How to grow skills in critical thinking

How to grow skills in critical thinking

 To pass any competitive exam, the student has to answer logically. The reasoning is very important if you want to pass with a good grade in these exams. Analogy forms an important section in the reasoning exam. Some students get confused while answering the questions of analogy. 


Solving puzzles with reasoning by analogy 

Analogy needs deep thinking, and you need to develop your critical thinking for answering these questions. But there are some tricks by which you can answer the questions of reasoning in competitive exams. 


Definition of Analogy 

The analogy is the relationship between two situations or similar things. In an exam, there is a question which states the comparison between 2 similar things. You have to find the relationship between both. Analogy tests boost the insight and logical reasoning of the students.


In addition to that, these tests improve fluency in English and creativity in ideas and thoughts. Some pair of words in which analogy is used is as under:

1. Antonyms 

2. Synonyms such as buy-purchase

3. Implied relations such as clouds-sun

4. Cause and effect


5 Ways to get good marks in Analogies Test 

1. Avoid negative markings

In most of the competitive exams, there are negative markings. It means your score will be deducted for every wrong answer. Man students get a low score because of negative markings. One of the best ways to increase the score in these exams is to leave the questions which you don’t know. Leaving the questions is better than answering wrongly. When you start the paper, you must ask the assessor whether there is negative marking or not in the paper.


2. Practice the online tests 

To know the pattern of these papers, you must solve online mock tests and analogies tests. Solving these papers will help you to understand how to manage time in final exams. There are various sites where you find online mock tests and analogies tests. You will gain a thorough knowledge of competitive exams by solving these online tests.


3. Time tracking  

The competitive exams and analogies test contain various types of questions. They include objective types and brief types. You must first look at all the questions and divide the total time among all of them. Apart from that, you should not waste time on the questions which you don’t know. In such cases, you can move further to answer the next question. This will boost your confidence and save time, as well.


4. Read books 

Vocabulary is an essential skill that must be developed thoroughly to pass competitive exams. These tests contain many questions which have tough words for which you should read. To improve vocabulary, you should read newspapers, books, novels, and magazines. Through reading, you will get new words which will then prove to be useful in mock tests and analogies test.


5. Know the format of the test 

Blindly going for mock tests will put you in trouble. So, you should know the format of the analogies tests so that you do not get confused while answering the paper. Apart from that, the paper pattern will help you to know which questions you must pick in the final exams. 


Some other tips to get a good score in analogies tests 

Even if you do not know answers to the tough questions, you must look over such questions carefully. You may get some minutes at the end of the exam and you can answer the questions.


You should go through all the options given in the questions. Looking at the answers will help you to know the right answer.


It is necessary to read analogy problems like sentences. This will give you instant answers.


If you do not know the meaning of certain words, you should try to remember the books or magazines where you saw these words. 


You should also know the alternative meanings of the words.


The best way is to make a sensible guess when you don’t know the answers at all.


Logical connectives

Logical connectives are words which make complex sentence by connecting two simple sentences. The questions of logical connectives start from words such as Unless, When, whenever and others.


The questions made using logical connectives are easier than other questions. Logical connectives are directly related to critical thinking. The sentences of logical connectives contain 2 parts which are Cause and Effect. Such types of sentences show the effect of a cause.


There are 5 types of basic connectives. They are as under:


1. Negation

In the negation type of sentence, the proposition is p and the negation of p is the proposition. This is the opposite of the original sentence. Let us take an example of negation. 


1.1 If p: It is cold outside my home

Then negation of p: It is not cold outside my home


2. Conditional

In this type of sentence, if there is p then only there is q. In another type, the proposition is true when both p and q are true or if p is false. On the other hand, the proposition is false when the p is true and q is false. 

E.g.: If I will work hard, then only I will pass with good grades.


3. Conjunction 

In conjunction, there are 2 propositions p and q. The conjunction of p and q will be proposition under 4 situations:

  • It is true when both p and q are true.
  • It is false when both p and q are false.
  • It is false when p is true and q is false.
  • It is false when p is false and q is true.

For e .g- 1. p: 3+6= 9

Q: It is cold outside

Then, the conjunction of p and q is- p^q: 3+6 = 9 and it is cold outside


4. Biconditional 

In this connective, the situation is true when both p and q are true. It is false when both p and q are false. The proposition of the only p and only if q is known as a biconditional proposition. 

Let us have a look at some of the examples of Biconditional connectives.

  • I will go to school if and only there are no heavy rains.
  • I will go for a movie only if I will get a holiday from my office.


5. Disjunction 

In this connective, the situation is true when one among p or q is true. It is false when both p and q are false.

For e. g. 1. p: 3+4 = 7

q: It is cold outside 

Then, the disjunction of the above example is-


p v q : 3+4 = 7 or it is cold outside.


Thinking in Circles 

Thinking in circles is actually a Chinese way of thinking a solution for a particular problem. It is the method in which all the members of the group think until they get a proper solution to the problem. 


This theory is used in many schools, colleges, companies, and universities for problem-solving. While thinking in circles is accepted in one country, some western countries like the USA and UK follow other methods.


Advantages of thinking in circles 

1. Involves the participation of passive students 

Some students or people in a company never express their opinions because they feel shy. When a common task is allotted to all, the students will generate new ideas for a project. Apart from that, shy people will feel free while thinking in circles. They can know their skills of thinking in a creative way.


2. Working together

Thinking in circles boosts cooperation between the students in a college. It also teaches how to work in a cooperative manner. This method will increase knowledge in each student and generate more productive ideas from each one of them. Furthermore, one can understand how to work with limited resources in a limited time.


3. Increases critical thinking skills  

Thinking in circles method improves your critical skills. Now, you will think how critical thinking is connected to information literacy? In this method, each person has to play its role well by finding the facts and figures of a particular subject. Apart from that, it becomes the responsibility of every person and so, he will think in a critical manner. Each member of the group will do proper analysis and study every fact and then jump on a conclusion. 


In addition to that, the students can learn new values and principles from one another. They can understand in a better way and find a solution to every problem.


Disadvantages of thinking in circles 

1. Dependency on leaders

In some tricky projects, the method of thinking in circles does not help at all. Sometimes, it increases the dependency of students or employees on teacher or boss respectively. Some people do not take efforts to find solutions to the problems and blindly depend on either group members or teachers. 


2. Lack of attention 

It is not possible for a teacher to pay attention to all the students in a project. As a result, the teachers cannot assess the work done by every single member of the group. This may spoil the quality of work. 


3. Messy work 

It happens several times that group members in a company or college do not take seriously an assignment. Thinking in circles method increases the risk of mess in work in an organization as it is collaboration and so you can depend on it fully.


There are tips to improve thinking in circles method like assessment by a powerful leader, checking the quality of work and agreeing to a common point. This method is a benefit to complete large assignments and projects provided you do it in an effective manner. 


Can critical thinking be trained?

Analogies tests are somewhat related to critical thinking. However, there is a thin line of difference between both. In simple words, the analogies test, as well as critical thinking, involves logic. There are some golden tips by which you can improve critical thinking and gain good scores in the analogies test.


1. To pass the mock tests, it is necessary to gain knowledge of every subject. You should solve numerical, mathematical, and logical reasoning questions before passing these exams. This will help you to score well in these exams and develop critical thinking skills.


2. While solving these tests, you should use common sense. One of the best ways to get answers is to eliminate uncertain options. These exams contain mostly the objective type of questions. Eliminating the least possible options will make your way clear and precise.


These tips and tricks will help you in every type of competitive exam. Besides that, you can make your critical thinking better by following these simple ways. They will also help you to solve the problem in professional life. 


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