Critical thinking

Critical thinking test: Pre-employment skills assessment for hiring the best candidates

About the Critical thinking test

Effective critical thinking requires the ability to actively and skillfully conceptualize, apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information to make a judgment or formulate an innovative solution. Employees with strong critical thinking skills can solve issues skillfully and independently and devise new approaches to complex problems using analytical skills.

This critical thinking test evaluates candidates’ abilities to solve syllogisms through deductive reasoning, to Interpret sequences and arrangements and draw sound conclusions, to evaluate cause and effect relationships, and to recognize assumptions. The test presents candidates with single or multiple statements and asks them to analyze the information given therein and use logic to identify the right answer.

Candidates who score high on this test tend to have a well-trained working memory. If you are looking for candidates that think independently, solve complex problems, and generate innovative solutions, this is the right test. This is a great test to include to check candidates' overall analytical skills.

The test is made by a subject-matter expert

Anirban C.

The global IT industry has benefited from Anirban’s talents for over two decades. With a flawless reputation that precedes him, Anirban has earned a status as a sought-after agile project manager and consultant. He’s worked internationally as a Senior Project Manager with companies such as Ericsson, IBM, and T-Mobile.

Anirban’s love for learning helps him keep his skills sharp. He holds an MBA and a degree in engineering, is a certified Scrum Master, and has certifications in Prince2 and ITIL.

Crafted with expert knowledge

TestGorilla’s tests are created by subject matter experts. We assess potential subject-matter experts based on their knowledge, ability, and reputation. Before being published, each test is peer-reviewed by another expert, then calibrated using hundreds of test takers with relevant experience in the subject. Our feedback mechanisms and unique algorithms allow our subject-matter experts to constantly improve their tests.

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Critical thinking test

Why a Critical thinking test is important

A critical-thinking test evaluates applicants’ skills through two forms of reasoning: deductive and inductive. This test will help you find the candidates who make great decisions based on analytical thinking from the information they have at their disposal.

And that’s what critical thinking is: Taking in limited information, analyzing it, figuring out the best possible course, and then taking action. Candidates with these skills will carefully look at the pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses, and then make a decision with all the data and information in mind.

In a business setting, this can be the difference between one employee who is on their way to a promotion and another who can’t seem to close a sale.

And critical thinking has many applications in the business environment.

Critical thinking in the workplace

There are many ways in which an employee can use critical thinking in the workplace. Here are some situations where a candidate with great critical-thinking skills could make a difference.

Sales. People with great critical-thinking skills can really amplify their sales results. When talking with potential clients, they can use their critical-thinking skills to handle any objections that the prospect might have and influence them to make a buying decision.

• Marketing. Candidates with critical-thinking skills would use them to create marketing campaigns that send a message in a creative way, staying within their budget but reaching a wider audience because of the way the message is conveyed. And on top of that, candidates with great critical-thinking skills will take input from their team members to get more information before making a decision.

Product development. Critical-thinking skills are essential in the product development team because the employees who work here have to figure out how to create new features and benefits for a product so that it appeals to their customers.

• HR. When conducting a performance review or an exit interview, a person with critical-thinking skills will handle both instances better than someone without. When doing a performance review, they will ask probing questions to figure out why the team member didn’t hit their goals – or even better, they will work out why the employee achieved their targets with ease. In an exit interview, they will know how to ask the right questions of the individual leaving the organization to get the most important information.

Critical-thinking competencies for candidates

A candidate with critical-thinking skills will have a number of competencies:

Observation skills: Candidates with critical-thinking skills will be observant. They will always try to get information. Sometimes, they will have people tell them the information, but they will also observe their environment and the people around them.

• Analysis: When they observe their environment and the people in it, they are able to analyze the data and the situation at hand. They can use analysis in a new situation that requires fast thinking, but they can also slow down and analyze situations by asking questions and carrying out research. They know the importance of data so they try to analyze it as thoroughly as possible with the time they have at their disposal.

Decide: After observing and analyzing the data, it’s time to make a decision. This decision will always be based on partial data, but the candidate will be sure to analyze every piece of information they have so that the decision is based on the data.

Communication: A great critical thinker also knows the importance of communicating their decisions to those around them. Critical thinking produces decisions and people with this skill know that they need to explain their position to others.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving is all about execution. After the candidate has observed, analyzed, decided, and communicated their decision, it’s time to implement the solution. Even though the decision won’t always produce the desired results, it will be the right decision if the candidate took into account all the information they had before making it.

What happens when a candidate doesn’t have critical-thinking skills

Critical-thinking skills require candidates to slow down, take a breath, and analyze a situation to come up with the best possible solution to it.

A candidate with fewer critical-thinking skills will jump to a conclusion without taking into consideration the data or information at hand. This can create quite a lot of turmoil in the workplace. Not only that, but this kind of behavior can create a lot of problems when dealing with customers and clients.

For example, if a client doesn’t answer their emails for a couple of days because they are in the middle of negotiations, a candidate with no critical-thinking skills might rush to send an email to the customer demanding an answer. This could create a bad experience for the potential client, resulting in the breakdown of negotiations.

On the other hand, a candidate with critical-thinking skills will slow down and wait for a little while because there could be a number of reasons why somebody has not responded to their email for a couple of days.

Critical thinking test
Critical thinking test

How the critical-thinking test can help recruiters hire

The critical-thinking test can help recruiters hire people who have this skill. Including it in an assessment provides bias-free, objective, numerical results that can be used to identify the top candidates for your hiring manager to interview.

With a pre-employment test, you can prevent the bias that creeps in during the CV screening process. Not only that but giving your candidates a critical-thinking test is simple and fast: whether your hiring manager has 50 or 300 applicants, they can send the test to all of them with a single click.

In summary

Critical-thinking skills are essential for any business environment. To properly evaluate them, you should give your candidates a critical-thinking test. TestGorilla’s science-backed critical-thinking test enables you to rank your applicants according to who performs best, based on fair, objective, bias-free results. So be sure to use a pre-employment critical-thinking test to assess the critical skills of all your candidates at the start of your hiring process.


What is the difference between an assessment and a test?
An assessment is the total package of tests and custom questions that you put together to evaluate your candidates. Each individual test within an assessment is designed to test something specific, such as a job skill or language. An assessment can consist of up to 5 tests and 20 custom questions. You can have candidates respond to your custom questions in several ways, such as with a personalized video.
Can I add my own questions to an assessment?
Yes! Custom questions are great for testing candidates in your own unique way. We support the following question types: video, multiple-choice, coding, file upload, and essay. Besides adding your own custom questions, you can also create your own tests.
How do video questions work?
A video question is a specific type of custom question you can add to your assessment. Video questions let you create a question and have your candidates use their webcam to record a video response. This is an excellent way to see how a candidate would conduct themselves in a live interview, and is especially useful for sales and hospitality roles. Some good examples of things to ask for video questions would be "Why do you want to work for our company?" or "Try to sell me an item you have on your desk right now." You can learn more about video questions here.
Can you explain how the other custom question types work?
Besides video questions, you can also add the following types of custom questions: multiple-choice, coding, file upload, and essay. Multiple-choice lets your candidates choose from a list of answers that you provide, coding lets you create a coding problem for them to solve, file upload allows your candidates to upload a file that you request (such as a resume or portfolio), and essay allows an open-ended text response to your question. You can learn more about different custom question types here.
Can I customize an assessment with my company logo and color theme?
Yes! You can add your own logo and company color theme to your assessments. This is a great way to leave a positive and lasting brand impression on your candidates.
What type of support do you offer?
Our team is always here to help. After you sign up, we’ll reach out to guide you through the first steps of setting up your TestGorilla account. If you have any further questions, you can contact our support team via email, chat or call. We also offer detailed guides in our extensive Help & Inspiration Center.
What is the cost for using the Critical thinking test?
You can find our pricing packages here. Sign up here to try TestGorilla today.
Can I combine the Critical thinking test with other tests?
Yes. You can add up to five tests to each assessment.
Where in my recruitment process should I use the Critical thinking test?
We recommend using our assessment software as a pre-screening tool at the beginning of your recruitment process. You can add a link to the assessment in your job post or directly invite candidates by email. TestGorilla replaces traditional CV screening with a much more reliable and efficient process, designed to find the most skilled candidates earlier and faster.
What are the main cognitive ability tests?
We offer the following cognitive ability tests: Numerical Reasoning, Problem Solving, Attention to Detail, Reading Comprehension, and Critical Thinking.
Which cognitive ability test should I add to my assessment?
Our cognitive ability tests allow you to test for skills that are difficult to evaluate in an interview. Check out our blog on why these tests are so useful and how to choose the best one for your assessment.

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