Critical Thinking: Essential for Graduate School Success
Just because someone has completed a 4 year degree program doesn’t mean that they are prepared to succeed in a selective post graduate program. Graduate programs require students to demonstrate more rigorous thinking skills and mindset, greater autonomy and motivation.
Predicting Graduate School Success
Graduate study requires wide range of skills and mental disciplines.
The capacity and desire to engage complex problems using sound critical thinking and quantitative reasoning is the key student success driver at the graduate level. Students who demonstrate that they are both willing and able to think critically have the best chance for success in professional programs.
Weak critical thinking skill is an established predictor of academic problems—at all levels. This fact drives many graduate programs to prioritize admitting applicants who can demonstrate the reasoning skills and thinking mindset which indicate readiness for the academic work required.
Screening Larger Applicant Pools
As recently reported in Higher Ed Dive, graduate programs continue to show increased enrollment. “Analysts project graduate programs will continue to grow and be a major factor in colleges’ revenue diversification strategy going forward.”
Faced with a surge in new applicants, graduate schools are evaluating the effectiveness of their screening programs. Are they admitting the students who are most likely to succeed in their coursework and to make a successful transition to student life? Are they providing equal access and opportunity to all applicants? Are fair and objective criteria being assessed?
The ability to identify applicants who have the strongest critical thinking skills and the desire to apply those skills is an essential component of individual admission decisions, placement and advising.
Identify Strong Candidates for Admissions
Objective admissions tools that generate objective information about skills in analytical thinking, interpretation, inference, evaluation, and explanation – namely, critical thinking – are proven to be powerful predictors of academic and professional success.
More than skills only, a positive lifelong learning mindset is essential for graduate school success. This means attributes such as inquisitiveness, organization, foresight, maturity of judgment, open-mindedness, and truth-seeking are highly valued.
When limitations in thinking strength are identified, support can be provided proactively.
Assessing Student Thinking
Insight Assessment has developed the premiere series of graduate level, valid and reliable, critical thinking assessments:
- HSRT: used globally in selective post graduate health sciences programs including Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Dentistry, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant and Physical Therapy to screen to assess critical thinking skills;
- CCTST used in STEM and other programs to assess masters and doctoral applicants’ capacity and desire to engage complex problems using sound critical thinking and quantitative reasoning;
- BCTST used by many AACSB accredited graduate Business and Executive Leadership programs to identify students who have the best chance for success in graduate business programs;
- CCTDI used to measure seven attributes that influence the capacity to learn and to effectively apply critical thinking skills;
- LSRP used in criminal justice, government policy and legal education to identify students with the thinking mindset and reasoning skills needed to engage deeply with complex ill-structured questions, issues, and problems;
- CCT-G835 calibrated for scientists, technologists or individuals with doctoral preparation.
Critical Thinking Data Supports Graduate School Success
Our clients use comprehensive individual and group reports to screen applicants, assist advising and objectively document program strength. Deans and directors upgrade to our assessments because of the versatility and ease of use and because of the significance of critical thinking and quantitative reasoning to academic and professional success. Insight Assessment offers the industry’s leading online testing technology enabling admissions assessment multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese.
How many timely, evidenced-based, high stakes, situation-specific decisions will today’s health science graduates need to make? Too many to count. Make every seat count. Admit students who demonstrate the critical thinking skills and mindset to rise to this level of professional practice.
To assess your graduate program applicants or newly admitted students call 650-697-5628 or contact us today.