Critical Thinking AS/A2 · OCR
What is Critical Thinking?
A better description may be deeper thinking or clearer thinking. This is a relatively new A level which intends to develop and improve your evaluation, arguing, debating and problem solving skills. It is an academic discipline that focuses on the processes involved in being rational.
- Analysing arguments
- Judging the relevance and significance of information.
- Evaluating claims, inferences and explanations.
- Constructing clear and coherent arguments.
Being rational also requires an open minded yet critical approach to one’s own thinking as well as that of others. Critical Thinking is open to all students and is an optional A2 subject.
Why do Critical Thinking?
If you enjoy debating and arguing over topical issues you will enjoy this course. The lessons are lively and there is not a lot of material to learn, so it will not impinge too much on your time. You will be taught one lesson per week in the lower sixth and a double lesson in the upper. We finish the upper sixth course in January, thereby reducing exam pressure in the summer.
We aim to encourage public speaking skills, which will help during University or job interviews. The subject is also excellent preparation for University entrance exams such as LNAT and HNAT. The course concentrates on skills that you can use to increase your performance in ALL of your subjects. Independent research has shown that a good performance in Critical Thinking increases you overall exam performance by one grade. It can be quite challenging but this should appeal to the more ambitious students.
You will gain an extra AS or A2 level qualification, plus an optional award in Public Speaking worth another 65 UCAS points.
The Four Modules Are:
Module One: Introduction to Critical Thinking
Module Two: Assessing and Developing Argument
- The language of reasoning.
- Credibility of evidence and argument. Analysing the content and reliability of evidence is a critical skill.
- Analysis of argument Evaluating structure, power, relevance and flaws in argument
- Developing your own arguments.
Module Three: Ethical Reasoning and Decision-making
Module Four: Critical Reasoning
- Ethical Theories
- Recognising and applying principles.
- Dilemmas and decision making.
- Analysis of complex arguments
- Evaluating complex arguments
- Developing cogent and complex arguments.
The four written exams consist of a mixture of short answer questions and free response questions, using resource material provided on the day of the exam. There is no coursework.
OCR Exam Board Website