Critical Thinking is a demanding course that aims to refine the core reasoning skills that form the basis of all academic discourse. In particular, these skills include the analysis, evaluation and deployment of argument, along with the evaluation of evidence.
Although there is good evidence to suggest that the development of these skills is beneficial to study at A level and to an even greater extent beyond, particular emphasis on the course is given to supporting university applications, particularly for the more competitive courses, which increasingly involve the assessment of critical thinking skills by means of aptitude test papers, usually sat in November of Year 13. Depending on the university, subjects requiring these papers include Medicine, Law and Engineering and an increasing number of subjects at Oxbridge. Critical Thinking is taught as an extension course in Year 12, and applications are not made until September. Places on the course are restricted, and boys are encouraged to take active steps to determine whether they may need to sit an aptitude test when they apply to university before applying for the course.