Specifically, questions 2,4 and 6 evaluate the knowledge or ideas the reader has on general topics, to a certain degree, rather than testing his reasoning skills. For instance, if I am aware, that human walking speed is somewhere in the range between 5-10 km/h, while most cars can move at a speed between 100 km/h-200 km/h, while I also know that the cruise speed for airplanes used in commercial flights is somewhere around 850km/h, etc. then there is no doubt I would place such options correctly when asked to order them from slowest to fastest. In order to give the right answer to this kind of questions, you only have to possess the piece of knowledge on a given topic and be able to recall the data, while the amount of actual reasoning thereafter is close to zero.( I can also agree with "Andra" user on the issue with question 6, i.e. volume of a creek). So they can hardly be described either as "critical thinking puzzles" or "puzzles" at all. Regarding the rest of the questions (1,3,5 and 7), they mostly call for the knowledge of definitions of respective items, where once again, as long as you know the definitions, you can automatically give at least one correct answer to them. Problems arise if you don't possess the necessary knowledge, but that's a different story. In any case, these 4 questions, similar to the other 3 can hardly evaluate your "critical thinking" skills.
An example of a low level "puzzle" to evaluate your critical thinking skills would be e.g. some variety of multiple choice test. A more complex alternative would be a text where you have to identify the issue(s), the conclusion(s), evaluate the consistency of the argumentation backing up the conclusion(s), reach your own conclusion about the authors conclusions...A somewhat different in nature and at the same time more abstract example would be to solve a mathematical problem or to prove a mathematical theorem.
I think an important idea is that, although we all inherently possess at least a bit of critical thinking capacity, so to speak, in order for this to make any sense at all you must develop critical thinking as a skill, much like you learn a language or mathematics...it's not about playing to see if you got something right or made an error per se, it's about acquiring and incorporating it as a habit for everyday life.
"Critical thinking" isn't primarily about knowing anything in particular. It has more to do with doubt and skepticism about information you have to deal with rather than with possessing or memorizing any particular piece of information. Critical thinking is mainly about the skills necessary to rigorously analyze and filter the incoming information, whatever it happens to be, and since we as humans made our verbal communication the most prestigious language to use, critical thinking is, as a matter of fact, mostly about the capability to evaluate the soundness of arguments of some sort.
So if you want to develop good critical thinking skills, the first option is reading some basic literature on the topic (there are many books of varying degrees of difficulty, although mostly accessible to "laypeople", treating specifically the topic of "critical thinking"). Ideally, you would want to study logic, which is basically the foundation of all critical thinking, paying special attention to fallacies, both formal and informal. If that doesn't happen to satisfy your thirst, then you can continue with the argumentation theory, the scientific method, cognitive science... epistemology, philosophy of science, mathematics (with its undeniably rigorous nature).
But for "beginners" and for those interested in the topic, you can check out the introductory books on critical thinking by Richard Paul (mentioned in this article) Richard Parker, Stuart Keeley, Debrah Jackson, Tracy Bowell and many more. There's a very short and simply written book, called "Being Logical - A Guide to Good Thinking" by D.Q. McInerny, which is probably a good choice if you want something simple and concise, but which I personally wouldn't recommend except for absolute beginners and only as a starting point before taking on some better and more comprehensive textbooks.
Critical thinking is an important ability that enables students to better solve problems in the real world as well in the academic world. It is important for high school students develop critical thinking skills by playing board games and logical puzzles. Having critical thinking skills allows students to assess outcomes, compare ideas, synthesize information and draw conclusion from a given piece of knowledge. High school students should try these tools to develop their critical and analytical thinking skills necessary for succeeding in college tests, assignments and exams.
1. Improve Your Cognition Ability with Brain Games
Nowadays, websites that offer brain games have gained increased popularity. These websites provide games that improve memory, cognition and problem solving skills. It is important to train your brain in order to approach complex problems on standardized tests such as ACT and SAT.
2. Boarding Games for Strengthening your Memory
Games such as Rubik’s Cube, Checkers, Chess, Mastermind, Boggle, Scrabble are a few games that aid in honing your analytical skills and strengthen your ability to remember details and react to others’ moves and assume motives.
3. Hone Your Analytical Skills with Logical Puzzles
The puzzles are intended to exercise your brain. There are number of crossword puzzles, riddles, word searches and logic problems that can be found at bookstores or libraries. These logical puzzles can activate different parts of your brain, thus helping you to hone your critical and analytical thinking skills that every college student needs.
4. Maintain a Journal to Explore Your Ideas
Keeping a daily journal is a great way to explore ideas and encourage you to expand your thoughts. You can record important ideas, experiences and stories about your life.
5. Find a Book Club
Joining a book club is another good option to think critically. Read the book for understanding and delve deeper and you will be able to ponder complex questions. Analyzing a book will definitely help you hone your skills.
6. Sleep Properly
Getting a good sleep is important to improve your overall performance and the ability to concentrate. Getting around eight to ten hours sleep is essential for optimum performance.
7. Start Preparing for Test in Advance
Your mind can work its best if it is exposed to information repeatedly. Cramming does not work at the last moment, as your brain doesn’t have adequate time to consolidate.
8. Energize Your Brain
The brain needs energy, as it acts badly when it does not get fuel. Proteins, complex carbohydrates, eggs, fruits, cereals and juices are the best option to nourish your brain. Skipping breakfast will never help you out in performing at your best.
9. Exercise Daily
Do exercises that improve the functionality of your mind, as it increases blood flow, or reduces stress and anxiety level. Twenty minutes or so a day of activity will greatly improve your mind and heart function. Aerobic exercise can effectively boost your mental abilities while allowing you to complete your work swiftly and retain more of what you learn.
10. Study in Group
Take good notes and pay attention to your studies. Try to utilize your spare time in clearing the concepts that you did not pick up in the classroom. Complete your assignments and homework as they are assigned to you. Studying in groups will help you complete your assignments quickly and effectively, allowing you to free up time for yourself.
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About Jermain Am
Jermain is a teacher who likes writing. Being a teacher, writing and proofreading is my passion. I write on several topics and many different issues. This is the reason that I also provide Essay writing and Help services to the students. When not teaching or writing I love to play soccer.