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Since 2021, the Selective High School Placement Test has followed a new format. The Thinking Skills section replaces the old General Ability section, with a focus on higher-order thinking skills such as Logical Thinking and Critical Thinking.

So what are the differences between the old General Ability section and new Thinking Skills section?

● Thinking Skills has now 40 questions to complete in 40min, compared to 60 questions in the old section

● The questions are longer with more reading required

● Less general knowledge type of questions – i.e. no more pattern finding, analogies, number/shape series

With the logical thinking type of questions, students must have the ability to analyse situations and make conclusions based off these. Often, questions will provide a scenario and a student will have to select the best conclusion from the options provided. Students may also have to determine whether a statement is true or false, or whether a conclusion is flawed or not

With critical thinking type of questions, rather than determine whether things are true or flawed, students will have to look at scenarios and examine whether they are helpful or not. These questions tend to have the ‘strongest answer’ and in reality can have answers that are still ‘somewhat correct’. Students must use the process of elimination to determine which answer is correct.

At Master Coaching, we begin preparation for the thinking skills section by using our unique approach of teaching. When first introducing this topic, since it is a topic students will have not been exposed to in their schooling, we ensure their trains of thought when answering these questions are correct. Initially, we introduce students to the old General Ability questions, particularly focused on the spatial reasoning and numeracy skills as these are still tested in this new section.

Following on from this, we introduce Thinking Skills questions. The main idea is once the student is able to answer the old general ability questions, they will be ready to attempt the critical thinking section, as while the style of questions is different, the train of thought required is still the same.

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