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Critical Thinking Skills Assessment

90 percent of recruiters reported that bad hires don’t work out because the candidate lacks the right soft skills, and critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities are among the most important soft skills you can hire and test for. 

Especially as employees shift away from performing manual repetitive tasks, critical thinking and problem-solving will continue to be important in the modern work setting. One reliable way to test for critical thinking is through a critical thinking skills assessment, which we’ll cover in detail below. 

What Is a Critical Thinking Skills Assessment 

Critical thinking refers to the use of rationality and available evidence to solve problems, communicate with those around us, make difficult decisions, and determine important outcomes. Critical thinking is important for self-improvement, communication, leadership, technical roles, and approaching problems with an open mind. 

Critical thinking assessments are tests that gauge a candidate’s critical thinking skills and problem-solving capabilities. There are a myriad of ways to test critical thinking skills, so it’s important to narrow down the kind of skills, problems, and capabilities you’re seeking. 

How to use critical thinking skills assessments

It’s also important to think of critical thinking as a soft skill that enables hard skills. Critical thinkers are self-aware, open-minded, curious, and reflective individuals–all of which are important in solving complex technical problems. In other words, you can test for critical thinking through both soft skills and hard skill assessments. 

In order to get the most out of your assessment, you should be implementing the kind of problems, tasks, and challenges your candidate will be seeing in their day-to-day work. You can take problems and situations directly out of employees’ work days and integrate them into your test.

Why you should use a critical thinking skills assessment

Research at Pearson indicates that 81 percent of companies place a strong emphasis on critical thinking skills. Its studies also found that standardized measures of critical thinking had a strong correlation to real-world interpersonal, financial, and business outcomes. 

Additionally, several studies have found that organizations place a huge emphasis on soft skills when it comes to delivering outcomes and completing initiatives. BlinkistMagazine cites the Harvard Business Review, Stanford Research Center, LinkedIn Global Talent Trends Report, and other notable studies for the following findings on soft skills and critical thinking. 

  • At least 85% of career success comes from soft skills and personality skills
  • Only 28% of spending on skill growth is being spent on soft skills (72% is being spent on hard skills) 
  • As AI and automation continue to disrupt and impact the way we work, soft skills will accordingly become more valuable
  • 92% of talent professionals believe soft skills are much more important than hard skills 

What to Test for in Your Critical Thinking Skills Assessment

You can test for critical thinking skills in a number of ways, but the most common is through a series of logic problems and situational questions. You can test for the following skills and capabilities through a critical thinking skills assessment: 

  • Problem-solving
  • Cognitive capabilities
  • Decision making
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Communication skills
  • Open-mindedness
  • Curiosity
  • Deductive thinking
  • Reading comprehension
  • Interpretive skills
  • Assumption recognition 
  • Reasoning skills

Soft Skills Assessment Example Template Questions

You can test for a variety of skills with the following test template structures. 

Critical thinking skills questions



Strongly agree




Strongly disagree

There are no right and wrong answers; everyone has their own opinion.


The most reliable source of information is that given by first-hand experience and eyewitness reports.


You would try every possible alternative to solving a problem before asking someone for help.


There is usually one best way to do things, and organizations need to find that one best way in order to succeed


I try to see things from others' perspectives, even if I know they’re wrong.



Short Answer Responses

Here are a few critical thinking questions featured on iPREP’s sample page


  • A worldwide study shows that there are behavioral shifts among consumers. 41% said that they are “increasingly looking for ways to save money.” Consumers are largely brand-loyal but shop around for the best prices. Only 12% of consumers have traded-down to buy cheaper brands (such as bottled water), with 11% trading up (with products such as cosmetics). There has been a big shift towards online shopping. 

Proposed inference:

Not all consumer behavior is concerned with saving money.

  • True (Answer)
  • Probably true
  • Insufficient data
  • Probably false
  • False
  • The main justification for taxation is to raise money to increase public welfare rather than to limit the choices available for private spending. 

Proposed Assumption.

Choices made by private spending will not maximize public welfare. 

  • Assumption made (Answer)
  • Assumption not made
  • Some economic predictions are accurate for the short-term. All economic predictions that are accurate for the short-term are inaccurate for the long-term. Therefore…

Proposed conclusion:

No economic predictions are accurate for the long-term. 

  • Conclusion follows
  • Conclusion does not follow (Answer)

Final Thoughts: Critical Thinking Skills Assessment Test

Resumes, interviews, and reference checks are all important and necessary ways to assess new hires. However, if you want a holistic candidate assessment, you should be implementing candidate skills tests and critical thinking skills tests. 

Not only will they give you insight into the logical skills, problem solving skills, and open mindedness of candidates, but they can be used in conjunction with reference checks and interviews to corroborate things candidates say or write on their resumes.

Crosschq makes this process easy by offering automated digital reference checks, IO-Psychologist-backed surveys, and hiring analytics that will improve your sourcing and quality of hire. 

Want to learn more about how you can test for critical thinking and increase your quality of hire? Sign up for a Crosschq demo today. 

Mark Ko

by Mark Ko

Content Writer

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