Critical Thinking Skills

We all know that we think, but seldom we think how do we think

What is Critical Thinking?

Scholars describe the process of critical thinking as performing self-regulated judgement — wherein an individual gathers, interprets, and evaluates evidence to form a judgment in a particular context (Dwyer and others, 2014).

How does Critical Thinking Skills help?

The LSCE definition of critical thinking emphasises its vital function in society. The definition explains that critical thinking can empower the individual to critically assess norms, values, power structures and social media messages; and to uncover and resist sexist, racist, extremist, radical, and populist influences and pressures to make society a fairer place for all social groups (UNICEF and partners, 2017).

"Critical thinking has been argued to be essential in preparing individuals for adult life and success in social, civic, interpersonal, and work-related contexts (Soland and others, 2013

Critical thinking is said to equip students with the ability to gain complex understandings of information, evaluate alternatives, identify assumptions, and make inferences — all while promoting decision making and decision making in real-world environments (Lai, 2011)

Critical thinking is a crucial element of being an active citizen because it enables the learner to question the norms and structures of society and imagine alternative ways of doing things (ten Dam and Volman, 2004).

In addition, critical thinking skills are essential part of the learning process and crucial for academic success (Lai, 2011). Empirical research evidence has revealed a positive association between critical thinking and academic achievement.

Am I proficient in thinking critically?

To check your proficiency in Critical Thinking Skills, take our FREE test

What does the Critical Thinking Skills Test Assess?

1. Critical Thinking in Everyday Life

Developers: Mincemoyer, C., Perkins, D. F., & Munyua, C

Critical thinking is defined as thinking that evaluates reasons and brings thought and actions in line with evaluations. Youth may know how to access and locate, interpret, and apply information. However, if they do not invest any time in evaluating the information they use, their efforts often result in a low-quality product. Worse, failure to evaluate may result in unfavorable outcomes especially when associated with flawed information. This survey will assess youth’s critical thinking ability by examining the frequency of use of the following skills that are needed to think critically.

  • Reasoning
  • Enquiry
  • Analysis/Information Processing
  • Flexibility
  • Evaluation

Youth Life Skills Evaluation project at Penn State. Instrument also cited by the CYFAR Life Skills Project at Texas A&M University.


We profusely thank Daniel F. Perkins, Ph.D. Principal Scientist, Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness/ Pennsylvania State University / 402 Marion Building / University Park, for granting permission to use Critical Thinking in Everyday Life Scale.

Is it possible to learn Critical Thinking Skills?

Critical thinking can be learned starting from younger age; and that all learners, regardless of ability levels, have been found to benefit from appropriate instruction and practice in critical thinking skills (Lai, 2011).