First things first

Getting ready with your application for that job and have been asked to take the CCTST? Or perhaps you are a student and the CCTST gives you extra credit? Yet, you have no idea on how to prepare for it. Not to worry, here is a comprehensive guide explaining the CCTST and how to prepare for the same.

What is the California Critical Thinking Skills Test?

The California Critical Thinking Skills test is a discipline-neutral test that is used to evaluate the reasoning abilities of candidates. It has been used in all kinds of industries to test graduates of their aptitudeand logical thinking capabilities before shortlisting them for the next step in the recruitment process.

How does the test work?

The CCTST is designed to test whether a test-taker would demonstrate the critical and logical thinking skills required to solve the problems and in effect show real-world problem-solving abilities. The test has the following features.

  • Multiple choice components are mandatory and use everyday scenarios specific to the test-taker group. The candidate is required to completely understand the question, draw an inference and choose whichever option is the best suited response to the question.
  • The test items are different based on the test-taker group.
  • In an education setting, this test is administered to evaluate the candidates enrolling for a specific program, such as a Bachelor’s degree. It is also used to advise individual students, for program evaluation, accreditation, research and assessment of learning outcomes.
  • In a workplace setting, this test is used to evaluate an applicant’s reasoning skills in an effort to understand if the said candidate has the ability to fulfill the expectations of the organization.
  • The test is usually conducted for 45-50 minutes and the questions are largely dependent on the test-taker group.
  • The items on the CCTST are drawn, either at random or picked by the examiners, from a pool of items that were used to test candidates over the past 20 years.

How difficult is the California Critical Thinking Skills Test?

The test consists of around 34 multiple choice questions to be solved within 45 minutes or so, that means you would have around 1.3 minutes per question. The CCTST has questions that you would find on most reasoning tests.

What is the test passing score?

The California Critical Thinking Skills Test is measured on an array of scales. These are –Analysis, Inference, Deduction, Induction, Evaluation and overall reasoning skills. The test provides a score of each of these skills. Most organizations have a cut-off score (many require a score of 13) for being selected.

What kind of abilities or knowledge do you need to pass this test?

As initially stated, this exam requires critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. They differ based on the industry you are in. It’s highly advisable to take up practice exams numerous times to be prepared for the actual exam. Your very first attempt would show you where you lack in critical thinking abilities.

If you are unable to solve a problem, read the solution first and then retrace it backwards. With this technique, you would learn to look at problems with a fresh perspective.

And finally, practice makes you perfect. Solve many practice exams with a timer and soon you would be surprised at how fast you solve these problems.

How important is the CCTST for your evaluation?

In the United States, many organizations not only insist upon clearing this exam but on scoring high as well to advance in the recruitment process. Weakness in critical thinking would lead to failure to learn, confused communication, ineffective enforcement of rules, etc. Hence, employers and educationists make it mandatory for candidates to improve upon their reasoning abilities.

This test is a standardized measure of reasoning abilities and has been used for decades by many organizations, both worldwide and in the United States. Hence, if this is a part of your assessment, be it for a job or an educational program, it’s very important that you score well on this test.

To sum things up

it is imperative that you take up the CCTST for adding more value to your resume, and in the process of preparation, develop your critical thinking skills.