Cornell Critical Thinking Test Online

Posted on by Mule

Assessment: How do we assess critical thinking?

See the unpublished and periodically updated item, An Annotated List of Critical Thinking Tests, for a listing of existing available critical thinking tests.

To see, and download The Ennis-Weir Critical Thinking Essay Test, click here. For supplementary information and updating of the Ennis-Weir manual, click here.

To see, and download the Cornell deduction tests, click here.

The Illinois Critical Thinking Essay Test (1993) by Marguerite Finken and Robert H.Ennis was developed to evaluate the success of the Illinois Alliance of Essential Schools. The rubric was adapted from the Illinois Goal Assesment Program rubric, but with an increased emphasis on critical thinking. An inter-rater reliability of .94 (N = 30) was obtained.


Ennis, R. H. (2009). Investigating and assessing multiple-choice critical thinking tests. In Sobocan, J. and Groarke, L. (Eds.), Critical thinking education and assessment: Can higher order thinking be tested? London, Ontario: Althouse. Pp. 75-97.


Ennis, R. H. (2008). Nationwide testing of critical thinking for higher education: Vigilance required. Teaching Philosophy, 31, 1 (March, 2008), 1-26.

Ennis, R. H. (2003). Critical thinking assessment. In Fasko, Dan (Ed.), Critical thinking and reasoning: Current theories, research, and practice. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton.

Ennis, R. H. (1996). Critical thinking dispositions: Their nature and assessability. Informal Logic, 18, 2 & 3, 165-182 .

Ennis, R. H. (1993).  Critical thinking assessment.  Theory into Practice, 32 (3), 179-186.

Ennis, R. H. (1992).  Assessing higher order thinking for accountability.  In J. W. Keefe & H. J. Walberg (Eds.), Teaching for Thinking.  Reston, VA: National Association of Secondary School Principals.  Pp. 73-91.

Ennis, R.H.  (1985).  A logical basis for measuring critical thinking skills.  Educational Leadership, 43 (2), 44-48.

Ennis, R.H.  (1984).  Problems in testing informal logic, critical thinking, reasoning ability.  Informal Logic , 6, 3-9.

Ennis, R.H.  (1958).  An appraisal of the Watson-Glaser critical thinking appraisal.  Journal of Educational Research, 52, 155-158.

Ennis, R.H. and Millman, J.  (1985).  Cornell critical thinking test, level X.  Pacific Grove, CA:  Midwest Publications.

Ennis, R.H. and Millman, J.  (1985).  Cornell critical thinking test, level Z.  Pacific Grove, CA:  Midwest Publications.

Ennis, R.H. & Norris, S.P. (1990). Critical thinking assessment: Status, issues, needs."  In Sue M. Legg and James Algina (Eds.), Cognitive assessment of language and math outcomes.  Norwood, NJ: Ablex.  Pp. 1-42.

Ennis, R.H. and Weir, E.  (1985).  The Ennis-Weir critical thinking essay test.  Pacific Grove, CA:  Midwest Publications.

Norris, S. P. and Ennis, R. H.  (1989).  Evaluating critical thinking.  Pacific Grove, CA:  Midwest Publications.

Tomko, T.N. and Ennis, R.H.  (1980).  Evaluation of informal logic competence.  In J. A. Blair & R. Johnson (Eds.), Informal logic:  The first international symposium.  Inverness, CA:  Edgepress.  Pp. 113-144.

                                                                                 Return to first page


Cornell Critical Thinking Test Guide

Cornell Critical Thinking Test Summary

What: The Cornell Critical Thinking Test series helps evaluate and predict student skills in critical thinking.
Who: The test is geared at students in grades five and up.
Where: Tests are administered in schools.
When: The test can be given at any time after the fifth grade.
How: The test is multiple-choice.
Type: Exams are offered in paper and computer format.
Why: The test series can help place students in classes and determine future performance.
Time: Fifty minutes.
Language: English
Preparation: Students can prepare by working on developing skills in logic, reasoning and other critical thinking areas.
Cost: The cost varies depending on the number of tests purchased, but a set of a ten starts at $29.99.

By: Erin Hasinger,


The Cornell Critical Thinking Test is an exam that helps teachers to determine the critical thinking abilities of their students. First developed in 1985 by Robert Ennis of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Jason Millman of Cornell University, the Cornell Critical Thinking Test series offers two levels of testing: level X for grades five through twelve and level Z for grades ten through twelve. The tests may also be used at the college level as well.


Both tests help teachers, parents and administrators to predict students’ future performance in honors and advanced placement classes, critical thinking classes, state proficiency exams, college admission and even in a career situation. The tests may also be used to help place students in gifted or advanced placement programs.


Level X includes 71 multiple-choice questions that evaluate student skill in:


     -    Induction

     -    Deduction

     -    Credibility

     -    Identification of Assumptions


For example, students may be presented with a short passage to read, and then must answer questions related to fact statements in regard to the passage, such as whether the fact statements support the argument the passage has made, go against the argument or do neither one.


Level Z includes 52 multiple-choice questions covering:


     -    Induction

     -    Deduction

     -    Credibility

     -    Identification of Assumptions

     -    Semantics

     -    Definition

     -    Prediction in Planning


On a Level Z exam, students may be presented with a passage in which certain conclusions are underlined. Students are asked to determine if the conclusions follow logically, contradict or do neither.


Test takers are given 50 minutes to complete the exam. The Cornell Critical Thinking Tests are available in both computerized and paper formats.


Test kits, including software and answer sheets, are available for purchase through the Critical Thinking Co. The Cornell Critical Thinking Test is typically administered in a classroom, and the school will purchase the test. A set of ten individual tests costs $29.99, while licenses can be purchased for sets of 50 tests for $99.99, 100 tests for $149.99, 200 tests for $239.99 and 1,000 tests for $499.99.


To prepare for the Cornell Critical Thinking Test, numerous workbooks and other materials are available for purchase. Parents and students should locate test prep materials that help children develop skills in logic and reasoning; identifying valid claims and arguments, evidence, generalizations and fact and opinion; and making deductions and inferences.


To learn more about the Cornell Critical Thinking Test and to find test preparation materials for Level X and Level Z tests, please visit the Cornell Critical Thinking Test Directory.


Sources: Critical Thinking Co., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Categories: 1

0 Replies to “Cornell Critical Thinking Test Online”

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrĂ  pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *