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Critical Thinking Skills and Standardized Test Scores


bulletStandardized tests like SAT Math, SAT Verbal, GRE, GMAT, and ACT show a high degree of correlation with critical thinking skills.
bulletSAT Math shows a higher correlation than SAT Verbal--about 0.48 to 0.66.
bulletSAT total shows higher correlation than either SAT Math or SAT Verbal, at 0.68.
bulletGRE and GMAT show a slightly higher correlation than SAT Math, up to 0.69.
bulletMCAT had the lowest correlation in quantitative skills than all the standardized tests, at 0.40.
bulletCritical thinking skills don't improve with age, at 0.006.
bulletCollege GPA is virtually uncorrelated with critical thinking skills, as low as 0.20.
bulletThe Major GPA is just slightly more correlated with critical thinking skills, up to 0.33.
bulletAmount of reading is even less correlated than college GPA, at 0.14.
bulletGraduate units are only slightly correlated to critical thinking skills, at 0.34 to 0.41.
bulletOne study found that critical thinking skills did not improve after taking critical thinking course.
bulletCollege versus non-college had a relatively low correlation, at 0.40.
bullet"coursework not strong predictor of critical thinking scores (Banta & Pike, 1989)"

In other words, using GPA, course work, age, or remedial courses as prerequisites for admission to college deteriorates the quality of college students.  The best way to maintain quality in students admitted to college is to ignore these other factors and concentrate on all standardized test scores except the MCAT.

"Differences in CT across gender after critical thinking course - differences not found when SAT scores & GPA controlled" implies that, when the critical thinking scores for boys are correlated with their higher standardized test scores, there is no gender difference in critical thinking scores, which is about like saying: "when adjusted for height, pygmies are no shorter than normal people".

The poor correlation between critical thinking and MCAT suggests that the US medical profession has been so politicized that the least qualified students now qualify to go to medical school.  How could critical thinking not be a vital ingredient for effective medical doctors?  Could this be why the US spends twice as much as a percent of GDP for health care than countries like Japan and Australia, whose men live 4-5 years longer than American men, or why our medical professionals place such an unhealthy confidence in vaccinations like the polio vaccination which spread the SV40 monkey virus to 98 million Americans and created the cancer, AIDS, hepatitis B, polio, and Gulf War Syndrome.


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