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Health Sciences Reasoning Test (HSRT)

Health Sciences Reasoning Test (HSRT)

Insight Asssessment Health Science Reasoning Test (HSRT)

The Health Sciences Reasoning Test (HSRT) measures high-stakes reasoning and decision-making processes. The HSRT is specifically calibrated for trainees in health sciences educational programs (undergraduate and graduate) and for professional health science practitioners. Scores on this instrument have been found to predict successful professional licensure and high clinical performance ratings.


Poorly reasoned decisions can have major consequences in people's lives.  Published research on the importance of critical thinking in the health sciences places critical thinking at the very heart of diagnostic reasoning and the development of new clinical knowledge. The HSRT is specifically designed to assess the critical thinking skills of health science students and professionals.

The Health Sciences Reasoning Test is being used worldwide at high ranking health science education programs and at top rated medical centers to measure critical thinking skills and habits of mind in students and practicing professionals.

  • The HSRT is the instrument of choice for educational research projects, hiring, and staff development programs in all health science settings.
  • The HSRT is used in health care settings and in professional programs to assess an individual's reasoning skills as an element in a comprehensive employment or admissions application process.
  • In educational and staff development settings, the HSRT provides objective data for learning outcomes assessment, program evaluation, accreditation, professional development or research.
  • After extensive testing with health sciences educational programs and among health science practitioners in the United States, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, the HSRT now has percentile norms available for use in a variety of test populations including practicing professionals, graduate students, 4-year undergraduate and community college students.


The HSRT is designed as a multiple choice format test and can be administered in a 50 minute setting.

  • On all forms of the HSRT, the test items range in difficulty and complexity. HSRT test items are set in clinical and professional practice contexts.  Any specialized information needed to respond correctly is provided in the question itself. Items require no health science knowledge.
  • The HSRT invites test-takers to apply their skills to information provided in a variety of different scenarios. Information is presented in text-based and diagrammatic formats; questions invite test takers to draw inferences, to make interpretations, to analyze information, to draw warranted inferences, to identify claims and reasons, and to evaluate the quality of arguments.
    • Each test question is based on 40 years of Insight Assessment's research on critical thinking measurement; questions are multidimensional and interrelated so that individual and group test results provide meaningful insights into specific critical thinking skills.

Scales Reported

The HSRT is designed to provide both an overall score for critical thinking and a selection of scale scores to assist the trainer or instructor to focus curricula and training opportunities to address particular weaknesses in both individuals and groups. The HSRT Overall Reasoning Skills  score targets the strength or weakness of one's skill in making reflective, reasoned judgments about what to believe or what to do.  Scores are also reported for: Analysis, Inference, Evaluation, Induction and Deduction.

The online HSRT-Numeracy includes a measure of quantitative reasoning (numeracy).

Test Administration

Insight Assessment offers a full service assessment solution, providing the industry’s most complete and cost-effective array of flexible testing options including app based, browser based, LMS online administration as well as the traditional paper and pencil method. Secure, encrypted online testing is available 24x7x365 on all our multilingual delivery options.  Tests are available directly at your site or multiple sites, at test centers or to individuals. Clients are able to select and offer their test takers one or more of the testing methods which are suitable for their specific test environments and needs. Insight Assessment testing specialists will work directly with your in-house technology representative during set-up to ensure a smooth solution.

Recommended Companion Assessment

Engaging problems and making decisions using critical thinking involves both skills and habits of mind. For a complete assessment of a test taker's critical thinking, it is recommended that both skills and dispositions be measured. Using companion assessments results in a comprehensive measurement of whether a test taker is ‘willing and able’ to think well.

We recommend that the HSRT be taken in conjunction with the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI).

HSRT Scales

Insight Asssessment Health Science Reasoning Test (HSRT)

There are six scores reported on the HSRT: Analysis,  Evaluation, Inference, Deduction, Induction and an OVERALL Score

Scale Descriptions


The reasoning OVERALL  Score describes overall strength in using reasoning to form reflective judgments about what to believe or what to do. To score well overall, the test-taker must excel in the sustained, focused and integrated application of core reasoning skills including analysis, interpretation, inference, evaluation, explanation, induction and deduction. The OVERALL score predicts the capacity for success in educational or workplace settings which demand reasoned decision making and thoughtful problem solving.


Analytical reasoning skills enable people to identify assumptions, reasons and claims, and to examine how they interact in the formation of arguments.  We use analysis to gather information from charts, graphs, diagrams, spoken language and documents.  People with strong analytical skills attend to patterns and to details. They identify the elements of a situation and determine how those parts interact.  Strong interpretation skills can support high quality analysis by providing insights into the significance of what a person is saying or what something means.


Inference skills enable us to draw conclusions from reasons and evidence. We use inference when we offer thoughtful suggestions and hypotheses.   Inference skills indicate the necessary or the very probable consequences of a given set of facts and conditions.  Conclusions, hypotheses, recommendations or decisions that are based on faulty analyses, misinformation, bad data or biased evaluations can turn out to be mistaken, even if they have been reached using excellent inference skills.


Evaluative reasoning skills enable us to assess the credibility of sources of information and the claims they make.  We use these skills to determine the strength or weakness of arguments.  Applying evaluation skills we can judge the quality of analyses, interpretations, explanations, inferences, options, opinions, beliefs, ideas, proposals, and decisions.  Strong explanation skills can support high-quality evaluation by providing the evidence, reasons, methods, criteria, or assumptions behind the claims made and the conclusions reached.  


Decision making in precisely defined contexts where rules, operating conditions, core beliefs, values, policies, principles, procedures and terminology completely determine the outcome depends on strong deductive reasoning skills. Deductive reasoning moves with exacting precision from the assumed truth of a set of beliefs to a conclusion which cannot be false if those beliefs are true. Deductive validity is rigorously logical and clear-cut.  Deductive validity leaves no room for uncertainty, unless one alters the meanings of words or the grammar of the language. 

In addition to Analysis, Inference, Evaluation,  Induction, Deduction and Overall Reasoning Skills, the HSRT-N measures of:


Numeracy skills are used when applying knowledge of numbers, arithmetic, measures, and mathematical techniques to situations that require the interpretation or evaluation of information.  Numeracy refers to the ability to solve quantitative reasoning problems, or make judgments derived from quantitative reasoning in a variety of contexts.  More than being able to compute a solution to a mathematical equation, numeracy includes the understanding of how quantitative information is gathered, manipulated and represented visually, such as in graphs, charts, tables and diagrams.


Interpretative skills are used to determine the precise meaning and significance of a message or signal, whether it is a gesture, sign, set of data, written or spoken words, diagram, icon, chart or graph. Correct interpretation depends on understanding the message in its context and in terms of who sent it, and for what purpose.  Interpretation includes clarifying what something or someone means, grouping or categorizing information, and determining the significance of a message. 


Explanatory reasoning skills, when exercised prior to making a final decision about what to believe or what to do, enable us to describe the evidence, reasons, methods, assumptions, standards or rationale for those decisions, opinions, beliefs and conclusions.  Strong explanatory skills enable people to discover, to test and to articulate the reasons for beliefs, events, actions and decisions.  

The book,  Critical Thinking and Clinical Reasoning in the Health Sciences, is a valuable resource for proven strategies for teaching clinical judgment in health care and health sciences professional programs and staff development programs. The book, Thinking and Reasoning in Human Decision Making, explores the relationship between critical thinking, expertise, and decision making in time-limited contexts of uncertainty and risk.

Comparison Percentiles Available for the HSRT

Insight Asssessment Health Science Reasoning Test (HSRT)

Individual and group scores are provided for all Insight Assessment test takers. Different groups of test takers have very different performance levels and therefore their scores differ quite a bit on scientifically developed measures of cognitive ability. It is important to understand how your group of test takers compares to selected external comparison groups, for example, the population of comparable regional or national peer groups.

The reports for each Insight Assessment test instrument provide scores that can be benchmarked against a variety of external comparison groups so that our clients are able to evaluate the scores of individual test takers or of their entire group.  If you do not see what you are specifically looking for, contact us to discuss your needs with a testing specialist.

Comparison Percentiles Available for the HSRT and HSRT-Numeracy

2-Year Undergraduate Program Comparison Percentiles

  • Dental Hygiene
  • Health Sciences Programs

4-Year Undergraduate Program Comparison Percentiles

  • Dental Hygiene
  • Health Sciences Programs
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy
  • Pharmacy

Graduate Program Comparison Percentiles

  • Dentistry
  • Health Sciences
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Pharmacy
  • Physician Assistant
  • Physical Therapy

HSRT Reports


The HSRT has been designed to deliver high quality objective metrics on the strengths and weaknesses of key aspects of thinking. 

HSRT reports deliver individual and group results in a presentation ready format.   Each report includes a wide range of statistical and demographic information about individuals and/or test-taker groups. Test-taker scores and group summaries are presented with interpretative analysis by Insight Assessment measurement scientists.

The HSRT measures and reports on an array of reasoning skill scale scores: Total Score, Analysis, Inference, Evaluation, Induction and Deduction.

        The Assessment Report package includes: 

  • graphic.individual reports
    Individual test-taker analytics:
    • an overall score of thinking ability (Overall Score) 
    • a categorical interpretation of the strength of the Overall Score  and scale scores
    • a norm-referenced percentile ranking (applicable to skills assessments only)
    • scale scores to indicate which of the skills areas are particularly strong and which are weaker and require training attention.
    • test administrators control whether test-takers receive their individual results after testing
  • For customers who are testing groups:
    • descriptive statistics and presentation ready graphic representation of the average Overall score and scale scores for the group
      graphic.group report
    • descriptive graphics and representations including  size of the group, mean, median, standard deviation, standard error of the mean, lowest score, highest score, first quartile score and third quartile score. See video about interpreting group report histograms
    • descriptive statistics of the demographic characteristics of the test-taker group (if collected )
    • the average percentile of  group as compared to a pre-selected external norm group (applicable to skills assessments only). For more information on norm-referenced scores
    • Electronic data files spreadsheet with all scale scores and demographic responses
  • Test Manual which includes chapters on interpreting individual and group test-taker scores using our 4-Step Process.

Insight Assessment clients depend on the comprehensive data and analysis in an HSRT report to provide the insights needed to achieve their assessment goals.  Clients are currently using individual data for professional development, student or intern placement, hiring, advising, competency training. Group data is being used for new cohort assessment, outcomes assessment, demonstrating the quality of an educational or training program, demonstrating group proficiency, staff development, admissions and more.

Clients can customize their results package with additional analyses, graphics and interpretative text discussing your scores in relationship to your particular goals and objectives. For further information, see Insight Assessment Reports and Analytics.

HSRT Preview Pack

Insight Asssessment Health Science Reasoning Test (HSRT)

As a qualified purchaser, if you are not familiar with the assessment instrument or the use of our online system, we offer the opportunity to purchase a preview of the assessment experience.  A preview provides you with one or more opportunities to view and experience the assessment from the perspective of the individual being assessed and to see the reporting options.  Your account representative will set up your preview to include one or more opportunities to view the instrument using our mobile app on your computer or tablet (the profile page, an example of the assessment itself, and an example of the individual report that will be provided at completion of the assessment).   

Each preview also includes a digital copy of the user manual and resource guide for the specific instrument you are viewing.  User manuals provide:

  • a brief description of each metric being assessed by the instrument  
  • a description of how to interpret both individual and group assessment results
  • a discussion of validity and reliability for the measures 
  • all necessary information about administration of the assessment
  • many additional resources that we hope you will find useful for designing your assessment project

 Contact us to order a preview now, or receive your preview when you place your first order for assessments.


HSRT Translations

Insight Asssessment Health Science Reasoning Test (HSRT)

Some of the current translations of the Health Sciences Reasoning Test are listed below. Insight Assessment is constantly working on expanding the multilingual capabilities of our products.  If you do not see what you are specifically looking for, please contact us to determine if it is available.

  • Arabic
  • Chinese 
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Farsi
  • Korean
  • Malay
  • Spanish

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