How to Improve your Critical Thinking ability?
There are many skills that are required for a student to develop into an efficient individual. For many competitive exams and walks of life, these skills are used to find out the best candidates. Proficiency in written and verbal communication in languages, general knowledge, interpretation of data, logical ability and critical thinking skills are some of them which the higher ups seek in you.
For starters let’s look into what’s critical thinking? Well, it’s one’s ability to think clearly and rationally, understanding the logical connection between ideas. Critical thinking has been the subject of much debate and thought since the time of early Greek philosophers such as Plato and Socrates and has continued to be a subject of discussion into the modern age, for example the ability to recognize fake news. Critical thinking might be described as the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking.
Enough of the history lesson? Yes!
We all think about something or the other, in short we all can think. Now the real question arises that can you be more effective? The answer is ‘YES’, when you take your normal thinking ability to the next level, that’s what’s called critical thinking.
So how do we do it? Well, let’s take a look.
Identify a topic in an objective manner
Whenever you think about a certain topic, think about it objectively. The first thing you can do is draw a table in your mind, with pros and cons on either side. Think about the topic in terms of positive and negative or advantageous and disadvantageous traits. You will begin to understand the topic in a much better way, and will have a strong opinion which will be based on your rational thought.
Be Curious and Ask Questions
Another method to improve your skills is by keeping on asking questions. Doing so will improve your knowledge about the topic, cancel out any discrepancy that you believed in and develop your ability to analyse situations. You will learn to look at a subject from all points of views, and thus your thinking ability will grow.
Discuss with your peers
Knowing about a specific topic is not enough. Learning is a continuous process that should bring a permanent change. To do this, one has to be in continuous discussion and debate with their peers. You will start noticing that you are hooked on to new topics, or learn something you didn’t know before and understand different perspectives. It also helps you understand how other people think about a specific topic.
There is only so much that you can acquire by just observing and discussing. You will expose your thought process to multitudes of ideas and concepts if you start reading religiously. Many great writers have penned down their opinions and thoughts. You might find yourself agreeing to some of the content and with some you might disagree. But the point is to know how people think about ideologies and concepts so you will have a better understanding.
Find Problems and try solving them
You do not have to be Sherlock Holmes, running around the streets to solve mysteries. Simple problems, of any nature — a Rubik’s cube, a mathematical problem, a reasoning problem or a social problem. Just put your head around it and try coming up with multiple solutions if you can.
Note down your observations
Everything that you have been doing to improve your skills, must be written down. It can be further used for reference or for other situations. Noting down, keep a track on how well you have improved your skills. From achievements in thinking through in a situation to failing in some, all must be noted down. Many might dismiss the need for using any method at all to increase critical thinking ability. Usually people develop these skills by doing day to day activities.
But if you think, you must be focusing on the same without losing a minute, now you know what you must be doing.