This course develops a set of transferable skills, including critical thinking, reasoning and problem solving, that students can apply across a wide range of subjects and complex real world issues. The syllabus enables students to develop their ability to analyse unfamiliar problems, devise problem solving strategies, and evaluate the diverse ways a problem may be solved. During a Thinking Skills course, students learn to put their personal views aside in favour of examining and evaluating the evidence. Students learn how to make informed and reasoned decisions and construct evidence-based arguments.
Minimum entry requirementsTo successfully study Cambridge International AS and A Level with us, students need to have attained:
- a grade C (or grade 4) and above in IGCSE English and Mathematics (or the equivalent in an internationally recognised qualification).
- No previous knowledge of Thinking Skills is required.
Benefits for studentsTaking International AS and A Level Thinking Skills will enable students to:
- become experienced in a wide range of technical and social tools
- develop skills like time management, communication and digital literacy
*Course available from September 2020, for first exams in June 2022.
Course structureBoth the AS and A Level syllabi cover the same subject content; Problem Solving and Critical Thinking. However, these skills are applied to different depths in each year of the course. In the Year 1 AS Level course students will develop and use skills in a limited range of scenarios and with limited data. When students get to A Level in the second year, the scenarios and problems presented are longer and complex, requiring more detailed analysis and covering a wider range of sources of data. The units studied are:
Year 1 - AS Level
- Critical thinking – first skills
- Further critical thinking
- Problem solving skills
- Modelling and processing skills
- Critical reasoning
- Revision and exam preparation
- Introducing A Level Thinking Skills
Year 2 - A Level only
- Advanced critical thinking
- Advanced problem solving
- Data analysis, models and investigation
- Reasoning with data
- Constructing a case
- Revision and exam preparation
Activities and assessmentsThe course includes the following activities: readings, case studies and worked examples, quizzes, self-assessments and marked written assignments. Teachers will review and grade assignments during the course. Some assignments require peer review and collaboration. There are also unit discussions to support students with each topic. The final examination consists of four externally-assessed papers:
- Paper 1—1 hour 30 minutes, 50% AS/25% AL, questions on Problem Solving
- Paper 2—1 hour 45 minutes, 50% AS/25% AL, questions on Critical Thinking
- Paper 3—1 hour 30 minutes, 25% AL, questions on Problem Analysis and Solution
- Paper 4—1 hour 45 minutes, 25% AL, questions on Applied Reasoning
Advice from our teachersIn order to succeed in International AS and A Level Thinking Skills, we recommend students set aside ten to fifteen hours a week to study. It is important that students regularly keep up with the readings and the course activities in a timely manner. And that they contact their Pamoja teacher if they fall behind or need help with assignments.