While other tests may assess thinking skills by tapping mathematical, spatial, or nonverbal potential, the TOPS 2: Adolescent assesses critical thinking abilities based on the student's language strategies using logic and experience.
TOPS 2: Adolescent uses a natural context of problem-solving situations related to adolescent experiences and assesses five different decision-making skill areas critical to academic, problem solving, and social success.
Based on the research of Richard Paul, the TOPS 2: Adolescent emphasizes the integrative disposition of critical thinking by focusing on these cognitive processes:
Subtests The test is comprised of five subtests (18 written passages) that assess a student's performance of these skills. The subtests require the student to pay careful attention to, process, and think about what they hear and read; think about problems with a purpose in mind; resist the urge to be impulsive; and express answers verbally.
Subtest A: Making Inferences: The student is asked to give a logical explanation about a situation, combining what he knows or can see with previous experience/background information. Students who do well on this subtest make plausible inferences, predictions, or interpretations.
Subtest B: Determining Solutions: The student is asked to provide a logical solution for some aspect of a situation presented in a passage.
Subtest C: Problem Solving: This subtest requires a student to recognize the problem, think of alternative solutions, evaluate the options, and state an appropriate solution for a given situation. It also includes stating how to avoid specific problems.
Subtest D: Interpreting Perspectives: A student who does well on this subtest will evaluate other points of view in order to make a conclusion.
Subtest E: Transferring Insights: The student is asked to compare analogous situations by using information stated in the passage.