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Our clients share a common goal: to strengthen the effectiveness of their employee teams. They invest in the training and assessment of critical thinking because it pays off every day in better decisions. Practical uses of the individual and group data reported by  INSIGHT thinking skills and reasoning mindset assessments include: 

Demonstrate Candidate Proficiency: 

  • INSIGHT can be administered in advance of an interview process anywhere in the world. Clients can choose to objectively screen applicant pools prior to a face to face interview, or reserve assessments for selective potential hires. If your business trains or provides staffing or makes hiring recommendations for other businesses, adding INSIGHT assessments to your candidate preparation demonstrates your awareness of the importance of strength in decision-making and adds quality to your personnel services. The reasoning skills and professional attributes measured by the INSIGHT series are known to be predictive of workplace success. These industry appropriate metrics, derived from consultations with experts and working professionals position our customers to succeed in today’s business environment where employees with strong reasoning skills and a positive work ethic are in demand throughout the world.

Support Equal Opportunity Hiring: 

  • Employers need objective tools that assure job candidates a level playing field . In an era when academic degrees and letters of reference do not differentiate individual competencies in problem solving and decision making needed in key positions, our customers rely on INSIGHT to assess a candidate’s strength in core reasoning skills, decision-making mindset and work ethic. Orienting new employees to work responsibilities is a necessity, but doing so for an employee who proves unable to perform the work in the long run is costly when resources are limited. Adding a measure of critical thinking skills and mindset to employee hiring procedures can provide the assurance that the new member of your working team will have the ability to interpret current practices and policies, accurately apply protocols, and evaluate their effectiveness within their scope of work and the attributes that support their work responsibilities.

Augment Vision and Leadership:  

  • Well made decisions strengthen the quality of the work environment for individuals, groups, and organizations. Vision and leadership begins at the top with chiefs who can determine strategic direction and guide their teams to analyze and respond to workplace opportunities that will move the organization forward. Together with unit leaders who have the mindset and reasoning skills to reliably make needed decisions they create a competitive advantage over less skilled decision makers.  The result is a confident and capable executive team and a business culture with strong values and performance. INSIGHT Executive provides a personal assessment to help you select leaders with strong decision skills and the leadership qualities to succeed.

Implement a training program to strengthen the effectiveness of employee teams:

  • Objective data from critical thinking assessments can be used to identify areas of individual and/or strength and weakness so that training programs can proactively be focused on improvement of skills needed by the team.  INSIGHT Development Program includes an assessment and critical thinking training modules that can be integrated into you onboarding training processes or implemented as professional development targeting improvement of employees thinking skills. Modules focus on specific skills or habits of mind that are necessary for high stakes decision making in the business world. This proven, cost-effective self-paced program for individuals (and teams) integrates validated metrics to provide an opportunity for employees to focus on self -improvement in skills valued by employees.

Improve High Stakes Decision Making: 

  • Poor decision making costs money, jobs and even lives. Every business has a group of personnel who are responsible for addressing the most sensitive of problems. In service industries, these personnel make high stakes judgments throughout their workday. Why rely on guesswork when there are objective tools that identify the people who have stronger decision making and problem solving skills and the mindset and work ethic to apply those skills? It has never been more important to assess the thinking skills and motivation of these problem solvers as a way of assuring that your company is living up to their mission and values. INSIGHT brings you a world class array of instruments that assist you to determine who should have these decision responsibilities in your organization.

Prevent Loss and Limiting Liability:  

  • Weak thinking skills and thinking mindset are the greatest cause of lost opportunity . Errors in judgment result in serious liability costs. Together these two factors make the difference between a profitable business and one that fails. Every trainee and working professional can improve the quality of their thinking skills. With INSIGHT you can measure overall reasoning and problem solving skills appropriate to the decision responsibility of your professionals, staff level personnel, and support personnel. Improvements in thinking skills and thinking mindset can be achieved by employees at every stage of their career.

Demonstrate the Quality of Training Programs: 

  • The value of your investment in training programs should not be taken for granted. Assess employee groups to diagnose the need for training, and assess success of your employee development programs. Scaffold employee development programs to improve their effectiveness.  Can trainees benefit from planned training programs? Studies of effective teaching and learning in workplace development programs demonstrate the need for a match between the training level and the worker. If training is too challenging, some candidates will hide their failures until errors become apparent. Use entry level assessment to estimate readiness to enter internships or workplace setting.

Contact us to see sample reports and to choose the INSIGHT solution calibrated for your assessment needs.

Don’t settle for less.

Report Graphic showing sample undergraduate performance on the CCTST compared to national norms

Learn how to get the most value out of the metrics included in Insight Assessment critical thinking group reports and analytics. In this 8 minute video Dr. Peter Facione shows how data is presented and interprets the standard deviation, mean score, median score, percentile scores and descriptive scores that are reported with the individual and aggregated group scores for each metric on a test. The example uses aggregated data from over 2500 scores on the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) . The graphics, statistical tables, spreadsheets and individual reports shown are produced by Insight Assessment's client-facing online score reporting system.


Each Insight Assessment test instrument measures a comprehensive array of metrics that are valid and reliable indicators of strength in critical thinking skill and, in some cases, indicators of those at risk for poor performance in academic programs or workplace situations. These scale scores indicate areas of strength and areas where improvement is needed.  

Insight Assessment individual and group reports provide easy to read, easy to use objective metrics on key aspects of thinking. Reports of the scores of individuals are presented in spreadsheets showing all scores and demographic responses for each individual in a group, and as PDF files showing the scale scores for a given individual. Aggregated reports of the scores of groups are presented as PDF files which include statistical tables and bar charts for each scale on the assessment instrument. The user manuals for each test instrument provide a step by step guide to the interpretation of the scores reported. Clients who administer online assessments can opt to give each test-taker an individual report of their scores on each key component of thinking skills or reasoning mindset. 

Insight Assessment validated critical thinking test instruments are currently being used by universities, hospitals, businesses, government and military agencies, researchers and K-12 schools in over sixty nations and twenty languages throughout the world. These clients depend on our high quality test-taker data and clear, concise analytics.

Contact us to see sample reports for the assessment that is calibrated for your assessment projects.

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Test-taker motivation

The best way to motivate people to give their best effort on a critical thinking assessment is to make the test relevant to them.

It’s a win/win situation when test takers are motivated to engage in the assessment process. People are most likely to take assessments seriously when they see the personal value of good performance.

Communication with test-takers is essential

  • Set the stage. We all need to make decisions and solve problems every day. Personal success is based on the strength of individual critical thinking skills and personal mindset attributes. A thinking test measures practical real world skills.  Explain that their scores on a good critical thinking test depend on the quality of the skills they use to judge what to believe or what to do. If they don’t choose to think about the questions, they won’t do well.  Emphasize that the critical thinking assessment is not a test of knowledge that can be studied for, so test-takers shouldn’t stress about cramming for it.
  • Make it relevant.  Many people sustain a stronger effort on the assessment when the result is of interest to them or carries some significance to them. Tell test takers why they have been assigned the testing session and why it is important to make their best effort on the assessment. Explain the value of the testing process by letting them know how the information about the group as a whole will be used. Discuss how group and individual test scores will be used locally to evaluate curriculum, to assist in class placement, or as a diagnostic, outcomes assessment, etc.  Let them know the data gathered isn’t just going to be filed and forgotten.
  • Make it personal. Most educators believe that learning about personal performance is a motivating factor for future effort at self-improvement. Test takers are more engaged when they believe that they will benefit personally from the data collected by the assessment.  Depending on the reason for testing and the details of the educational program, employees and students can be informed of their results at appropriate times in their educational programs (during staff development or advising sessions when testing is done as a diagnostic, or at the completion of the programs when testing is a component of program evaluation or educational outcomes assessment.)
    • Insight Assessment clients are increasingly choosing the option of offering printable individual reports to students after the critical thinking testing is completed. Knowing that they will receive a realistic assessment personal report describing their strengths and weaknesses is appealing.  Students and other test takers value this objective personal critical thinking analysis. They find this analysis report extremely useful as they prepare for their future careers.
  • Choose a test that fits the test takers: All critical thinking tests are not alike: make sure the test speaks to the intended test takers. Effective tests engage and challenge test takers with scenarios and situations relevant to their interests in a variety of formats. Other considerations might include reading level, multi-language options, educational specialization and test delivery options.
  • Discuss results:  Follow up after the testing session.  Discuss the overall results. Let them know the time and effort they spent on the test was not wasted time. This is a good time to discuss the importance and interrelationships of the components of strong thinking. Achieving greater success with critical thinking requires practice.  Encourage them to regularly exercise good thinking.  
  • Unfortunately cookies and milk don’t really help.  But everyone appreciates the treat.

At Insight Assessment we are committed to providing the best validated thinking test instruments , the most accessible interfaces , the most relevant and actionable metrics so that our customers can achieve their assessment goals. 

Contact us to discuss your assessment projects.

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Have you ever wondered if critical thinking skills can be assessed using a multiple choice test?   Recently, Dr. Peter Facione, author of Critical Thinking: What it is and Why it Counts , discussed this question:

Without getting overly technical, can you explain the difference between validity and reliability?

A measuring tool is valid if it actually does measure what you intend it to measure.  For example, it is valid to measure a runner’s speed with a stopwatch, but not with a thermometer. 

A test is reliable if it consistently produces the same result when used correctly.  Science has improved the precision of measurement vastly in recent decades.

How does that apply to measuring critical thinking?

A valid assessment of critical thinking skills would be one that targets the correct list of skills. 

  • That means that scores on the test will be responsive to the quality of the test-taker’s skills in analysis, inference, evaluation, interpretation, explanation and self-regulation as used in the process of judging what to believe or what to do.  

A reliable assessment of critical thinking will yield essentially the same results if the same test takers retake the test without having done anything in the meanwhile to increase or to diminish their critical thinking skills.   

At Insight Assessment we take the measurement of reasoning skills and mindset very seriously.

  • Our products measuring reasoning skills and mindset has been studied in a variety of populations and contexts over the past 30 years.
  • In each case, items/scales are piloted in target samples and validated in replicated studies (trainees, students, employees, military personnel, K-12 students, health professionals, and the general population) to assure the performance of the assessments in the intended population.

Why Choose Insight Assessment Solutions

Thanks to Dr. Peter Facione, a Senior Researcher at Insight Assessment and principal at Measured Reasons LLC, a Los Angeles based research and consulting firm supporting excellence in strategic thinking and leadership decision making.  Dr. Facione is the developer and author of the California Critical Thinking Skills Test family of measurement tools; his latest book is Think Critically , 2016, Facione & Gittens.


Rubrics are rating forms designed to capture evidence of a particular quality or construct. The quality of the measure obtained from a rubric depends on how well it is designed. If the rubric is poorly designed, the rating is confounded or inaccurate. The quality of the rubric is also affected by the skill of the rater using the rubric.  When using a rubric it is necessary to train and calibrate the raters to use the rubric well to assure that ratings are accurate and consistent across all raters. Ratings using rubrics cannot be benchmarked against national comparison groups or compared to other ratings made by other rater groups.

Rubrics are a popular approach when the goal is largely developmental; rubrics are good pedagogical tools.   Issues arise, however, when rubrics are used for summative assessment.

To read more about measuring critical thinking with rubrics

Academic uses for student critical thinking skills and mindset data- Insight Assessment

It is increasingly important for educational organizations to document achievement of students learning outcomes. Many of Insight Assessment’s customers use one or more of our test instruments to gather the detailed objective evidence required to refine curricular approaches and to demonstrate educational success for accrediting bodies. Effective assessment programs first identify goals for the attainment of critical thinking skills and habits of mind learning outcomes and then create a plan to assess their achievement.

To read more about documenting achievement of evidence based student learning outcomes .

Custom Questions

Custom questions enable test administrators to better organize their results.  Custom questions are used to gather the classification and demographic metrics needed to support analysis and grouping of test results. 

Insight Assessment's testing system enables clients to create up to ten custom demographic items.  Response options include selecting choices provided by the client or free response. There are also five default demographic items which clients may elect to eliminate or retain. Here are some frequently asked questions about getting the most out of our custom question option:

1. What kinds of questions can I ask the people I’m testing using the custom demographics items?

Just about anything that it is legal to ask.  For example, you can ask about educational background, employment background, which department or work group a person is a member of, or how much time a person spends on a given activity.  If you know the choices you want test takers to select from, you can supply them. If you want the test takers to enter a free text response, that works too.

2. What are some examples of custom demographic items?

Here are four examples.  You are able to create your own custom demographic items to best fit with your assessment plans.

  •  Type your student ID number here:  _______________
  •  What is your highest level of formal education?
    • Advanced degree
    • Baccalaureate degree
    • Associates degree
    • High School Diploma or GED
    • Eighth Grade
    • Fourth Grade
    • None
  • Which professor assigned you to take this test?
    • Adams
    • Gomez
    • McDonnell
    • Smith
  • Which Division of our Company do you work in?
    • Accounting
    • Customer Relations
    • Human Resources
    • Marketing
    • Physical Plant & Security
    • Research & Development
    • Upper Management

3. I want to do a pretest and posttest analysis , but anonymity is important.  How can I set that up in the IA testing system?

There is a very straightforward procedure using the custom demographics option. First create an identifier that will link a given person’s pretest with that person’s posttest.  The identifier can be a four digit pin number, for example, that you create. Assign each individual their unique identifier.  You will then ask them to insert that unique identifier as a free response answer to a custom question.  Each person will do that when they login to take their pretest and again when they login to take their posttest. When you download test results in spreadsheet form, use that code to sort the data and, thereby, associate each person’s pretest and posttest. The custom demographic item you would create might look like this:

                Write the code number you were assigned here __________________

4. Does Insight Assessment supply any demographic items automatically?

Yes, there are five optional default demographic questions. Clients can elect to eliminate or retain any or all of these five.  The first three are free response items, which enable the responder to enter anything they wish whether it is accurate or not.  The last two on the list provide responders with the option of declining to provide the requested information.  

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity 

5. How can I learn more about creating custom demographic items or eliminating one or more of the default demographic items?

Easy, just contact Insight Assessment. We are happy to assist clients in getting the most helpful information possible when using our testing instruments and our powerfully versatile testing system.

Measyring changes and gains in thinking skill. Insight Assessment report graphic showing pretest to posttest distribution of scores on a mindset scale

Performance based funding is a fact of life whether you’re an educational institution, a HR manager or a training specialist.

You need to prove that your training and development methods, curriculum or instruction are working.  Objective, validated criterion-based evidence will be required to demonstrate success and prove the value of your programs.  

The best way to demonstrate the impact of your program is to provide evidence of changes in individual and/or group thinking skills.

Effective training should result in measurable improvements. Thinking should be assessed before the training starts and again after the training is completed. It’s important to document the participants’ baseline as early as possible in the project; before training starts is best. This will help faculty and trainers to learn about strengths as well as areas for improvement.  Then critical thinking skills should be assessed again to measure the changes in thinking skills after the training program. 

Pre & post testing is a testing model designed to examine the change in overall critical thinking skills or mindset attributes in a group of test takers.

It's reasonable to posttest as soon as a few weeks after a focused training program in critical thinking, but most often a posttest is gathered months or even years after the pretest to measure program improvement.

  • In university settings a pretest is frequently scheduled at the beginning of a degree program and a posttest sometime toward the end of the program. Our clients count on our critical thinking tools for the detailed evidence required to refine curricular approaches and to demonstrate educational success.
  • For businesses, the pretest might be done before an employee training program is begun and a posttest could be set for weeks or months after the program has been completed. INSIGHT Development Program includes assessment and critical thinking training modules that can be integrated into your training programs or can be implemented as new initiative.

The validity and reliability of pretest posttest assessment instruments must meet highest standards. Insight Assessment validated test instruments deliver quantifiable metrics for the essential skills of critical thinking and quantitative reasoning. Many of our clients use custom services to receive enhanced data analyses expressly designed to fit their improvement projects.

Only the highest quality assessment tools can deliver statistical evidence of value added to groups and individuals. Contact us to design a pretest posttest assessment program to document individual and/or group progress in attaining learning goals.

For further information on pretest posttest assessment design:

Insight Assessment HSRT Difference Scores in pretest posttest critical thinking skills assessments

Critical thinking can be analyzed, measured and improved. The more we are supported and challenged to exercise our core critical thinking skills, the stronger these skills become. 

In order to obtain high quality data about the effectiveness of a critical thinking program, you will need obtain baseline data by assessing thinking skills both before and after the training. Scores on Insight Assessment test instruments will improve with the effective training of reasoning skills.

There are a number of ways to document quality improvement in critical thinking skills for your institution or organization:

  • Group Difference Scores: One method is compare the difference in the mean scores reported for your group before and after a training program or course.  This method compares the scores as a whole rather than looks at changes within the individual. The expected positive group difference change from pretest to posttest will not tell you how many of the individuals have improved, nor will it describe the range of improvement made by each individual.
  • Individual Difference Scores: To learn more about the proportion of individuals who have improved and the degree to which they have improved, the best method is to calculate the difference between the pretest and posttest scores for each person you have assessed. Individuals will have made different progress as the result of an educational offering aimed at building critical thinking skills. Some individuals may not have improved their critical thinking skills during the interim time period. If the difference score is at or near zero, they have shown no effect as a result of the educational training program.  The OVERALL Score for Insight Assessment test instruments is the score that is best used to calculate difference scores.
  • Comparison Percentile Difference Scores: A third option is to calculate difference scores for the comparison percentiles reported for each individual at pretest and posttest. Example: Improving your group’s overall percentile score from 52nd to 58th percentile demonstrates a significant overall gain in critical thinking scores. Insight Assessment offers a wide range of options of external criterion groups for. percentile score comparisons .

Individual difference scores provide the most information on the effectiveness of training techniques. In any given sample when individuals test twice, individual difference scores will demonstrate individual gains in critical thinking scores. For example, the demonstration of a two-point gain in CCTST OVERALL Score from pretest to posttest is associated with becoming more metacognitive about the reasoning process and with observable evidence of efforts to actively build reasoning skills. Large individual difference scores are observed in most pretest posttest studies for at least some individuals.

Longitudinal studies of individual critical thinking gains over time are rare. In one longitudinal study of practicing U.S. military nurses, demonstrated gains at posttest were retained in three consecutive cohorts at one-year post completion of the specified training program. Additional gains were also seen in many of these practicing professionals, suggesting that individuals who have become more reflective about, and evaluative of, their reasoning process continue to make gains.  

Scores or percentiles that drop significantly at posttest are very rare, as critical thinking skills are not lost over a short period of time in the absence of cognitive injury, chemical impairment, or a failure to give or to be able to give best effort. 

The fact that Insight Assessment test instruments measure only critical thinking and not content knowledge makes it possible to use these instruments as a pretest and posttest to measure improvement in critical thinking that occurs during any educational program or staff development exercise.

Contact Us to discuss how the data reported on Insight Assessment test instruments will help you meet your assessment program goals.

  • It’s difficult to develop an internal program for improving thinking skills. INSIGHT Development Program includes assessment and critical thinking training modules that can be integrated into your training programs or can be implemented as new initiative. Contact us to learn more.
Puzzle pieces with the words vision, analysis, process, solution and success suggesting critical thinking skills.

Important Critical Thinking Skills in the Workplace

Are you prepared for the upcoming wave of resumes from college seniors? So much enthusiasm, so little experience. Completing a four year degree program doesn’t mean that they are prepared to succeed in the realities of your workplace .

Employer expectations are increasing.

Now, even entry level professionals must be able to identify and resolve anomalies. They'll have to think their way through technological barricades and job challenges of all kinds. What you need is reliable data on the thinking skills of your new recruits .

Wanted: critical thinking and data analysis skills

You need to find talented professionals with the reasoning skills and mindset to drive current systems to the next level, the eagerness for relentless problem solving, and an eye to seize opportunities while managing risks.  

Imagine the positive impact on your bottom line if you could be certain that:

  • problems were correctly diagnosed and risks were effectively managed
  • employees were committed to excellence and to the success of the organization
  • opportunities were anticipated and captured at all levels
  • decisions were driven by data relevant to company goals
  • employees regularly contributed practical and affordable suggestions

There is a better way to screen the best job candidates. 

Save time and money by prescreening for the most important predictors of on the job success: the capacity and desire to engage complex problems using sound critical thinking and quantitative reasoning. INSIGHT Business Professional delivers objective analysis of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses in 15 core business skills and mindset attributes .

Contact us to preview INSIGHT Business Professional or to learn more about additional INSIGHT tools .

Good thinking is in demand. Download Critical Thinking Insight from your app store today:

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