Why Measure Critical Thinking Skills?
Weak critical thinking skills show themselves in many ways: critical and costly errors, repeated mistakes, bad decisions, failed systems, inaction when action is needed, the giving of bad advice, inaccurate assumptions, the poor design of training programs, the poor evaluation of educational curricula, the lack of anticipated action… the list is long.
Weakness in critical thinking skill results in loss of opportunities, of financial resources, of relationships, and even loss of life. There is probably no other attribute more worthy of measure than critical thinking skills.
Human reasoning and problem solving processes are highly complex but not impossible to analyze, measure and improve. A measure of critical thinking that can profile an individual's comparative strength in critical thinking skill is of extreme value for determining a person's capacity to benefit from training or to succeed in their job. Individual measures of critical thinking ability (analysis, inference, evaluation, inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning) provide information about potential hires and guidance in planning employee and student improvement programs. That all educational programs and workplace training programs must objectively demonstrate that they are effectively improving critical thinking skill is a powerful argument.
The California Critical Thinking Skills Test family of measurement tools - called the Gold Standard of Critical Thinking Tests - targets precisely those core cognitive skills which are called upon as we form reflective, purposeful judgments about what to believe or what to do. Measuring, exercising and strengthening these skills improves decision making and problem solving, which is important only for ... everyone.