sciences knowledge. For this reason, the test may have limited utility in dental education (78).

Preliminary estimates of internal consistency show that overall KR-20 coefficients range from .77 to .83.79 The instrument has moderate reliability on analysis and inference subscales, although the factor loadings appear adequate. The low K-20 coefficients may be result of small sample size, variance in item response, or both (see following table).

Table 8. Estimates of Internal Consistency and Factor Loading by Subscale for HSRT

Professional Judgment Rating Form (PJRF)

The scale consists of two sets of descriptors. The first set relates primarily to the attitudinal (habits of mind) dimension of CT. The second set relates primarily to CTS.

A single rater should know the student well enough to respond to at least 17 or the 20 descriptors with confidence. If not, the validity of the ratings may be questionable. If a single rater is used and ratings over time show some consistency, comparisons between ratings may be used to assess changes. If more than one rater is used, then inter-rater reliability must be established among the raters to yield meaningful results. While the PJRF can be used to assess the effectiveness of training programs for individuals or groups, the evaluation of participants' actual skills are best measured by an objective tool such as the California Critical Thinking Skills Test.

Teaching for Thinking Student Course Evaluation Form

Course evaluations typically ask for responses of "agree" or "disagree" to items focusing on teacher behavior. Typically the questions do not solicit information about student learning. Because contemporary thinking about curriculum is interested in student learning, this form was developed to address differences in pedagogy and subject matter, learning outcomes, student demographics, and course level characteristic of education today. This form also grew out of a "one size fits all" approach to teaching evaluations and a recognition of the limitations of this practice. It offers information about how a particular course enhances student knowledge, sensitivities, and dispositions. The form gives students an opportunity to provide feedback that can be used to improve instruction.

Holistic Critical Thinking Scoring Rubric

This assessment tool uses a four-point classification schema that lists particular opposing reasoning skills for select criteria. One advantage of a rubric is that it offers clearly delineated components and scales for evaluating outcomes. This rubric explains how students' CTS will be evaluated, and it provides a consistent framework for the professor as evaluator. Users can add or delete any of the statements to reflect their institution's effort to measure CT. Like most rubrics, this form is likely to have high face validity since the items tend to be relevant or descriptive of the target concept. This rubric can be used to rate student work or to assess learning outcomes. Experienced evaluators should engage in a process leading to consensus regarding what kinds of things should be classified and in what ways.80 If used improperly or by inexperienced evaluators, unreliable results may occur.

Peer Evaluation of Group Presentation Form

This form offers a common set of criteria to be used by peers and the instructor to evaluate student-led group presentations regarding concepts, analysis of arguments or positions, and conclusions.81 Users have an opportunity to rate the degree to which each component was demonstrated. Open-ended questions give users an opportunity to cite examples of how concepts, the analysis of arguments or positions, and conclusions were demonstrated.

Table 8. Proposed Universal Criteria for Evaluating Students' Critical Thinking Skills 

Aside from the use of the above-mentioned assessment tools, Dexter et al. recommended that all schools develop universal criteria for evaluating students' development of critical thinking skills (82).

Their rationale for the proposed criteria is that if faculty give feedback using these criteria, graduates will internalize these skills and use them to monitor their own thinking and practice (see Table 4).

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Supplement to Critical Thinking

How can one assess, for purposes of instruction or research, the degree to which a person possesses the dispositions, skills and knowledge of a critical thinker?

In psychometrics, assessment instruments are judged according to their validity and reliability.

Roughly speaking, an instrument is valid if it measures accurately what it purports to measure, given standard conditions. More precisely, the degree of validity is “the degree to which evidence and theory support the interpretations of test scores for proposed uses of tests” (American Educational Research Association 2014: 11). In other words, a test is not valid or invalid in itself. Rather, validity is a property of an interpretation of a given score on a given test for a specified use. Determining the degree of validity of such an interpretation requires collection and integration of the relevant evidence, which may be based on test content, test takers’ response processes, a test’s internal structure, relationship of test scores to other variables, and consequences of the interpretation (American Educational Research Association 2014: 13–21). Criterion-related evidence consists of correlations between scores on the test and performance on another test of the same construct; its weight depends on how well supported is the assumption that the other test can be used as a criterion. Content-related evidence is evidence that the test covers the full range of abilities that it claims to test. Construct-related evidence is evidence that a correct answer reflects good performance of the kind being measured and an incorrect answer reflects poor performance.

An instrument is reliable if it consistently produces the same result, whether across different forms of the same test (parallel-forms reliability), across different items (internal consistency), across different administrations to the same person (test-retest reliability), or across ratings of the same answer by different people (inter-rater reliability). Internal consistency should be expected only if the instrument purports to measure a single undifferentiated construct, and thus should not be expected of a test that measures a suite of critical thinking dispositions or critical thinking abilities, assuming that some people are better in some of the respects measured than in others (for example, very willing to inquire but rather closed-minded). Otherwise, reliability is a necessary but not a sufficient condition of validity; a standard example of a reliable instrument that is not valid is a bathroom scale that consistently under-reports a person’s weight.

Assessing dispositions is difficult if one uses a multiple-choice format with known adverse consequences of a low score. It is pretty easy to tell what answer to the question “How open-minded are you?” will get the highest score and to give that answer, even if one knows that the answer is incorrect. If an item probes less directly for a critical thinking disposition, for example by asking how often the test taker pays close attention to views with which the test taker disagrees, the answer may differ from reality because of self-deception or simple lack of awareness of one’s personal thinking style, and its interpretation is problematic, even if factor analysis enables one to identify a distinct factor measured by a group of questions that includes this one (Ennis 1996). Nevertheless, Facione, Sánchez, and Facione (1994) used this approach to develop the California Critical Thinking Dispositions Inventory (CCTDI). They began with 225 statements expressive of a disposition towards or away from critical thinking (using the long list of dispositions in Facione 1990a), validated the statements with talk-aloud and conversational strategies in focus groups to determine whether people in the target population understood the items in the way intended, administered a pilot version of the test with 150 items, and eliminated items that failed to discriminate among test takers or were inversely correlated with overall results or added little refinement to overall scores (Facione 2000). They used item analysis and factor analysis to group the measured dispositions into seven broad constructs: open-mindedness, analyticity, cognitive maturity, truth-seeking, systematicity, inquisitiveness, and self-confidence (Facione, Sánchez, and Facione 1994). The resulting test consists of 75 agree-disagree statements and takes 20 minutes to administer. A repeated disturbing finding is that North American students taking the test tend to score low on the truth-seeking sub-scale (on which a low score results from agreeing to such statements as the following: “To get people to agree with me I would give any reason that worked”. “Everyone always argues from their own self-interest, including me”. “If there are four reasons in favor and one against, I’ll go with the four”.) Development of the CCTDI made it possible to test whether good critical thinking abilities and good critical thinking dispositions go together, in which case it might be enough to teach one without the other. Facione (2000) reports that administration of the CCTDI and the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) to almost 8,000 post-secondary students in the United States revealed a statistically significant but weak correlation between total scores on the two tests, and also between paired sub-scores from the two tests. The implication is that both abilities and dispositions need to be taught, that one cannot expect improvement in one to bring with it improvement in the other.

A more direct way of assessing critical thinking dispositions would be to see what people do when put in a situation where the dispositions would reveal themselves. Ennis (1996) reports promising initial work with guided open-ended opportunities to give evidence of dispositions, but no standardized test seems to have emerged from this work. There are however standardized aspect-specific tests of critical thinking dispositions. The Critical Problem Solving Scale (Berman et al. 2001: 518) takes as a measure of the disposition to suspend judgment the number of distinct good aspects attributed to an option judged to be the worst among those generated by the test taker. Stanovich, West and Toplak (2011: 800–810) list tests developed by cognitive psychologists of the following dispositions: resistance to miserly information processing, resistance to myside thinking, absence of irrelevant context effects in decision-making, actively open-minded thinking, valuing reason and truth, tendency to seek information, objective reasoning style, tendency to seek consistency, sense of self-efficacy, prudent discounting of the future, self-control skills, and emotional regulation.

It is easier to measure critical thinking skills or abilities than to measure dispositions. The following eight currently available standardized tests purport to measure them: the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (Watson & Glaser 1980a, 1980b, 1994), the Cornell Critical Thinking Tests Level X and Level Z (Ennis & Millman 1971; Ennis, Millman, & Tomko 1985, 2005), the Ennis-Weir Critical Thinking Essay Test (Ennis & Weir 1985), the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (Facione 1990b, 1992), the Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment (Halpern 2016), the Critical Thinking Assessment Test (Center for Assessment & Improvement of Learning 2017), the Collegiate Learning Assessment (Council for Aid to Education 2017), the HEIghten Critical Thinking Assessment (, and a suite of critical thinking assessments for different groups and purposes offered by Insight Assessment ( The Critical Thinking Assessment Test (CAT) is unique among them in being designed for use by college faculty to help them improve their development of students’ critical thinking skills (Haynes et al. 2015; Haynes & Stein 2021). Also, for some years the United Kingdom body OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations) awarded AS and A Level certificates in critical thinking on the basis of an examination (OCR 2011). Many of these standardized tests have received scholarly evaluations at the hands of, among others, Ennis (1958), McPeck (1981), Norris and Ennis (1989), Fisher and Scriven (1997), Possin (2008, 2013a, 2013b, 2013c, 2014, 2020) and Hatcher and Possin (2021). Their evaluations provide a useful set of criteria that such tests ideally should meet, as does the description by Ennis (1984) of problems in testing for competence in critical thinking: the soundness of multiple-choice items, the clarity and soundness of instructions to test takers, the information and mental processing used in selecting an answer to a multiple-choice item, the role of background beliefs and ideological commitments in selecting an answer to a multiple-choice item, the tenability of a test’s underlying conception of critical thinking and its component abilities, the set of abilities that the test manual claims are covered by the test, the extent to which the test actually covers these abilities, the appropriateness of the weighting given to various abilities in the scoring system, the accuracy and intellectual honesty of the test manual, the interest of the test to the target population of test takers, the scope for guessing, the scope for choosing a keyed answer by being test-wise, precautions against cheating in the administration of the test, clarity and soundness of materials for training essay graders, inter-rater reliability in grading essays, and clarity and soundness of advance guidance to test takers on what is required in an essay. Rear (2019) has challenged the use of standardized tests of critical thinking as a way to measure educational outcomes, on the grounds that  they (1) fail to take into account disputes about conceptions of critical thinking, (2) are not completely valid or reliable, and (3) fail to evaluate skills used in real academic tasks. He proposes instead assessments based on discipline-specific content.

There are also aspect-specific standardized tests of critical thinking abilities. Stanovich, West and Toplak (2011: 800–810) list tests of probabilistic reasoning, insights into qualitative decision theory, knowledge of scientific reasoning, knowledge of rules of logical consistency and validity, and economic thinking. They also list instruments that probe for irrational thinking, such as superstitious thinking, belief in the superiority of intuition, over-reliance on folk wisdom and folk psychology, belief in “special” expertise, financial misconceptions, overestimation of one’s introspective powers, dysfunctional beliefs, and a notion of self that encourages egocentric processing. They regard these tests along with the previously mentioned tests of critical thinking dispositions as the building blocks for a comprehensive test of rationality, whose development (they write) may be logistically difficult and would require millions of dollars.

A superb example of assessment of an aspect of critical thinking ability is the Test on Appraising Observations (Norris & King 1983, 1985, 1990a, 1990b), which was designed for classroom administration to senior high school students. The test focuses entirely on the ability to appraise observation statements and in particular on the ability to determine in a specified context which of two statements there is more reason to believe. According to the test manual (Norris & King 1985, 1990b), a person’s score on the multiple-choice version of the test, which is the number of items that are answered correctly, can justifiably be given either a criterion-referenced or a norm-referenced interpretation.

On a criterion-referenced interpretation, those who do well on the test have a firm grasp of the principles for appraising observation statements, and those who do poorly have a weak grasp of them. This interpretation can be justified by the content of the test and the way it was developed, which incorporated a method of controlling for background beliefs articulated and defended by Norris (1985). Norris and King synthesized from judicial practice, psychological research and common-sense psychology 31 principles for appraising observation statements, in the form of empirical generalizations about tendencies, such as the principle that observation statements tend to be more believable than inferences based on them (Norris & King 1984). They constructed items in which exactly one of the 31 principles determined which of two statements was more believable. Using a carefully constructed protocol, they interviewed about 100 students who responded to these items in order to determine the thinking that led them to choose the answers they did (Norris & King 1984). In several iterations of the test, they adjusted items so that selection of the correct answer generally reflected good thinking and selection of an incorrect answer reflected poor thinking. Thus they have good evidence that good performance on the test is due to good thinking about observation statements and that poor performance is due to poor thinking about observation statements. Collectively, the 50 items on the final version of the test require application of 29 of the 31 principles for appraising observation statements, with 13 principles tested by one item, 12 by two items, three by three items, and one by four items. Thus there is comprehensive coverage of the principles for appraising observation statements. Fisher and Scriven (1997: 135–136) judge the items to be well worked and sound, with one exception. The test is clearly written at a grade 6 reading level, meaning that poor performance cannot be attributed to difficulties in reading comprehension by the intended adolescent test takers. The stories that frame the items are realistic, and are engaging enough to stimulate test takers’ interest. Thus the most plausible explanation of a given score on the test is that it reflects roughly the degree to which the test taker can apply principles for appraising observations in real situations. In other words, there is good justification of the proposed interpretation that those who do well on the test have a firm grasp of the principles for appraising observation statements and those who do poorly have a weak grasp of them.

To get norms for performance on the test, Norris and King arranged for seven groups of high school students in different types of communities and with different levels of academic ability to take the test. The test manual includes percentiles, means, and standard deviations for each of these seven groups. These norms allow teachers to compare the performance of their class on the test to that of a similar group of students.

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The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is copyright © 2022 by The Metaphysics Research Lab , Department of Philosophy, Stanford University

Library of Congress Catalog Data: ISSN 1095-5054

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Wabash College

by Thomas F. Nelson Laird, Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research

Summer 2005

Highlights of the CCTDI:

Uses of the CCTDI:

Jill Cellars Rogers Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College


The ideal critical thinker is habitually inquisitive, well-informed, trustful of reason, open-minded, flexible, fair-minded in evaluation, honest in facing personal biases, prudent in making judgments, willing to reconsider, clear about issues, orderly in complex matters, diligent in seeking relevant information, reasonable in the selection of criteria, focused in inquiry, and persistent in seeking results that are as precise as the subject and the circumstances of inquiry permit.                                           – American Philosophical Association, The Delphi Report [1]

Experts from several fields agree that a critical thinker must possess both a set of thinking skills and the habits of mind necessary to use those skills. The California Critical Thinking Dispositions Inventory ( CCTDI ) is a survey instrument designed to measure whether a person habitually exhibits the mindset of an ideal critical thinker. (A companion survey, the California Critical Thinking Skills Test, measures actual critical thinking skills.) The CCTDI, a 75-item questionnaire designed by Peter and Noreen Facione, is available through Insight Assessment (formerly the California Academic Press). The survey is designed for use with students in postsecondary settings (undergraduate, graduate, and professional) and with adults outside of educational environments. The CCTDI is used for student assessment as well as program evaluation, professional development, and training.

The following review provides a summary of several aspects of the CCTDI, including how it is used, how much it costs, what it measures, how it can be used for the purposes of student assessment, and why someone would use it when assessing liberal arts education.  

Administration and Cost

The CCTDI must be ordered from Insight Assessment. It is a tool that can be used with groups of any size (a class, a department, or an entire campus). It is available in paper form or as a web-based survey. Either version takes 20 minutes or less to complete. A "specimen kit" containing a manual, a copy of the instrument, and a copy of the fill-in answer form is available for purchase ($60). For those seriously considering using the CCTDI, it is advisable to obtain the specimen kit prior to ordering the surveys and answer sheets. The manual describes the survey’s history and properties as well as procedures for its administration.

Paper Version

The paper version of test/tool booklets (six-page documents that contain directions and the 75 statements about which students will rate their level of agreement/disagreement) and answer forms (scannable forms on which students fill in bubbles corresponding to their responses) must be ordered. At this writing, answer forms can be ordered in bundles of 25 ($150), 50 ($275), or 100 ($485). Because the booklets are separate from the answer forms, they can be used more than once. For this reason, answer forms can also be ordered on their own in packets of 25 ($110), 50 ($190), and 100 ($335).

Booklets and answer forms are shipped to the purchaser, who determines to whom and how the CCTDI will be administered (e.g., in class, by mail, at orientation). A student filling out the paper form will receive a test/tool booklet and an answer form. Answer forms are then collected from the students and shipped back to Insight Assessment, where they are scanned and scored using a system called CapScore. Insight Assessment then sends the investigator a data file and a report summarizing the survey results.

Online Version

To use the online version, an order needs to be placed with Insight Assessment. The cost is $6 per student. The software application is made available to the administrator by Insight Assessment and needs to be set up on a computer or group of computers. (For specifics on the application or for a demo version contact Insight Assessment.) The software application administers the CCTDI and compiles students’ responses. The data and reporting of the results are available instantly. The system can also be set up to give each student a critical thinking "dispositions profile" immediately upon completion of the instrument. A computer lab is an ideal setting for administering the online version.

About the CCTDI

In 1990, with sponsorship from the American Philosophical Association, a group of scholars from several disciplines developed a definition of critical thinking that had a skills dimension and a dispositional (i.e., affective and attitudinal) dimension. Building on the scholars' definition regarding the habits of mind of an ideal critical thinker, Peter and Noreen Facione developed and tested the CCTDI as a measure of the dispositional side of critical thinking. In its final form, the CCTDI has 75 items. Each respondent can choose from six responses, ranging from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree." Since 1990, the CCTDI have been developed in several languages, including English, Spanish, and Chinese. The instrument uses seven sub-scales to capture different aspects of the disposition to think critically: truth-seeking, open-mindedness, critical thinking self-confidence, inquisitiveness, cognitive maturity, and the inclination to analyze and systematize. (For a brief definition of each, visit Insight Assessment.) Examples of survey items are listed below, under the corresponding sub-scale.

Example Items for Each CCTDI Sub-scale

The CCTDI total score is the sum of the scores for each of the seven sub-scales. The total score indicates whether a person is generally disposed to think critically—whether the individual habitually exhibits the characteristics of an ideal critical thinker. The total score ranges from 70 to 420. Students who score less than 210 are defined as negatively disposed toward critical thinking, students with scores between 210 and 280 are defined as ambivalently disposed, and students with scores above 280 are defined as positively disposed. [4,6]  The score range for each of the seven sub-scales is from 10–40, and students can be considered negatively (scores less than 30), ambivalently (scores between 30 and 40), or positively (scores greater than 40) disposed to each of the characteristics.

The CCTDI has been tested by its developers and by several independent researchers. [2, 4, 6, 7, 9] Among those who have examined the instrument, there is general agreement that the survey validly and reliably measures the disposition toward critical thinking and is therefore appropriate for inclusion in research and assessment. In contrast to some of the findings of the survey developers, several researchers have identified concerns about the appropriate number of sub-scales and some of the statistical properties of particular sub-scales. [2, 7, 9]  Further work is needed to review these concerns, though the issues raised do not appear to be serious, and using the seven sub-scales defined by the instrument’s authors still appears to be appropriate.

How the CCTDI Can Be Used in Assessment

The CCTDI can be used at a single point in time to gain an understanding of how students view themselves as critical thinkers. This information can be useful in determining whether individual students or groups of students have the dispositions deemed necessary for a class, at the end of a program, or for entry into a particular professional setting. For example, in the field of nursing, which has recommended CCTDI scores [3] , it may be useful to know a student's disposition toward critical thinking upon entry into a program or prior to his or her entry into a clinical setting. Scores can be used to identify strengths and areas for improvement. (A person's predisposition and motivation to think critically is interrelated with actual critical thinking ability; both work together to create a critical thinker. Therefore, institutions interested in assessing critical thinking characteristics of their students might choose to consider using both the CCTDI for attitude and the CCTST for ability.)

In addition, the instrument can be used to test how an experience or set of experiences influence students’ dispositions toward critical thinking. Positive changes in individual predisposition to critical thinking linked to curricular programs have been demonstrated. Students can be tested in their first year of college and again at the end of their senior year to determine how the entire collegiate experience affected their dispositions to think critically. [6] One can also test the effects of specific collegiate programs, courses, or experiences. For this purpose, it is important to measure carefully different student characteristics and differences in what students have done at college in addition to the experiences under study. In one of my own studies [8] , I looked at the effects of students’ experiences with diversity on several outcomes, including the disposition toward critical thinking, as measured by the CCTDI.

The CCTDI is useful because it is a relatively short survey that captures a meaningful concept (the disposition to think critically) with clear connections to valued educational outcomes. It is adaptable to different settings and can be administered to any size group. For these reasons, it can play a valuable role in the assessment of a liberal arts education. However, because it measures a single outcome, the CCTDI is most helpful when combined with information gathered from other instruments and methods. It is a valuable tool to keep in one’s assessment "toolkit."


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Sample Test

Online critical thinking basic concepts sample test, part one: on the nature of critical thinking, q: critical thinking is essential to reasoning well through complicated issues., q: critical thinking and creativity entail two distinctly different processes., q: one should not analyze sympathetically points of view that are revolting and obviously wrong., q: if a statement is irrelevant, we benefit by asking how it helps us answer the question at issue., q: inferences are implications embedded in a situation., q: critical thinkers are mainly concerned with assessing their own thinking, rather than the thinking of others, since their own thinking is the only thinking under their control., part two: on the nature of critical thinking, q: one main requirement of critical thinking is.

Q: An important fact that supports the need for ananalytic dimension of critical thinking is that

Q: Critical thinkers assess thinking in order to

Q: Depth in reasoning best relates to

Q: Fairminded thinking is

Q: It is important to clarify thinking whenever

Part Three: On Recognizing Important Distinctions in Critical Thinking

Q: perspective, q: sufficiency, q: prejudice in thinking, q: intellectual sense of justice, q: socialism, q: narrowmindedness, q: completeness, q: clarifying issues, conclusions, or beliefs.

critical thinking inventory test

Critical Thinking Test Information & Example Questions

More and more employers are administering critical thinking assessment tests during their hiring process. Prepare for critical thinking tests and assessments with JobTestPrep's resources. Our study materials include test information, practice tests, detailed answer explanations, score reports, and more. Start preparing for critical thinking tests today to ensure your success.

What Is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking, also known as critical reasoning, is the ability to assess a situation and to consider and understand various perspectives, all while acknowledging, extracting, and deciphering facts, opinions, and assumptions.

Why Is the Critical Thinking Test Important to Employers?

Critical thinking, or critical reasoning, is important to employers because they want to see that when dealing with an issue, you are able to make logical decisions without involving emotions. Being able to look past emotions will help you to be open-minded, confident, and decisive—making your decisions more logical and sound.

Looking for a new job? Upload your CV into our AI, data-based CV Analyzer System, and get offers specifically tailored to your skillset and experience!

When Is Critical Thinking Used?

Critical thinking is used in several stages of the problem-solving and decision-making process:

Critical thinking tests can have several sections or subtests that assess and measure a variety of aspects.

In this section, you are asked to draw conclusions from observed or supposed facts. You are presented with a short text containing a set of facts you should consider as true. Below the text is a statement that could be inferred from the text. You need to make a judgement on whether this statement is valid or not, based on what you have read. Furthermore, you are asked to evaluate whether the statement is true, probably true, there is insufficient data to determine, probably false, or false. For example, if a baby is crying and it is his feeding time, you may infer that the baby is hungry. However, the baby may be crying for other reasons—perhaps it is hot.

Recognizing Assumptions

In this section, you are asked to recognize whether an assumption is justifiable or not. Here you are given a statement followed by an assumption on that statement. You need to establish whether this assumption can be supported by the statement or not. You are being tested on your ability to avoid taking things for granted that are not necessarily true. For example, you may say, "I’ll have the same job in three months," but you would be taking for granted the fact that your workplace won't make you redundant, or that that you won’t decide to quit and explore various other possibilities. You are asked to choose between the options of assumption made and assumption not made.

This section tests your ability to weigh information and decide whether given conclusions are warranted. You are presented with a statement of facts followed by a conclusion on what you have read. For example, you may be told, "Nobody in authority can avoid making uncomfortable decisions." You must then decide whether a statement such as "All people must make uncomfortable decisions" is warranted from the first statement. You need to assess whether the conclusion follows or the conclusion does not follow what is contained in the statement.


This section measures your ability to understand the weighing of different arguments on a particular question or issue. You are given a short paragraph to read, which you are expected to take as true. This paragraph is followed by a suggested conclusion, for which you must decide if it follows beyond a reasonable doubt. You have the choice of conclusion follows and conclusion does not follow.

Evaluation of Arguments

In this section you are asked to evaluate the strength of an argument. You are given a question followed by an argument. The argument is considered to be true, but you must decide whether it is a strong or weak argument, i.e. whether it is both important and directly related to the question.

Watson Glaser

Another popular critical thinking assessment,  Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA) is a well-established psychometric test produced by Pearson Assessments. The Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal is used for two main purposes: job selection/talent management and academic evaluations. The Watson Glaser test can be administered online or in-person.

For free Watson Glaser practice questions   click here !

Critical Thinking Examples

As there are various forms of critical thinking, we've provided a number of critical thinking sample questions.

Example 1 – Underlying Assumptions

Proposed Assumption: Asking for a raise at her current place of work is not the best way to increase the wife's income.

A. Assumption made

B. Assumption not made

The correct answer is (B), Assumption not made. 

Answer explanation: 

The conclusion of the wife's statement: Soon we will increase our joint income.  The evidence supporting this conclusion: I will begin to work an additional part-time job. The underlying assumption/s that must be true for the conclusion to be true: A part-time job will provide me with extra money. The proposed assumption: "Asking for a raise at her current place of work is not the best way to increase the wife's income" is not necessary for the conclusion to be true.

Example 2 – Interpreting Information

Proposed Assumption: Harold’s wife doesn’t feel unhappy.

A. Conclusion follows

B. Conclusion does not follow

The correct answer is (B), Conclusion does not follow.

Answer explanation: Harold’s wife is not mentioned in the passage, and, therefore, you cannot presume any information regarding her feelings.

Example 3 – Inferences 

Proposed Assumption: There is more to the management's announced intentions than those mentioned by them in the passage.

B. Probably true

C. Insufficent data

E. Probably false

The correct answer is (B), Probably true.

Answer explanation: The text begins by introducing the management's announcement as a reaction to a negative trend—reduction in the number of student applications. While the announcement explicitly addresses both the college's staff and its students, it is likely that the issue at hand is not only a wish to achieve academic excellence but, in fact, a means to resolve the issue of reduced applications and college reputation, which has implications on the college's future. Therefore, the correct answer is probably true.

Professions That Use Critical Thinking Tests

Below are some professions that use critical thinking tests and assessments during the hiring process as well as some positions that demand  critical thinking and reasoning skills:

Prepare for Critical Thinking and Critical Reasoning Assessments

The Critical Thinking PrepPack™ is designed to provide you with an inclusive critical thinking preparation experience, as our test questions, study guides, and score reports are all aimed at improving your skills. Start preparing today and ensure your success.

JobTestPrep is not affiliated with any specific test provider. Therefore, while our materials are extremely helpful and styled similarly to most critical thinking tests, they are not an exact match.


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