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See the unpublished and periodically updated item, An Annotated List of Critical Thinking Tests, for a listing of existing available critical thinking tests.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

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