NEC’s interactive online Critical Thinking and Problem Solving courses, give students the chance to prepare for university admissions tests and the world of work. Course writer and NEC tutor Cressida Tweed shows how these courses develop your transferable skills and add to your CV.

What is critical thinking and problem solving?

Learning key concepts such as the difference between explanation and argument, implicit assumptions and key logical fallacies help students perform better at university. 

Problem solving is a bit like detective work!

It is about finding solutions to numerical problems by developing strategies to select relevant information. NEC’s online Problem Solving course requires maths skills up to GCSE standards as you’ll need to be able to use simple fractions and analyse information in tables and graphs. It puts these mathematical skills into practice and allows you to approach everyday problems in a logical way.

Critical thinking is a form of verbal reasoning; it requires you to understand, analyse and evaluate arguments, focusing on the logic and effectiveness of the reasoning. Learning how to think instead of what to think will help you to develop skills that will aid your ability to write more compelling and well-reasoned essays.

How can critical thinking and problem solving help you get to university?

With predicted grades, quality of work experience and applications, prospective university students are often of a similar high caliber, particularly for courses like medicine or PPE. A levels focus on the acquisition of specific skills around the content of a course (for example analysing sources in history, or understanding concepts and scientific methods in biology or chemistry) but they don’t really test the academic skills needed to succeed in Higher Education. Hence why a range of universities are offering entrance examinations. 

Studying critical thinking or problem solving can give you the edge over other university applicants.

What makes NEC’s Critical Thinking and Problem Solving courses different?

Understanding the techniques behind problem solving and critical thinking can really help you develop the skills required for entrance examinations and university study; this is the focus of the NEC courses. While most thinking skills online courses focus on practice and universities recommend using past papers, these courses first teach you the conceptual content necessary before doing the practice. In Critical Thinking for example, understanding what an argument is and the most common logical fallacies can really help with the development of the skills needed to do well in the tests. But it does more than that: it will help you develop the academic skills needed to succeed in your university course. 

For a limited time, you can enrol on our Critical Thinking and Problem Solving courses for an introductory price of £80 each (down from £105), or £145 for both, giving you a saving of up to £65. Enrol now to secure your place and give yourself the best chance of succeeding in higher education.

Cressida has been teaching at A level for the past 17 years, across philosophy and religious studies. She has also taught Critical Thinking and Citizenship, and trains sixth form students for their BMAT and TSA entrance exams. She is interested in getting into debates with her students; it is very important for me that they develop their skills as independent, resilient learners, critical thinkers and problem solvers. Cressida wrote the NEC Critical Thinking and Problem Solving courses.

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