STEM Thinking Skills Test

STEM Thinking Skills Test
STEM Thinking Skills Test

The STEM Thinking Skills Test (STEM) is an objective measure of scientific and technological thinking (an assessment of critical thinking skills when they are used in scientific and technological contexts). STEM is designed to assess adults and high performing adolescents in academic settings. Clients use the STEM for selective admissions, advising and retention, studies of effectiveness of STEM training programs, and the documentation of student learning outcomes.

Population: STEM is designed to identify strengths in the relational and inferential domains needed by individuals training for positions in the STEM professions. STEM is calibrated for undergraduate and graduate college students, adults of all ages, and high-performing adolescents.  

Administration: Administer assessment tests at any time, in any location with our user-friendly, encrypted, online, multi-lingual interface.

Support Materials: The User Manual includes all needed information about administering the assessment and interpreting the resulting individual and group scores.

Specs: 50 minutes timed administration; 33 graphic and scenario-based questions

Deliverables – Group graphics with statistical summary of scores; Excel spreadsheet of responses to all custom demographic questions, and all scores for each person tested. Optional individual score reports for administrators and/or test takers.

Results Reported, with a brief statement of what each metric represents:

  • OVERALL STEM Score: Overall reasoning skills valuable for learning success in STEM fields
  • Out-of-the-Box Algebra: Developing elegant solutions for algebraic and arithmetic problems
  • Spatial Relational Thinking: Recognizing special relationships and geometric progressions
  • Tech Logic: Identifying the logical structure and plan embedded in data sources
  • Scientific Thinking:  Framing a problem and determining likely significant relationships

Scoring: STEM scores range from 250 to 300 with a corresponding qualitative rating (Superior, Strong, Moderate, Weak, Not Manifested).

Optional Custom Questions: At no additional cost, clients can add up to ten client specific custom descriptive demographic questions to the assessment to enable sub-group reports.

Language: English

License to administer the STEM: Sold globally exclusively to public and private educational institutions and training facilities; DOE, NSF, NIH, RWJ and other grant-funded projects; evaluation consultants; doctoral dissertation scholars; and other government and agency level entities.


Comprehensive assessment support services are available to not-for-profit educational organizations, government agencies, NGOs, dissertation scholars, and funded research clients.

Starting with an initial consultation to learn about your project, our experienced assessment specialists support your project in multiple ways, all included with your purchase of account setup and assessment use licenses. 

  • Instrument selection: We help the client find the academic assessment instrument(s) which best fit the educational level and broad subject matter area of the individuals to be assessed.
  • Administration strategies: Clients can keep test takers anonymous or use personal identifiers; sampling methods can measure an aggregated group profile without testing everyone.
  • Privacy Protection: We assist the client with privacy protection strategies, including, if needed, completely anonymous double-blind assessments.
  • Assessment logistics: We help clients assess program applicants onsite or remotely, gather pretest/post-test learning outcomes data, and generate individual or group logins.
  • Introducing client-specific custom questions: Clients can enable organizing, managing, and analyzing the assessment data that they plan to collect by introducing up to ten client-designed demographic profile questions. We assist clients with this process.
  • Client assessment administration setup: We orient the client to the use of their assessment administration interface by walking them through the processes of creating a testing assignment, including designating the start and end dates and choosing whether to display on-screen assessment results to the individual test-taker.
  • Report Generation: We orient clients on the use of the online report generation tool that produces customized group reports, aggregating and disaggregating data by the demographic variables they have collected (e.g., Training group, admission cohort, school, program, or any other custom demographic data that the client may have included).
  • 24/7/365 emergency technical support for our client testing administrators.

We demonstrate how easy it is to administer assessments even to very young students using our intuitive, browser-based, multilingual online testing system on almost any device: computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Preview Packs enable future clients to experience the intended assessment tool in exactly the same way it will be used in their planned project. The user manual and two logins are included.


STEM provides five measures of scientific and technological thinking reliant on strength in critical thinking. Items are drawn from a scientifically developed and tested item pool.

STEM – OVERALL: a holistic measure of the reasoning and problem-solving skills considered highly valuable for learning and performance success in the STEM domains.

Out-of-the-Box Algebra: Out-of-the-box mathematical thinking is the ability to come up with elegant solutions to algebraic and arithmetic problems that might otherwise seem long and arduous.  While problems of this kind may be solved with brute force techniques, time-limited contexts often render exhaustive calculations impractical.

Spatial-Relational Thinking: the skill of recognizing and predicting spatial relationships, geometric progressions, and the best organization of objects in space for engineering and design-related purposes.

Tech Logic: the ability to identify the logical structures and organizational plan manifested in written text, diagrams, data files, and mathematical functions.

Scientific Thinking: the skill of framing a problem from observations, determining possible, or likely, significant relationships between a set of provided facts, and determining which observations would count as reasonable evidence for or against competing hypotheses.

The STEM Report Package includes an individual test-taker report for each person assessed and group summary reports for each group and sub-group in the sample.

Reports are generated immediately after the conclusion of testing and are available for clients to download, making real time assessment possible. Read more about how our customer support specialists work with clients to select their reporting options on our Services tab or Contact us for a consultation.

Group analytics include:Images from Insight Assessment Group Reports

    • Clients can generate and download Excel spreadsheet files of all scores (OVERALL STEM Thinking Skills, and four STEM metric scores). At the option of the client, these also include the responses to custom demographic questions added by the client to the assessment profile.
    • Presentation-ready tables and graphic representations of the score distribution for OVERALL STEM Thinking Skills and for the four STEM metric scores.
    • Customers who have added custom demographic questions can generate sub-group reports for these variables, or for specific testing sessions or time periods. 

Optional Individual Test-Taker Reports include:Sample report showing Individual report on critical thinking attributes test (CCTDI)

    • An overall score of STEM thinking skills (OVERALL STEM Score). OVERALL scores range from 250 to 300 and are accompanied by a qualitative rating (Superior, Strong, Moderate, Weak, Not Manifested).
    • Scores for each STEM metric. These metrics are scored on a 250-to-300-point scale and are accompanied by a categorical interpretation of the strength of the score indicating areas of strength and areas for future development.
    • The Individual Test Taker Report can be pushed to an email address of the client’s choosing (for example, to an admissions office email, institutional assessment email, dean’s office email, etc.).

The client controls whether individual reports are made available to the test-taker.


Companion Mindset Assessments

Engaging items and making decisions relies on both reasoning skills and habits of mind. For a complete assessment of critical thinking, it is recommended that skills and mindset be included to assess whether a person is both ‘willing and able’ to think well.

Need to expedite your project?  We can have your first online testing assignment available for your students within 24 hours. Contact us today or get started by calling 650-697-5628 and speaking with one of our assessment specialists today.

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