Assessing Students' Critical Thinking Skills in the Humanities and Sciences Colleges of a Middle Eastern University

Rahma Al-Mahrooqi, C. J. Denman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The level of critical thinking skills of Omani tertiary-level students is an area that has received only a limited amount of investigative attention. This study employed an adapted version of the Cornell Class-Reasoning Test, Form X to assess the critical thinking skills of students in the humanities- and science-based colleges of Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. The test featured 36 questions across six item groups that were associated with five critical thinking principles. Descriptive analysis was used to calculate overall correct percentages for the entire test and for each item group in order to determine whether participants had mastered or failed to master the critical thinking principle. Independent samples t-tests were also used to explore if statistically significant differences existed on item group totals based on the independent variables of gender and college of study, while a one sample t-test compared overall test results with those reported for foundation students at the research site who took the same test in a previous study. Results indicate that participants had either failed to master, or had neither mastered nor failed to master, all five of the assessed principles. However, they recorded significantly higher scores on four of the six item groups than foundation students in the earlier study. Female participants received higher overall test scores than their male counterparts, although there was no difference based on college of study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-796
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Instruction
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • College students
  • Cornell Class-Reasoning
  • Critical thinking
  • Oman
  • Tertiary-level students
  • Thinking skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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