UPDATED 2021

Cornell Critical Thinking Test Guide

Cornell Critical Thinking Test Summary
What: The Cornell Critical Thinking Test series helps evaluate and predict student skills in critical thinking.
Who: The test is geared at students in grades five and up.
Where: Tests are administered in schools.
When: The test can be given at any time after the fifth grade.
How: The test is multiple-choice.
Type: Exams are offered in paper and computer format.
Why: The test series can help place students in classes and determine future performance.
Time: Fifty minutes.
Language: English
Preparation: Students can prepare by working on developing skills in logic, reasoning and other critical thinking areas.
Cost: The cost varies depending on the number of tests purchased, but a set of a ten starts at $29.99.

By: Erin Hasinger, Tests.com

 

The Cornell Critical Thinking Test is an exam that helps teachers to determine the critical thinking abilities of their students. First developed in 1985 by Robert Ennis of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Jason Millman of Cornell University, the Cornell Critical Thinking Test series offers two levels of testing: level X for grades five through twelve and level Z for grades ten through twelve. The tests may also be used at the college level as well.

 

Both tests help teachers, parents and administrators to predict students’ future performance in honors and advanced placement classes, critical thinking classes, state proficiency exams, college admission and even in a career situation. The tests may also be used to help place students in gifted or advanced placement programs.

 

Level X includes 71 multiple-choice questions that evaluate student skill in:

     -    Induction

     -    Deduction

     -    Credibility

     -    Identification of Assumptions

 

For example, students may be presented with a short passage to read, and then must answer questions related to fact statements in regard to the passage, such as whether the fact statements support the argument the passage has made, go against the argument or do neither one.

 

Level Z includes 52 multiple-choice questions covering:

     -    Induction

     -    Deduction

     -    Credibility

     -    Identification of Assumptions

     -    Semantics

     -    Definition

     -    Prediction in Planning

 

On a Level Z exam, students may be presented with a passage in which certain conclusions are underlined. Students are asked to determine if the conclusions follow logically, contradict or do neither.

Test takers are given 50 minutes to complete the exam.


The Cornell Critical Thinking Tests are available in paper and pencil format or as a license for use within a software administration program.

The Test Manual, Booklets, and Specimen Sets are available for purchase at www.CriticalThinking.com. The Cornell Critical Thinking Tests are typically administered in a classroom, and the school will purchase the test. A set of ten individual test booklets costs $29.99, the manual costs $8.99, and licenses can be purchased for $3.99 per test. Volume discounts and researcher discounts are available.


To prepare for the Cornell Critical Thinking Test, numerous workbooks and other materials are available for purchase. Parents and students should locate test prep materials that help children develop skills in logic and reasoning; identifying valid claims and arguments, evidence, generalizations and fact and opinion; and making deductions and inferences.


To learn more about the Cornell Critical Thinking Test and to find test preparation materials for Level X and Level Z tests, please visit the Cornell Critical Thinking Test Directory.

 
Sources: Critical Thinking Co., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign