According to Al-Hileh (2020), critical thinking skills are used for problem-solving, to fulfill any goals, and also for making informed decisions every day. Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally about what to do or what to believe. It is not a matter of accumulating information. A critical thinker is able to extract consequences for what to know and how to use this information to solve the problem. As a university student, it is really vital for me because it builds the ability for reflecting on any idea, the application of reason, and make logical connections between several ideas. Critical thinking may engage a student in independent and reflective thinking. In this regard, the current essay has highlighted the question ‘How can developing critical thinking skills help you as a university student’?
‘Critical thinking term has begun in the 20th century and has developed continuously for the last 2500 years (Astutik et al. 2020). It is a specific pattern for reflective thinking. For me, critical thinking can be considered the main academic skill which teaches both postgraduate and undergraduate students for questioning and reflecting on students own knowledge. For most professions, critical thinking is a highly important aspect. For a university student like me, this is really crucial as critical thinking assists the student in thinking rationally and clearly. However, Chen (2019) argued that for a few students, the term ‘critical’ indicates negative connotations. Hence, those students mean that it is needed to find only faults with any piece of idea or work. But it is not correct. To be critical denotes considering anything in an objective and balanced way and also using logic and reason. There are some qualities of a student who has good critical thinking abilities. University students, having potential critical thinking ability, must be able:
- To think independently
- To explore several situations with relevant questions
- To identify the advantage and the relevance of different ideas
- To build crucial questions and formulate those clearly.
- To support own views with proper evidence.
As per Nirmala et al. (2018), critical thinking ability also matters at university as it allows the students to form their own opinions and to be engaged with the material beyond the superficial level. It is essential for crafting any great essay and also for conducting intelligent discussions with classmates or professors. Only regurgitating the sayings of textbooks won’t get a student so far. In addition, critical thinking also allows a student for crafting worthy arguments by backing those up. During pursuing university studies, critical and original thoughts are really crucial. It also helps to evaluate own work for a student. Critical thinking skill also leads to generating better grades and also better habits for the mind. However, the worth of thinking critically doesn’t end with university or college. Once a person gets into the actual world, there is even more worth of critical thinking. In the academic arena, critical thinking actually allows me for understanding and apply things in a critical manner. The quality of a good university student needs to think highly critically regarding what is happening in the university along with different institutions. It has allowed me for continuing to develop intellectual thoughts after becoming a graduate also. It has also helped in making hard decisions as critical thinking ability is important equally in the process of decision making. It allows me to compare the cons and pros of the available options indicating that I have several options in comparison to what I can imagine. However, Dewanto et al. (2018)argued that to become a good human being needs learning actively and also make choices rationally. In education, critical thinking also assists me in analyzing, interpreting, observing, and explaining concepts. The ability to critically thinking has a deep effect on all learning processes. As per Din (2020), in daily lives also, critical thinking is beneficial as it has a big role in overcoming any format of deception. The development of critical thinking skills has not helped me in my university curriculum, but also this skill can be applied in any situation of my daily life which needs planning, analysis, and reflection.
For me to be a successful university student, it is required to become really good at critical thinking. The critical thinker students are considered to be a person having the capacity and ability for thinking at a higher level. The students of the university like me are often expected to think in such a critical way so that the ideas would offer a better life for their own and for people also who are around those students. Critical thinking needs me to apply different intellectual tools for diverse information. There are ways that have helped me to think about any information, such as conceptualizing, analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing. This information can arise from several sources experience, observation, reflection, communication, and reasoning. Thus, critical thinking can be considered the opposite of everyday regular thinking.
The significance of critical thinking for me is really high as a university student. Critical thinking has developed me to build domain-general skills. For the students like me, it offers the capacity for thinking in the right way and also solving issues in a more methodical and efficient way. This has provided a huge boost to my career, which I have chosen. When I have worked on the development of critical thinking at the university level, it has enhanced my ability for expressing ideas differently. Furthermore, learning for inspecting texts or structures logically, has improved my ability to comprehend as well. As per Shovkova (2019), critical thinking improves presentation language and expertise. It is also crucial for students in understanding that any new thoughts which have been created are useful and applicable to any given problem. Thus, it is the domain where critical thinking has a great role to play. This assists in evaluating the solutions and also using the best and adjusting or transforming if required. Thus, critical thinking has helped me to encourage creativity which is vital for a student.
Furthermore, critical thinking has allowed me to become an independent and self-reliant learner during university tenure, instead of entirely dependent on teachers and classroom learning. According to Sudiana (2018), critical thinking helps in evaluating the learning style and recognizing the areas of flaws and strengths of the students. By acquiring this ability, I have been able to focus on several solutions in better ways and set goals accordingly. In addition, the development of critical thinking skills has also helped me to improve my university grades and also achievements. It has helped to connect the theories with practical learning which improves ultimate academic knowledge. Thus, the students like me become able to critique and understand which assists in thorough understanding and reflects in academic grades.
Moreover, critical thinking has played a crucial role to frame the basic questions for a student immensely. A critical thinker first analyzes then evaluates and reaches the conclusion of solving any problem. The students are able to ask questions that are mainly open-ended means which require answers which are highly elaborate. The students with critical thinking abilities become able to ask questions that are mainly result oriented. This kind of question can help me as a university student to reveal a few personality traits. Furthermore, critical thinking ability helps the students to ask hypothetical queries as per (Al-Hileh, 2020). Such scenarios have helped me as a university student to understand observation power. I have also been able to develop organized and structured questions which are totally reflective by nature. This type of structured question helps any student for understanding the experiment or procedure. During the course of my university studies, I also required the ability to evaluate and analyze any information and make inferences based on my evaluation and analysis. These three crucial skills are the main part of critical thinking (Chen, 2019). Being a university student with developed critical thinking skills, I have become more confident regarding the creation of my own original work by knowing that my ideas rest on critical and solid foundations.
It can be derived that critical thinking is a skill that can be valued both in the professional and university setting. Critical thinking is largely expected from any university student because it leads to developing judgment, problem-solving, and evaluation skills. The ultimate aim of such skill is to create the original academic paper for own. In addition, building the critical thinking skill has made it possible to master also in the skill like reflective judgment which is the ability for making reasoned judgments depending on available information Being a student of the university, critical thinking development has helped to analyze and also critique ideas and making connections among different disciplines. The most crucial criterion to becoming successful at university is the power of thinking independently and being logical simultaneously. The skills of critical thinking are not only helpful to outline the papers coherently through a proper logical structure but also assist in reasoning and presenting the thoughts in a persuasive and organized manner. Therefore, the development of such skills has helped me hugely to increase my academic performance at my university.
- Al-Hileh, M., 2020. Digital Storytelling Strategy for Teaching the Arabic Language: The Success Formula of Developing Active Listening and Creative Thinking Skill.