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The International Critical Thinking Reading and Writing Test

Second Edition

Richard Paul and Linda Elder

Order from Rowman & Littlefield here.

Developed by the Foundation for Critical Thinking, The Critical Thinking Reading & Writing Test assesses the extent to which students have acquired the reading and writing abilities required for skilled analysis and evaluation. These skills are essential to the educated mind and should be considered core elements of any educational program.

Through rubrics, this essay-based test measures the extent to which students can skillfully interpret, analyze, and assess what they read. The test fosters close reading and substantive writing abilities and is designed for secondary and higher education students.

As part of the Thinker’s Guide Library, this book advances the mission of the Foundation for Critical Thinking to promote fairminded critical societies through cultivating essential intellectual abilities and virtues across every field of study across world.

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers / The Foundation for Critical Thinking
Pages: 64 • Trim: 6 x 8
978-0-944583-32-6 • Paperback • January 2012
978-1-5381-3396-5 • eBook • June 2019
Series: Thinker's Guide Library


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The International Critical Thinking Reading and Writing Test

Additional Information About:
The International Critical Thinking Reading and Writing Test

The International Critical Thinking Reading & Writing Test assesses the ability of students to use reading and writing as tools for acquiring knowledge. To appreciate the significance of this test, it is important to understand the integral relationship between one’s ability to read and write and one’s ability to learn how to learn. 


Students who think critically routinely read texts that are significant and thus expand their worldview. Recognizing that every text has a purpose, they clarify the purpose of texts as they read them. Recognizing that close reading requires active engagement in reading, they create an inner dialog with the text as they read—questioning, summarizing and connect­ing important ideas with other important ideas.


Students who think critically use writing as an important tool both for communicat­ing important ideas and for learning. They use writing to deepen their understanding of important concepts and to clarify interrelationships between concepts. They consistently write in such a way as to become more clear, precise, accurate, relevant, deep, broad, logical and significant as thinkers. In writing, they are able to clearly and accurately analyze and evaluate ideas in texts and in their own thinking. They consistently learn to write as they write to learn. In other words, they use writing as an important tool for learning ideas deeply and permanently.


The purpose of the test is to assess students’ abilities to think in particular “disciplined” and skilled ways. If successful, the results make it possible for those who interpret them to determine the extent to which students have and have not learned foundational critical thinking reading and writing skills essential to intellectual analysis and evaluation, skills essential to the educated mind.