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Critical Thinking

What is Critical Thinking?

Lead consultant at Test Partnership, Ben Schwencke, explains critical thinking.

grey clock icon 0:47 Quickly understand what critical thinking means.

Critical thinking underlies a person’s ability to conceptualise, apply, analyse, and evaluate complex information in order to reach a meaningful conclusion. From a psychometric perspective, critical thinking can be seen as a specific aptitude which represents an aspect of general cognitive ability. Critical thinking is an essential part of everyday reasoning, allowing people to correctly appraise the validity and utility of information presented to them. Without critical thinking, people fall prey to misinformation and errors in judgement, warping their sense of reality and negatively impacting their perspectives.

Critical thinking assessments are commonly used aptitude test in employee selection and assessment. These assessments are used to measure a candidate’s level of critical thinking, which is often a key performance indicator in cognitively complex work. For example, critical thinking tests are frequently used selection tools in legal professions, especially during the early stages of the recruitment process. This ensures that all successful applicants hold a requisite level of critical thinking, minimising the risk of hiring candidates who lack the cognitive faculties required in the legal professions. Applicants that score low on critical thinking tests are likely to struggle working in the legal professions, finding the complexity of the work both challenging and frustrating.

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