(TOPS-2:A) Test of Problem Solving 2: Adolescent

Linda Bowers, Rosemary Huisingh, and Carolyn LoGiudice

(TOPS-2:A) Test of Problem Solving 2: Adolescent


Uses a natural context of problem-solving situations to assess critical thinking abilities based on students’ language strategies using logic and experience


12-0 to 17-11 years

Admin Time

40 minutes

Publish Date



Level C required.
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TOPS-2: Adolescent Kit

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Product #: EM-211

TOPS-2: Adolescent Kit


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(TOPS-2:A) Test of Problem Solving 2: Adolescent

(TOPS-2:A) Test of Problem Solving 2: Adolescent

The TOPS-2:A 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:A emphasizes the integrative disposition of critical thinking by focusing on these cognitive processes:

  • Understanding/Comprehension
  • Analysis
  • Interpretation
  • Self-regulation
  • Evaluation
  • Explanation
  • Inference/Insight
  • Decision making
  • Intent/Purpose
  • Problem solving
  • Acknowledgment


The TOPS-2:A is comprised of five subtests (18 written passages) that assess a student’s performance in five decision-making skill areas. 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 or she 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 to make a conclusion.
  • Subtest E: Transferring Insights — The student is asked to compare analogous situations by using information stated in the passage.




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