Mentoring Minds identified the 9 Traits of Critical Thinking™ to foster high-quality, disciplined thinking. Students can learn to become stronger thinkers and problem solvers as they use the traits to guide their thoughts, actions, and decisions. Each trait contributes to the development of skillful thinking in academics, in social interactions, and in everyday life.

To achieve at high levels, students need to develop thinking skills and the 9 traits rather than just acquire a body of knowledge. How will teachers and students know if they are showing progress in trait development? It isn’t necessary to assess each trait in the same way. Several opportunities can be used for trait assessment, including:

  • questions
  • observations
  • interviews
  • journals
  • collection of student work
  • discussions
  • rubrics
  • checklists

For this writing, let’s examine a sampling of questions that teachers might use to gain insight into student knowledge, understanding, and application of the 9 traits. These questions promote reflection on and evaluation of the traits in general.

Critical Thinking Questions

These questions, along with others you might create relevance and drive home the realization that the 9 traits have value across many disciplines and throughout the lifetime of students. As educators, your goal is for students to learn to use the traits spontaneously without prompting. Certainly, it is intended that students recognize that when they use one trait, other traits might be related.


This is an infographic to promote reflection and evaluation of the 9 Traits of Critical thinking


Questioning shows the capacity of the students to be self-reflective and increases their alertness toward the trait application.  Hopefully, the use of questions also helps educators gain an understanding of where students are on their journey of growth toward internalization of the 9 Traits of Critical Thinking™. 

Learn More:

Assessing Creativity in Students