Holistic Critical Thinking Scoring Rubric (HCTSR)

Students seated around a table, discussing a college project

The “Holistic Critical Thinking Scoring Rubric,” (HCTSR) is a tool for assigning a qualitative rating to the critical thinking demonstrated in speeches, reports, essays, projects, performances, discussions, presentations, portfolios, and other events or performances. It combines attention to the skills dimension and the mindset dimension of critical thinking. It enables an informed, holistic, qualitative judgment.


  • The HCTSR provides a means for assigning a qualitative ratings to events or performances. 
  • The HCTSR facilitates informed conversations by providing accurate everyday language for discussing critical thinking.
  • The HCTSR raises awareness of how various critical thinking skills and mindset attributes are manifested behaviorally.
  • The HCTSR supplies operational meaning to the term “critical thinking.”

Download the HCTSR free of charge. Insight Assessment is committed to the international advancement of critical thinking. We are proud to be able to offer you the HCTSR in these languages:













Permission for use: HCTSR, © 2014, by Peter A. Facione and Noreen C. Facione. Published by Insight Assessment / The California Academic Press. Permission is hereby granted to copy the HCTSR to use this tool for teaching, training, developmental assessment or other educational noncommercial purposes. No part of the HCTSR may be altered. Qualitative levels may not be combined, deleted, or inserted. Appropriate author and publisher citation is required. Other permissions, e.g. to reproduce the HCTSR for sale in course packages, books, or on-line can be obtained by contacting Insight Assessment / The California Academic Press. Everyone may download a free PDF copy of the HCTSR for noncommercial uses.

Advisory Notes: The HCTSR is not a standardized measure of critical thinking.  It does not provide a way to evaluate individual skills or habits of mind.  It is a holistic tool.  It is a qualitative, not quantitative. It is best used for developmental purposes. The validity and reliability of HCTSR ratings rest on the ability of the rater(s) to recognize behavioral manifestations of human reasoning processes. As with all rubrics, the training and calibration of raters in the use of this tool is required to establish inter-rater reliability.  (Kappa statistic).

Critical Thinking Mini-Course Learning Tools:  Skill Builders, Mindset Boosters, and Deep Dives

Target critical thinking gaps with our newly released suite of personal and professional development mini-courses.  Create your own combinations of Skill Builders, Mindset Boosters, and Deep Dives to address specific areas, for example reasoning in precise contexts.  Strengthen critical thinking in as little as one hour.  100% online so people can work at their own pace from anywhere anytime.

How To Purchase Learning Tools

Critical Thinking Mini-Courses and the diagnostic Keys & Strategies Assessments are available to  individuals for purchase directly from our Store at Insight Basecamp.  Or, if you prefer to provide the assessments or the mini-coursers to your trainees or students, your organization can purchase licenses at bulk rates through our Insight Assessment sales office.


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