Which skills does the Thinking Skills Assessment assess?

TSA skills

  • Problem-solving skills:
    • Numerical reasoning.
    • Spatial reasoning.
  • Critical thinking skills:
    • Understanding arguments.
    • Reasoning with everyday language.

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So, what are critical thinking Skills?

Critical reasoning is quite literally applying a critic’s eye (i.e. critical analysis) to verbal information. It encompasses the logical analysis of the following features of complex written arguments and viewpoints: assumptions; inferences; opinions; facts and interpretations. The term “critical reasoning” might sound a bit intimidating, but it is a skill you can learn. With the right practice, most individuals can develop their skills sufficiently to pass this type of verbal reasoning critical reasoning test.


What’s the difference between inference and deduction ?

This last question almost defines logical deduction or deductive reasoning; the critical reasoning from linking one or more general statements, or premises, to make a logically certain conclusion. It’s important to clarify at this point the difference between deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning (inference).

  • Inductive reasoning (inference); Induction is based on what is probable or what is likely to be true from true premises.
  • Deductive reasoning; deduction is based on what must logically follow from true premises. Deductive reasoning links premises with conclusions.

Critical reasoning involves the use of inductive and/or deductive reasoning in arguments. If the form of a deductive argument is valid and the premises are true, it is logically impossible for the conclusion to be false.

Which critical reasoning skills are needed?

Similarly, the jury also has to use their critical thinking skills to balance all the evidence for and against the accused! In summary, a good criminal lawyer has to: – Be objective and not to be prejudiced by their own opinions or any knowledge outside of their current case. – Critically analyse a large amount of information to reach valid conclusions that build a case for their client. – Identify whether legal doctrine can be interpreted differently. A judge (or jury) will in turn use their critical reasoning skills to balance all the evidence for and against the accused and reach a verdict.

But how does the layperson use critical reasoning skills?

  • Just as a lawyer will review all the documented verbal information, so a newspaper reader will need to analyse such a Comments article, asking themselves: – What are the differences in the points being made?
  • – Which points are assumptions, facts or opinions?
  • – Is each point a valid one?
  • – What is presented as fact and what is presented as (the author’s) opinion?
  • – Which conclusions can be drawn from the facts?
  • – Does the overall conclusion follow on from the evidence and facts presented?
  • Journalists also need to have a high level of critical reasoning skills. When commenting on a current affairs debate, a journalist will typically present all sides of the argument.
  • After careful thought, and backed up by evidence, they then commit their own analysis to the page.

Example critical reasoning tests

Firstly, CAPP’s Critical Reasoning Test assesses your problem solving and decision making.

Secondly, the critical reasoning test GMAT. Your first step is to read the question before reading the argument.  Know which type of question you are going to have to answer, and read the argument with that question in mind.  The eight broad categories of GMAT CR questions are

  • Weaken the argument. Or find the flaw.
  • Strengthen the argument.
  • Find the assumption.
  • Draw inference, or conclusion.
  • Structure of the argument, including boldface structure questions and dialogue structure questions.
  • Paradox questions.
  • Evaluate the conclusion