Thinking Self-Assessment (WP-169-03-11E)

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Thinking self-assessment [PDF - 212 KB]

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Please note this self-assessment tool aligns with the original Essential Skills Framework. In the future, a new or modified assessment tool may replace this one to align with the new Skills for Success model. Please visit this page in the coming months and beyond, to learn more about what is new!

Thinking is the ability to find information, identify and evaluate solutions to a problem, make decisions, and plan and organize daily tasks. Strong thinking skills are essential to improving success in the workplace (for example knowing how to deal with a difficult customer or managing your workload effectively). Complete this self-assessment to help you better understand your thinking skills strengths and areas you may want to improve. This information can help you make more informed training decisions.


  1. This self-assessment focuses on problem solving, decision making, and job-task planning and organizing. It contains a series of statements that show how thinking skills are used to carry out tasks in the workplace. The statements are organized in order of difficulty starting with simple tasks, and progressing to more difficult ones.
  2. Read each statement in Section 1 and place a check mark in the column that best describes how well you can complete that task. Tip: Consider both your work and life experiences as you read each statement.
  3. Review your responses for each task. Add the number of checkmarks in the "Yes", "Somewhat", and "No" columns and record it in the Total box.
  4. If you have five or more in the "Somewhat" and/or "No" columns, you may want to consider upgrading your thinking skills.
  5. Complete Section 2 to identify your training needs.

Section 1: Self-assessment

Problem solving
I can… Yes Somewhat No
Identify the cause of a problem when I have all the necessary information given to me.      
Follow existing procedures or instructions to identify solutions to a problem (for example the steps for fixing a broken machine).      
Find information from a variety of sources (such as equipment manuals, policies and procedures) that will help me understand the problem and identify solutions.      
Use problem solving experiences I had in the past to help me identify solutions to current problems.      
Recognize key facts and issues related to a problem (for example identify answers to who, what, when, where, why and how).      
Identify and evaluate the pros and cons of each potential solution.      
Make adjustments to existing workplace procedures to help solve a problem (set procedures may not address every type of problem).      
Evaluate how well a solution worked.      

Decision making
I can… Yes Somewhat No
Make decisions when following existing procedures or policies.      
Use my knowledge and past experiences to help me make decisions.      
Consider all the relevant information available before making a decision.      
Decide which of several options is most appropriate.      
Explain why I chose a particular decision.      

Job task planning and organizing
I can… Yes Somewhat No
Complete tasks by their level of importance that have been organized for me.      
Complete tasks by their level of importance that I have organized on my own.      
Use tools such as calendars, agendas and to-do lists to help me organize my tasks.      
Coordinate my work with the work of my co-workers (for example make a schedule for using a shared piece of equipment).      
Deal with interruptions so that they do not interfere with my work schedule.      

Section 2: Personal development

Completing this section will help you identify your thinking skills strengths and areas that you may want to improve. You can use this information to help develop your training plans.

Thinking strengths

Look at the "Yes" column in Section 1 for each thinking skill to identify your strengths, and record them below.

I am confident that I can…

For example apply past experiences to new problems or decisions.

1. ______________________________________________________

2. ______________________________________________________

3. ______________________________________________________

Tip: Consider using your strengths to help a co-worker, friend or family member improve their thinking skills.

Areas for improvement

Look at the "Somewhat" and/or "No" columns in Section 1 for each thinking skill to identify the areas that you need to develop or strengthen, and record them below.

I would like to improve my ability to…

For example make sure that minor interruptions do not interfere with my work plans.

1. ______________________________________________________

2. ______________________________________________________

3. ______________________________________________________

Tip: When developing your training plan, focus on improving one or two thinking skills tasks at a time.

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