Critical Thinking Ability Test

  • 1) You have only an 8-liter jug and a 3-liter jug. Both containers are unmarked. You need exactly 4 liters of water.

    How can you get it, if a water faucet is handy?

    Question from Classroom Quickies • Show/Hide Solution

    Answer: Fill the 3-liter jug three times, each time dumping the water from it into the 8-liter jug. The third time, this will leave one liter of water in the 3-liter jug, and the 8-liter jug will be filled. Dump the water from the 8-liter jug down the drain, and then empty the one liter of water from the 3-liter jug into the 8-liter jug. Now fill the 3-liter jug again and dump the water into the 8-liter jug. The 8-liter jug now contains 4 liters of water. Various answers are possible.

  • 2) What can you add to 1,000,000 and always get more than if you multiplied the 1,000,000 by the same value?

    Question from Scratch Your Brain • Show/Hide Solution

    Answer: zero, any number less than and including 1.000001, any fraction less than a whole, or any negative number.

  • 3) Determine the common saying depicted in these verbal picture puzzles.

    a. DECI     SION
    b. ANOTHER     ONE

    Question from Think-A-Grams • Show/Hide Solution

    Answer: a. split decision; b. one after another

  • 4) What is the 50th number in this sequence?

    Explain how you got your answer.
    5, 11, 17, 23, 29, 35, 41, …

    Question from Dr. Funster’s Think-A-Minutes • Show/Hide Solution

    Answer: 299. The pattern involves a difference of 6 between adjacent terms of the sequence. Add 6 to 5, getting 11, then add 6 to 11, getting 17, then add 6 to 17, getting 23, etc., until 6 has been added 50 times, ending in 299. Answer explanations will vary.

  • 5) Determine both one-word answers.

    The floor of ship or boat,
    They walk on me at sea;
    Where there’s a C, make it an S,
    At school you sit on me.

    What am I? _______________

    Question from Spelling DooRiddles • Show/Hide Solution

    Answer: Deck, desk

  • 6) The reason he gave the press for leaving his job was illness and fatigue. That wasn’t exactly the truth and it wasn’t exactly a lie.

    Why did he leave?

    Question from Red Herring Mysteries • Show/Hide Solution

    Answer: He was the coach of a professional ball team. The teams owner fired him because he was sick and tired of the teams dismal performance. NOTE: Other explanations are accepted. Per the rules explained in the book one person is supposed to know the actual answer and the player(s) must ask "yes" or "no" questions to deduce the answer. This sample question is simply a fun way to practice critical and creative thinking.

  • 7) Determine both one-word answers.

    Another word for sick,
    Your forehead is quite hot;
    Now put an H in front,
    A mountain I am not.

    What am I?______________

    Question from Spelling DooRiddles • Show/Hide Solution

    Answer: a. ill; b. hill

  • 8) Use the clues to solve the puzzle.

    A duck, a goose, a goat, and a horse all entered the barn at different times one day last week.
    a. A mammal entered the barn first.
    b. The duck entered before the goose.
    c. The goose entered ahead of the horse.

    Who entered the barn first? ____________

    Question from Dr. Funster’s Creative Thinking Puzzlers • Show/Hide Solution

    Answer: the goat

  • 9) Determine the common term or phrase depicted in these verbal picture puzzles.

    a. CHIEDITOREF
    b. T   2222

    Question from Think-A-Grams • Show/Hide Solution

    Answer: a. Editor in Chief; b. Tea for two

  • 10) Use the addition, subtraction, multiplication and division symbols once each to make these equations true.

    a. 600 __ 200 __ 400 __ 300 __ 200 = 200
    b. 200 __ 300 __ 600 __ 400 __ 200 = 200

    Question from Dr. Funster’s Quick Thinks Math • Show/Hide Solution

    Answer: a. 600 x 200 / 400 - 300 + 200 = 200; b. 200 / 300 x 600 - 400 + 200 = 200

  • 11) While relaxing on the deck outside her cabin one summer evening, Vivian fell into a deep trance-like sleep. When she awoke, she felt as if she had slept only an hour or two, but it was now the middle of winter.

    How could this be?

    Question from Red Herring Mysteries • Show/Hide Solution

    Answer: Vivian was on the patio of her first class cabin on a cruise ship. She fell asleep just before the ship crossed the equator on a trip from Hawaii to New Zealand. The equator is the dividing line between the opposite seasons. She fell asleep north of the equator while in the middle of summer and awoke two hours later south of the equator in the middle of winter. NOTE: Other explanations are accepted. Per the rules explained in the book one person is supposed to know the actual answer and the player(s) must ask "yes" or "no" questions to deduce the answer. This sample question is simply a fun way to practice critical and creative thinking.

  • 12) What do you get when a math teacher is a magician? ________________


    Question from Scratch Your Brain • Show/Hide Solution

    Answer: Tricky Problems


  • Answers to Questions:
    1) Fill the 3-liter jug three times, each time dumping the water from it into the 8-liter jug. The third time, this will leave one liter of water in the 3-liter jug, and the 8-liter jug will be filled. Dump the water from the 8-liter jug down the drain, and then empty the one liter of water from the 3-liter jug into the 8-liter jug. Now fill the 3-liter jug again and dump the water into the 8-liter jug. The 8-liter jug now contains 4 liters of water. Various answers are possible.

    2) zero, or any fraction less than a whole, or any negative number

    3) a. split decision; b. one after another

    4) 299. The pattern involves a difference of 6 between adjacent terms of the sequence. Add 6 to 5, getting 11, then add 6 to 11, getting 17, then add 6 to 17, getting 23, etc., until 6 has been added 50 times, ending in 299. Answer explanations will vary.

    5) Deck, desk

    6) He was the coach of a professional ball team. The team’s owner fired him because he was “sick and tired” of the team’s dismal performance.

    7) a. ill; b. hill

    8) the goat

    9) a. Editor in Chief; b. Tea for two

    10) a. 600 x 200 / 400 - 300 + 200 = 200; b. 200 / 300 x 600 - 400 + 200 = 200

    11) Vivian was on the patio of her first class cabin on a cruise ship. She fell asleep just before the ship crossed the equator on a trip from Hawaii to New Zealand. The equator is the dividing line between the opposite seasons. She fell asleep north of the equator while in the middle of summer and awoke two hours later south of th equator in the middle of winter.

    12) Tricky Problems


    The Free Critical Thinking Quizzes are promotional quizzes, not be confused with our time tested and academically sound Cornell Critical Thinking Tests.

  • How can I get ready to take a critical thinking test?

    Remember, a good critical thinking test is not going to be a test of factual knowledge about critical thinking. Memorizing information and definitions is not the key. A good critical thinking test will engage you in using your critical thinking because critical thinking is a process.  Achieving greater success with critical thinking requires practice. Regularly exercising your critical thinking skills builds strength.

    A critical thinking skills test engages you with questions that require you to apply your skills. Typically a critical thinking test will present some information or a scenario of some kind and then ask questions about it, but the questions will invite you to analyze or interpret the information presented, or to draw a reasonable conclusion based on that information.  A critical thinking dispositions measure typically invites the person to agree or disagree with a series of statements. 

    • To build your critical thinking skills and positive habits of mind, work through a critical thinking text book. We highly recommend THINK Critically by Dr. Peter Facione, one of our test authors.  You can purchase that book or one of the many other good critical thinking text books on the market from one of many other online book outlets such as Amazon.com. 
    • To gain an overview of critical thinking and how the skills and habits of mind go together in problem solving and decision making, we suggest the essay “ Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts ,” which you can download from our website.
    • You can also download our free app, Critical Thinking Insight.  Get started today with the free sample reasoning skills questions and sample reasoning mindset items. Then challenge yourself with the more comprehensive in app purchasable personal assessments for your self-evaluation and personal development.  Reports deliver scores and personalized analysis on key elements of your thinking plus personalized suggestions on how to strengthen your thinking. If you have been assigned an Insight Assessment thinking test for school or work, reviewing the sample questions on the app will help you get comfortable with our testing system.

    Critical thinking skills and mindset can be measured—and improved.

    Be sure you exercise your thinking skills today.  “A mind stretched by a new idea never goes back to its original dimensions” Oliver Wendell Holmes

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